The iPad Lawyer | May I Have a WORD With You?
Ever since the iPad was released, I’ve been asked about using Word on it. Not a wanna-be. Not a workaround. The real honest-to-goodness Word from Microsoft. And, repeatedly, I’ve had to deliver the challenging news: not yet. Well that’s all changed with Microsoft’s release of its widely used word-processing app and other Office suite components for the iPad.
If you’re already excited about the prospect of having Word available to you in your mobile warrior adventures, then just go here now:
The app, by the way, is FREE. That’s right. You pay nothing. Nada. Zilch. Well, at least you pay nothing if all you want to do is read a Word document. You can’t do anything else with the app unless you also subscribe (that means pay for) Microsoft’s Office 365 service. (Now, don’t sweat that, either – you can get a 30-day free trial subscription to experiment and use everything.) The Office 365 service will likely set you back $190 per year (there are other options, but for most of us in the professional world, this is the best pricing option in my opinion). Just so you know, I’ve gone ahead and subscribed myself because I personally believe that the benefits of having the real Word outweighs my deep distaste for iPad app subscription services. I’m using it. I think you should, too.
So what do you get for your $190 per year? How would these word-processing options rock your mobile world?
1. You finally get a true display of your desktop created Word documents
2. You can easily assign styles, optimize character formatting, modify line spacing, change indents, and readily apply bullets and numbers to lists
3. You can drag and drop photos in real time and have the word wrap adjust automatically
4. You can insert footnotes in a document
And these are only a few of the options you’ll be able to put to work for you. And – YES – you can create a pleading on your desktop (complete with line numbering/pleading paper appearance and your firm name on the far left side) and open and edit that on your iPad with this app. And – YES – you can create redline documents with the track changes feature, as well.
I’m a big believer in backing up data, as you know. Not only will you be able to save local versions of the Word documents you create on your iPad, your subscription to Office 365 also brings Microsoft’s own cloud service – OneDrive – to you, as well.
For those of you who first explored Word for iPad and dismissed it because you could not print a hardcopy from your iPad, that has been addressed. You can now print a Word document from your iPad using any AirPrint™ printer. Of course, you can still open a Word document in other compatible apps and print and manipulate from there to your heart’s content.
Still not convinced you want to use the official Word app and pay for Microsoft’s subscription service, but you’re still desiring to use Word on your iPad? Well, I have some apps for you for that, as well.
If you don’t mind using the Cloud (that presumes you have consistent connectivity), you have two primary options, in my opinion:
Both of these cloud-based suites have free versions. Naturally, these complimentary editions have limitations (like storage capacity and access speed). But, they’ll certainly give you a real, working ability to create content in a Word environment on-the-go. Both of these services also provide (as of the time of writing this) $4.99 per month options that give you more speed and more storage, among other things. Of the two, I prefer OnLive Desktop’s free version at the moment because it appears you get more functionality than its competition.
Now, I know there are those diehards out there who want Word functionality without buying into the subscription model or relying on cloud access. I even have something for you! And it, too, is FREE.
Citrix has recently acquired an app called Office2 HD. They strangely renamed it to the truly obscure: Citrix ShareFile QuickEdit. I think it’s Citrix’s attempt to move people over to its ShareFile cloud storage services. But, I can ignore all that. Because: QuickEdit allows you to open, view, edit, and create Word documents right on your iPad. It’s not going to handle pleading paper like Microsoft’s Word app. But it’s going to do most everything else your word-processing heart desires (including tracking changes).
You can find QuickEdit in the App store here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/citrix-sharefile-quickedit/id364361728?mt=8
It also comes with the ability to open, view, edit, and create Excel and PowerPoint documents.
As you can see, there are many options available for anyone wanting to use their iPad as a content creation machine. And, now you can use Word with power and elegance.
Go out and make it a million dollar day.
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