Office 365 - Word _Unable to reference DESPERATE NEED OF HELP!

Copper Contributor



In desperate need of help after being unsuccessful at reaching anyone on support and the MS webpages failing to provide information relevant. 


I am working from a 2023 iPad Pro and have an office 365 account. I have also downloaded the word app. 


However, I cannot get a full version of word no matter what I do - for example I cannot reference or add citations; the option simply isn’t there at all. 


When YouTubing I saw that someone said that the online word version doesn’t offer this (how absolutely crazy!!!!!!)) .. so I downloaded the app and all it does it revert me back to the online version. 


I also now tried to buy office 2020 but it wont let me and only offers the office 365 which is what I already have. 


Can anyone at all help me and tell me how on earth i can open a proper and full version of word as I’m a working professional not only needing this for work but also studying a degree! It’s taken 3 days of researching and troubleshooting myself to get nowhere and resort to asking on here so any help will be massively appreciated! Thank you so much :D 


Let me know if you need more inoffensive to help me. 

5 Replies

@Victoria1303  The issue is that you are using an IPad.  There are many facilities that are available in the Windows Desktop application that are not available in the On-line version, which is all that can be used on an IPad. 


Thank you for your reply. So is there nothing I can do on the iPad to get the proper version? Is my only option to work from a laptop? (Which I don’t hve)

As Doug Robbins stated earlier, the cloud apps don't have all the features the desktop apps have. This is true for both the Mac and PC so its not just an iPad issue. If you have a Mac desktop or laptop, the Office full version can be installed on those where you can edit the files then you can open in your iPad.



The full set of features exist only in the Office applications that run on a PC or Mac. 


I don't know if there is a complete list of supported functionality somewhere, but you may want to start at 


You may be able to access a desktop version at a public library or school. Otherwise, you could get a trial version of Microsoft 365 if you have a full computer available.


See Compare Word features on different platforms - Office Support.

  • These programs are all named Word and they are all created and published by Microsoft.
  • They all can edit the same document files that have the same file structure. Some of the programs have no control over some of the document structures.
  • But, they are different programs with different features and controls.


As of September, 2023, the most powerful one of these, with the most features, is the Windows desktop application. I do not expect that to change.


The Macintosh desktop application is second with number of features. The things available in the Windows version not yet on the Mac version include Content Controls, Building Blocks, UserForms, and ActiveX. It can use, but cannot create, or modify most Content Controls. AutoText is a Building Block that the Mac can and does use.


The browser version of Word – Word Online – has a Transcribe feature that has recently been added to the Windows desktop version of Microsoft 365’s Word. Otherwise, the browser version has far fewer features and editing in it has been reported to mess up automatic numbering. Chromebooks use a version of this or of the Android mobile app. Differences between using a document in the browser and in Word


The mobile applications (Android/IOS, etc.) vary somewhat but have far fewer features. I would use them for note taking and for quick viewing/printing, but not for editing. Especially not for editing long or complex documents.