Pages for iOS Enhances MS Word Compatibility

Pages for iOS Enhances MS Word Compatibility

Previously, one of the main reasons I hesitated to switch entirely to using my iPad for all my writing tasks was the traditional publishing industry’s preference for Microsoft Word. Publishers often require the use of Word for its track changes feature, which they rely on to monitor edits.

Consequently, I primarily used Word on my Mac to satisfy this requirement.

Pages for iOS Enhances MS Word Compatibility

However, a recent discovery has changed my approach. I’ve found that Pages, available on both Mac and iOS, now handles document compatibility with Word much more effectively.

This process, known as round-tripping, involves transferring documents between different software without losing formatting.

Here’s how I’ve adjusted my workflow:

  • I start by opening the Word document in Pages (version 5.0.1) on my Mac.

  • I activate change tracking in Pages via the Edit menu.

  • After saving the document to iCloud, I can open it on my iPad or iPhone.

  • On the mobile device, I ensure change tracking is enabled by checking the status of the tracking button (it should be green).

  • Edits made on the go are automatically saved to iCloud.

  • Back on the Mac, I reopen the document in Pages and then export it as a Word file (.doc or .docx).

While it might seem simpler to stick with editing on my MacBook Pro, it’s heavier and belongs to my employer, making it less ideal for personal projects. Plus, the mobility offered by my lighter iPad Air and iPhone enhances my flexibility to work from anywhere.

This method isn’t flawless—my editor pointed out issues with table formatting in one chapter, necessitating some adjustments in Word.


Thomas is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing insightful news and updates about Apple products to readers. With a deep understanding of the Apple ecosystem, Thomas covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to MacBook innovations and Apple Watch features. His clear and engaging writing style helps readers stay informed about the tech world. Thomas’s expertise and enthusiasm for Apple products make him a valuable contributor to the TUAW team.