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Introducing the Office for iPad Interface

The interfaces of all the Office for iPad apps are intentionally similar to recent desktop versions of Microsoft Office. As befits the iPad, the apps have been pared down to better use the touch interface, but they still have the Ribbon, the toolbar at the top of the screen, split into tabs that logically group together the different functions of the app (4.23). Each tab has controls that make sense for it; for example, the Home tab in each app contains a toolbar with the most-often-used controls, as determined by many thousands of hours of user-interface research. Tap the name of a tab to display the tools related to the task at hand. When certain objects are selected in a document, contextual tabs appear, offering controls and options related to that object (which could be a table, an image, a chart, or other document elements). If you need a little more room on the page, tap a tab name, which hides or shows its controls.

4.23

4.23 The Ribbons for (from top to bottom) Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Some controls on the Ribbon have options that appear in a sheet when you tap the control (4.24). But Microsoft has actually done a better job with adapting the Office apps for iPad than it has adapting them for Windows tablets, which still have user interface elements more suited to mice and keyboards, such as dialog boxes.

4.24

4.24 Some Ribbon controls have additional options.

At the left side of the Ribbon in all the apps, you’ll find four buttons (4.4): Back, which brings you to the file manager; File, which displays the File sheet discussed earlier in this chapter; and the Undo and Redo buttons. On the right edge of the Ribbon is a Share icon allowing you to share the document and a Find icon allowing you to search the document. (Power-Point lacks this button.)

Below the Ribbon is a document area. All of the apps conform to the standard iPad method of resizing your document view. Just pinch and spread your fingers to zoom the document as needed (4.25). All the apps except for PowerPoint work in either landscape or portrait mode; PowerPoint only works in landscape orientation.

4.25

4.25 You can use Word in portrait (shown here) or landscape mode, and you can zoom the document as you like.

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