Many of you will have read the above headline and thought “Meh. Whatever.” And yet here you are, still reading. Well, if you got this far, here’s the reward. Office2 HD, the MS Office-compatible suite for the iPad, has just gotten support for Track Changes and comments. This is big because there is no other software on the iPad that does this. Not even Apple’s own Pages.
Many people have to use the track changes features for work. Translators use it to send tweaks and changes to their editors, and to get them back. Lawyers use it for some lawyerly (and doubtlessly expensive) reasons. And if you need it, you have – until now – been stuck using Office on the Mac or PC.
Track Changes works much like it does in Word. When activated, a column appears to the right of the text, and changes you make are highlighted and have lines connecting them to a note in this margin. You can reject and accept changes, and they will all be marked with your name and the time you made the change. Comments also appear here, useful for asking questions of your editor or staff.
It just works, as it should, and while there are a few other additions in this update, this is the big one. Here’s an example why:
The Lady translates big chunks of travel guidebooks from a well known publisher. Word is required thanks to custom layouts and also to track changes through various revisions. Many times we have taken a trip and she’s had to lug along her old white plastic MacBook just in case an edit was required, even though she also has her iPad. Not any more.
Microsoft has – either ignorantly or arrogantly – ignored the iPad as an office tool, and now there is almost no reason to buy Office for iPad, even if it does launch. Office 2 HD is $8 for new buyers, and a free upgrade for existing users.