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Need Office on your iPad now? Try these capable alternatives (screenshot gallery)

We may not see Office for the iPad until late 2014. Don't worry though, there are plenty of capable alternatives available now, especially when you consider people don't do much heavy lifting on a tablet.
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1 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Quickoffice Pro HD is still my favorite iPad app

We heard the news this week that Office for the iPad may not be coming until late 2014. If I have some heavy lifting to do with the full Office suite on the go, I use my Surface Pro. However, you can do plenty with Office documents on the iPad using one of these capable alternatives.

I would love to see some study results documenting how many people actually use an Office-compatible program on their iPad. I consider myself a power user and rarely use my iPad to create or edit Office documents and wonder if there is a real need for the full Microsoft Office suite or if these available, low-cost alternatives will meet most people's needs.

I wrote my first iPad Office app showdown in 2010 and wrote about the iWork suite, Documents To Go, Office2 HD, and Quickoffice. I then followed up a year later in my 2011 showdown that added Documents 2 and Smart Office to the lineup.

As I went back to my iPad and updated to the latest version, I found that the original four I looked at in 2010 have all been updated and are the ones I recommend you check out. There are new features, such as track changes and print support that really make these alternatives likely just fine for the majority of people.

Do you use an Office-compatible suite on your iPad and if so, which one do you prefer? What limitations do you find that require the full version of Microsoft Office for your iPad?

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2 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Quickoffice Pro HD: Formatting is quick and easy

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3 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Quickoffice Pro HD: Spreadsheets look great

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4 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Quickoffice Pro HD: Presentations can be created

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5 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Office2 HD supports many cloud services

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6 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Office2 HD supports track changes too

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7 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Office2 HD supports many spreadsheet functions

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8 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Office2 HD supports many spreadsheet functions

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9 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Documents To Go: Word document formatting

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10 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Documents To Go: Not as visually appealing as Quickoffice

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11 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Documents To Go: You can create presentations too

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12 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Pages is great for interactive layouts

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13 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Pages supports inserting objects

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14 of 14 Screenshot by Matt Miller/ZDNet

Numbers makes spreadsheets easy too

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