Office for iPad finally supports your mouse and trackpad

iPad Pro
(Image credit: Apple)
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Just a few years ago tablets (opens in new tab) were mainly used for browsing the web and checking email but with the release of Apple's iPad Pro and its new iPad Air (opens in new tab), these devices are now much closer to laptops in terms of performance and this is especially true when using the company's Magic Keyboard.

In an effort to help iPad users be more productive, Microsoft is now bringing mouse and keyboard support to Office for iPad. The software giant's Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps are now receiving updates that will allow them to take full advantage of trackpad support in iPadOS.

These new updates will give iPad users using a mouse or Apple's new Magic Keyboard (opens in new tab) easy cursor control, fluid navigation and precise adjustments. In a blog post (opens in new tab), Microsoft points out that using a mouse or trackpad with iPad for common tasks such as highlighting text in Word, selecting a range of cells in Excel and moving and resizing graphics in PowerPoint are as simple and intuitive as ever.

At the same time, moving a finger across the Magic Keyboard's built-in trackpad transforms the cursor into the tool you need depending on the content you're pointing to.

Fluent UI updates

Microsoft also announced that it will bring recent design enhancements from its Fluent UI (opens in new tab) to Office for iPad through new start screens and a new ribbon of feature menus.

These enhancements are designed to provide a cleaner and more modern user experience for the company's mobile apps for iPadOS that echoes similar changes made to the Microsoft 365 (opens in new tab) experience.

Users have already begun receiving Microsoft's latest updates to Office for iPad through a phased roll-out and these updates should be available to all users within a couple weeks.

However, Microsoft plans to continue updating the Office experience to take advantage of iPad's unique capabilities including its large Multi-Touch display and wide variety of accessories. The company also plans to add the ability to open multiple documents in Word and PowerPoint as well as offline file support for cloud files.

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.