How to Access Microsoft Office On An Apple iPad

Dennis Faas's picture

We recently received this email from an Infopackets reader:

"Hi there Infopackets,

I'm one of many iPad owners who want to use Microsoft's Office software suite on Apple's tablet device. Is there any way to get access to programs like Excel and Word while using an iPad?

Thanks so much,

John T."

My response:

Great question, John. For the time being it doesn't appear Microsoft has any plans to release an Office app for the Apple iPad or iPad Mini. (Source:

However, there are ways to access popular Office software while using Apple's slate.

In fact, there are several applications that allow your iPad to connect to a virtual Windows server from which you can run Microsoft Office. Arguably, the best service available right now is called 'CloudOn.'

Using CloudOn to Access Microsoft Office

To use CloudOn, you'll need to sign up for a cloud-based storage service like Dropbox, Box, Microsoft SkyDrive, or Google Drive. Next, you'll need to download and install the CloudOn application, which you can do by clicking here.

The great thing about CloudOn is that it gives you access to three Office programs -- Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- which are identical to the versions you'd find on a PC or Microsoft's own Surface tablet computer.

For example, users will immediately recognize the familiar ribbon at the top of the screen. In providing quick and easy access to a range of options, that ribbon functions in the usual way.

Optimized for Touch Screen Usage

CloudOn has also optimized Office for use with a touch screen. Double-tapping on a word will select that single word, while triple-tapping will select the entire line. This makes editing text relatively easy, though it's by no means as intuitive as using a mouse and keyboard.

Right now CloudOn doesn't take advantage of the iPad's Retina Display, but CloudOn management says it's working on changing this.

CloudOn is absolutely free for personal use. Business users will have to shell out $15 per month, however.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet