Apple Keynote for Chromebook

keynote-160pxKeynote is Apple’s presentation tool, creating and opening .key files.

Keynote on iCloud

iWork for iCloud, which includes an online version of Keynote, is currently in beta. It has been tested on a Chromebook, and is fully functional.

This online / iCloud version of Keynote does not appear to support the full functionality of Keynote (e.g. master slides or advanced transitions like Magic Move) but works great for simple text and graphical editing and presentation.

The current beta is open only to Apple registered developers, but will be available at icloud.com to users on release.

Google Slides

Slides is Google’s presentation tool. Everything’s online and it’s totally free. The big downer is that Slides can’t read Keynote files. However, there’s one huge advantage – multiple people can edit one single version at once, even at the same time – you’ll see their cursor and what they’re doing as they type. You can also do a presentation over the web, and see what slides the other participants of your meeting are looking at – neat!

Google Slides
Google Slides

Sliderocket

If you enjoy the fancy transitions and smooth design focus of Keynote, Sliderocket is worth a look. Like Slides, it’s a completely online tool.

Microsoft Powerpoint for Chromebook

powerpoint-160pxMicrosoft Powerpoint and its .ppt and .pptx files are hugely popular in and out of the business world. You can’t exactly run Powerpoint on the Chromebook, but you can get pretty darn close.

Google Slides

Slides is Google’s presentation tool. Everything’s online and it’s totally free. Slides can read .ppt and .pptx files, but it’s not perfect. If you have some funky formatting in your file, Slides will try its best, but the output can be illegible. Simpler documents and straight up formatting are usually no problem, and you can also save out to a Powerpoint file for anyone else. There’s one huge advantage to Slides – multiple people can edit one single version at once, even at the same time – you’ll see their cursor and what they’re doing as they type. You can also do a presentation over the web, and see what slides the other participants of your meeting are looking at – neat!

Google Slides
Google Slides

Office web apps

If you’re used to the look and feel of Powerpoint, and you aren’t using complex documents, Microsoft provide a version of Powerpoint for the web. It’s in beta, but it works pretty well. Just head to My Office on office.com, sign in with your Microsoft account and get rolling. While it’s easy to create new documents and export them, to open existing documents you’ll need to upload it to Microsoft’s Skydrive and open it from there.

Microsoft Powerpoint on the web
Microsoft Powerpoint on the web

rollApp

rollApp runs LibreOffice and OpenOffice on the web, so you can use them on your Chromebook. Opening Powerpoint files in LibreOffice Impress is easy – you can connect to your Dropbox or Google Drive and open them like regular files. You also have access to some more complex features that you might be used to from Powerpoint. The downsides are that, similar to Google Slides, it doesn’t interpret files perfectly, particularly for more complex documents. It’s also not hugely stable yet, being still in beta, and free accounts are limited to three documents at a time, and an automatic shutdown after 10 minutes idle.

rollApp running LibreOffice Impress
rollApp running LibreOffice Impress
rollApp opening from Drive
rollApp opening from Drive

QuickOffice

If you’re one of the lucky few with a Chromebook Pixel, you have QuickOffice installed which can read (but not edit) Word documents. We should get editing enabled in the next few months, and a rollout to other Chromebook devices from there.

Nivio

If you absolutely must have a full version of Powerpoint, you can try Nivio – it’s a web service that lets you run a remote Windows instance. It’s a paid service starting at $50 per month if you want access to Office (it’s Office 2010).

Nivio for Chromebook
Nivio for Chromebook

Microsoft Excel for Chromebook

excel-160pxExcel is still the gold standard for ad-hoc analysis up to anything that needs a database. It’s also hugely popular for holding lists of anything.

Google Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets is, no surprise, an online spreadsheet. It can read and save to .xls and .xlsx files, but complex analyses and anything with VBA won’t work out well. Those more complex functions just don’t exist in Spreadsheets yet. Simpler files, up to and including Pivot Tables, work great. The big advantage of Spreadsheets is that multiple people can edit one file at the same time, which is super useful for compiling data in a team, or ensuring there’s only one copy of the file (no more merging changes). There are a few neat touching for pulling live data in, like live currency conversion data, that Excel isn’t so great at.

