Creating and Editing your Microsoft Office docs on your iPad

By Sandra Clitter  

As many of you know, I was a late adopter to the iPad world. I didn’t get my iPad until the latest release last spring (2012). While I love the easy of use/access, I was having a hard time swallowing the need to purchase an App to effectively edit my Microsoft Office documents (after all, I’d already paid several hundred dollars for the desktop version – I did NOT want to shell out more). Therefore, I used my iPad primarily for checking emails, looking things up on the web, etc. Not for “real” work.

I had asked around my many iPad-using friends to find out what they use for Office Productivity. Some had purchased the Office App. Others use a myriad of other tools which have sprung up to close the gap between Office Documents and the iPad. When I asked what they thought of the solutions, there were varying degrees of satisfaction – from ‘not happy with the solution’ to ‘it’ll do for now’. None of those responses enticed me to try the solutions…I thought ‘there’s gotta be something better’!

Regular readers to this Blog will not be surprised that I finally got a remarkable solution – from my 85-year-old Uncle!!! Of course. Leave it to him to come up with a F-R-E-E and easy-to-use App that allows you to work within the Microsoft Office ecosystem on your iPad (Word, Excel, Powerpoint).

…and what is this wondrous app??? It is called CloudOn ( and let me tell you, it has changed my world on my iPad. One word of caution…the service is so terrific (and did I mention F*R*E*E), that it has, at times, gone down. Not my app, but the main website. Apparently, they will not allow new users to download the app if their capacity is hitting critical mass. If this happens to you, just try back a day or two later.

Anyway, what does it look like and how does it work?

First, you need to download and install the CloudOn App (it works on i-Things and on Android). CloudOn piggybacks on your DropBox installation, so if you haven’t set that up on your PC and iPad, then you need to download that service first (I haven’t tried it, but CloudOn is also supposed to work with the online storage BOX and Google Drive). For more information on DropBox, please read this Blog Post from September.

Now, let’s see how easy it is to use. Here is a document that I started on my PC (click on an image to enlarge):

Word Document Sample for CloudOn started on PC

Now, I will save this document to my DropBox folder and move over to my iPad…Tap the CloudOn icon on my iPad:

CloudOn icon

The window which appears will display your DropBox documents:

CloudOn Initial Screen

Scroll across until you see the document that you want to edit and double-tap the document to open it:

CloudOn Select Document

Add/Edit/Delete to your heart’s content:

CloudOn changed document

Any changes to the document are automatically saved (no function).

Open the document up back on your desktop and you’ll see the changes!

Suddenly, my iPad just became a much more useful productivity tool…thank you, CloudOn!!


  1. Posted October 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is great. I love my iPad, but have stopped using it for “business” because I couldn’t do much on the document side. I am definitely going to download CloudOn. THANKS Sandy! You’re always a trusted resources when it comes to technology (and other things as well). And, thank your uncle too!

    • Posted October 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      So glad it will be useful to you, Karen! Now, my only challenge is to move those ‘important docs’ or ‘active docs’ over to the DropBox folder. It certainly makes the iPad more than a ‘toy’.

  2. Posted October 4, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    I am installing the CloudOn app as I type this. How exciting! Thank you for helping me come up with one more reason to have my iPad with me at all times!

    • Posted October 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I so hope you like it…I was BEYOND excited when I tried it. My Uncle really couldn’t understand what the ‘big deal’ was (since he doesn’t really do Office Productivity sorts of things).

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