All iPads MS Office 2016 vs Office 365

areskins

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2016
54
4
Hi, I'm very interested in going ipad only in college and my question is there a difference between MS Word and Excel when buying Office 2016 compared to the ipad versions in office 365? Are the ipad versions (office 365) inferior to the laptop/desktop versions (full MS Office)? I'll be using them for research and would like to know if I can go ipad only. Thinking of buying an ipad pr 12.9 instead of a Windows laptop. Thank you!
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,357
8,715
Prescott Valley, AZ
Hi, I'm very interested in going ipad only in college and my question is there a difference between MS Word and Excel when buying Office 2016 compared to the ipad versions in office 365? Are the ipad versions (office 365) inferior to the laptop/desktop versions (full MS Office)? I'll be using them for research and would like to know if I can go ipad only. Thinking of buying an ipad pr 12.9 instead of a Windows laptop. Thank you!
The iPad version of MS Office is only a small fraction of the functionality of desktop MS Office.

MS Office for iPad does a fantastic job of preserving file formatting in displaying Office files on the iPad. Keep in mind that if the document uses custom fonts, those fonts will need to be installed on the iPad in order for the document appearance to be precise.

You'll be able to use MS Office for iPad for viewing and modifying Office files with advanced formatting but you won't be able to CREATE documents with advanced formatting on the iPad itself. There's too much functionality missing from MS Office for iPad to be able to do that.

In my experiences, you will not be able to go iPad only using MS Office for iPad in college. Research papers and such generally have exacting requirements by instructors. Those requirements will not be possible to meet using MS Office for iPad.

I recommend getting an iPad as a complement to a desktop/notebook system. It is easy to transport and use in mobile situations and could certainly be used for text entry (that would then later be modified on a desktop/notebook).

Many colleges have Office 365 available for free for their students... that allows you to install one copy on your notebook/desktop and a copy on your tablet.
 

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
2,369
394
New Orleans
Post above pretty much says it all, all I can offer up is a personal example. In college as an engineering student, I had to do a lot of papers which included formulas. MS word has a fantastic feature with "formula builder" to nicely format equations. This is a feature that office on the iPad still hasnt gotten, still not sure why as it doesnt seem like a complex feature to add in, but Im no coder so I can only speculate. But I ended up starting a lot of my word files on my iPad, but I got on one of the windows computer for all of the equations, final formatting, touching up all the details, that sort of thing.

But do look into if your school offers 365 for free, as mine did. If youre already enrolled in college and have your .edu email address, you should check out if they offer it:

https://products.office.com/en-us/student/office-in-education
 
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alecgold

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2007
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NLD
I use word for just a little bit of essay writing, making proposals etc. etc.
Excel for the odd sheet, invoice and those kind of things.
Nothing special or heavy and for those features MS Office works perfectly.
Then again, so would pages/numbers or a host of other apps. It’s just that everybody uses the word format and MS office works best.
One thing I did notice is that changes in old files (DOC/XLS-format) need to be re-saved into DOCX/XLSX. Bit of a hassle, but not a one big for me.
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
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I've heard that Microsoft word crashes a lot on iPad and deletes many files due to bugs.
I use Word (and Excel) a lot on my iPad and it's bee very stable - and this with some pretty large and complicated proposals for work.
 

TinaBelcher

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2017
661
304
I use Word (and Excel) a lot on my iPad and it's bee very stable - and this with some pretty large and complicated proposals for work.
My experience has been stable too but I've read that a lot of people suddenly lost their Docx files for school due to Word bugs. I don't wanna risk getting into the same issue even though I haven't experienced a bug myself :/
[doublepost=1503985115][/doublepost]
It's a figure of speech. Geez.
Sure
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
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My experience has been stable too but I've read that a lot of people suddenly lost their Docx files for school due to Word bugs. I don't wanna risk getting into the same issue even though I haven't experienced a bug myself :/
[doublepost=1503985115][/doublepost]
Sure
I can only speak for myself, but I've lost more work in iCloud using Pages than I ever have in Word and OneDrive. But everyone has their own experiences and you should use what you are comfortable with.
 

TinaBelcher

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2017
661
304
I can only speak for myself, but I've lost more work in iCloud using Pages than I ever have in Word and OneDrive. But everyone has their own experiences and you should use what you are comfortable with.
Could be that iCloud is the problem then, if the word-complainers stored their files to iCloud... but you still had your Pages-files on your iPad, right? As I understand, Pages store your files on the iPad and then adds a duplicate to iCloud that gets automatically synced across all platforms?
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
6,543
2,266
I use OneDrive and I can't recall dealing with any files being deleted.
If your subscription to office 365 expires or non-payment for onedrive service, MS drops you back to 5GB.
The files outside the 5GB are still there just not accessible until the plan is up to date.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,830
7,369
I find the iPad version of Office OK for short writing (5pgs or less), stream of thought brain storming, etc. For serious writing with cross references, citing, etc. I prefer my MBP. I love my iPad, it's not a laptop no matter how many times Apple chants it. Someday perhaps, and I'm using my 12.9 much more for creation than I ever did with my 9.7s. But right now I still need a laptop.

Honestly, I don't know why Apple hates convertible laptops. To me the perfect solution would be a MB or MBP that used an iPad as the screen -- connected via smart connector, for example + some other security latch. When the iPad is on the MBP it's just a "dumb" screen. When removed it's a full fledged iPad.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,367
Boston
If your subscription to office 365 expires or non-payment for onedrive service, MS drops you back to 5GB.
The files outside the 5GB are still there just not accessible until the plan is up to date.
Yeah, that makes sense because I'm not longer a customer and the service they provide paying customers has been removed. I'd expect the same thing from any other company, i.e., I cancel my webhost and my files/data will be deleted.

From Reddit. Hearing stuff like that makes me paranoid.
I don't go on reddit, and things there seem over the top. I could be wrong, but its not something I'm familiar with.
 

AlliFlowers

Contributor
Jan 1, 2011
4,433
8,428
L.A. (Lower Alabama)
I use 365 for EVERYTHING. I rarely open my MB at home anymore, and do everything I need to on the iPad. I've been working this way for 2+ years. Never lost a file. Never had a problem.
 

TinaBelcher

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2017
661
304
I use 365 for EVERYTHING. I rarely open my MB at home anymore, and do everything I need to on the iPad. I've been working this way for 2+ years. Never lost a file. Never had a problem.
Wonderful! :) Do you store your files on onedrive or icloud?
 

Rhonindk

macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2014
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watching the birth of the Dem WTH Party
Hi, I'm very interested in going ipad only in college and my question is there a difference between MS Word and Excel when buying Office 2016 compared to the ipad versions in office 365? Are the ipad versions (office 365) inferior to the laptop/desktop versions (full MS Office)? I'll be using them for research and would like to know if I can go ipad only. Thinking of buying an ipad pr 12.9 instead of a Windows laptop. Thank you!
My daughter tried an iPad in school, currently uses my Surface Pro. She is studying Veterinary Medicine (lab tech) and was unable to properly use Office on the iPad to complete some of her assignments. It was advanced features and the ability to create documents that was missing or unable to perform on the iPad.