How to work with files offline?

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
I use Dropbox. So, to work while I was flying, I selected some folders to make available offline in the Dropbox app. But when I tried to edit an MS Word document, Dropbox helpfully informed me that I can view the file offline, but not edit it. That’s absurd!

So, how do you work with files when you have no internet connection? Of course, on a Mac that’s trivial. But on an iPad...
 

saberahul

macrumors 68040
Nov 6, 2008
3,610
88
USA
I tried. But you cannot save back to documents. In fact, if you edit the document, there is no way to save it, except internally in MS Word
Of course you can. Save then go to send a copy and click on Other Apps and go to documents.

It’s not ideal, but it works.
 

saberahul

macrumors 68040
Nov 6, 2008
3,610
88
USA
Just to add, this is also the reason why I stopped using Word altogether. I understand this may not be an option for all, but if you have the freedom to not work with .docx and change your work style, you may benefit greatly from my set up, which is:

- Use markdown for all text related work. Markdown is extremely powerful and can be converted to many different formats very easily
- If you work out of iOS primarily, though this applies to any platform, use the power of Git to track, backup, and sync your files. On iOS, Working Copy does wonders (though you’ll need to pay $16 or so to be able to commit and push)
 

RevTEG

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2012
985
686
San Jose, Ca
I work while flying all the time. However, I use iCloud and Pages. I also use Dropbox as a backup to my backup for projects that I cannot afford to lose. Although I’ve never lost anything with iCloud. I just always believed one is none and two is one.

When I use Pages while flying the changes just auto backup as soon as I connect to data or WiFi. Then I update the new version to Dropbox.

With the iPad and the files app you can select what files to have a local copy saved to the iPad. Most of my Pages documents are saved locally as well as in the cloud. The whole automatically syncing updated versions to all my devices is awesome.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how all of that works with Microsoft. Their office software is great but I haven’t used it since 2006 or 2007.
 
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ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
I work while flying all the time. However, I use iCloud and Pages. I also use Dropbox as a backup to my backup for projects that I cannot afford to lose. Although I’ve never lost anything with iCloud. I just always believed one is none and two is one.

When I use Pages while flying the changes just auto backup as soon as I connect to data or WiFi. Then I update the new version to Dropbox.

With the iPad and the files app you can select what files to have a local copy saved to the iPad. Most of my Pages documents are saved locally as well as in the cloud. The whole automatically syncing updated versions to all my devices is awesome.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how all of that works with Microsoft. Their office software is great but I haven’t used it since 2006 or 2007.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for MS Word. The issue is that Word is the standard for documents, so I have to work with that. Also, Dropbox is the standard platform for sharing documents.

This is the first time I understand why people scream for a file system on iPad. With a proper file system, this would not be an issue.
 
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ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
I work while flying all the time. However, I use iCloud and Pages. I also use Dropbox as a backup to my backup for projects that I cannot afford to lose. Although I’ve never lost anything with iCloud. I just always believed one is none and two is one.

When I use Pages while flying the changes just auto backup as soon as I connect to data or WiFi. Then I update the new version to Dropbox.

With the iPad and the files app you can select what files to have a local copy saved to the iPad. Most of my Pages documents are saved locally as well as in the cloud. The whole automatically syncing updated versions to all my devices is awesome.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how all of that works with Microsoft. Their office software is great but I haven’t used it since 2006 or 2007.
I don’t see how you can download files offline in iCloud. There is no option to ‘make folder available offline.’ I searched Google, but didn’t find any solutions. ICloud may keep some files offline, but you have no control over which files.

The only option I found to work is to store files in the Documents app. You sync folders to Documents from Dropbox, then export a file to MS Word (or other apps). MS word will require you to save the file before editing. You can save it back to Documents, where it weirdly ends up in ‘iTunes files.’ From there you can move it back to its rightful place once you have internet. Not great, but workable.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
Well, I found a way to work with offline Word files in Dropbox. From Dropbox you cannot edit Word files nor open them when offline. However, here is what works
1. Click export.
2. DO NOT click 'copy to word'
3. Instead click 'open in...,' THEN click 'copy to word'

You can now save the file internally in Word. Once there is internet connection, you can then copy from the Word's local storage back to Drobox using the Files app.

