Microsoft has just released Office for iPad, the first time you can download an official Office Suite of software from Microsoft just for you iPad via the iTunes app store.
Office for iPad contains fully functional versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Now while anyone can download the apps and read documents or presentation PowerPoint presentations for free, if you want to create or edit Office documents with these apps, you first have to be an Office 365 subscriber.
There are some benefits to that anyway. For example, it gives you both desktop and web access to the most current versions of the Office Suite and you can get that for up to five PCs or Macs. You can subscribe to Office 365 for $99 a year and you can do that at http://office.microsoft.com. Linda.com also has many courses on using Office 365 so you can start there if you want some more information. If you already are an Office 365 subscriber, there’s no extra cost to use these iPad versions of Office. To get started, it is important to know that each app has to be downloaded individually from the app store, so you can search for Word, PowerPoint and Excel right on their own.
I’m going to tap to get into Word here. Before I dive into some of the features of each app individually, here’s a general overview of how they’ll work because they all share a few user interface features. I’m in the main screen here and this is going to be the same across all the apps. At the very top left hand side of the screen, I can tap to access my profile. Here’s where I can sign out, I can connect my One Drive account to it and I can add a service such as connecting to Share Point if I use it from my office. If I tap New, here’s where I can see all the templates that I’m given and I’ll go into those a little bit more in each particular video. I can tap Recent to access any files I’m currently working on or anything that I viewed recently and finally I can tap Open and you’ll notice that my two choices are, I can pull file directly from One Drive or directly on the iPad.
I’m going to tap One Drive and I can then go into the document structure on One Drive, I’ll browse and choose a Word document. It’s going to download and open the file and the very first thing that you’ll notice is that the ribbon is here. This is going to be the same across all the apps, PowerPoint and Excel too. You can tap on each ribbon tab and you’ll notice that you get different choices and right away you’ll notice that it works very similar to the desktop version of Word. You can see that right away, but there are some more things that each app shares that are the same.
The first one is, in the top left hand side, I can tap a little document icon with the Refresh symbol on it and that’s going to bring me into the file properties.
If I tap properties, I can see things like when the document was created and when it was last modified. The two arrow buttons is Undo and Redo if I want to undo my last action or redo it. If we go way over to the right hand side of the screen, I can search for text and I can click the Person icon with a plus next to it if I want to share the file easily. For example, I can copy the link easily or I can email it. I can even email it directly from One Drive as a link to it or as an attachment in an email itself.
Finally, to get back to that main screen where I can open more documents or create a new one, all I have to do is tap the arrow on the very left hand side with a circle on it. That’s going to take me back to the main screen. Here’s where I can tap Recent again or New.
That’s a first look at the interface. Up next, I’m going to go into more detail into each of the three apps, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, to show you just how powerful they really are.
Microsoft Word for the iPad
I’ve got Word for iPad open. When I’ve signed in with my Microsoft account, I can tap to create a new blank document or I can use any of these fantastic built in choices. They’ve given us a wide range of choices here from flyers to invoices to resumes, even tear off flyers that you can print out. I can also tap Recent here on the left hand side to continue working on a file that I’ve accessed recently, but I’m going to select Open to choose a file I already have on my One Drive. I’ll tap One Drive and then navigate through my file system that I created on One Drive and I’ll pull up a Word document. It’s going to download and open the file and now I can start working on it.
The first thing that I can do is swipe up and down to navigate through the document. I can also work with text by selecting it. To do that, I can tap and hold and now I have the choice to select all or just tap Select. It’s going to select one word. I can also tap and drag with my finger to select multiple chunks of text. From here I can cut, copy or delete the text but I can also change to the home ribbon tab if I’m not already there and do things like bold face the text or italicize it. I can also change the font and the color just like I could on the desktop version. If I want to get rid of the keyboard at any time, on the bottom right hand side of the screen, I can tap away and that will get rid of the keyboards so that I can actually see a little bit more of my document.
I can also tap to place the cursor in my document and tap the Return key on my keyboard to bring it to a new paragraph. I can change the justification of it too. For example on the home ribbon menu, I can see that I can right align or left align text and even center it. It centers the current paragraph; you’ll notice that unlike the desktop version I don’t have to have the whole paragraph selected, and I can move it back to left justification if I wanted to.
I can also tap the color to change the color of the font and this is something that we saw on the demo today from Microsoft. You’ll notice that I can scroll to select colors. Because the keyboard is up, its made the screen a little bit smaller, but if I want to see all the colors at once, I can tap away at the keyboard and it will automatically expand the rest of the colors so that I can see what my choices are. I can tap away to get rid of that and I can tap off from the keyboard to get back to editing my document if I wanted to. I can also insert a picture.
That’s a little bit about how the home ribbon tab works. I can move down here to the end of my document, tap the Return key a little bit if I wanted to start working in some more places and now I’m going to tap Insert at the very top of the screen. This is where I can insert anything like a page break, a table, a text box even, but I’m going to tap pictures because here’s where I can choose photos directly from my camera role. I’ll tap to choose a picture and it’s going to insert it in. I can tap and drag on any of the points of the outer edges of the picture and I can even slide it around anywhere on the screen. I can make it a size that I’m comfortable with.
