Word app for iPad - not iPad pro

Copper Contributor

MS Word app


Hello, I’m new here and I hope I chose the right community to have this conversation in. I have spent the past 45 minutes searching by key words to see if my concerns have been discussed anywhere else yet and I havent found anything so far, and dont have anymore available time to keep searching.


I’m here because I’m very upset about problems I’m having with the Microsoft Word app for iPad. I have an iPhone 6S and 8, and an iPad mini that I use just the word app on for convenience. For a few years I have used the free version of the Word app. I have no need for any of the other office apps, and I do not need any of the advanced Word features that come with the Office 365 subscription. For the way i use this app, i would have been fine paying $5.99 or $9.99 up front for its basic use like a lot of other apps, but basic has always been free. I’ve not been able to use advanced features all this time and it tells me it requires I unlock those features when I tried one in the past, (I assumed a subscription or purchase or something.) I didnt need it that bad. I just make silly documents for myself to print out that no one would ever see. I never really had need for them anyway due to the way i use the app. I use this app only on occasion, maybe once a month on average. I use it solely for personal tedious tasks, such as printing information I meed to refer to or a recipe from the internet when they don’t offer a print feature, to save paper and i dont have to print the 7+ pages of all the rest of the webpage garbage when what I need fits on one page. Sometimes I use it to print out images that I am referencing for some art I am doing because i need to see them all at once while I’m using my ipad so viewing them from my camera roll won’t work. Basically, I only use the basic text editing features (bold/italics/underlines,) and insertion of images. Nothing else. I do like to make minimum margins too, also to save on paper since its only seen by me. No business use at all because I do not work. That also explains why I cannot afford expensive monthly subscriptions. I have used WORD in both school and work environments so I’m most familiar with it and can create a document faster than Google docs or any other product with less frustration, or I’d gladly change. So I downloaded the word app when it became available and sometimes use Word online. Part of my problem is I no longer am allowed to use it online as a workaround for my iPad problem. When trying to use word online it always sends me to my Word app or one drive app forcing me to use it from that angle. 


Several months ago i started to have problems accessing my documents and/or editing them. At one time last fall all my documents disappeared, even the ones in my OneDrive. While those now show again, I permanently lost every single document that was ever stored locally on my ipad mini, even prior to One Drive storage, and the Word app never stored any of them in my iCloud or in iOS’s new “Files” app. I never restored my device and have only ever installed updates to iOS or the Word app. However, today there is now a folder called “Word” in my ipad’s Files app, but only one document from a couple weeks ago is in there, from when I ran into this problem again. It was an old doc from the last time I used Word and Something changed on Microsoft’s side. It wouldnt let me save it without an Office 365 subscription. I was livid. Somehow I managed to save it locally but cant figure out how because it wasted an hour of my time trying to that time. 


Today I needed to print something out to reference. The minute i created a new doc I was given a warning at the top stating “to edit or save this document you need to purchase an Office 365 subscription.” I was unable to type a single character in the blank document!! I’m furious about this. All my internet searching for articles in the past three months yield sites still stating it can be used for free without all the advanced features. I found a PDF by Microsoft that said otherwise, that it was read only for free and creating a document, saving, or editing requires a subscription. That’s brand new. I read that you could log in with a Microsoft live account or a 365 account. Well I am logged into my live account and One Drive, and it no longer works. 


Why isn’t there a purchase option for basic features like I used to have? I can in no way afford a monthly subscription, and besides, it’s foolish to pay for things you don’t need and won’t use. I’m not a company, I’m no longer part of the professional work force, I am of retirement age, have no income and no retirement savings, and have no need for the Office suite at all!  I just need basic Word for my phone and tablet for personal use. 


In the Appstore, Microsoft does NOT disclose that you can only read word docs with their “free” app, but can’t save or create new. Well I don’t need Microsoft Word to read a word doc! I’ve never had any problems with that. Why are the individual, casual users for personal needs being forced into an Office 365 subscription? Especially when they will only ever use Word and nothing else! 

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