Thursday, November 11, 2010

Working with Excel on iPad

Since you are reading this blog on a Kindle, it is likely that you also own (or are thinking about owning) an iPad. Aside from all of the clamor from advocates and naysayers, the iPad can coexist nicely with a Kindle, and can provide an alternative for working on Excel rather than being tied to a full-blown desktop or laptop computer.

There is no doubt that not all Excel’s features are available when working on an iPad. For a great many common tasks, however, it is more than sufficient, and there is something very positive about being flopped on a sofa and still having access to your favorite software. Not only that, but as the software makers further refine and create new applications that can handle spreadsheets, the possibilities continue to grow.


There are a growing number of applications that the Excel Enthusiast / iPad Owner can use. My favorites are Quickoffice’s Quicksheet and Apple’s Numbers. Although DocsToGo is a worthy contender, most users (in my humble opinion) will find the features and user interface more pleasing with the other two apps. I have been using all three applications since shortly after the iPad’s debut and I find I seldom use DocsToGo for anything other than PowerPoint.


While either Quicksheet or Numbers can handle a great variety of formulas, creating Charts in Apple’s Numbers is a real treat. Both of these applications can import and export in Excel format. This is of keen importance, of course, as what good is a spreadsheet if you can’t export it back to Excel.


Although it may be a bit foreign at first, tapping to select cells and using the convenient selection handles to choose a range becomes second-nature quite quickly. The now commonly known pinching gestures zoom you in or out on your data and charts, and it is easy to get hooked on these new ways of getting around a spreadsheet.


Once you have created your spreadsheet masterpiece on your iPad tool, you can easily email it in its original Apple format, a PDF or, of course, as an Excel document.

Although some will deride this new way of interfacing with your data, I firmly believe that if you give it a chance, you will find that it makes a pleasant and productive alternative way of working with your Excel creations. Cheers!


Unknown said...

Thank you for your this post.

I was working with Docs to Go on Ipad and realized that this application does not identify Conditional Formatting nor Data Validation (lists).

I would like to ask you if either Quicksheet or Numbers allow the use of these functions (not creating or editing the functions but merely enabling them would be useful)?

Many thanks


Unknown said...

Also, one last question. sorry for the trouble.

The formula SUMIFS is not supported by Docs to Go and blocks the file for editing on the app. Note that the formula SUMIF does work.

Does Quicksheet or Numbers support SUMIFS?

Many thanks