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Office goes free on phones and tablets: What you get, and what you don't

Jared Newman | Nov. 7, 2014
The free version of Office for iOS and Android should be good enough for a lot of people, but power users may still need an Office 365 subscription. Here's what lies behind the paywall.

Microsoft Excel
The free version of Microsoft's spreadsheet editor has the same restrictions on text, charts, tables and pictures that apply to Word.

In addition, there's one restriction related to Pivot Tables: While free users can pivot the data and refresh the spreadsheet for existing Pivot Tables, only paid users can change the layout or style of the Pivot Table. It's not currently possible to create a Pivot Table in the mobile version of Office, with or without a subscription.

Microsoft PowerPoint
Again, Microsoft's presentation editor has the same formatting restrictions on text, charts, tables and pictures that also apply to Word and Excel.

However, advanced presentation tools require a paid subscription. That includes the Presenter View that lets users view notes and upcoming slides on a separate computer. (Users can present a slideshow without these tools for free.) Inking and highlighting are also a paid feature.

In Word, Excel and PowerPoint, there ale also restrictions on loading documents from OneDrive for Business, Dropbox for Business or Sharepoint. Saving and editing these documents will require an Office 365 subscription, while free users will be limited to read-only mode. These restrictions don't apply to files stored in the consumer versions of OneDrive and Dropbox.


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