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Microsoft Adds Printing to Office for iPad Apps

Microsoft has added printing support and a few new features to its suite of Office apps for iPad, just a few weeks after the apps first landed in the Apple App Store. When the three freemium apps launched last month, the ability to print documents was a glaring omission from the apps' functionality. But Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it's now possible to print via the Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad apps to an AirPrint printer. (Various Wi-Fi-enabled printers support Apple's AirPrint software, which is compatible with the iPad and iPhone).

The apps, which are free to download but require a yearly subscription ($99) to edit documents and perform other functions (now including printing), quickly soared to the top of the Apple App's free downloads. Although the company hasn't announced numbers, it said "millions" downloaded the apps and "thousands" sent feature requests. Not surprisingly, printing was the top request.

For those with an Office 365 subscription, it's now possible to print documents within the Word for iPad app, slides within PowerPoint and worksheets or entire spreadsheets within Excel.

In addition to bug fixes, the app updates also include new features. A tool called SmartGuides in PowerPoint helps users align pictures, shapes, and textboxes as you move them around on a slide. Meanwhile, AutoFit in Excel now lets you adjust the width of multiple rows or the height of multiple columns at the same time.