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In , we finally have Microsoft Office for the iPad. Office for iPad is free, but for creating and editing documents, an Office subscription is needed. More Microsoft apps are sure to come, but the powerhouse items are now there for the picking. Word Document Formatting is Fully Enabled. Excel Includes Specialized Numeric Keypad. To keep formulas handy, Excel includes a special numeric keypad—just for the iPad. For those who use Microsoft Office on a Mac or Windows PC, and assuming full crossplatform compatibility and advanced features are important, the official software is the best choice by far.
Originally, Office for iPad was free to download, but the free version only allowed you to read Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.
Microsoft Office for iPad review: Finally! True productivity on your tablet
Editing files or creating new ones required an Office subscription. However, on November 6, , Microsoft relaxed this requirement and made basic editing free for consumers, with more advanced business features still requiring Office Microsoft explains further:.
Starting today November 6, , people can create and edit Office content on iPhones, iPads, and soon, Android tablets using Office apps without an Office subscription.
Of course Office subscribers will continue to benefit from the full Office experience across devices with advanced editing and collaboration capabilities, unlimited OneDrive storage, Dropbox integration and a number of other benefits. By default, documents that you edit or create on the iPad are stored in Microsoft's OneDrive "cloud," but they also can be stored on the device itself. In addition to helpful reviews from Macworld and ArsTechnica , you also may find this demo video from Microsoft worthwhile to see the software in action:.
Functionality preserved, mostly
If you do not want to go the official Microsoft route, either due to cost, "old school" ideological objection to the company from its anti-trust days, a preference for another cloud storage service like Apple's own iCloud, DropBox, or site sponsor WebMate , security concerns involving cloud storage altogether, or any other reason, it is possible to use Apple's own software or convert documents , although the methods are not nearly as ideal as Microsoft's formal option.
Originally only Pages supported saving documents in Word format, but Numbers and Keynote did not support saving documents in Excel or PowerPoint, respectively. Thankfully, this subsequently has changed and Numbers and Keynote now both can save files in the equivalent Microsoft format. Apple's original marketing copy officially heralded that the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote applications "work well with others" and documents could "easily" be shared.
More recent Apple marketing copy shamelessly declares that these apps "now work even better with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This marketing copy is followed by extensive lists of features that are supported, "partially" supported, and not supported for Word to Pages, Excel to Numbers, and PowerPoint to Keynote.
Always optimistic marketing copy aside, the straightforward lists of exactly what works, may work, and does not work definitely is welcomed and should help users have realistic expectations. Based on hands-on use, feedback from EveryiPad. Likewise, from the extensive number of "partially" supported and unsupported features when converting between formats, it is clear that experiences still will continue to vary significantly.
Although the professional opinions below are referring to the original release of the iWork suite for iPad, they still do an excellent job demonstrating the range of possible translation outcomes using the official Apple solutions. In addition to the official solutions, two other translation apps include Documents To Go from DataViz , which has been providing Mac format translation software for decades, and newcomer QuickOffice , which now is owned by Google.
Just like Walt Mossberg noted when converting an iWork document created on the iPad to Word and PDF, individual users also have reported problems when opening iWork files on an iPad when those files were created on a Mac.
Office for iPad is free, but it'll cost you | ZDNet
Apple's own support site has posted documents that quietly acknowledge a number of specific formatting changes that will occur when importing a Mac version of a document created with the iWork '09 versions of Pages , Numbers , or Keynote into its iPad equivalent. More recently, Apple released newer " dumbed down " versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote in an effort to bring more parity between the Mac and iOS versions.
Although this may have been well meaning -- the backlash from consumers was swift and substantial -- and Apple promised to bring back at least some of the features removed or broken by the new release. Since then, some features have been added back, but the software remains a work in progress.
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When using any version of Pages, Numbers, or Keynote for the Mac, changes typically are more minor than those converting between Microsoft applications and their Apple equivalent, but some of these changes still are quite significant. For example, in '09 Pages, "documents using page layout are converted to word processing with text wrap" and in '09 Keynote, "comments are not imported. Depending on the complexity of the document, converting a document using a page layout to something so much simpler could completely destroy it or at least require substantial time to fix it.
Likewise, removing the comments in a presentation could range from frustrating to devastating if you were planning to review them prior to your presentation and only then discovered that they were gone. More recent versions of the iWork apps for the iPad are more compatible with more Mac versions than earlier releases.