Microsoft Office is finally right on the iPad

Microsoft Office is finally as it should have been on iPad
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Office is a perfect fit for the productivity-minded iPad Pro 2020. After years of waiting, it's now truly arrived on Apple's tablet. And it looks like the Office we deserve, too.

Microsoft has finally combined Word, Excel and PowerPoint into one app — so you don't need three app icons taking up all that space. Oh, and these apps are iPad optimized too. 

This follows years of iPad users either settling for siloed applications, or running the windowed iPhone version of Office on the iPad. Why this took so long is anybody's guess.

In a no-brainer move, Microsoft threw in bonus Actions tools. For example, there's a PDF creation and editing tool, which allows you to easily make PDFs from taking photos with your camera. The Notes app has had a similar function, but it's always been a bit buried. And, naturally, you can sign PDFs with the Apple Pencil. 

It's also got text recognition tools for extracting text from images, so you don't need to hand-write out a whole document you already have. 

Those who prefer to just use the standalone Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications can continue to do so. Those applications will likely get the same new features that their Office app counter parts do going forward, such as mouse and trackpad support (added in October 2020).

While the app is free to use, you're going to need an active Microsoft 365 account to use all the features you'd expect. You can download Office for iPad here.

The continued support of the iPad by productivity-focused applications is exactly what's needed if the tablet is supposed to be the laptop-replacement that Apple markets it as. This way, anyone with the iPad Pro and its Magic Keyboard has even less reason to think about their laptop.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.