Can I Save a Word Doc to the iPhone?
By Spanner Spencer
Early versions of Apple's iPhone allowed you to view Word documents, but not save them to your phone. Now, however, a variety of document-editing applications are available that allow you to view, create and edit Microsoft Office files. Once an application has been installed, there are several methods of transferring your Word files to the iPhone.
iTunes Files Sharing
In version 9.1 of iTunes a feature was included that allows quick, drag-and-drop synchronizing of files. By selecting the relevant application from the "Apps" list in the iTunes "Apps" tab, you can drop compatible files into the "Documents" box to make them available on the iPhone. Microsoft Office-compatible applications such as Documents To Go and QuickOffice will allow two-way transfer of Word files using the iTunes file-sharing option. This also allows you to copy files back to the computer once they've been edited on the iPhone.
Many Microsoft Office-compatible iPhone applications feature a built-in web server that allows you to transfer files between the iPhone and a computer via Wi-Fi. Once the web server has been activated within the application, you can access its file structure by opening the relevant IP address and port on the computer's web browser. The exact address will be detailed by the application when starting the web server. Once connected, the files for that application can be accessed as if it was a website with an upload facility.
In version 4.0 of the iPhone's firmware it became possible to route email attachments to any applications compatible with that particular file type. Word documents can be sent to the iPhone by emailing them to the account monitored by the iPhone, and then holding a finger down on the file attachment when viewing the email. The iPhone will ask which compatible application you'd like to send the file to. Most Microsoft Office-compatible applications also allow you to email individual Word files directly from within the app, so you can send edited files back to the computer by the same method.
Many Microsoft Office-compatible iPhone applications are able to access online "cloud storage" services, such as Dropbox and Google Documents. Once logged into the cloud storage service using your username and password, any files stored within the account can be downloaded directly into the application for editing. The benefit of cloud storage is you can save the file back to the online account once it's been edited, and any changes will be immediately reflected on the computer. All your files are always available to the iPhone using this method, although the device does require an Internet connection to access and save files in a cloud storage account.
Spanner Spencer has been writing since 2005 for a variety of print and online publications. Focusing on entertainment, gaming and technology, his work has been published by Eurogamer.net, "The Escapist," "GamesTM," "Retro Gamer," "Empire," "Total PC Gaming" "The Guardian," among others. Spencer is a qualified medical electronics engineer with a Business and Technology Education Council certificate in technical writing from Huddersfield Technical College.