Q: How can I convert some Word documents into an e-book to download and use on my iPad?
A: You can do it several ways, including buying a word-processing app for the iPad that opens Microsoft Word files.
Apple's Pages or DataViz's Documents to Go are two of the many options in the App Store. If you want to view the documents and not edit them, uploading them to a free Google Drive or Microsoft SkyDrive account online is another way to go — and both sites have free apps for tapping into your online files if you don't want to use the iPad's Web browser.
If you prefer to keep things between your iPad and computer, combining the files into one and converting the Word document to a format that works with the iBooks app (or other e-book app) is another method.
Most apps can display files in the ePub or PDF formats, and it is not too difficult to convert a Word document to either. Microsoft has instructions for Windows users with Word 2007 and later at bit.ly/rm7QBf. Mac OS X users can open each document, press Command-P to summon the Print box and choose 'Save as PDF' from the PDF menu.
Saving the documents as ePub files lets them function more like e-books, with the ability to adjust text size and font. An e-book utility program to convert Word documents to ePub files can do the job; Calibre is one such program and has instructions at bit.ly/STwVoU.
Once you convert the files, you need to sync them to iBooks or your e-reader app. Apple has instructions for syncing content at support.apple.com/kb/HT1296 – and PDFs in particular at support.apple.com/kb/HT4227.