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Microsoft Word App for iPad

 
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Posted 13/04/2014 by

 
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Microsoft Word for iPad is the first app that gets tablet-based word processing right. Everything else has been either too weak or too strong, either overloaded or underloaded with features. Word for iPad doesn’t try to do everything that its desktop sibling does, but it does everything you’re likely to want to do, with either the on-screen keyboard or a peripheral one. Even when I used Word to edit a thousand-page document on my iPad Air$459.99 at H.H. Gregg, it was impressively, sometimes amazingly, quick at navigating and editing. While Word for iPad is free to download, as are PowerPoint and Excel for iPad, most editing functions for all three apps are only available with a subscription to Office 365$63.15 at Amazon, which typically costs $99 per year for consumers.

Righteous Ribbon, Intuitive Interface
If you have a Windows 8 tablet, you can use the full desktop version of Word 2013, but it feels cramped and awkward on a tablet. The Win 8 ribbon interface is the same as the interface on the desktop version, only with larger and better-spaced buttons for use with a touch-screen rather than a mouse. (Word for Windows RT looks the same as the full version, but lacks some advanced features.) Word for the iPad makes brilliant use of a newly-designed interface that reworks the Ribbon interface so that it works more like a traditional toolbar. The result is surprisingly easy to use.

When you tap an icon in the toolbar, a dropdown menu opens with essential options for formatting, revision-tracking, and other features. Instead of radio buttons, you get iOS-style sliding toggle switches for choosing between either/or options like turning AutoSave on or off. If you’re using your iPad in landscape mode, the on-screen keyboard may get in the way of the dropdown menu, and you’ll have to close the keyboard to see all the options on the menu.

If you’re familiar with desktop Word, you’ll have an easy time guessing how to use your fingertip instead of the mouse. In desktop Word, you triple-click a paragraph to select it, and in iPad Word, you triple-tap.


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