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 3
Page 3 of 5

iPad productivity smackdown: Spreadsheets compared

It's a similar story for spreadsheet editing. Google Sheets has only basic capabilities: cell and text formatting; row, column, and cell insertion and deletion. Both Microsoft Excel and Apple Numbers are rich with functionality, and they do nearly everything the desktop versions do. However, you don't get the more complex features like pivot tables, linked spreadsheets, and macros that the Mac and Windows versions offer. Advantage: Excel and Numbers (tie).

Both Sheets and Excel offer a strong selection of formulas, while Numbers has a smaller set. But note that if you work on native Excel files in Sheets, the number of formulas and formats declines significantly, and you lose some formatting options such as strikethrough and decimal place settings. Advantage: Excel.

All three apps -- Excel, Numbers, and Sheets—offer a rich set of data formats. Numbers offers richer formatting options for tables and images than Excel does. (Excel has more chart options, though.) Numbers supports several number formats—pop-up menus, star ratings, check boxes, sliders, and steppers—that a traditional Excel user would shake his or her head at, but they work well for nontraditional but common spreadsheet uses as a list manager and interactive dashboard or calculator. Advantage: Numbers.

As of the 3.1 release in late March 2017, Numbers lost the adaptive onscreen keyboard that mades numeric and formula entry easier than Excel's more standard onscreen keyboard. Numbers' new keyboard is more consistent across all data types, and offers more capabilities, but it takes more steps to use then before. That’s likely why Apple added a button to switch to a numeric keyboard in the Numbers 3.11 update released on April 25; it’s still more work to access than the pre-3.1 version but better than what 3.1 did.

Excel provides the ability to sort contents within selected cells, columns, and rows, which Numbers does not—and that's a common spreadsheet capability whose omission in Numbers would frustrate those who normally use Excel. Advantage: Excel.

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