The really neat thing about Word is that you can slide it up and it will automatically change where it’s located on that document. For example, on any one of these pictures, I can tap once to select the picture, but I can also tap and hold and slide my finger around and you’ll notice that it automatically rearranges the text according to where that picture is. It gives me a lot of flexibility to place my photos. If I don’t want a picture, I can simply tap and hold it and choose Delete. It gets rid of the picture.
Moving on, if I tap Layout, here’s where I can change the orientation of my document. For example, whether it’s portrait or a landscape, I can change the size of it. I can add a header and footer and I can even add page numbers to my document by simply toggling that option on. I can go to the Review tab and here’s where I can turn on changes if I wanted to track changes. I can see comments that people have made in my document and I can also very easily insert comments into the document. For example, if I tap anywhere in the document, I can tap on the very top left hand side of the screen, the green plus sign, to insert a comment right in that area.
It’s very easy. Everything is just a tap away. Finally, I’m going to go to the View tab because here’s where I can toggle on and off the ruler. For example, if I wanted more screen real estate versus having it look traditionally more like the desktop version of Word, I can toggle on and off whether I want spelling errors visible in my document while I’m typing and I can also tap Word Count if I want to see some basic statistics about my document, like how many pages it is, words or even characters.
There are a few more things I can do. At the very top left hand side of the screen, if I tap the Paper icon with the two arrows on it, I’m going to get some choices here. I can toggle on and off Autosave if I don’t want it to automatically save my document. If I’ve turned it off, I have to come back in here and manually tap the Save button to upload my changes back to One Drive.
There are some more things that I can do. I can duplicate the document, I can restore a previous version of the document and I can tap Properties if I want to see how big it is, when it was created and when it was last modified. When I’m all done, I can tap the circled arrow on the top left hand side and get back to that main screen so that I could tap New and continue working on a new document.
That’s your first look at Microsoft Word for the iPad.
Microsoft Excel for iPad
Like Microsoft Word, when I’ve signed into Excel with my Microsoft account, I can tap to create a new blank workbook or once again they’ve given us a great range of templates that are built in. Again, like Word, you can tap recent to continue working on a file that you already started, but in this case, I’ll tap Open to choose a file I already have on my One Drive account. Also, I could tap iPad to choose a file that I have directly stored on the tablet itself.
I’m going to go in and explore and pick an Excel file that I already have stored on One Drive. It’s going to download it and open it directly on the iPad. The first thing I want to show you in Excel for iPad is that you can punch and zoom with your fingers just like you could with any other app in the iPad to zoom in and out. This is a great feature for Excel spreadsheets when you’re dealing with lots of columns and you just want to see the big picture.
Navigating is very easy. Also, you can tap directly in any cell and see the data at the top just like the desktop version. You can also edit data this way by tapping on the data in the top row. It’s going to bring up the keyboard, you can make a change and either hit the Return key or the very tap right hand side of the screen you can click the green checkmark to accept it or the red X if you want to cancel the change. Tapping and holding a column header will allow you to insert or delete columns. You can also clear the data in a column this way too. You can autofit them also.
Likewise, if you do the same thing for a row, you can insert rows this way too. You can delete rows and you can clear the data in them also. On the home ribbon tab, you’ll see that you can change the font just like you could in Word. You get font options like bold, italicize, underline and you can just tap those to turn them on and off, but I’m going to move over and tap on the Insert ribbon. Here is where you can insert things like tables, charts and even pictures. You can tap on an empty cell, tap Charts and insert any of these types of charts that you want, but you can also tap recommended and let Excel put together the type of chart that it thinks you want. In this case, I’ll just tap the first one so that I can show you what it looks like when it’s inserted in. Here’s your chart and you can take it and slide it around and put it somewhere else on your spreadsheet. Remember, because you can zoom, you can easily see where it’s going.
Moving on to the next ribbon tab, lets go over to formulas. Here’s where you can very easily insert formulas just like you can in the desktop version. For example, I’m going to tap on a cell here, I’ll zoom in so we can see it a little bit better and I can see that I can type here and just like the desktop version, there is that function better so that you can start to put one in, but you can also tap the ribbon and insert a function that way in a formula. For example, I can type text and choose a particular function that I’m looking for. Here’s where I can put in either the text I want or a cell just like in the desktop version. For example, I’ll put in uppercase C20, hit the Return key, move out a bit and I can see that it’s made that change. It’s done an uppercase version of what’s in this cell. It’s very easy to enter in all your formulas.
Moving to the next ribbon tab, it’s the Review tab and here’s where you can see comments that other people have done especially if you shared this out to other people within One Drive. This is a very popular choice for collaboration, especially if you’re using One Drive; it’s very easy to work with other people this way. Don’t forget you can share it directly through Excel by tapping on the Person icon with the plus sign in the very right hand side. You can email links to this right in One Drive itself.
