How to Set up Microsoft Office for iPad

Access the MS Office suite on your Apple tablet

The combination of the Microsoft Office application that links Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is a game changer for some Office users. Here’s how to set up Microsoft Office for iPad.

How to install Microsoft Office for iPad

Microsoft Office for iOS offers several different options. You can download Microsoft Office as a single entity, which is covered here. But you also have the option of downloading individual applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and others) as separate programs. Here’s how to install the all-in-one Office app on iPad.

In the App Store, search for Microsoft Office and find it in the search results. Faucet Have to download and install the app.

After the download and installation is complete, touch Open.

An app installed on the App Store.

You’ll be prompted to sign in to your Microsoft account (if you don’t have one, you can create one), and you may need to grant some permissions to the Office app. Be sure to read them so you know what you’re tuning into.

How to use Microsoft Office for iPad

The Microsoft Office app offers a few benefits to iPad users:

  • It takes up less space than the three separate apps covered by the Office app.
  • There are some extra features that you probably won’t find in standalone apps.
  • It is possible to dictate directly to Microsoft Office from the voice recorder on iPad.

Assuming you intend to use the all-in-one Microsoft Office app on your iPad (instead of the individual programs), there are a few things you need to know to use them.

The Microsoft Office Start Screen

From the home screen, you can choose Recommended files, which are files you have recently opened, or you can press the New at the bottom center of the screen to open a menu that lets you choose the type of new document you want to create.

The new option in Microsoft Office for iOS

The options are:

  • Observations: allows you to write a new sticky note, which you can then save or share with others.
  • Lens: Opens the camera so you can scan (or take a photo) of a document, photo, or whiteboard that you can then save as a Word document, PDF, or image and share with others.
  • documents: Opens a screen that allows you to choose between scan text, Blank documenteither Create from template for Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.

Microsoft Office Options for iOS.

There is also an Actions icon on the home screen. This is where you will find options like transfer files, Image to textY Image to the table. The last two options allow you to scan an image or document and convert any text in that scan to electronic text.

The Actions menu in Microsoft Office for iOS.

Another very useful feature of the Office application is the ability to work with PDF files. You can sign PDF files or scan and convert documents to PDF using the Actions menu.

PDF options in Microsoft Office on iPad.

Work with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations

Once you’ve chosen to open or create a new document, spreadsheet, or presentation, you’ll find that you have most of the same options as if you were using the standalone versions of these applications.


When you work with documents, you’ll find the formatting menus as you’d expect. And the menu slides to the right or left to reveal additional options. There is also a large microphone icon floating on the right side of the document. If you touch this icon, you can dictate what you want to type instead of trying to type using the on-screen keyboard.

The Apple keyboard and mouse will work with all of these apps if you have them available. Otherwise, you can achieve what you want using finger gestures and the on-screen keyboard.

Document formatting controls in Office for iOS.


In worksheets, you can move around a workbook or sheet just as you would in Microsoft Excel. Type your details using the on-screen or wireless keyboard. And you will find context menus when you select a column or a row.

Context menu in spreadsheets in Microsoft Office for iPad.

You also have access to the abbreviation, formatting, and formula tools, just as you would in the standalone Microsoft Excel application.

Some of the Excel tools in the spreadsheets section of the Microsoft Office app for iOS.


Using Presentation in the Office app for iOS is very similar to using PowerPoint. You can choose to work from scratch or create a presentation from a template. And you have access to the same formatting tools available in the standalone PowerPoint application. You can add notes and comments, and even automate your presentation.

Some of the formatting tools in Slides in the Microsoft Office app for iPad.

The top menu of Microsoft Office on iPad

There is one final menu that you should become familiar with. It’s the menu that appears at the top of each of the apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This menu is generally standard across all three applications. Here you will find options for:

  • Cancel: Allows you to undo the actions you have performed on the document.
  • text format: Opens a wide range of text formatting options, including fonts, size, formats, spacing, and alignment.
  • Investigate: Executes a Find or Find and Replace function.
  • Share: Allows you to invite others to collaborate on the document using a link sent via email or messaging.
  • Later: This menu contains options for saving, printing, exporting and history.

In a document, you will also find that you have a mobile screen option. This allows you to see how your document will look on a mobile device. And in a presentation you will find a pen icon that you can touch to activate it. ink annotations.

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