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Use Custom Templates For Any iWork Productivity App On iCloud

Apple opened its iWork suite up to everyone last year making it super easy for anyone to use its productivity apps. These apps include Pages (documents), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Keynote (Presentations). Like any great productivity suite, these come loaded with templates from Apple. You can also buy templates which are downloaded to your computer as zipped files. Unzip them and you’ve got absolutely nothing that can be used from the iCloud web interface. The templates only work if you’ve got a Mac. This effectively makes them useless because the web version of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers don’t let you load a custom template. There is however a simple way to work around this and use a template you’ve maybe bought and downloaded to your system. Here’s how.

Step 1: Download the template of your choice. When selecting a file it is important to consider one thing; are you using iCloud or did you upgrade to iCloud Drive? If you’ve upgraded to iCloud Drive make sure the templates aren’t older than a few months. This has to do with compatibility. In this tutorial, we worked with an account that had upgraded to iCloud Drive.

Step 2: Rename your template. It’s going to download with a .zip extension. Change it to MyTemplate.pages.zip if it is a template for Pages. Change it to MyTemplate.numbers.zip, for a Numbers template, and MyTemplate.key.zip if it is a Keynote template. In all examples, ‘MyTemplate’ is used to represent the name of your template.


Step 3: Drag & drop the zipped file on to the iWork app that it is meant for and wait for it to load. You can now open it like any ordinary file. Make sure you don’t drag & drop a Numbers template on to the Pages app or it won’t open. Go ahead and use the template.


A word of caution:Compatibility will be a factor with these templates so make sure you get it right. Templates for iWork apps are mostly paid so if you end up with a template that you can’t use due to compatibility, you’ve just wasted money. You can load templates like this on your iPhone too if you’ve set all your iWork apps to back-up to iCloud. This tutorial was tested with a free template found on the iWork Community website. In our experience, nothing that is older than four months is compatible with iCloud Drive. If you want to experiment, do so with free templates first.

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