Finally, lets go over to the View tab. Here’s where you can customize the way it looks. For example, you can toggle to turn the grid lines of the spreadsheet off and on, you can hide the formula bar if you know you’re never going to use it and it’s taking up some screen real estate, and you can do the same with headings.
Finally, moving down to the very bottom of the screen, here’s where you can work with individual worksheets in Excel. For example, right now I can see that I’ve only got one sheet and it’s called Sheet 1. I can tap the plus sign and instantly get another sheet. If I want to delete it, I can simply tap where it says Sheet 2 and tap the Delete button. I can then confirm that choice and my sheet’s gone. If I tap Sheet 1, I can duplicate that sheet very easily by simply tapping Duplicate. I’ll be given an exact copy of the sheet.
Finally, like Word, at the very top left hand side of the screen, I can tap the icon with the two arrows on it to get into the file properties. Autosave is on by default but I can tap it off and manually save my document and I can duplicate the file, I can restore to an older version and I can tap Properties to see the file size and when it was created and last modified. When I’m all done, I can tap the arrow with the circle on it and it’s going to bring me back to that main screen.
That’s how easy it is to work with Microsoft Excel for iPad.
PowerPoint for the iPad
I’m in PowerPoint for iPad. Like Word and Excel, when I’ve signed in with my Microsoft account, I can tap the very first entry in the next screen to create a new blank presentation from scratch, or I can tap any of these choices to work with a design template and they’ve given me a lot of choices here. I’ll tap Open, I’ll tap on my One Drive and I’ll navigate to a presentation that I already have stored in my One Drive account. It’s going to download it and open it directly on the iPad.
We’ve talked about how you can see the ribbon right from the start and it always defaults you to that home tab. The first thing I can do is tap on each slide to access them. Once I have a slide open, I can tap and then double tap to start working with the text itself. Because I’m in that home ribbon tab, I have all the choices to work with the text directly. For example, I can bold face and italicize and change the font; I can also change the color. If I’m done, I can tap the keyboard icon in the very bottom right hand side of the screen and it’ll go away so that I can see the big picture of what my slide’s going to look like.
To insert a new slide, lets move to the Insert ribbon tab. From here, it’s just a matter of tapping New Slide. Now I can choose the layout of the slide I want. I can see all my choices and when I’ve made my choice, all I have to do is tap it. Now it tells me that all I have to do is double tap to start adding text to the bullet points. I can simply continue to type.
I could also add a picture directly from my camera roll. I’m already on that insert ribbon tab. I’ll choose Pictures. I can then go into my camera roll, choose a picture and now I can tap and drag from any of the diagonal points to resize it. I can move it around anywhere on my slide and tap off of it to see how it’s going to look. I can also add things like picture reflections. If I tap back into it, it gets me into a special ribbon tab called Picture. From here, I can choose picture styles such as oval shapes or adding frames to it. I can also tap and add shadows and even reflections.
Moving on, if we go to the Transitions ribbon tab, I can very easily start adding effect to all my slides. If I tap Transition Effect, I can choose the one I want and then I can simply tap Apply to All Slides and that particular transition has easily been added to all my slides for my presentation. I can reorder slides too. While I’m still preparing my presentation, I can tap and hold on a slide and shift it up and down to move it anywhere else in my presentation. If I let go, it’ll be moved to the new spot. I can also single tap a slide and copy it, delete it or duplicate it if I wanted to copy that same slide. In this case, I’ll tap Delete and it goes away.
Finally, at the very bottom right hand, it’s written very small, but if tap the word Notes, it’s going to bring up a screen where I can start adding speaker notes. I can tap and here’s where I can put in any special notes I want for my presentation while I’m presenting it that my audience won’t see. To do your slide show, tap the Slide Show ribbon item and here’s where I can choose whether I want to start the slide show from the current slide or from the beginning. If I tap From Start, it’ll start my presentation right from the very start. To move onto the next slide, simply swipe with your finger.
There are a few things I want to show you while you’re presenting. The first is the annotation pen. If I swipe down from the very top of the screen, I’ll get some options. If I tap the pen icon, here’s where I can annotate my slides for the audience. I can start drawing with my finger directly on the presentation. If my slides were red, that’s no problem. In the top right hand side, if I choose the pen with the gear icon in it, I can change the color of it so that it’s a littler easier to read. To stop using the pen, I just have to tap it again and swipe up to make that screen disappear for me.
There’s one more thing I want to show you. I also have the ability to use a laser pointer. I’m going to move on to another slide. If I tap and hold with my finger, I’m given a special laser pointer object and as I move my finger around the pad, it goes with me, so I can use this as a great presentation tool. I can swipe through my presentation and when it’s all done, I can swipe one more time and I’ll get back to the main screen. When I’m all done with my presentation, simply tap the arrow with the circle on the top left hand side of the screen and I can tap New again and I’m brought back to that main screen where I can select a new presentation.
That’s your first look at PowerPoint for the iPad.