Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Excel on iPad?

As the business world is becoming ever more aware of the value of getting Real Work done on a tablet, it is high time we take another look at doing spreadsheets on the increasingly ubiquitous iPad. With utmost respect to Android-based tablet users, (Documents to Go is outstanding on these fine devices, but that is another story unto its own), we are just going to be looking at the world of Apple in today's blog.

The Apple spreadsheet application, Numbers, is a truly capable workhorse which can abide quite nicely with Excel. For anyone who has wrestled with a laptop on a long plane trip, or simply didn't want to tote their 7-pound monster to a quick business stop, you can understand the beauty of being productive on an iPad.

It is true, of course, that not all Excel’s features are available when working on an iPad (for instance, it has about half as many functions). Unless you are getting into more uncommon tasks, however, it is more than sufficient, and there is something very satisfying about being flopped on a sofa and still being able to work on a spreadsheet. Not only that, but as Apple continues to refine their software, the possibilities continue to grow.


So, what about compatibility with Excel you ask? Obviously, since the world revolves around Excel, (or at least that’s what we Excel fans think…), you want to be able to import/export between Numbers and Excel the good news is, of course, that you can, subject restraints on such things as Pivot Tables (no such animal in Numbers).


Although it is 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.

Sharing Your Work

It is, of course, always good to have options for sharing your work. 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 it may not be for everyone, you may find this novel way of interfacing with your data a pleasant and productive alternative way of working with your Excel creations. Cheers!

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