Can I use iWork on my iPhone and iPad as a complement to my employer issued Windows PC? I know that iWork boasts some Microsoft Office compatibility but how is it implemented? If office documents are imported and converted to a iWork format and then have to be exported to a Office format on save, isn't there a risk for dataloss?

Ideally iWork would edit actual office documents but I'm not sure if this is the case.

2 Answers 2


There surely is a risk for data loss, mostly in the formatting of documents. As you suspected, the files are converted when opened (and saved) to the iWork format. Certain features in Office aren't present in iWork, such as SmartArt or VBA applications.

For handling simple letters it could be a compliment, but for business critical documents that shouldn't change their formatting all the time I would stick to one of both. Since your employer decides what you use at work I don't think iWork would be a very good option in this case.


Pages exists and many people use it - yes it a real option for editing Word docs on iOS. (most use it happily and productively as well)

Convert and not support 100% of the features that any one PC version of word does - no Not only is it not Word and has a different UI and different philosophy on how toolbars and controls are organized, it's not as complicated as Word by any measure.

In fairness, word on the PC doesn't support 100% of the features from one version to another and has many formats and conversions - so it's more a degree of what subset of the features you and your colleagues actually use and whether you stick to pre 2007 formats or have jumped to the new Office document format.

The good news, is you can try out the conversion from word to pages and back (or even try pages using word format exclusively) for free online using iCloud.com and the iWork for iCloud beta.

If you want to edit a specific version of Word on the PC that you need to interoperate with, I may be able to provide some more guidance on how groups of people have felt when using Pages on iOS with a body of document that for years were crafted and edited in a Word only / PC only environment.

As a compliment I say jump in and get working in Pages. If you use Macros and VBA you will quickly learn that those just don't make the transition and work on documents without those attributes and get quality work done since you are clearly a power user. If you are not a power user, I say jump in - the less complicated Pages may make you more productive and you'll quickly learn that there is or there isn't a conversion issue and can make an educated plan on how to proceed if you run into that.

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