I’ve been an iPad user for a while now and also working with my Surface 2 RT (see https://www.catapultsystems.com/cfuller/archive/2014/04/09/using-the-surface-2-rt-like-a-pro-fessional-1.aspx for details). One of the major reasons I favored the Surface was the ability to use Word, PowerPoint and Excel on the device. With the recent release of Office for the iPad it was time to spend some time with my iPad and see how these work.


Overview: Microsoft has made Office quite easy to access and use on the iPad. Installation was straightforward and functionality was solid within each of the three pieces of Office that I was testing (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) and OneNote is also available. With an Office 365 subscription you can create, read and edit documents in each of these components of Office. But one of the things that I found pleasantly surprising is that you can download these applications and read each of the document types without having to have an Office 365 subscription!


Installation: Installation was consistent with application installation on an iPad. The applications are available in the App Store but you can also log into your Office 365 subscription to locate these applications which in turn will take you to the App Store for the office component you are interested in.

Installation through your Office 365 subscription:

Log into your office 365 account (http://login.microsoftonline.com). Go to Office 365 settings:

In software, phone & table, iPad.

When you choose to get the applications it actually directs you to another website.

This in turn opens the App Store to the application that you specify (office.microsoft.com) for Word, Excel or PowerPoint.


Installation through the App Store:

Each of the three components was available free for download as shown below. These can be found in the App Store by searching for the title of the application (such as Microsoft Word for iPad).

Microsoft Word for iPad

Microsoft Excel for iPad

Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad


While this does not feel like a full version of office, it has what’s required to make it extremely useful. It has a nice integration with OneDrive and you can open documents from DropBox. It is however not as fully functional as Office on my Surface 2 RT which I can use for things like blogging. Overall however, it’s a very functional solution!

Microsoft has provided some excellent comparisons of the versions of Office for iPad versus Office for Windows available at:

(The above is a subset from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/set-up-office-for-ipad-with-office-365-for-business-HA104234415.aspx?CTT=1)

Additional readings on this topic: