Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the free and for-pay features, part of Learning Office for iPads and iPhones.
- In this course, we're talking about the Word, PowerPoint, and Excel apps, which are free to download, but there's one important variable that you need to know. Even though these apps are free, you do need to sign in with a Microsoft online account in order to do any real work. You can set up a free account, or you can pay for an Office 365 membership, but you do need some sort of an account. The people who pay for Office 365 memberships usually do so because that's the best way to get the full Office applications for a computer. The pricing is in line with that.
But if you're only using the Office apps on your iPhone or iPad, the free account is usually fine. Now, there's a very important detail here specifically for iPad Pro owners. You can use most of the features of these apps on phones and tablets, only signing in with the free account, but that's only if that device has a screen that's smaller than 10.1 inches. Any device that has a screen larger than 10.1 inches, Microsoft does not consider to be a tablet-class device.
So on an iPhone and most iPads, you can get most of the features of the Office apps with the free account. But on the iPad Pro, you'll need to pay for an Office 365 account, or you won't be able to do anything except open and read a document. In fact, you can see here in the small print on this page, it says "a qualifying 365 subscription "is required to create and edit documents "on the iPad Pro." So that's an important variable to keep in mind if you use the iPad Pro. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at what you get with the different types of accounts.
I want to start by talking about devices that have a screen under 10.1 inches, meaning iPhones and most iPads. So you can use these apps completely for free without signing in to any account at all, but the functionality will be very limited. You can open documents and you can read documents, but you're not able to edit or change documents, and you cannot create new documents. But if you create a free online account with Microsoft and sign in with that, you get a lot more functionality.
You'll be able to edit documents, you'll be able to create new documents, and you'll have most tools available to you. Now, if you want to have access to everything in these apps, then you will need to log in with an Office 365 account, which you'll have to pay for. Now, I just want to mention that I use these apps pretty much day to day, and everything that I need is available with the free account. You may not need the features in the 365 account. Those features that you don't have access to with the free account include things like Track Changes, which are very useful, but most users don't use.
Those are your options on an iOS device that's under 10.1 inches. But if you're using an iPad Pro, of course the story is a little bit different. On the iPad Pro, there's really no difference between logging in with the free account and not logging in at all. The feature set is going to be the same in both of those situations. You can open documents and you can read documents, but you cannot edit or change documents, and you cannot create new documents. So in order to do any editing of a document, or create a new document on an iPad Pro, you will need to set up that Office 365 account.
So that's what you're able to do with the different types of accounts. So now you might be thinking about creating a new account. For that, you should go to this webpage, office.microsoft.com, and you've got a few options. If you want to set up the free account, what you should probably do is go to the Sign in option up in the top right corner, click on that, choose either for home or for work, school, or university, choose one of those options and of course it's prompting you to log in to an existing account, but if you don't already have an account, you've got an option down here at the bottom to set up a new account.
You can do that here or you could actually create your new free account right inside of the apps on your iPad. Either way is just fine. Now I'm going to take a step back here. So what if you do want to go ahead and pay for the Office 365 membership? Well, we'll start on the same page, office.microsoft.com, and this time we'll chose one of these two buttons here. I'll choose For home, and then you get a list of the different types of accounts that are available and the pricing for each one. You should browse through here and decide which account is right for you, and you can set up the account from here.
Once you do that, you'll have an email address and a password that you can use to sign in to the apps on your iPhone or iPad. Once you've figured out the account that you want, and you get that set up, we can take a look at how things work inside the app. So I'm here on an iPad, and in fact, it's important that you know I'm using an iPad Pro in this example. So I'm going to launch one of the Office apps, I've got them here in a folder on my home screen, and I'm going to open up Word. So this is the first time I'm launching this app on this device, so I'll just have to swipe through these intro screens, and then I'll land on this sign-in page.
From here, I could sign in to my account. If I have an existing account, whether it's an Office 365 account or the free account, I can just tap the Sign in button and I can log in with my credentials. I'm not going to do that for now. I want to look at a couple other options. So you also have the option to create a new account right here on the device, so I could hit that Create an account button and I could set up the free account. Then there's the button that says, "Sign in Later". This is what you would hit if you do not want to sign in with any account.
I'm going to go ahead and do that so we can see what it looks like. I'll hit Sign in Later, and now it says I'm all set and I can view documents. I'll tap on that, and now I'm in the app. We're going to really look closer at these apps as we go through the rest of the course, but I'm just going to do a few things here so that we can see. Now, over here on the far right side, I want to make sure that you see I'm in this section that says New. From here, I can create a new document and I can choose from any of these templates. For now, I'm just going to choose a blank document.
You'll see that it allows me to create a document, but up at the top, there's this banner that says that it's Read-Only, meaning I can type whatever I want into this document, but I'm not going to be able to save it, so there's really no practical use here. So it says that in order to edit, I'm going to have to sign in with an account that I used for Office 365. Now that's because I'm on an iPad Pro. On any other iPad, you could sign in with a free account. You don't have to sign in with Office 365. So I'm at sort of a dead end here, so I'm going to take a step back.
What's the point of using the app in Read-Only mode? Well, one situation would be, for example, if you've got a document that somebody sent to you. So if I go into my email, I've got an email message here with a document attached, so I'm going to tap on that, and I get a preview of it here in mail, but if I tap on the screen, it opens up my on-screen controls. I can tap on the Share button in the top right corner, and one of the options here is to copy this file over to Word. So I'm going to choose that, and it jumps me over to Word, and now I can read this document, and I get all the layout that I would have in the Word document, in the Word app, but of course I'm not able to save any changes.
It's still in Read-Only mode. A little bit of functionality there. I can read documents, but I can't make any changes. Let me take a step back. Let's talk about what you would do if you have decided to log in with an account. When you first launch the app, you have that sign-in screen, but of course we've already passed that now. If you change your mind later, what you'll need to do is hit this sign-in button that's up in the top left corner, so I'll tap on that, and from here, I could sign in with my account. So since I'm on an iPad Pro, I'm going to sign in with my full Office 365 account.
So I've typed in my email address and password, I'll hit sign in, and this time it tells me that I can create and edit documents, and that's great. So now I can tap on that and I'm in business. Now if I create a new document, I do not see that Read-Only banner up at the top. Let me take a step back. I could actually open a document. If I go to the Open category on the far left side, because I have logged in with my Microsoft account, I have access to my OneDrive, which is a place where I can store files online.
So I'm going to take advantage of that by going into my Documents folder here on my OneDrive, I'm going to pick out a file here, it's going to open it up, and I can read that file here, but of course I can also make changes to it. I do not see that banner up at the top that says Read-Only. I could go through here, I could make whatever changes I want, I could type in new text, change the formatting whatever, and my changes will be saved to that file on my OneDrive. Of course, we'll be talking more about this as we go through the rest of the course.
Signing in with a paid Office 365 membership gives you access to everything, but on most devices, you actually get a lot of functionality with the free account as well. It's just important to know that you'll need to set up a Microsoft account in order to use these features. So now I'm all set and logged in to my Microsoft account, so I can use all of the features that we'll be talking about throughout the rest of this course.
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 02/29/2016. What changed?
A: We added four videos to cover new features in the Office app suite, including new cloud storage options and the freehand drawing tools. Check out the "Features Added in Updates" chapter for more information.