How to Create Documents on the iPad

By Tammy Columbo

Create Word documents and other files on your iPad.
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The iPad is much more than just a mobile platform: It can become an efficient productivity tool. With the right apps, you can use the iPad to produce documents and spreadsheets that can be opened and edited on a Mac or PC. The Apple iWork productivity suite for iPad includes Pages -- the Apple word processing application -- as well as the Numbers and Keynote apps. Other apps for creating documents on the iPad include OnLive Desktop and Documents To Go. You can purchase and install the desired app through iTunes or the App Store on your iPad.

iWork Pages

Tap the “iWorks Pages" icon to open the app on your iPad. The Pages app opens in your default Documents folder.

Tap the “+” option in the upper left corner of the Pages screen. The Create Document dialog box opens.

Tap “Create Document.” Pages displays a collection of templates from which you can choose. Tap “Blank” to create a blank document, or tap one of the listed templates to start your document with a template. The document opens on the screen and the iPad keyboard displays under the document.

Tap inside the body of the document and type your content. Click the “Format Painter” icon on the top navigation menu to format the content. You also can insert images, charts and other objects, just like in the full Mac version of Pages.

Tap the “Documents” option on the top bar to return to the Documents folder. Pages assigns the template name to your document.

Tap the “Edit" option in the Documents screen. The document icons wiggle.

Tap the title assigned to your new document. The title field becomes editable.

Type the name of your document into the field, and then tap “Done.” The document is renamed to the document name you specified.

OnLive Desktop

Open the “OnLive Desktop” app icon on the iPad to open the suite.

Tap the “Word” icon in the Onlive Desktop screen to launch Microsoft Word. The OnLive Desktop application replicates an actual Windows desktop on your iPad. The Microsoft Word app operates in the same way as the full version installed on a PC.

Tap the “File” option on the top navigation menu, and then tap “New.”

Click the “Blank Document” option to open a blank Word document. You also can click a template in the Available Templates section to start with a document structure.

Type content into your document and format the page.

Click the “File” option, and then click “Save.” The Unnamed File dialog box opens.

Type a name for your document in the “File Name” field, and then click “Save.” Your document is saved to your OnLive Desktop cloud storage account.

Documents To Go

Open the Documents To Go app on the iPad.

Tap the “Local” icon in the bottom toolbar, and then tap the “+” in the bottom right corner to create a new document. The Document Type screen opens.

Tap the “MS Word Document” to create a new Word document. You also can tap “MS Excel Document” to create a new spreadsheet, or “MS Powerpoint Document” to create a new presentation. A blank document opens on the screen.

Type content into the new document.

Tap the “Back” arrow to save your document with the default name. Tap the “Edit” option in the Documents screen, and then tap the document title to rename the document. You also can send the document to your Dropbox account, iZip or Evernote by tapping the “Open In” icon in the bottom toolbar, and then tapping your selection.


Documents To Go saves new documents in the Microsoft Office DOC format by default. You can change the default document format in the app settings.

Documents To Go integrates with other iPad apps and cloud storage services, including iCloud and Dropbox.


Documents To Go and iWork are paid apps. OnLive Desktop offers a free version with 2 GB of cloud storage. The paid version of OnLive Desktop includes 50 GB of storage.

Because the OnLive Desktop app is cloud-based, you must be connected to the Internet to create documents using this tool. Additionally, all documents you create are automatically saved to your cloud storage account, not to the iPad.

OnLive Desktop does not integrate with other apps on your device. For instance, you cannot use OnLive Desktop to open email attachments.