So convoluted, but it does make it possible to work on flights.

My project here is to see if my iPad pro can replace my laptop for travel. I think I'm close to being there.
 

Minimalist_Tech

Suspended
Mar 13, 2019
32
25
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for MS Word. The issue is that Word is the standard for documents, so I have to work with that. Also, Dropbox is the standard platform for sharing documents.

This is the first time I understand why people scream for a file system on iPad. With a proper file system, this would not be an issue.
It has one that’s very usable, can work with Dropbox, as well as all your apps, including Microsoft word. Your insistence on using Dropbox as the default is just counter-intuitive. Files works fine, and while it needs support for USB storage, it’s totally functional to those who are willing to learn it.

Files can easily be stored on the iPad, and can also be shared to things like Dropbox. As someone who works with word files, PDFs, text documents, and design pieces every day, I can 100% confirm that it all works with no real hassle. Explore Files more and I think you’ll find it works far better than many give it credit for.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
It has one that’s very usable, can work with Dropbox, as well as all your apps, including Microsoft word. Your insistence on using Dropbox as the default is just counter-intuitive. Files works fine, and while it needs support for USB storage, it’s totally functional to those who are willing to learn it.

Files can easily be stored on the iPad, and can also be shared to things like Dropbox. As someone who works with word files, PDFs, text documents, and design pieces every day, I can 100% confirm that it all works with no real hassle. Explore Files more and I think you’ll find it works far better than many give it credit for.
But can it store files offline for when you have not internet? As far as I have been able to search on Google, that's not possible.

Also, how do you edit a Word document from inside the Files app? EDIT: I see now that since about a year ago, MS Word and the files app play nice together. So, my question about offline access remains.
 

Minimalist_Tech

Suspended
Mar 13, 2019
32
25
But can it store files offline for when you have not internet? As far as I have been able to search on Google, that's not possible.

Also, how do you edit a Word document from inside the Files app? EDIT: I see now that since about a year ago, MS Word and the files app play nice together. So, my question about offline access remains.
Yep, my entire file system is offline on my iPad. I just created a standard documents structure in the Pages app folder, and back up to iCloud, as well as send relevant files to Dropbox for collaborative works as well as for professional print work. I’ve been 100% iPad Pro and iPhone for about three months now and have yet to run into an issue - though I’ve noticed overall business costs, time, and and needed effort have decreased, while productivity and profits have increased based on adapting with the new system, which in turn gave new perspectives as well.

If for some reason you’re not seeing an “on my iPad” option, create a new file in pages, then save it to your iPad, perhaps export as a PDF or similar, and make sure it goes to your iPad, not iCloud or elsewhere. This will ensure the option is available and present, as it occasionally hides by default.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
Yep, my entire file system is offline on my iPad. I just created a standard documents structure in the Pages app folder, and back up to iCloud, as well as send relevant files to Dropbox for collaborative works as well as for professional print work. I’ve been 100% iPad Pro and iPhone for about three months now and have yet to run into an issue - though I’ve noticed overall business costs, time, and and needed effort have decreased, while productivity and profits have increased based on adapting with the new system, which in turn gave new perspectives as well.

If for some reason you’re not seeing an “on my iPad” option, create a new file in pages, then save it to your iPad, perhaps export as a PDF or similar, and make sure it goes to your iPad, not iCloud or elsewhere. This will ensure the option is available and present, as it occasionally hides by default.
But if you store files there, they won's sync through Dropbox, right?
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
Sorry, what exactly do you mean by that? Somehow manually dragging them into Dropbox to sync? That would seem incredibly cumbersome.
Exactly, I don't quite get it either. In the Dropbox app you have the option to make a folder available offline. It will automatically sync when there is an internet connection, but the files will be available also when there is no internet. I cannot find any such option for the Files app/iCloud drive.