by James A. Martin

Office Suite for iPad Supports Word’s Track Changes

Sep 05, 20122 mins

Office˛ HD for iPad is one of a handful of mobile apps that fully supports Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature. It’s a solid Office-compatible suite, and blogger James A. Martin says it’s well worth the app's $8 price.

I both love and loathe Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature.

I love it because I can quickly see what my editor or other collaborators have done to my deadly deathless prose. And I can accept or reject each change individually or all at once. But when a lot of changes have been made, a document becomes virtually unreadable, making the Track Changes feature more aggravating than helpful.

Regardless of how you feel about it, Track Changes is an essential tool for many professionals. Unfortunately, most Office-compatible mobile apps don’t support the feature. For example, one of my favorite Word-compatible text-document apps, Apple’s Pages, completely ignores Track Changes.

There is good news, however. Office², which lets you create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint-compatible files, recently added support for Track Changes. The app is $6 for iPhone and iPod touch, and the iPad version, Office² HD, costs $8.

In my iPad tests, Office²’sTrack Changes feature works well. You can accept or reject each change or accept or reject all changes. The app lets you view documents in one of four ways: original (to see the original document without changes); original with markup; final; and final with markup. An author setting lets you see who made specific changes.

Office2 HD iPad screen shot

Office² is a powerful suite of productivity apps that supports lots of other Office features as well. You can freeze panes in Excel spreadsheets, use shapes and floating text boxes in Word files and revert to any of the previous 10 file versions. Its PowerPoint-compatible features are a bit skimpy, however.

Office² isn’t your only Track-Changes option on mobile devices. OnLive Desktop, CloudOn and nivio each make desktop versions of Office available on Android and iOS devices, including Word and its Track Changes feature. For more about these apps, read “3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office on Your iPad, Android Tablet.”

Documents To Go, an Office² competitor, supports Track Changes in the “full version” of its $15 Android app, but the iOS Documents To Go apps do not currently support the feature. Quickoffice, which Google recently acquired, doesn’t currently offer Track Changes in its various iOS and iPad apps, either.

If you live in a world of Track Changes, as I do, Office² is well worth its cheap affordable price.