Microsoft Word for iPad Gets Touch Word Processing (Mostly) Right

| In-Depth Review

Part 3

3. File Management

Even though iOS doesn't provide visibility into the file system on the iPad, that doesn't mean that the user must be subject to obliqueness when it comes to identifying, naming and deleting documents. It has always seemed to me that the opacity of the iOS file system has always led developers, at least on the apps I've used, to do a less than superb job when it comes to naming, seeing and managing lots of different named documents. Word has no such problems.

There is a very nice hierarchical system of popovers that handle the sharing, deleting or just removing from the Recents list.

File Manager is very good.

I tried to import a small Apple .mov file from the camera roll as well as my own movie created from the iPad's camera, but the Insert > Pictures function wouldn't recognize them. Looks like we're stuck with photos in version 1.0.

4. Sharing

Documents are shared via email or Microsoft's OneDrive. There is no Dropbox support. That's the one area where Microsoft let us down in this app. Dropbox support is just about de rigueur with this kind of iOS app, and just because Microsoft has a competing product, there's no reason to punish customers by coercing them into its own OneDrive. Different users need different services. This is one remnant of Microsoft's old-style thinking, and the rating was reduced a half point because of this.

Sharing options. Cloud is OneDrive, not iCloud.

One nice technical feature, however, is that if, say, you load a document from OneDrive before a flight, it remains cached and you can still edit it. When you have connectivity again, the edited document is synced to the OneDrive version.

Next: Part 4

Product: Microsoft Word for iPad

Company: Microsoft

List Price: See explanation in review



Beautiful implementation on the iPad. File compatibility with PC and Mac counterparts resulting in identical looking documents. Very good file manager. iTunes file transfer. Great handling of imported images. Document change tracking. Supports emailing of documents and MS OneDrive. Offline, cached editing and later resync. Buit-in Help page and Touch Guide.


No direct print capability. Cannot import movie files. No support for Dropbox. No separate PDF manual. Macros not supported.

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John Dingler, artist

Hello John M.,
Falling all over yourself to praise an apparently good MS product is like a wrongly convicted person, say, Private Chelsea Manning, praising O’Bummer – with Cheney’s blessing – for freeing him.

Instead, we must continue punishing MS for a few more years for years of developing inferior Mac products and theft of Apple’s fundamental IP.

This means that MS deserves no congratulations for doing what is right; It’s expected. And, this one app is a mere one instance of good coding for Apple users, nothing more.

Bryan Kennedy

I’m sure Word is an outstanding iPad app. I’m just not paying for it by the month. EVER.


A balanced review. My early impressions are in line with JM’s. There is good functionality matched with a good looking UI. I would rather have a one-off cost than a subscription, I must say. I’m also very heartened by the release of One Note for Mac, and also the fluid operation of OneDrive between devices.  Kudos to the MS Mac team. Keep up the good work with next release of Office for Mac. Oh, and let’s have some more MS apps for Mac OS and iOS while you’re at it.

Allister Jenks

Why on earth would you want a movie file in a Word document? If you’re delivering a printed document, a movie is pointless. If you’re delivering electronic information, you shouldn’t be using Word. Are we to continue abusing the most abused piece of software in history, now on a whole new platform? Give me strength!


Hello John,
Thank you for the review.
For this price, I would have taken an alternative app. Fortunately, my company provides me with an ipad with Office and Beesy already installed. We essentially use Word for creating reports and Beesy for collaborative work ( ). I use to include the reports into my meeting notes (from which the meeting minutes are generated) and include some comments before sharing to all the employees so it is important for me to have a robust word processor and I found Word for ipad pretty reliable. I recommend it! (for those who can afford it).

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