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How to collaborate with an Apple Pages document via iCloud

Jack Wallen shows you how easy it is to enable the collaboration feature in Apple Pages.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer

I use Apple Pages when collaborating on fiction with my editor and publisher. Not only does Apple Pages make it easy to work through edits, but it's also a very reliable tool for the task. In my years of working with Pages (collaborating on full-length novels), I've not once experienced a problem. And given how easy it is to enable the collaboration feature, I find this to be a tool that anyone can use for their collaborative efforts.

Let me show you how easy it is to use the Collaboration feature found in Apple Pages. Not only is the app free, but the feature is also built in (so you don't have to install any extra software). 

Requirements

The only things you'll need to make this work are a running instance of MacOS (which includes the iWork office suite), and an iCloud account. Without an iCloud account, you cannot use the collaboration feature. So, before you continue, make sure you have an iCloud account and can log in to it.

I'll be demonstrating on a MacBook Pro running MacOS Monterey.

Enable iCloud Collaboration

Before you can collaborate on a Pages document, you must first enable iCloud Collaboration. To do that, follow these steps.

1. Open System Preferences

Open System Preferences by clicking the Apple button in the top left corner of your desktop, and click System Preferences. In the resulting window, click Apple ID > iCloud Drive > Options (Figure 1).

The Apple ID page within System Preferences.

Figure 1: Access to iCloud Drive options is found here.

Image: Jack Wallen

2. Enable Pages for iCloud Drive

In the next window (Figure 2), click the check box for Pages and then click Done. Close System Preferences.

Enabling Pages within iCloud Drive.

Figure 2: Enabling Pages for iCloud Drive collaboration.

Image: Jack Wallen

Enable the Collaboration feature

1. Open an Apple Pages document

The first thing you must do is open the Pages document that will be shared with your collaborators. Once you have the document open, you should see the Collaborate button at the top of the window (Figure 3).

The Collaboration button in Apple Pages.

Figure 3: Apple Pages open and the Collaborate button is ready to use.

Image: Jack Wallen

2. Enable the Collaborate feature

Click Collaborate and you'll be informed the document must be moved to iCloud before you can collaborate (Figure 4).

The Move to iCloud button in Apple Pages.

Figure 4: You cannot collaborate on a document until it's been moved to iCloud.

Image: Jack Wallen

3. Enable Track Changes

Click Move to iCloud and then, when prompted, click Continue to enable Track Changes (Figure 5).

The Track Changes enable dialog window from MacOS Monterey.

Figure 5: You must also enable Track Changes to collaborate on a document.

Image: Jack Wallen

Click Continue and a new window will appear (Figure 6), where you can configure access control for the document.

The access control window for Apple Pages collaboration.

Figure 6: Configuring access control for your document.

Image: Jack Wallen

Make sure to configure both the Who Can Access and Permission options. Here, you also decide how to share the document with your collaborators. Choose Email, Messages, Copy Link, AirDrop, or Twitter. 

Depending on the sharing method you choose, you'll either open Apple Mail, Messages, AirDrop, or Twitter, or you'll copy the link to the file to your clipboard. Make your selection and click Share, at which point the document will be activated for sharing. Whoever is the recipient of the link will then be able to access the file either from within iCloud (if Pages isn't available on their OS) or directly from within Apple Pages.

Stop sharing

When you're finished collaborating on the document, you should disable the sharing feature -- otherwise those who have been given access to the document can continue using it, which you won't want when the document is done. To stop sharing, simply click the Collaboration button, and in the resulting popup (Figure 7), click Stop Sharing.

The Stop Sharing dialog for MacOS Monterey.

Figure 7: When you're finished collaborating, make sure to stop sharing the document.

Image: Jack Wallen

And that's all there is to collaborating with Apple Pages. This is a great feature when you need to work with others and want to retain a document within the Apple ecosystem.

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