Word for iPad: How to View, Edit and Create Documents

Word for iPad Tutorial

Thumbs up computer key
In March 2014, Microsoft launched Office for iPad. I got very excited and went ahead and downloaded the Word App. I wanted to write a nice post about it.
Very soon my excitement completely disappeared. This new App only allowed the user to “View” Word documents. To Edit and Save documents you needed to purchase an Office 365 monthly subscription…

Towards the end of 2014, Microsoft updated the App and allowed its users to View, Edit and Create Word documents for Free.

This post has been recently reviewed (in 2017) and the current terms are 30 days free trial to view, create and edit but after 30 days, you will need an Office 365 subscription to create and edit documents.

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If you use the Word application on your computer or laptop, I’m sure you’ll be interested in knowing more about Word for iPad.

How to Download Word for iPad

To download the App, search for “Office for iPad” or “Microsoft Word for iPad” in the App Store.

If you need to refresh how to download and install Apps, have a look at this post.

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How to create new documents on Word for iPad

Once you open Word, you will see the new document icon on the left menu bar.

You can create a new plain document by tapping on “New Blank Document” or you can choose from a variety of more elaborated designs by tapping on any of the available templates (i.e. Brochure, Business Letter, Flyer, Proposal, etc).

word for iPad create new document

Word for iPad: Save Document on Multiple Locations

You can save your Word documents on your iPad or on the cloud. At the moment, the cloud services available are OneDrive Personal, OneDrive for Business and DropBox. Since February 16, 2015 version 1.6 of the App offers support for iCloud but you need an iPad with iOS 8.

word for iPad App connect a cloud service

If you have a Microsoft account you can get access to OneDrive Personal. If you don’t, you can create a Microsoft account for free.

Editing a Document on Word for iPad

The Word App editing screen looks similar to the one on the computer. On the top menu you can find several tabs such as HOME, INSERT, LAYOUT, REVIEW and VIEW.

The HOME menu tab lets you select font types, font size, formatting (bold, italic, underline, etc), highlighting colors, font colors, bullets, numbering, text alignment, etc.

word for iPad home menu tab

Applying changes to words or sentences is a bit different than on a regular computer because we do not have a mouse connected to the iPad.

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Selection and editing changes happen by double tapping on words or triple tapping to select sentences. There are several good Microsoft training videos available. If you would like to learn more about Word edition on the iPad have a look at these Training Videos.

The INSERT menu tab allows you to insert new pages, tables, pictures (from Camera Roll), shapes, text boxes, hyper-links, header and footer, etc.

word for iPad insert menu tab

The LAYOUT menu tab is where you can configure document margins, orientation (Portrait, Landscape), page size and number of columns.

word for iPad layout menu tab

Note: Change page orientation is an Office 365 Feature which is available when you purchase a subscription.

The REVIEW menu tab lets you access spelling features, word count, comments and change tracking.

word for iPad review menu tab

Note: The Track Changes option is an Office 365 Feature which is available when you purchase a subscription.

Last but not least, there is the VIEW menu tab. This menu includes turning on and off the ruler and accessing the “one page” and “page width” views.

word for iPad view menu tab

Save, AutoSave, Save As

The File menu (second icon on top left corner) provides similar functionality to the one on the computer with a few minor differences.

By default, the Word App comes with “AutoSave” enabled. This means that every time there is a change to the document, the App will save the revised version.
AutoSave can be disabled and the “Save” button will appear instead.

word for iPad file menu

Where is the “Save As” option?
As explained on the Microsoft videos, it is called “Duplicate”. The duplicate option will be available after you have saved the document with a name for the first time.

Word for iPad Search

To access the search functionality, tap on the magnifier located on the top right corner of the screen.

word for iPad magnifier

The search bar appears on the top of your screen. The options icon on the left of the search bar opens up a menu where you can specify if you want “Find”, “Find and Replace”, case match and whole words.

word for iPad search options

Word for iPad Share

The sharing icon (top right) allows you to email a document as a link or email it as an attachment.

word for iPad share options

Upgrade to Office 365

Currently, there are 2 types of Office 365 subscriptions. Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home.

Office 365 Personal is $7.99 per month with the first month free. Office 365 Home is $11.99 per month. First month is also free.

An Office 365 subscription unlocks features on Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In particular, for Word, you can track and view changes, insert and edit WordArt, insert section breaks, change page orientation and more.

Wireless Keyboard

If you plan to use the Word App intensively, you may want to hook a bluetooth keyboard for faster, more comfortable writing.

In this other post, I explained how to connect a Bluetooth keyboard to your iPad.

Questions? Thoughts?

I really like the way the original Word computer application was adapted for iPad use. The Word App is very user friendly, intuitive and easy to use. In my opinion, this App for iPad provides a great alternative to Word on a laptop, especially for people who frequently travel or have long commutes to work.

Have you used Word or any other Office App on iPad?
How did you like it?

I look forward to hearing your feedback. Please leave a comment below.

Image at top courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net