Thursday, April 10, 2014

Printing from Microsoft Office (Word, Excel) on your iPad

Microsoft’s recently released Office for iPad apps that are a part of their Office 365 ecosystem.  This is a great book for teachers and students everywhere.  But, anytime something like this is released -- we often hear as much about what it doesn't do as what it does do.  Some of the biggies are -- not being able to save or open natively from DropBox.  Well, Microsoft doesn't own DropBox... but they do own OneDrive.  So that's what they've chosen to support.  However, you can still open documents from DropBox by using the "Open In" feature within DropBox, then selecting the App (but that's another BLOG post :)).  And then there's the "you can't edit or create unless you subscribe" thing.  But, hey, that's just how it is.

One glaring omission is that lack of a native printing option from any Office application.  I love Word and Excel, but if I can't print from it when I need to -- it has limited value.  And since this is an important thing, I've found some options for you (and me)!

You can -- of course -- work on your documents and then print them from a different App.  But that seems silly.  So, here are a couple of options to print from apps like Word or Excel, that do not support printing natively:ACTPrinter (Houdah Software, $3)
ePrint (Microtech, $3)
ThinPrint Cloud Printer (Cortado, free)

You'll need to download one of these (or another similar) app.  Then open the document in question in Word or Excel.

Once open, look for the three dots at the lower right hand corner and select "Open in Another App".  Then select the appropriate app you have installed to send your document to.  The rest is handled by the app itself (as far as what printer and so on).

I can talk about the apps themselves in another BLOG post, but that's about it for now until Microsoft decides to support printing on iOS.  But, at least you can have your students creating, editing and now printing from their iPads.

*UPDATE* As of the April 29th update to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote now includes printing built-in.

Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  He also has a new novel coming out in June 2014, The Kill Commission.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

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