The iPad + Numbers with Microsoft Windows + Excel

Spreadsheets on the iPadHave you ever wondered how on earth you can export spreadsheets from Numbers on the iPad to Microsoft Excel? I have and much to my dismay I found the above combination of software may as well be known as a royal pain in the proverbial rear end. Recently I decided as part of my studies in photography I would use Apple’s Numbers application for the iPad to capture a series of information for each of the shots I was taking on a roll of film (yes that is correct, film… not digital LOL).

Much to my dismay I found that once I had filled out the spreadsheet, the only formats that I could export from the Numbers application were either to Apple Numbers, or PDF. However as my main computer is a PC I obviously don’t have Numbers as the iWork suite is only available for Apple OSX.

Therefore I found myself in the difficult situation of how to get the file across to my computer so that I could convert it and continue work on it in Microsoft Excel. In the end I figured out the only way was to do the following:

  1. In the Numbers application on the iPad select the cells you wish to copy and copy them by tapping on the selected cells once and select copy
  2. Open up a word processing application on the iPad, in this case I chose DocsToGo
  3. Create a new word document and paste the text in
  4. Email this to yourself and open it on your PC
  5. Copy the text by selecting it all and clicking Ctrl + C
  6. Paste this into a new excel workbook. Obviously you lose any formatting however you get the data over and it will correctly place it into rows and colums.

Until such a time as Apple enables the ability to export to a competitors format I would strongly recommend that you use a different app (such as DocsToGo) that natively supports the Microsoft Office formats so that you do not run into these issues.

If anyone has any other ideas I would welcome hearing how you get around this frustrating issue.