For example, in Word, you don’t get the option of various views such as Web Layout, Publishing Layout, Outline, and so on. You can’t run or edit macros. But you can still add styles such as Headings, Titles and Subtitles, and more. You can format text in bold, italic, and underline. There are plenty of fonts, Office- and iOS-compatible. You can insert tables, pictures, and text boxes. For lists, you can choose from a number of bullet styles.
After a document is created, you have access to most of the editing functions to which Word users are accustomed. You can track changes, then review, accept, and reject them. You can add comments. You can highlight sections, or change type colors.
The Excel app has many of the formulas and functions you’d expect, including math, financial, and trigonometry. Spreadsheets look great and are easy to read and manipulate. You can freeze panes for easily viewing large spreadsheets. You can also zoom in and out with finger gestures. But there are things you can’t do. For example, if your spreadsheet contains macros, it will open as a read-only file, and you can’t do any editing. In addition, if you change a formula, you have to manually recalculate instead of having it update automatically.
In PowerPoint, you can quickly create a presentation using photos stored in your iPad, complete with transitions and photo effects. You can even call up a “laser pointer” by pressing on a slide until the red pointer dot pops up. PowerPoint is probably the most fun of the three to use on a tablet. For example, you can move photos around on your slides with a finger, and resize them easily that way, too.
Office for iPad is a perfectly fine product. My gripe is with the payment scheme. Microsoft should have charged a one-time fee for the app instead of forcing users to pay $99 every year. Also missing is an easy way to print directly from any of the Office for iPad apps.
If you're not a current Office 365 subscriber, you may want to think about trying an alternative. We'll look at a few of those in a future story.