I managed to do this once, when I first got the iPad… then I forgot how I did it (so it must have been a pure-luck-bumble-into-success in the first place). After spending WAY too much time trying to figure it out and trying to look up the steps online, I found a description which helped me over on ArsTechnica.com. (Thanks, guys!)
I decided to take it a bit further, because of the slippery little visual cues and created my own “step-by-step” for anyone else trying to do serious work on the iPad who has also hit this stumbling block.
Open in Safari and go to iWork.com and log in. (I set an icon on iPad’s homepage to make this quicker.)
Select the blue “down” arrow and hold your finger there a second until the drop down menu appears. You can select what format – Numbers, PDF, or Excel:
Once you do that, it opens into the Safari Browser – which will seem like you are in a “view only” format — but you AREN’T. (Never fear!)
At this point, you can tap anywhere on the screen and a previously invisible bar will appear at the top, just under the browser. (It appears briefly when it launches in the browser, but if you blink you will miss it.) Tapping the screen brings it back for a few critical seconds.
On the left you have an “Open in..” button and on the right you have a specific format (the one you picked when you selected the blue down arrow on the previous screen).
In this case, I was opening it in numbers, so that’s the option on the right button.
I hope this helps others who have struggled with this.
***Now, if only I had an easy way to view and make comments via the notes option in iWork on the iPad. (Right now I’m using the Atomic browser app – but it’s dicey at best.) It seems odd to me that the Safari browser won’t show one of the best features about the iWork online “cloud” option – notes from clients for collaboration. 🙁