Does Google Drive support Pages, Numbers, and other programs in the iWork suite?

Mac users, take note: Google Drive only offers limited support for iWork, Apple’s well-designed office suite. For instance, it’s possible to upload a Pages document and it will render in Google Drive (and be stored in Google Drive), but it cannot be edited or converted to .gdocs. In order to enable conversion, there's a tedious process involved:
  1. In Pages, export the document to Word: File>Export>click the Word tab, (see screenshot, below)
  2. Import the Word version to Google Drive
  3. Open the file you just imported to Google Drive.
  4. Go to File>"Export to Google Doc"
Google Drive support for Pages, Numbers, and other Apple iWork programs

To have the Documents file sent back to Pages, the reverse would be required. Not fun.

In addition, as noted in my book about Google Drive and Docs, there is a large chance of formatting problems cropping up when going back and forth between Google Drive and Microsoft Office formats such as Microsoft Word and Excel.

As for iWork’s Numbers spreadsheet program, online discussions indicate that the conversion process to Google Spreadsheets using .xls importing and exporting is problematic. Elsewhere, I have seen suggestions to try OpenOffice as an intermediary between Numbers and Google Drive.

Bottom line: Google Drive will add extra headaches for iWork fans.


  1. 2013-2-8

    What you described here is exactly what I have been experiencing since I start google drive. Is there any discussion on solutions right now ? Thanks!

  2. Sasha: Sorry to hear about the problem you are experiencing, and I can totally sympathize -- the same thing happened to me!

    If you look around Drive and Apple support sites and discussion forums, there is no solution yet available. The alternative suggested by dedicated Pages users is to switch to iCloud for access across multiple computers, which contains full Pages support. Unfortunately, iCloud is a non-substitute for many other Google Drive programs and features, such as Drawings, live collaboration, etc.

    -- Ian

    1. Ian: Thank you so much for your reply, and for bringing up this issue in the first place. I don't know why, but not many people talking about it. I searched quite a few forums and did not see anything I was looking for until I hit your blog...

      You were absolutely right, iCloud is no substitute for many g-drive programs. For me and my students, g-drive is the platform for our classwork and projects ...

      I guess I just have to wait for now. Please do write when there is any good news that will liberate us out of the dilemma. Many thanks !


    2. You are welcome, Sasha.

      Also, I have a question for you. As you may know, I have written a series of books about Google Drive, Dropbox, Excel, etc. They all live under the "In 30 Minutes" brand -- the idea is to let people get up to speed on mildly complex software and technology topics in a just a half-hour. The ebook versions range in price from $5.99 to $8.99, and the paperback versions costs $9.99 if ordered through Amazon.

      You indicated that you are a teacher/professor who uses Google Drive with your students. May I ask, do you have them purchase a book or guide at the beginning of the semester/school year, or do you direct them to free online resources? I would like to expand distribution to academic users, but am not sure what channels to use or how teachers and professors determine what resources make it on to their syllabi, or how I would get plugged into university bookstore buy lists.

      Feel free to respond here, or email me at ian -at- in30minutes dot com.



  3. Anonymous2:35 PM

    I love android but it's these kind of issues that make me wonder if I should own all apple devices I love Android Phones and Tablets and I use apple computers I have no issue getting ical to work seamless with my google calendar on my GS2.

    But this is a big problem for me because I want to be able to share my files back in forth between all my devices with no issues, and if that means sacrificing customization and android features I might have to do it.

    I guess I always could copy and past the text but there has got to be an easier way.