Kim’s Reflections on Tablet App Writing

I enjoy writing on my tablet. I did not particularly enjoy writing in the Microsoft Word for Tablet application.

Allow me to elaborate further. I don’t dislike Microsoft Word, save for their ridiculous-to-me pricing. The app was free, so I figured that they’d gotten rid of my only dislike about their product. I was wrong. The app is fine, but it’s just not for me.

When I write on my tablet, it’s almost exclusively in a Google document. I’ve expressed my undying love for Google Drive elsewhere, so I won’t go on. But there is a lot more convenience in the Google app than I was able to find in the Word for Tablet app.

First thing’s first: Opening a document doesn’t take much effort, but immediately I encountered problems.

Can you read that without clicking?
Can you read that without clicking? That’s exactly how big the text was on the tablet.

Text size isn’t a big problem, but it took me a bit of messing around until I was able to find a text size that made it easier for me to work. (There is an option to zoom in, of course, but I like to see all my text in a window if possible.) I prefer to jump right into writing a document, so this was a little unfortunate.

Writing many words on a tablet can be tricky, but I have a bluetooth keyboard that took most of the struggle out of it. As a result, I was able to finish within about an hour.

My setup. Tablet's a lot smaller than the keyboard!
My setup. Tablet’s a lot smaller than the keyboard!

I don’t like to use tablet apps to write more than a few hundred words, not even Google Drive. This isn’t so much because it’s not easy to do with the right app, but because it’s slower. Even when using the bluetooth keyboard, typing in a tablet app is a lot slower than typing on a computer, and it takes a bit more effort to make corrections quickly. I believe tablet apps encourage quick, short pieces of writing. Longer pieces should be written from a computer. (Since Microsoft Word for Tablet connects to a cloud drive of its own, short pieces can be expanded with ease.)

Aside from the annoying initial text size issue, the Word app was a lot like Google Docs’ app, so it felt pleasantly familiar to me once I adjusted things to my liking. I would probably have enjoyed the experience more on a computer.

There are a lot fewer distractions in the Word for Tablet app. Since it’s an app and not a website, it’s harder to multitask (or procrastinate) while working unless you’re using a different device at the same time. This is probably why, despite tablet lag, I was able to finish so quickly. This adds to my opinion that quick-and-short pieces of writing are best for this sort of app.

To get the text from the app to WordPress, I had to save what I’d written as a .docx, upload it to my Google Drive, and then copy + paste it and make my edits. This was by far the easiest part, and I’m very glad I chose an app that made saving documents and moving them elsewhere incredibly easy. (I chose not to use Microsoft’s cloud, due to my preference for having all of my documents on my Drive.) This shows me that my writing is never really finalized until it’s in the place where it’s going to be published.

A screenshot of my initial draft in the Microsoft Word for Tablet app.
A screenshot of my initial draft in the Microsoft Word for Tablet app.

In conclusion, I think that the Microsoft Word for Tablet app is worth giving a shot, but if you aren’t in love with writing on a tablet already it may not do much for you. I’m still adjusting to writing with a tablet (which I’ve tried to do in the past), so it was sort of annoying for me. It did offer me a lack of distractions, though, which was nice.

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Kim’s Reflections on Tablet App Writing

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