For example, you can add sparklines—Excel's miniature one-cell charts—in Excel on your desktop and view them in iOS, but you can't create or modify them in iOS. You can create and modify charts in iOS, but you won't find all the formatting options that let you fine-tune the visual design you get in the desktop version.
For example, if a column isn't wide enough to display all its data, just tap on its letter twice to autofit it to the required length—or tap once and choose Autofit from the popup menu. On the desktop, the same feature requires a trip to the Home tab, then the Cell menu in the Format group, and a click on the AutoFit Column Width item on the dropdown menu.
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Also, tablet keyboards don't have function keys, so veterans of Excel on the desktop will be frustrated trying to type F2 to edit the contents of a cell when the F2 key doesn't even exist. Always Improving Microsoft keeps updating its mobile apps to add new features, and in January it finally added the Draw feature that it demonstrated last summer.
This makes it possible to use your finger or the Apple Pencil to draw lines and shapes over a worksheet, but it has one inconvenience: You can turn touch-drawing on and off from a slider in the Draw tab, so that your finger only draws on the screen when the slider is set to On. Excel's competition in the mobile world is Apple's Numbers for iPad, a spreadsheet that's visually elegant in ways that Excel doesn't try to match, with razzle-dazzle features like 3D wood-grained bar charts.
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But Apple doesn't try to match Excel's enormous variety of functions. If you need to use a spreadsheet for serious work, and you need to use it on a tablet, Excel is the obvious answer—and it's the only choice that's available on all major platforms. You may need to keep your eye on your work, but that's the fault of touch-centric mobile platforms, not the application itself.
Bottom Line: Microsoft Word for iPad. Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad. Edward Mendelson has been a contributing editor at PC Magazine since , and writes extensively on Windows and Mac software, especially about office, internet, and utility applications. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links.
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Pros The most powerful spreadsheet app on the iOS platform. Cons Can't open two files at the same time. Bottom Line Excel is the only spreadsheet program available on all major desktop and mobile platforms, and it's a surprisingly powerful iPad app, especially if you pair it with the iPad Pro.
Similar Products. Microsoft Office for Mac. Microsoft OneNote for Mac. Apple Numbers for Mac.
Excel for IPad running IOS 9.3.5
However, some of the more advanced functions are locked in the free version, and you'll need a premium subscription to unlock them. With Excel, the range of uses for the app are wide. You can make really simple spreadsheets or advanced databases of information interconnected with different equations. Containing a lot of different templates to use, Excel has the same core function, only utilizing touch controls to complete tasks.
Moving from column or rows takes a simple tap, and combining columns to create equations is pretty simple. For basic functions like making a spreadsheet for banking would be very easy. A more advanced Excel dealing with multiple equations over multiple sheets may prove a little more challenging. It's better used as an editing tool for adding new information. It's is a great tool to get some quick work done, but probably isn't the best to start a quarterly breakdown for business.
With this touch version, Microsoft has kept all the important functions at the top of the app. Excel is also designed to be used specifically in landscape mode. Using it in portrait hides too much information. Adding information is easy, just tap the space where you want to input and the keyboard will pop up. Excel even supports freezing panes which is actually easier than in the desktop version. If you have iOS 8 you can make use of a variety of cloud storage options , including iCloud. Here you can open, edit, and save your work - a handy addition if you are moving between multiple machines and devices.
While the standard version of the Excel app does not allow for add-ins, iPad owners running iOS 8. Overall, the app is somewhat simplified compared to the desktop version , but supports all the main features including a massive amount of formulas for you to use. Microsoft Excel for iOS contains all the tools you need to manipulate data and the touch controls work really well.
Microsoft Excel on the App Store
For the casual user, Excel might not be an app that's necessary, but the advanced user who has to constantly use Excel will find the app very useful. What do you think about Microsoft Excel? Do you recommend it?