Accessibility of Office for iPad?

iOS & iPadOS
Hi, Is office for iPad accessible? What are your experiences? Thanks



Submitted by jjpogi on Friday, March 28, 2014

Not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't seeing as their Mac Apps weren't accessible

Submitted by Steve Markham on Friday, March 28, 2014

Hello, with out an office 365 subscription you don't get most of the functionality the apps offer. You can get a free trial for office 365 or a student version which will be much cheaper than buying it from inside the app. You can also buy the subscription from amazon and it is much cheaper than from Microsoft direct or than buying in the app. I have the word app on my iPad but haven't bothered with the 365 trial. I haven't seen any unlabled buttons or anything but I haven't had a chance to have a proper look at the app.

Submitted by Christina on Friday, March 28, 2014

I have not used Office products myself on my Mac or iPhone however from what I have been told, office does not work on the mac unless using Windows and I have not heard of anyone just having it on their IOS device (iPod or iPhone).

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Friday, March 28, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hello Paras,

First, I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to using word processing apps on the iPad, so take my answer for what it is worth.

I tried the Microsoft Word app on my iPad Mini 2 yesterday and found only one mislabeled button. I was able to type text in the file, navigate the menus to do some basic formatting (although I have no way of knowing whether the changes were actually applied, but that is likely a limitation of my lack of skills in using word processing iOS apps in general). I was also able to successfully save a document to my iPad.

If anyone else who has experience with word processing apps on iOS devices (pages, etc.) could please submit one or more of the Office apps to the iOS App Directory, we would greatly appreciate it.

Submitted by Saqib on Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hi. I have a subscription to the Office 365 and I gave it a fair crack yesterday and I can confirm that the ribben menus don't open when I tap on them with Voiceover running. Nothing happens when I tap on the Home, Insert tabs. Only the file menu works along with the ability to alter text to bold.

Submitted by Saqib on Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hi. Just to add to my comment above! Whenever I save a document! It doesn't show up in Googledrive even when it shows on the iPad as saved in Googledrive. The document is not showing up on my PC. The move to cloud button is dimmed so I'm sure that the app thinks that the document has been saved within the cloud storage folder.

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I am not having a problem accessing the ribbon menus in Word for iPad using either touch or bluetooth keyboard on my iPad Mini Retina running IOS 7.1. I've worked my way through most of the menu choices and am pleasantly surprised by how thorough the folks at MS have been in labelling the menu items and making them accessible using standard VO touch gestures and keyboard key combinations. Using touch, I can locate the desired menu, double-tap it, and then either swipe right past the other ribbon tabs to reach the selected submenu items, or I can find them by moving my finger down the screen. With a Logitech K760 bluetooth keyboard I can use standard VO keystrokes to move between menu items, activate menus and choose items within menus, though the current well-documented IOS7.1 BT keyboard bug must be kept in mind during the process.

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Sunday, March 30, 2014

I am pretty sure Google Drive is not currently supported as a destination for saving files in the current version of Word for iPad, at least not as of this writing. Neither is Dropbox. Documents can, of course, be opened with Word via the "Open in..." option from both the Google Drive and Dropbox IOS Apps, but changes made to those documents are not saved back to their original locations. The Choice of where to save documents is currently limited to local storage on the iPad and the various Microsoft cloud-based options such as OneDrive and Sharepoint. BTW, all Office 365 subscribers have access to OneDrive storage. . I was able to browse documents stored in my OneDrive folders, open them, and save them back, all from within Word for iPad. There is also an autosave feature which I believe is turned on by default.

Submitted by Travis Roth on Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Club AppleVis Member
Microsoft has a list of keyboard shortcuts that can be used with external keyboards and the apps Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You can find them here: I was successful in opening Word, logging into my Office 365 account, and accessing OneDrive. I would note that upon the first time opening these apps a little tutorial/intro is displayed and the pages scroll automatically every few seconds until the end. This may be disorienting but once the last page was shown I had no issues in finding the Continue button and getting down to business. Once I opened a file in Word I was disappointed in that the document seems to be conveyed to VoiceOver as just a text edit field. I could not find a way to determine formatting. For example, headings, even though I knew the file I opened used headings. Likewise I could not navigate the document such as moving by heading. At this point it seems possible to use it to read a Word file, though you could do that already with iOS. And to write simple documents perhaps. Excel was similar in my experience. Again, no problem to browse my OneDrive storage space and to open a spreadsheet. It is possible to read the contents of cells in the spreadsheet, and in some ways reading a spreadsheet by touch can be nicer than the traditional arrow cell by cell and is another way to get a mental picture of the spacial layout of content. I was also able to type in a cell, but did not find a way to check formatting, etc., the same issue as in Word. The apps are accessible in a way. I do not find they are currently sufficient for my office productivity needs at this time as I need to be able to check formatting, set styles, edit tables in Word documents, and so forth. But perhaps others will find ways and can share them with us, or the next version will be better with more features.

Submitted by Andrew on Tuesday, April 1, 2014

With office for I-Pad being released, Microsoft issued an update to the office for I-Phone application. You can now view/edit your Microsoft word/excel/powerpoint documents for home use. Can anyone confirm that the Microsoft word in this application is not accessible like it is on the I-Pad? I would really appreciate it. I have attempted to use the office for I-Phone application, without a 365 subscribtion. I am not able to edit the word documents, but my wife who is sighted can, so you can do it, as it is free to view/edit the documents for home use with this app, but am I doing anything wrong in trying to access the editing features inside of the office for I Phone app incorrectly using VO? Or is the accessibility of the two word portions of the two respective apps just different in that one is accessible with vo and the other isn't? -Andrew-

Hmm Interesting. Maybe ms will change it so you cannot edit documents without a live office subscription. Hey it's another way for them to prophet whilst we get screwed.

Anyway I hope you get your answer about office for iphone.