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iWork.com: Playing well together

iWork.com lets you work together with other people and lets devices such as iPads, Macs, and iWork.com work together. Want to work with two colleagues on a presentation? No problem: Start by uploading your Keynote document to iWork.com on the Internet. Then a friend can download the document and make changes in it as a Microsoft PowerPoint document. Back it goes to iWork.com, and someone else can download it in yet another format. This is an example of a process called cloud computing. When working in the cloud, people can work together on their own terms. They don't have to get together and decide which presentation (or spreadsheet or word processing) application they'll all use.

Now, with the advent of iPad, iWork.com is ready to play a new role. Exactly the same process that lets you share a document with a friend who will edit it on another computer also lets you share a document with yourself on another computer so that you can create it on your Mac, edit it on a PC, and then continue the edit on an iPad. One of the benefits of cloud computing is that it doesn't matter what computer and what software each person is using. As long as you use the standard file formats, iWork.com works equally well for iPad, PCs, and Macs.

You can post an iWork document to your iWork.com area, where it is visible to you and the people you invite to view it. Those people can then add notes and comments to the documents on the web.

You can share your iWork documents with people using other cloud services such as Live.com or Docs.Google.com.

You can download documents from iWork.com in a variety of formats. This makes it possible for you to take two types of actions:

  • Add comments and notes to iWork documents. You can add comments to specific parts of iWork documents (a section of text, for example); you can also add notes to the document as a whole (rather than to a specific part of it). As a result, a number of people can work together on a document.
  • Track multiple revisions to iWork documents. You can download the documents to your own computer in a variety of formats. Many of these formats preserve the comments that you and others have added. Once you've downloaded a document, you can modify it and add more comments describing your modifications.

All of these actions are made possible by the iWork.com site; the actual sharing of documents is handled by your web browser and iWork software. Here's the division of labor:

  • Uploading to iWork.com: This is done from your iWork software: the Share menu on Mac OS X and from your documents screen.
  • Downloading from iWork.com: You do this by connecting to iWork.com with your browser and logging in with your iWork ID and password. This works with a browser that can run on Mac OS X, your iPad, your iPhone, and Windows (among other operating systems). If you can run a browser, and if your device and its operating system support downloading through browsers, you can receive a shared file. You can find a list of supported browsers at www.apple.com/iwork/iwork-dot-com.
    Once you have downloaded an iWork file, you can get to work. Even if iWork doesn't run on your computer, you may have another application that does run and can read the standard formats (including the Microsoft Office formats). That means you can edit downloaded iWork documents using Microsoft Office on Windows or Mac OS X, or by using Google Docs on any platform it runs on.

iWork.com is designed to be the bridge across various platforms and formats so that you can share your iWork documents. You may want to share your documents with yourself as you switch from your iPad to your Mac or to Windows. For that reason, the following sections show how to log on to iWork.com from iWork on Mac OS X as well as iPad.

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