Google Sheets
Google Sheets

Office web apps

If you’re used to the look and feel of Excel, and you don’t need the more hardcore analysis tools, Microsoft provide a version of Excel for the web. It’s in beta, but it works pretty well. Just head to My Office on office.com, sign in with your Microsoft account and get rolling. While it’s easy to create new documents and export them, to open existing documents you’ll need to upload it to Microsoft’s Skydrive and open it from there.

Excel on the web
Excel on the web

rollApp

rollApp runs LibreOffice and OpenOffice on the web, so you can use them on your Chromebook. Opening Excel files in LibreOffice Calc is easy – you can connect to your Dropbox or Google Drive and open them like regular files. You also have access to some more complex features that you might be used to from Excel. The downsides are that, similar to Google Spreadsheets, it doesn’t interpret files perfectly, particularly for more complex documents. It’s also not hugely stable yet, being still in beta, and free accounts are limited to three documents at a time, and an automatic shutdown after 10 minutes idle.

QuickOffice

If you’re one of the lucky few with a Chromebook Pixel, you have QuickOffice installed which can read (but not edit) Word documents. We should get editing enabled in the next few months, and a rollout to other Chromebook devices from there.

Nivio

If you absolutely must have a full version of Excel, you can try Nivio – it’s a web service that lets you run a remote Windows instance. It’s a paid service starting at $50 per month if you want access to Office (it’s Office 2010).

Nivio for Chromebook
Nivio for Chromebook

Microsoft Word for Chromebook

word-160pxMicrosoft Word and its .doc and .docx files are hugely popular in and out of the business world. You can’t exactly run Microsoft Word on the Chromebook, but you can get pretty darn close.

Google Docs

Docs is Google’s version of the word processor. Everything’s online and it’s totally free. Docs can read .doc and .docx files, but it’s not perfect. If you have some funky formatting in your file (e.g. a particularly complex table), Docs will try its best, but the output is often illegible. Simpler documents and straight up formatting are usually no problem, and you can also save out to a Word file for anyone else. There’s one huge advantage to Docs – multiple people can edit one single version at once, even at the same time – you’ll see their cursor and what they’re doing as they type. No more horrid merge changes!

Docs on the Chromebook does work offline. It doesn’t work fantastically well, but it works well enough for you to jot down some notes when you’re on the Underground or out in the sticks.

Google Docs
Google Docs

Office web apps

If you’re used to the look and feel of Word, and you aren’t using complex documents, Microsoft provide a version of Word for the web. It’s in beta, but it works pretty well. Just head to My Office on office.com, sign in with your Microsoft account and get rolling. While it’s easy to create new documents and export them, to open existing documents you’ll need to upload it to Microsoft’s Skydrive and open it from there.

Microsoft Word on the web
Microsoft Word on the web

rollApp

rollApp runs LibreOffice and OpenOffice on the web, so you can use them on your Chromebook. Opening Word files in LibreOffice Writer is easy – you can connect to your Dropbox or Google Drive and open them like regular files. You also have access to some more complex features that you might be used to from Word. The downsides are that, similar to Google Docs, it doesn’t interpret files perfectly, particularly for more complex documents. It’s also not hugely stable yet, being still in beta, and free accounts are limited to three documents at a time, and an automatic shutdown after 10 minutes idle.

QuickOffice

If you’re one of the lucky few with a Chromebook Pixel, you have QuickOffice installed which can read (but not edit) Word documents. We should get editing enabled in the next few months, and a rollout to other Chromebook devices from there.

Nivio

If you absolutely must have a full version of Word, you can try Nivio – it’s a web service that lets you run a remote Windows instance. It’s a paid service starting at $50 per month if you want access to Office (it’s Office 2010).

Nivio for Chromebook
Nivio for Chromebook