Microsoft is rolling out iPad trackpad support to Office apps

If you use a mouse or trackpad with your iPad and spend a lot of time in Microsoft Office, you’re going to love this.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft on Monday announced a couple of important updates to some of its Office apps for Apple iPad users. The updates are slowly rolling out to users right now, with the expectation that everyone will have access in the next couple of weeks. 

So what are the updates? First, Microsoft has added trackpad and mouse support to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Apple added trackpad and mouse support earlier this year with the release of iPadOS 13.4, taking a different approach to how users look at and use a pointer. Microsoft is embracing that same approach, by automatically changing the cursor based on the tool or task at hand the moment you start moving the mouse in one of the compatible Office apps. 

Image: Microsoft

I don't have access to the new feature, but in the animated image above, you can see the mouse cursor change as it's moved across the image in a Word document, allowing the user to adjust its size or reposition it. 

Another notable feature added to the same three Office apps is a new start screen and ribbon — where users can access various features offered by an app. The new look, according to the announcement post, is designed to provider a cleaner interface that makes it easier to find what you're looking for.

Monday's announcement comes after Microsoft added support for opening multiple documents for Word and PowerPoint in split screen and slide over views on the iPad earlier this year, along with keyboard shortcuts. Microsoft also said that it plans to bring multiple document support to Excel later this year, along with offline file support and new menus.

If you use Microsoft's Office apps on an iPad, are you excited about these improvements? Let us know in the comments below. 

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