Starting with your last question first…
At this point in the evolution of iCloud
how does one add word and excel files to the cloud? And what do you do for backup for them? (I use Super Duper for files on hard drives right now)
you have to use an iCloud aware application to use iCloud. There is a growing number of iCloud aware apps from Apple and third party developers. From Apple there is, of course, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iTunes, iPhoto, Contacts, Mail, Calendar, etc.
. I have no idea what all the third party apps are but only apps available through the App Store or iTunes store are allowed to access the cloud directly. This is Apple's way of assuring any application accessing iCloud is well behaved
and is not a security threat. Unfortunately as far as I know there is no comprehensive list of iCloud aware third party apps. Among the third party iCloud apps I use are: Evernote, 1Password, and several other minor apps that either enhance underlying Apple apps such as Calendar or provide some tools for managing iCloud files. Using iCloud with these apps is a piece of cake — basically all you have to do is turn iCloud on in the app and indicate what files you want to store there. After that it is difficult, or even impossible to determine if the file is on your hard drive, iPhone, iPad, or iCloud — it is just there when you need it. Some of the files are stored in your allocation of iCloud disk and some such as iTunes tunes, movies, books, etc
. are stored on Apple's allocation of iCloud disk space and you access it from there as if it were on yours. To specifically address your question,
- Open the Word or Excel file in Pages or Numbers as appropriate
- On the Pages or Numbers menu bar select File > Move To
- on the drop down menu select iCloud
Backup of materials in iCloud is entirely the responsibility of Apple Computer and believe me their backup scheme is far more sophisticated, secure, and reliable than anything you can proved short of a network of your own multi-billion dollar completely self contained computer centers distributed around the country and around the world. Apple is betting their entire company on being able to provide safe, secure, reliable iCloud storage. If you think about it, even if your Mac has a total failure, you can reboot and restore from Apple's computer centers. That does not replace a Time Machine backup — YET, but even that could happen in OS X 10.10 or 10.11. One thing I am certain of — that much backup disk space will come at a cost.
Speaking of Yosemite
: I have not downloaded the Yosemite beta (I probably will soon), but from Apple's promotional materials it appears you will be able to put pretty much anything you want on iCloud. How that will work, I have yet to see. Personally I don't anticipate third party apps having direct access to iCloud unless they have been purchased and vetted through the App store. But I have been wrong before.
Also, when I open icloud from system prefs, I check a few things and it ask me to create an icloud email name, like Kevs@icloud etc, what is this for? Is that fact I have done this yet causing issues? And should I use a pen name? I hate it when places ask for a name, and I use my real name and then discover it's used for online forums for everyone to see….
I have used an Apple email account since they were first available back in the .Mac days. As Apple's cloud services have evolved they have added additional aliases so now I can use .mac, .me, and .icloud as synonyms for the same email account I have had all these years. In fact the latest versions of Mail automatically fill in the aliases for me when I give my .mac account id. That email account is also my Apple ID, iTunes account ID, etc
. and has never caused me any problem except for a brief period several years ago when the Apple email server managed to louse up about ½ of 1% of their accounts and it took a few weeks to completely straighten it all out. The intent is you will have one ID for all the business you do with Apple such as buying a computer or iOS device, a tune, a movie, an audio book, a digital book, an iOS app and OS X app etc
. The email account is simply thrown in as part of the deal and costs you exactly nothing. You do not have to use it, but that is what you will use to log on to the iTunes Store or the App store, and all of your Apple hardware/software purchases and warranties will be tracked through that ID.
If you choose to use a pen name, be aware a situation may occur when you will need to prove your bona-fides for Apple Care or other reasons and how will you prove that you really are who you say you are. (For fifty years I went by my middle name and last name then after 911 found I could not get on an airline flight because my ticket used my middle name, last name and my driver's license had my first, middle, and last names.) Now I go by my first name for business and travel purposes and my wife isn't sure what to call me.