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How to Turn Your iPad into a Handy Office Document File Viewer

While sipping your morning coffee, an email with an unknown file has arrived into your inbox on iPad from a friend in Denmark. The friend is asking you to proofread her resume ASAP. No problemo, but unexpectedly Google Drive tells that the file cannot be viewed. Ouch!

So how can you view the document on iPad? How to save it to your iPad in an easily accessible way? Maybe convert it to the .doc format but, again, how?

You’re starting to panic. Your coffee is getting cold.

And what if there’s not only a .doc file you ever need to open, but files of other formats like .ods, .csv or .rtf – how to quickly preview them?

You go to refill your coffee and notice that there are still more croissants. You grab them all.

Your adrenaline is up and suddenly you think to yourself: “iPad is such a magical device and you’re living in the age of technology so there’s MUST be a solution to that problem.” And you’re right!

The conventional wisdom tells us that we cannot read a file without an app that is compatible with that file. That’s false for the cloud computing era. 

To view and edit office docs on your iPad all you need is a browser and

As the iPad doesn’t have a file system, rollApp allows you to work with files (open, save, edit) directly in your Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box account. So if you want to view a document – that resume from your friend – just create your rollApp account and connect your favorite cloud storage to it.

Then, using Chrome or Safari, go to an office app on – for example LibreOffice Writer or OpenOffice Writer, click Launch Online, use File > Open to locale the file you previously saved in your cloud storage. And you’re all set! 

Below are just some major file formats you can open and view with OpenOffice apps via rollApp on your iPad:

Text documents:
OpenDocument formats (.odt, .ott, .oth, and .odm):

Microsoft Word 6.0/95/97/2000/XP (.doc and .dot)
Microsoft Word 2003 XML (.xml)

Microsoft Word 2007 XML (.docx, .docm, .dotx, .dotm)
Microsoft WinWord 5 (.doc)

WordPerfect Document (.wpd)
.rtf, .txt, and .csv

Portable Document Format (.pdf)

OpenDocument formats (.ods and .ots)

Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP (.xls, .xlw, and .xlt)
Microsoft Excel 4.x–5.0/95 (.xls, .xlw, and .xlt)

Microsoft Excel 2003 XML (.xml)
Microsoft Excel 2007 XML (.xlsx, .xlsm, .xltx, .xltm)

Microsoft Excel 2007 binary (.xlsb)
Lotus 1-2-3 (.wk1, .wks, and .123)

Data Interchange Format (.dif)
Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Text CSV (.csv and .txt)

Opening presentations:

OpenDocument formats (.odp, .odg, and .otp)
Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP (.ppt, .pps, and .pot)

Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx, .pptm, .potx, .potm)