Use Microsoft Excel Templates in Apple’s Numbers

I wrote a similar post last year, but thought I’d like to expand on this, since it is probably report card time soon for a lot of you. Numbers can be very handy for creating spreadsheets and calculating marks.

Numbers is an official Apple app that is their version of the Microsoft spreadsheet program Excel. There is an iOS version ($9.99USD) as well as a Mac version ($19.99).

If you previously used Microsoft Excel for grading, you can still transfer all your formulas onto your iPad using Numbers. Simply send your excel file over via email or Dropbox and “Open in…” Numbers. You will now have all your marks at your fingertips. If you own a Mac, you can sync your Numbers files between all devices through iCloud. Making changes on one device will automatically save on all other devices. As soon as you “close” a document, syncing will be almost instant.

Don’t have a marking template? Do a quick search on Google, find an excel file that you like, and then transfer over to Numbers.

How to:

Here is the original Excel file on my Mac:

I now use Sendtodropbox which automatically downloads the attachment to my Dropbox. (You can alternatively just email yourself the document).

That’s it. Your file will be open on your iPad and ready to be edited. Here is what it will look like on your iPad:

There are many great free Excel templates on the web: Templates for weekly schedules, financial calculators and checklists. All of these will work well in Numbers. Just follow the steps from above to take advantage of Numbers on iPad.


$9.99 might seem a bit hefty for a lot of users, but if you have a lot of spreadsheets and use a lot of numbers in your teaching, it is a worthwhile purchase. Numbers has been well received by the public, looks sleek and eye-catching, and works very well for creating important documents. It will take time to get used to doing everything with taps of your fingers, but once you master it, you will benefit from all its great features, like its menu options (slider, stepper, pop-up etc.).

As a teacher, I have used Numbers to calculate my grades. I have not found another grading app that is as easy to use as Numbers, and I heavily rely on the iCloud syncing feature. Like I mentioned before, I can make quick changed to marks on my iPhone when I’m out and away from school. On the playground after school, when a student wants to know what he got on the most recent quiz, I bring out my phone and show him within seconds. This feature has been indispensable for me.

Here is the link where I found the grading template.

Have you used Numbers in your teaching? Let us know in the comments!

Note: Once you begin working on a document in Numbers, you probably shouldn’t go back to that same file in Excel. Stick with one format, because changes on each platform might not transfer as fluidly.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Janek says:

    Wow, this is an awesome solution! I was looking for a way to use Excel templates in numbers. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Carly says:

    Can you tell me if number supports drop down lists from excel. Thanks for any help here you can give.

    1. I highly doubt it. Numbers is quite finicky like that. Drop down lists, to my knowledge, don’t even transfer over when you use it on a Mac.

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