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Apple upgrades iWork iOS apps for improved Microsoft Office compatibility

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iworkthumbApple has issued a significant update to its suite of iWork iOS apps – Pages, Numbers and Keynote – to make them even more compatible with Microsoft Office applications.

These updates means users can work on Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and open them with Pages, Numbers and Keynote respectively on the iPad and iPhone and continue to work on them.

The enhancements are designed to allow the iWork iOS apps to support most of the major features of the Microsoft Office applications.

In Pages for the iPad and iPhone, for example, it will now recognise columns formats, text boxes and text colours along with 2D and 3D charts and graphs.

The updated Pages app also makes it possible for users to track all of the changes to a Word document and include those notes when the file is opened again on a Mac or PC.

In Numbers for iOS it supports column widths, formatting, table properties and cell types.

Keynote, the iOS version of PowerPoint, supports font colours, formatting , text boxes and slide formatting.

Apple has created a long list of compatibility areas between Pages and Word, Numbers and Excel and Keynote and PowerPoint and they can be viewed here.

The desktop versions of the iWork apps – Pages, Keynote and Numbers – have also been updated to make them also work a lot easier to with Office documents.

There has been much speculation that Apple had made these changes to its iOS in preparation for the rumoured release of native iOS apps for the iPad and iPhone for Word, Excel and PowerPoint believed to be the first half of 2013.

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