Office for iPad Exports to PDF After First Big Update

Microsoft's native iPad Office apps get their first major round of updates just four months after release.

Office for iPad

Microsoft has issued its first major update to Office for iPad, just months after its splashy debut.

On March 27, the company launched the software for Apple's best-selling tablet during CEO Satya Nadella's first big press event after taking the reins of the Redmond, Wash.-based tech titan. The touch-optimized apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), which require an Office 365 subscription to edit and create files, debuted in 135 markets and 29 languages and quickly rose to the top of the Apple App Store rankings.

After a few short months of customer feedback, Microsoft has delivered on some of the most-requested features.

Users of Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the iPad can now trade documents in one of the most popular file formats. "Export to PDF is available in the Share menu in all of our apps, and it's available for everyone to use, whether you have an Office 365 subscription or not," announced the Office 365 group in company in a blog post.

New third-party font support adds a dash of personalization to the mobile Office experience. "If you use one of several apps to install fonts on your iPad (for example, AnyFont), Office for iPad will now recognize and allow you to use those fonts in any documents you create," stated the company.

Users are also given more control over how their embedded images appear in their documents with a new cropping tool. "When you tap a picture you now see two new options: Crop and Reset. You can do this manually, using your finger to set exactly the range you'd like to crop to, or you can select from a menu of popular options," the Office group wrote. Alternately, tapping the Reset option allows users to start over.

The PowerPoint app now supports Presenter View while projecting to another screen, enabling users to view their notes and other supplemental information during their sessions. Users can also now edit hyperlinks, embed video directly from the iPad's camera roll and insert sound files. Expanded eraser and pen options "make annotations during presentations easier than ever," stated the Office team.

To help users better explore data using PivotTables, the Excel app can "sort, filter, expand and collapse, show details, and even refresh PivotTables whose data is all contained within the workbook," according to the company. New style and layout options provide new levels of customizability.

For power users, Microsoft has restored keyboard shortcuts. "Excel has lots of behaviors we've built up over decades to make working with a keyboard as easy and efficient as possible," remarked Microsoft. Additional print options (scaling and more paper sizes) offer users more control over the layout of their printed Excel workbooks.

Frequent updates are the way forward, hinted the Office group. "As this wave of updates hopefully shows, we're making good on our commitment to delivering continuous updates and improvements to the Office for iPad apps," they stated.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...