Office for iPad: PowerPoint, Word and Excel Apps now a reality on the iPad


1. Make room & update
Apps need 1-2GB+, require iOS 7, and opening large files may require shutting down all other apps

2. Pay to play, yearly
Plan on spending $60 to $264 annually

3. Special fonts not supported

4. PowerPoint imbedded videos not supported

5. Excel pivot table functionality not supported    



Office ROI Assessment: Positive   Below is primer that details process, issues, troubleshooting and key learnings we experienced putting these new apps through their paces, testing a wide range of files on a few different iPads. A note about our work: The goal of our efforts and methods (more qualitative, less quantitative) — was to experience the workflow, process, and issues a standard business user would have adding these tools to their business tool kit. Overall our experience Office on the iPad was positive. 

Finally, while many online reporting is focusing on “late to the tablet” and missed opportunities, our perspective is that any tool or app that helps move business content to tablets with less workflow disruption plus gain the potential to more easily synchronize files via desktops will save valuable time and resources, thus money.

Getting Started

Technically, there’s no such thing as Office for iPad. Each of the apps is a separate download from the App Store.

Where To Get MS Office For iPad on iTunes

Try or Buy (Same apps for Home or Business)

  • MS Word for iPad:
  • Excel for iPad:
  • PowerPoint for iPad:

Memory/Storage Considerations

  • The independent Office apps range between 215 MB and 259 MB just to install (nearly a gigabyte). In just a few hours of testing, Microsoft Word had expanded to take 500 megabytes.
  • MS Office Apps are all designed for use on iPads running iOS 7 or later.
  • All of the files you work on and store locally will require their own space. So make sure you have at least a few gigabytes free.
  • In our tests, opening a large 75MB PowerPoint file required freeing iPad memory by shutting down all other apps

What You Get
Free The free version of Microsoft’s Office apps only let you view documents, and since we’ve never met a presenter who doesn’t make last-minute changes, just bite the bullet and go for the paid version…
Paid To really get the benefit of Office for iPad, you need a subscription to Office 365.

  • For business users minimum spend to gain iPad editing options is $5 a month/$60 a year with annual contract for Small Business; or if you need include desktop versions which covers installing Office software on up to five PCs and five tablets you’ll pay at least $150 a year for Small Business Premium and up to $264 for Enterprise E4 – see full list here:
  • For home users cost is $99.99 a year or $9.99 a month, which covers installing Office software on up to five PCs and five tablets.

Test Driving the Free Version

  • Download the apps
  • If you have an Office document in your email, press and hold down on the attachment in Mail. You’ll get a dialog box that offers Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint as an option for reading the document. The app will store the file locally.
  • If you use Hotmail or for email, or play with Xbox Live, you already have a Microsoft account you can use to sign up for OneDrive. Otherwise, you’ll need to create a new Microsoft account. Either way, you’ll get 7 gigabytes of free storage. If you move documents into your OneDrive on your desktop, you’ll also have access to them within Office iPad apps.
  • Upon launching any of the three apps you’ll be asked to sign into your Office 365 account or buy a subscription right there. You can also bypass signing in all together, but then you only have read-only access to documents. You can’t edit any.


  • Terrific performance viewing Office files
  • With a paid subscription — at least $60 a year for the rest of your business life — there are powerful tools for creating and editing Office documents.
  • UI & UX in the three Office apps feel, look, and act like their Office 2013 Windows desktop/web version counterparts (not like the mobile versions)


  • With a paid subscription — at least $60 a year for the rest of your business life —there are powerful tools for creating and editing Office documents.
  • Make room – both processing and storage needed to use these apps
  • Update – requires iOS7 or higher
  • PowerPoint Word and Excel issues opening documents with specialized fonts.
  • PowerPoint issues opening large documents with any other iPad apps open
  • Embedded videos in PowerPoint presentations don’t play
  • Excel pivot tables aren’t supported in iPad app


Commands for each app are grouped on ribbons that are more compact than their desktop alternatives. (To save space, you can tap the commands on the ribbon to hide the options for that tab, then tap again to make them visible again.)

Source notes and thanks

Below are some great articles that assisted in our topline review:

  • Great information on productivity
  • Great visuals and previews