Without a doubt one of the most repeated tasks in a worker day goes around, create “Word” documents and “Excel” spreadsheets. I believe that aside from email, working on an spreadsheet or a word processor is probably where most people spend their time in front their computer at work.
For years Microsoft Corporation convince us that the only way to accomplish that task, was using Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. That was the only way to actually accomplish work. Came the iPad on the market and to this day Microsoft had decided not to release those two applications for the iPad, in some way, that it is sad. (and even saddest, they release a light -not full feature- version for their own Tablet, the Microsoft Surface)
That it is what I am calling Microsoft mistake. Before the iPad, a lot of people was convinced that in order to do a letter you need Microsoft Word, and in order to do an spreadsheet you need Microsoft Excel. That was a fact for a lot of people, that was the status quo. If Microsoft would had release a “light” version of Word and Excel with the iPad, for $150 most iPad users would had bought it; but they didn’t and the people began looking for the alternatives. If Microsoft would release today a “Light” version, most people will not buy it. Hence the big mistake, after Bill Gates convinced people that the only way to write a document or do an spreadsheet was using Microsoft products, Steve Ballmer teaches people that they can accomplish the same without buying Microsoft products. Sad without a doubt.
Well since we learned that we didn’t need Microsoft products to do spreadsheets and word documents, we get into the need to jump into the Apple App Store to find a Word Processor and a Spreadsheet application. Since the idea of this post is how I work, I will mention the three applications that I use. I am sure there are better ones, with more or less features. This fit my needs well enough, and therefore I have been using them without the need to change them. In my case are Office2 HD, Apple Pages and Apple Numbers.
Let me begin with Office2HD. I got this application with one objective on hand. This was the first application that allow me to work with tack changes on a document in the iPad. When you are working on agreements, or editing books, there is nothing better that be able to work on documents that you can use the “track changes” feature. This was the first application to my knowledge that was able to do this, and I use it when I need to work in this kind of documents. Another cool feature of this software is the ability to access and save directly in DropBox, that allow and facilitate the exchange of documents.
Pages: This is Apple solution to Word Processing. My use of word processing is light, even that I am writing constantly, I never write on pages, I write my books, articles, posts and more on plain text, because reduce the number of distractions and therefore I can work better. Again for the use I have of word, receiving .DOC or .DOCX is not a problem. Editing text, formatting, adding images, all can be done in the iPad without any problem, fast and easy.
Numbers: let me begin saying that if you need to use Macros, this is not your software. If you don’t know what a Macro is, this application will do plenty. I use to run complex macros on spreadsheets that without a doubt would had limit my use of spreadsheets on the iPad, but this days I think I am limited to calculations and graphs. For those things, Numbers had more than enough power, I can run formulas, create graphs and more on a simple and friendly application.
I don’t remember when was the last time that I was forced to pull the laptop in order to work with a Word Processor file or an Spreadsheet, the reality is that this three applications do the job for me, even in some cases more than what I need.