NUMBERS File Info

Information, tips and instructions

Moving from Excel to Numbers

Files in the iCloud

If you mostly were using Office and Windows, then you are familiar with storing your documents in the local files (the classic My Documents folder). It is different in mobile iWork suite. Apple Pages, Numbers and Keynote applications focus on storing their files in the cloud rather than in local directories. When you start any of these applications in iOS, they will always start with a file browser that by default with start with iCloud Drive. That’s why before you plan to start working with Apple Numbers or other iWork mobile apps we recommend to learn the concept of what iCloud Drive is, how to use the Files app and how to organize those iWork files well.

Formats compatibility with other spreadsheet software

Another great point to keep in mind is that while iWork is compatible with Microsoft Office formats (.docx, .xslx and .pptx), the compatibility has certain limitations. For exampke, Apple Numbers and Microsoft Excel use different approach to the spreadsheet’s layout and conversion between them can lead to data displayed incorrectly. That is why if you’re planning to move your work from Microsoft Excel to Apple Numbers we recommend first opening some of your Excel spreadsheets in Apple Numbers and trying to work with them there. Also, if you plan to share your spreadsheets to people who only have Microsoft Excel installed you should understand limitations of exporting from the Apple Numbers to Excel. Apple Numbers spreadsheets can contain multiple tables within one sheet which is quite different from Microsoft Excel where one sheet is one table. Thus, when exporting from Apple Numbers to Microsoft Excel you can either export each table as a separate sheet or ask Apple Numbers to merge tables into one sheet during export. Last option could case tables displayed weirdly in Microsoft Excel.

Feature limitations

Apple Numbers has stronger accent on visual representation of the document thus many of its features are focused on doing it right. Fonts selection in Apple Numbers is different than what is available in Microsoft Excel and same goes about chart formatting.

Certain features like Macros OLE objects embedding are not supported by Apple Numbers since it is proprietary Microsoft technology. Tracked changes are also not available in Apple Numbers. For a full list of formats compatibility refer to this table.