Office for iPad (finally!) supports printing

Office 365 subscribers using the full Office for iPad, your wish is granted: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint now work with AirPrint

Microsoft just fixed the single largest complaint I've heard about Office for iPad: You can now print a Word doc, Excel sheet, or PowerPoint presentation to an AirPrint printer. The print routines support some of the options you'd expect from AirPrint, including double-sided (duplex) printing and multiple copies.

To print a document, tap the Refresh Page icon in the upper left (the one that takes the place of the File menu), choose Print, tap to select the printer, choose the number of copies and/or double-sided print, then tap Print.

Word has no Print Preview, but you can select a range of pages to print. There is no support for printing color documents in grayscale.

Excel, lamentably, has no Print Preview, but it lets you choose from Portrait or Landscape, select the size of the paper, and choose whether to print the active sheet, entire workbook, or just the selection. There's no scaling and no "fit to one page" option, which can leave you with a mass of 3-point type, if you aren't careful. As with Word, there is no support for grayscale printing.

PowerPoint also has no Print Preview, but it does allow you to select a range of slides to print. Again, there's no color-to-grayscale support.

In practice, the printing interface is a little clunky because you have to specify which printer you want to use each time -- there's no default printer -- but I had no problem printing a wide range of Office documents on an OfficeJet Pro 8600 printer.

If you already have the Office for iPad apps installed, you can get the latest versions of all three by going into the App Store, searching for the app (Word for iPad, Excel for iPad, PowerPoint for iPad) one at a time, and tapping on the app's icon. That brings up a window that allows you to click on Update. Wait a few minutes, and you're running version 1.0.1, which includes the Print capability.

Microsoft made a few additional improvements as well. Excel 1.0.1 also allows you to AutoFit multiple rows or columns, and there have been fixes to hyperlinks inside the same workbook; PowerPoint 1.0.1 now includes SmartGuides, simple snap-to guidelines on slides, and improved support for secondary displays while making a presentation.

Note that the Office for iPad apps have a full version history and changelog in the App Store. Look for the Details tab and tap on Version History. Too bad the Windows Store has nothing similar.

This story, "Office for iPad (finally!) supports printing," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.