How To Use Excel On Ipad – Microsoft’s Office suite has been a staple of most people’s personal and professional lives for decades, and their introduction to the iPad was only a few years ago. Over the years, these apps have grown and are better than ever. We recently looked at how Word adapts to the iPad and found that there are compromises between the desktop version, but ultimately it’s a very capable app that works for most people. Excel has also made some compromises to work on iOS, but those compromises have a negative impact on the overall experience, so we expect most people to find this version of the app lacking.
Microsoft Excel is a free download from the App Store, but you need an Office 365 subscription to do anything other than read Excel files. At $6.99 per month or $70 per year, it’s one of the best productivity software out there, and includes all the other Office apps as well as 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage. That said, it’s still a subscription, and you’ll have to decide whether access to these apps is worth the recurring price.
How To Use Excel On Ipad
If you decide it’s worth the money, you’ll get full access to Excel’s features on your iPad, and your use case will determine exactly how much you want that experience. If you’re a light tablet user and like to edit XLSX files here and there, you’ll enjoy the app. However, if you do more complex tasks with Excel or use it to edit multiple types of files, this version is really useless.
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Excel has a lot going for it. I personally prefer the classic historical view of files you’ve created in the past. It syncs across all your devices, so editing a file on your Mac will throw it to the top of the recent files list on your iPad. This makes transferring between devices seamless, but the only way it works cross-device is if you store your files in OneDrive. If you use this app, you pay for 1TB of storage, so at least it’s possible, but it takes away some of the flexibility you get in managing your files. If possible, I recommend using OneDrive for a seamless experience.
If you want to get started, Excel offers dozens of templates in addition to standard spreadsheets, from budget calculators to invoices. These are good starting points, and you can download various templates from the Internet and open them freely in Excel. Even your first run at editing these files can be very smooth, as you can click and perform most of the basic tasks intuitively. Especially if you’re using an external keyboard on your iPad, the app will initially look like a desktop app. You’ll have a few cells filled in and tables created in no time.
I’m also happy that the iPad app fills out complex documents quickly and you can easily navigate between large databases in as many tabs as possible. I tested on a 2018 iPad Pro, so older iPads may not be as smooth, but I have a 200,000-line tablet that pushes a 2015 MacBook Pro to its limits, but it didn’t seem like it. Push the iPad itself.
Once you’ve taken these first steps, you may find things are slower or impossible than on the desktop. The first thing that jumps out is the presence of non-keyboard shortcuts in this app. You can’t do anything but type on a keyboard, which makes it a hard sell for many people. This means tapping and digging through menus that you don’t need in other versions of Excel.
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Non-keyboard controls often perform as many or more complex actions than desktop controls, or at least not in the way people (including me!) expect them to do. For example, if you want to delete multiple rows of a spreadsheet in Excel for MacOS, select the beginning of the first row, scroll to the last row, press Shift+, and choose Delete Rows from the context menu. . On the iPad, you have to select the line that contains the row title, but you have to drag that selection all the way out. Then select Delete from the menu. This took me longer to figure out than I’d like to admit, and deleting a few lines from a document isn’t very convenient either. If you want to remove 500 rows at a time, this is not the best way.
Excel also benefits from mouse stability on the desktop. The iPad doesn’t actually support a mouse (yet), so you have to do everything with your fingers. Again, this is fine for simple spreadsheets, but for more advanced workflows, your fingers may not be accurate.
“But what about the Apple Pencil?” you can ask. Yes, Excel supports the Apple Pencil, but not in the way you might expect. What you can do with the Apple Pencil is draw freely on your tablet. Maybe more people need it than we think, but adding a fancy interface to what should be a powerful productivity tool seems like a misstep.
I will stop there, but the main thing is that the relationship between the two worlds will remain as it is now. It’s not as powerful as the desktop version, and it’s not as easy to use as the best iOS apps. It breaks both ways, but isn’t as robust or efficient as desktop apps, and isn’t designed for touch like mainstream iOS apps.
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For many people, Excel is where data is processed before it is sent to its final destination. An example is loading large amounts of data into CSV, importing it into Excel, and analyzing that data. Maybe you want to make some changes and save them as a new CSV.
Excel can open most of the file types you’d expect, but you should know that it uses online file conversion tools to convert things like CSV files to Excel files. This may be fine for you, but it can be a problem if it is a very large file and it takes a long time to download and re-upload from this conversion service. Or if you’re handling sensitive data that shouldn’t be entered anywhere, this could be a problem.
The killer here is the lack of CSV support. Even if you open a CSV file from somewhere else, the app won’t let you save it as CSV, you have to convert it to one of the above formats. I don’t know who uses Excel and needs OpenDocument files, but they might be out there.
Bottom line: You should expect to receive an .xlsx document from Excel for iPad. It’s hard to get anything else, and the options available may not be what you want.
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As a final note on exporting content from Excel, copy/paste is a bit awkward to say the least. Let’s take a basic example of copying simple text from multiple cells. You can go to another spreadsheet in Excel or a whole other document and paste without any problem. But what happens elsewhere is very reassuring. Clipping in a project and note information in OmniFocus are contained in tab-delimited text, which is fine. However, most applications accept data as images. Tabs in Apple Notes and other note-taking apps give you an image of a spreadsheet. It’s not something you’d see when importing things like Apple Numbers or Google Sheets, so it’s very interesting to see in Excel.
Another good thing is that Excel works well with the Files app for iOS. If you have a file stored in iCloud or Dropbox, you can open it in Excel on iPad, do whatever you want with it, and then save the changes directly to the file’s original location. . You get all of Excel’s autosave features when editing files outside of OneDrive, and even a “recent documents” feature, which is nice (recent documents list -location only works and doesn’t sync with other devices).
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