iPad smackdown: Microsoft Office vs. Apple iWork vs. Google G Suite

Your iPad can largely function like a laptop with two of the three main office productivity suites

1 2 3 4 5 Page 2
Page 2 of 5

iPad productivity smackdown: Word processing compared

All three suites' text editors do the basics: enter, edit, and format text; format paragraphs and lists; search and replace text; insert and edit tables; insert images; and spell-check text. 

However, Google Docs can check spelling only in files saved in the Office formats, which is a major limitation because G Suite apps have very limited editing capability when working with Microsoft's native formats. Basically, if you want to check spelling, you can't do much editing in Docs in the first place. That effectively means Docs on the iPad can't spell-check.

Google Docs also treats revisions tracking in odd ways. If you open a Word file, you can enable revisions tracking, but because Docs can do so little with Word files, that’s a useless scenario. Docs for iPad can display revisions in Docs files and let you accept or reject them—but only if revisions tracking was turned on for that document in Docs in Chrome OS or in a browser, through the Suggesting option. You can’t initiate revisions tracking in the iPad version of Docs. Advantage: Word and Pages (tie).

Word and Pages offer much more formatting capabilities than Docs, such as text backgrounds, text boxes, footers and headers, shapes, footnotes, and columns. Both have ruler views. Advantage: Word and Pages (tie).

None of the apps—Word, Pages, nor Docs—supports paragraph and character style creation and editing in their iPad incarnations. All three preserve styles applied to imported documents, and both Word and Pages let you apply those imported paragraph styles to text on the iPad (though not character styles). But you can't create your own styles on the iPad, which makes it hard to do stable document formatting. Advantage: None.

Word and Pages are nearly equal in their capabilities, with only a few differences around the edges. For example, Word lets you lock specific authors from making revisions in a shared file, whereas Pages does not. But Pages offers a much richer set of preformatted tables and charts than Word does, it supports mathematical equations, and it lets you password-protect files. Advantage: Word and Pages (tie).

1 2 3 4 5 Page 2
Page 2 of 5
Bing’s AI chatbot came to work for me. I had to fire it.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon