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Office for iPad - the preview look

A preview of Office for iPad.

The presentation is just over .. what do we know before looking at the Office for iPad apps ourselves?

Office for iPad has Word, Excel and PowerPoint components (OneNote for iPad already exists).

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The apps seem to have a decent, but not full, range of features. Microsoft presentations are carefully scripted to show goods things and skip over anything bad, so it remains to be seen how the apps will work in practice.

We’re assured that Office for iPad is “Uniquely built for iPad”. It was notable that Microsoft distanced these new apps from the Office Mobile apps for iPhone (specifically) and Android – finally an oblique acknowledgment that the Office Mobile apps aren’t very good.

Naturally we’ll have more as we’ve had time to dig past the hype and look at the Office for iPad apps for ourselves.

It’s still strange to see people already saying how great Office for iPad is … even before it’s released. Dunno if these are orchestrated Microsoft staff or other people who’ve drunk the Redmond Kool-Aid .

Anyone can download the apps and use them to read/view Office documents – no charge.

To edit documents you’ll need a suitable Office 365 subscription.

Hooray!  Password protected documents are supported in Office for iPad — at last a way to protect your cloud documents.

Hooray-ish   You can open and save documents to the iPad.  It’s a little convoluted with OneDrive given prominence but at least it’s now possible.  No support for non-Microsoft cloud services – hardly a surprise but still ….

All the apps have a ribbon like interface but with limited options to fit the small, touch screen.

Office for iPad works for all iPads that have iOS 7 or later. It’s available in 29 languages: Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish , Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish , Brazilian Portuguese, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish , Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian.

Word for iPad

Has four tabs: Home, Insert, Layout, Review, View image from Office for iPad - the preview look at

We were shown decent picture management with resizing and moving within a document.

There’s live collaboration via OneDrive including multiple real-time document editing, markup views and comments appearing just like in Word 2013.

Excel for iPad

Tabs: Insert, Formulas, Slide Show, Review

We were shown changes in charts based on ‘live’ data. It will be interesting to see how deep the chart support goes.

There’s a custom numeric keyboard for Excel that looks interesting. image from Office for iPad - the preview look at

PowerPoint for iPad

Tabs: Insert, Transitions, Slide Show Review

The slide show display has a ‘laser pointer’ activated by touching the screen. The presenter can annotate a slide during the presentation.

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