Microsoft offered a preview of upcoming Office capabilities for iPadOS on Wednesday, as Office beta testers are now able to open multiple documents side by side in Word and PowerPoint.
Support for multiple windows in Microsoft Office for iPadOS.
Detailed in a blog, the new functionality takes advantage of the multi-window support of iPadOS 13 for applications.
Technically, an improvement of Apple’s Split View, the mechanism makes it possible to open and view two instances of the same application side by side. For example, users can open a first email in a Split View pane while composing another in the second pane. Previously, support for Split View was limited to one window per application.
Microsoft is now experimenting with this feature, allowing users to open multiple Word or PowerPoint documents side by side.
There are several ways to access the functionality in beta form:
- Tap, hold, and drag a file from the Recent, shared and open List of files in the application on the edge of the iPad screen to open it side by side.
- In Word or PowerPoint, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and open the dock. Then tap and hold the icon for the same app, and drag it out of the dock to the left or right edge of the screen. Then tap the document to open it.
- In Word or PowerPoint, go to Recent, shared and open views in the application start screen, tap the “” menu of a file in the list, and then tap Open in a new window.
Currently, support for Split Screen is limited to so-called “Office Insiders” or members of Microsoft’s public beta testing program. Those interested in trying out the new feature should join the Office Insider program and download beta versions of Office applications through Testflight.
It remains to be seen whether multi-window support will be in a shipping version of Office, although it seems Microsoft has spent a lot of time and effort integrating the iPad function only.