Featured Mobile Office iPad Apps
Here's an overview of the features, pros and cons you'll find in our top mobile office iPad picks.
Apple Pages, Numbers and Keynote ($9.99 each)
You can email files out of these apps and open files sent as email attachments in the corresponding app. They support the older Microsoft Office formats; .doc, .xls and .ppt and all have a similar and relatively intuitive interface. Each app has the most tools of all the corresponding apps in this roundup including tables, images, charts and presentation animations.
Office2 HD ($7.99)
This program offers good tools for creating basic documents, and it has a simple customizable folder structure which makes it easy to organize your files. Office2HD lets you add images to your documents but not wrap text around them, and it supports tables -- in fact its tables look great.
While Office2 HD has a spell checker (not all do), its worksheet does not support charts. While the app supports.ppt files as well as .xls, .doc, .docx and text files, it ruined the formatting in a complex document and even relatively simple documents didn't return unscathed. It houses help in a neat swinging panel, and we consider it a good basic tool for creating new documents that you'll finish off elsewhere.
QuickOffice Pro HD ($19.99)
Quick Office supports .ppt files as well as .xls, .xlsx, .doc,.docx and text files. You can transfer files out of the program via custom URL -- bypassing iTunes and other cloud services -- if desired, and it also lets you share files to Twitter and Facebook and to email them. It interfaces with Google Docs, Dropbox, Box.net, MobileMe, iDisk, SugarSink and other services.
QuickOffice can interface with a range of online services like Dropbox and GoogleDocs to give you access to documents stored there.
(Click for larger image).
Quick Office also has a good online help feature and its word-processor has good text formatting tools, but you can't add pictures to your documents or charts to your worksheets. It has find-and-replace capability, but no spell check and no tables.
Documents to Go ($9.99, Premium: $16.99)
Documents to Go comes in two editions and to get the best functionality you'll want Documents to Go Premium. This program is hampered by an unnecessarily cumbersome interface. You can store files locally or access them via Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox, iDisk, Public iDisk and SugarSync. Interestingly, you can also send files from the app to Numbers/Pages/Keynote, QuickOffice Pro HD or Office 2HD if they're installed.
The word processor includes word count, find-and-replace and plenty of text formatting, but you cannot insert images or tables and there is no spell check. You can edit the text on a PowerPoint slide if you have the Premium Edition, but nothing else. While the program supports .ppt, .pptx, .doc, .docx, .xls and .xlsx files, it is probably the weakest in this roundup in terms of features and its unfriendly interface.
You'll find lots more software tips and tutorials from Helen Bradley in our Small Business In-Depth series, How-To With Helen Bradley.
Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. You can learn more about her at her Web site, HelenBradley.com
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