Apple\u2019s iCloud service now syncs iWork documents automatically between Macs and mobile devices. It took nine months and a Mac OS update to get there, but I\u2019m not complaining (much).\n\tWhen Apple launched iCloud on October 12, 2011, the free service was a solid improvement over the company\u2019s MobileMe in syncing music, videos, photos and other stuff across computers and devices. Despite what Apple\u2019s iCloud press release implied, however, iCloud was a washout when it came to complete document syncing.\n\tiCloud automatically synced files created with Apple\u2019s iWork apps between iOS devices, but not with Macs. And that was too bad, as I suspect many people, like me, often create Pages, Numbers, and Keynote files on their Macs and not their iOS devices.\n\tThat\u2019s all changed with the release of Mountain Lion, Apple\u2019s latest OS update ($20 and well worth the price). To sync files between Macs and iDevices, you\u2019ll also need the recent, free updates to the iOS and Mac versions of Apple iWork software. Also, make sure iCloud document syncing is turned on, both in iCloud\u2019s Systems Preferences on your Mac and within the individual iOS apps\u2019 settings.\n\tOnce you\u2019ve taken those steps, any changes you make to, say, a Pages text file on your Mac will be synced instantly to the same document on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Conversely, new files created on an iOS device will instantly be accessible on your Mac.\n\tiCloud does a nice job minimizing potential file conflicts, too. When you open on your iOS device a document created on your Mac, you get the message below, which gives you the choice of opening the original document or a copy of it.\n\tShould you elect to open the original and then modify it while the same document is open on another device, you\u2019ll receive an alert that \u201cmodifications aren\u2019t in sync.\u201d You\u2019re then given the choice of which file version you want to save.\n\tOne gotcha: As always, you may lose some formatting when you create a file in an iOS iWork app and open it in its corresponding Mac software, and vice versa. For instance, I created a Numbers spreadsheet on my Mac, which was then synced to my iPad. When I opened the file on my tablet, I received \u2018Spreadsheet Import Warnings,\u2019 informing me that the table fills and sheet settings, such as headers and footers, were removed. Even so, I have to admit: I didn\u2019t notice anything different.\n\tThe full document syncing that Mountain Lion makes possible isn\u2019t enough to make me abandon the Dropbox ship. Dropbox isn\u2019t the least expensive file-syncing-in-the-cloud service, but nothing beats it for simplicity and variety. Dropbox automatically syncs all the files in my Dropbox folder\u2014everything from movie files to Office documents\u2014across multiple computers and to Dropbox mobile apps on different mobile platforms, which iCloud currently doesn\u2019t do.\n\tStill, I\u2019m happy to have document syncing with iCloud\u2014even if it took nine months.