Microsoft to Add Trackpad Support to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Apps on iPad

microsoft word app icon 2020Microsoft plans to add trackpad and mouse support to its Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for iPad by the fall, according to TechCrunch and The Verge.

iPadOS 13.4 introduced trackpad and mouse support on all iPad models released in the past four to five years. Keyboards with trackpads include Apple's Magic Keyboard and Brydge's Pro+ for the iPad Pro and Logitech's Combo for the 10.2-inch iPad and the 10.5-inch iPad Air.

When using a trackpad, the cursor displays as a circle on the screen, popping up only when you have a finger on the trackpad. The circle then morphs into various other shapes when hovering over app icons, text fields, or other on-screen elements.

Top Rated Comments

EugW Avatar
16 months ago
This may finally make Excel and PowerPoint usable on the iPad.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blackcrayon Avatar
16 months ago

Exactly. So Apple made this thing but instead of it working for apps through the OS, the developers have to add the functionality on a per app. Another reason to avoid the $300-$350 Keyboard.
And how is exactly is it going to work perfectly in all apps that were never designed for it? If they added touch to MacOS, would it suddenly work perfectly in all apps that only expected a mouse pointer?

It generally works, but apps are going to need updates, especially if they aren't using Apple's standard text fields and controls (and something tells me Microsoft Office is in that category).
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Marlon DLTH :) Avatar
16 months ago
I hope they finally add the full versions of the Office apps to the iPad, it’s the right moment to do that
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Krevnik Avatar
16 months ago

Aren't these OS level changes that work on all apps? Why would they have to add support for them?
If the developer uses standard controls, everything works. The more the developer creates custom controls (like say, the Ribbon), the more you then have to do yourself.

My trackpad works with the Office apps. It doesn’t properly support things like the I-Beam in a Word document. There are bugs with the Ribbon where it doesn’t always recognize the tap (like the other poster reports), and there’s no animation on the buttons in the Ribbon. I think they might be doing a lot of custom UI and in the process made the automatic stuff Apple provides not work. And I’m not sure how much choice you have when talking about the document view.

Another annoying bug is that there’s some stuff around making selection touch-friendly that Word seems to do that other apps don’t (tapping will try to put the cursor at the front or end of a word), which still happens with mouse input, and is just plain annoying.


By the fall, really?
I wonder if it is “by the start” or “by the end”. Huge difference there.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zhenya Avatar
16 months ago
By the FALL???? :eek:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VforVelveta Avatar
16 months ago
Office 365 users: You're going to make us wait until the fall?! Get it together Microsoft!

GSuite users: Wow, multi-window in beta, and cursor support by this fall? That sounds amazing...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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