Word Processing Apps for Your iPad

If you are a person who does a lot of word processing and doesn't like being tied to a desk, you may be considering a move from your desktop or laptop to your iPad, or even to your smartphone. Mobile devices have grown in power and versatility, and a host of new apps make essential word processing tasks easy. 

You have your shiny iPad, but which word processor app should you use? Here is a rundown of the best apps for iPad to help you decide on the that is right for you.

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Apple iWork Pages

Woman using ipad at office
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Apple's iWork Pages, along with the Numbers spreadsheet app and Keynote presentation app, comprise a suite of versatile and powerful document editing and creation tools. 

The Pages app was specifically designed to work with the best iPad features. You can insert images into your documents and move them around by dragging with your fingertip. Pages makes formatting simple with built in templates and styles, as well as other common formatting tools.

Another key benefit to using Pages is the ability to save your document in multiple formats, including as a Pages document, a Microsoft Word document, and as a PDF. As with both Google's and Microsoft's offerings, you have access to Apple's cloud storage service called iCloud where you can save documents and access them from other devices.

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Google Docs

Google Docs is the iPad resident app related to the Google suite of Web-based office productivity apps. Docs allows you to create, edit, share and collaborate on documents stored in Google Drive, Google's cloud storage service; however an internet connection is not required to use Google Docs app on your iPad. Docs offers the basic word processing features you expect in a document editor.

15 GB of space is free with Google Drive, and you have the option to upgrade to larger storage plans with a paid subscription. Docs does not connect with other cloud storage services. 

Google Docs is easy to use and versatile, especially if you work and collaborate within the Google ecosystem of productivity apps (e.g., Sheets, Slides, etc.).

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Microsoft Word Online

Not to be left out of the move to mobile, Microsoft has launched the app versions of their popular and powerful Microsoft Office productivity software. Microsoft Word Online is available as an iPad app, along side other Office Online apps, including Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive, which is Microsoft's cloud storage service where you can store and access your documents online.

The Word app version offers core features and compatibility for document creation and editing. You don't get all of the functionality found in the desktop software, but there are lots of tips and tricks for Office on the iPad. There is an option to subscribe to Microsoft's Office 365 service for a fee that will unlock additional features for all Office apps.

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Citrix QuickEdit

Citrix QuickEdit, formerly known as Office2 HD, has the ability to create and edit Word documents, and can save in all Microsoft Office document types, including PDF and TXT. It supports cloud storage access and saving for services such as ShareFile, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and more with free connectors.

This apps supports all essential word processor functions, including, paragraph and character formatting, and images, as well as footnotes and endnotes. New versions as of October 2015 have met with positive reviews and boast

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iA Writer

iA Writer, from iA Labs GmbH, is a visually clean text editor that offers you simple word processing with a nice keyboard that gets out of your way and lets you simply write. It's keyboard is well-reviewed and includes an extra row of special characters. iA Writer supports iCloud storage service and can sync between your Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

iA Writer comes with a $9.99 price tag, which may dissuade some users.

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Documents To Go

Documents To Go is an app that gives you access to your Word, PowerPoint, and Excel 2010 and 2007 files, as well as the ability to create new files from scratch. This app is one of a few that also supports iWorks files, as well as GoDocs.

Documents To Go offers extensive formatting options, including bulleted lists, styles, undo and redo, find and replace, and word count. This app also uses InTact Technology to retain existing formatting.