Jump to content
LCSW

ANSWERED Using Evernote and MS Word on Ipad

Recommended Posts

I have just set up my evernote account on my new ipad air with a premium subscription.  I also just purchased a subscription for MS Word (Office 365). 

My quesiton is:  I want to open up word documents from Evernote with MS Word on my ipad, edit the document, and then have it saved and update the original in Evernote so Evernote will sync up the new version.  Am I asking too much of both programs?  I have options in MS Word on Ipad to save to OneDrive but I like Evernote and have all my stuff there.  Any help would be appreciated. 

Share this post


Link to post

First it is important to understand that iOS 7 on iPad and iPhone severely limit the extent to which applications can communicate with each other. For example, on the iPad, it is not possible for one application to see or access files that belong to any other application. This means Mail cannot see files controlled by Word, or Application X or Application Y, or Application Z, for example. So, if we have a scenario like Evernote and Word, then we end up with a situation where Word and Evernote cannot directly communicate with one another. This is how iOS 7 was designed (NOTE: iOS 8, which will be released this fall, makes major changes to this, so many of these headaches will disappear come fall).

 

This means developers of iOS applications have two options:

1) Use the "Open In..." feature to provide a user with a list of applications that can handle a particular file. Selecting an application from this list will copy that file to the other application. If you want to return that file to the original application after editing, that file must be "Open In...'ed" to the original application, which once again, copies that file. Now you have three files across two applications: In the first, you have the original file, and the modified file. In the second application you have the modified file. Ugh. 

 

2) Use a cloud storage service to access files. This would be integrating dropbox or OneDrive into an application so that a user's files are in the cloud, and can be modified and synced back to the cloud through that cloud's facilities. So you might have PDF Expert and Notability, both of which have Dropbox Integration. You can view and edit a file in PDF Expert, the changes are immediately synced to Dropbox. You can then turn to Notability, access that same file (not a copy) in Dropbox, make changes, which are then pushed back to Dropbox.  

 

Evernote is not a traditional file storage service, and so few (if any) applications allow for direct access a la dropbox to files stored in Evernote. So Option 2 for allowing a sync-like behaviour from third-parties (or Evernote itself, in this case) is pretty much not a possibility (I think GoodReader is the only one that has a very basic form of file access with Evernote). 

 

Evernote DOES allow you to "open in..." so you can have a word document attached to a note, "Open In..." Microsoft Word, make your edits and....

 

...you're stuck. 

 

The Office applications do not currently support saving to any third party storage services. You have OneDrive, and you have local storage on the iPad. That is it. To make things worse, Office does not offer the "open in..." option. So once you make your changes in Word your only option is to email the modified file to your Evernote email address. The result of this process is akin to what you would get out of option 1 outlined above, though the process is even more convoluted and frustrating. 

 

 

So what you are asking to do is not currently possible. Even the clunky workarounds are largely unavailable because of Microsoft's choices with the Office applications inasmuch as they don't allow any "open in..." option. 

 

Now, with the release of iOS 8, things might ease a little bit, but ultimately we'll have to wait and see about that. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know what "fall is past" means in this context. I don't think Evernote had made any promises to integrate with Office (nor did Microsoft make promises to integrate Office with Evernote). 

 

While both Microsoft and Evernote are taking advantage of iOS 8's extension features, It looks like neither Evernote nor Microsoft have used iOS 8's sharing extensions in a way that allows them to communicate seamlessly. 

 

I don't foresee there being many changes unless Microsoft uses Evernote's API to access files, but I can't see them doing that any time soon. Nor do I see Evernote switching to using third-party service like Dropbox or iCloud drive for sync (which Word would have access to). So, no updates here.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the update Scott.  The "fall is past" comment referenced the iOS 8, which will be released this fall, makes major changes to this, so many of these headaches will disappear come fall comment above.  

 

If I have a Word doc in Dropbox, it seamlessly opens in the MS Word app, allows me to edit and saves back to Dropbox.  Was just hoping to have the same functionality with 3rd party apps within Evernote, hence the comment.  Maybe someone from Evernote can chime in.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the update Scott.  The "fall is past" comment referenced the iOS 8, which will be released this fall, makes major changes to this, so many of these headaches will disappear come fall comment above.  

 

If I have a Word doc in Dropbox, it seamlessly opens in the MS Word app, allows me to edit and saves back to Dropbox.  Was just hoping to have the same functionality with 3rd party apps within Evernote, hence the comment.  Maybe someone from Evernote can chime in.

Official word from staff would definitely be ideal. That being said, I just can't see dropbox-like access materializing because of the way Evernote stores your data and the general incompatibility with Apple's CloudKit API. Evernote is NOT a filesystem in the sky like Dropbox and so, therefore, is a much different beast to integrate with (and it is largely on the third-party to integrate with Evernote using Evernote's APIs and not the other way around). 

This is one of the reasons I have transitioned my work away from Evernote. 

Share this post


Link to post

Bump.

 

With new OS and Evernote versions, is opening an MS Word document, saving, and having attached doc in EN be updated any closer to reality? 

Share this post


Link to post
On April 20, 2015 at 2:37 PM, ScottLougheed said:

This is one of the reasons I have transitioned my work away from Evernote. 

Just curious, Scott, as you transition away from Evernote, what are you transitioning to?  I presume something with cloud storage, which is what I've come to feel I need since being spoiled with Pages and Keynote and such.  

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...