Microsoft has announced new updates to its iPadOS Office apps that will bring mouse and trackpad support for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The updates are already available to download on the iPad app store.
The company said, “We know the Office experience on iPad is an important tool for the many people who use it to work, learn and create. The latest iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad models have introduced powerful new features and capabilities to enable people to be productive in more ways. Accordingly, we have made several updates to the Office apps to take advantage of these enhancements and make it even easier to work on the iPad.”
The new update takes advantage of the new trackpad support and an on-screen cursor brought in the latest iPadOS earlier in March, this year. Users who use a mouse or Apple’s Magic Keyboard with their iPads can access easy cursor control, fluid navigation, and precise adjustments on the Office apps.
Using the trackpad on the Magic keyboard, the on-screen cursor automatically alters itself to the tool that a user might use depending on the content the cursor is pointing to. A mouse or a trackpad can also be used to carry out tasks like highlighting a text in Word, selecting multiple cells in Excel, or resizing images in PowerPoint. Users who have already used Microsoft Office apps on a desktop will be familiar with the updates to the Office apps for iPads.
Moreover, Microsoft has also introduced some other new features to Office’s UI. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will now sport a new start screen and a new ribbon of feature menus. The changes to the user experience of these apps are in line with Microsoft’s recent design updates to Fluent UI across the Microsoft 365 platform. These changes aim to provide “a cleaner and more modern user experience which has proven to help people more easily find what they need and focus on the task at hand”.
These updates are being rolled out to users in a phased manner and will be completed in the next couple of weeks. Microsoft has also planned to bring multiple document support in Excel, better contextual menus, and offline file support for cloud files in the coming months.