Apple offers iOS users free equivalents to most apps in Microsoft’s 365 suite — Excel included. Numbers, as the Apple version is called, will allow you to open, edit, and create spreadsheets for free on your iPad.
While the default file type for Numbers isn’t the .xlsx file type you’re used to with Excel, you can easily export spreadsheets to match the output you’re looking for, according to Apple.
- Open the spreadsheet you’re trying to export to Excel in Numbers and tap the More button.
- Select Export and choose Excel as the format.
- Select the method you would like to use to share your spreadsheet.
You can also open Excel spreadsheets using Numbers on your iPad. This can be done using the Numbers spreadsheet manager or other apps on your iPad, such as email or messages.
- To open Excel spreadsheets saved to your iPad using Numbers, locate the file using the spreadsheet manager and tap it.
- If you’re in another app, like email or messages, you can add the file by tapping the Share button and selecting Copy to Numbers.
While Numbers is a great free alternative to Excel for the iPad, it is worth noting that you can still open and view spreadsheets for free using the official Excel app without a Microsoft 365 subscription.