Microsoft’s Office suite of apps are how millions of users get their work done daily. Word is how they create documents and get their pitches written and edited before a big meeting. Excel is how they organize their statistics and other information they need for that meeting. PowerPoint is how they add visual aids and clarity to their presentation during that same meeting. Microsoft Office Mobile is how everyone does most of that on Google’s Android operating system.
Office Mobile for Android has existed for a while, letting users quickly create and edit documents without having to sit in front of their computer. For a while though it wasn’t something that users could get free. Instead, Google Android users had to sign up for Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription service. Luckily, Microsoft eliminated that requirement when it unveiled the Office for iPad apps.
Here’s how to use Microsoft Office Mobile on Android.
Looking for Document You’ve Already Created
Primarily, the Office Mobile for Android app isn’t exactly mean to enable document creation. Instead, it’s meant as a companion guide, an easy way for Office 2013 or Office for Mac users to see their documents and lightly edit files when they’re away from their notebook or Desktop PC. It’s for this reason that Office Mobile puts the documents you’ve already created at the fore front of your experience.
When you immediately open the app you see a list of all the documents you’ve opened in chronological order. Scrolling down the list takes you back in time. This list shows documents stored locally, but to get the best out of Office Mobile for Android you need to be connected to Microsoft’s OneDrive service. Documents stored on OneDrive show up in every modern version of Office and sync over time, making this open document screen much more usable. If you have a Microsoft Account, which you need in order to use the app, you have 15GB of OneDrive storage already.
Swipe to the left to open documents stored on OneDrive, Dropbox or a SharePoint Server.
Creating a New Document
Just because it’s not meant for creation doesn’t mean it can’t be used in a pinch. Office Mobile for Android allows users to create new documents from templates for Word and Excel. These templates include budget spreadsheets, mileage trackers and outlines. You simply tap on a blank type to create that document.
Working with Word in Office Mobile for Android
Working with the Word App in Office Mobile for Android is pretty straight forward. You are dropped into a blank page where you can immediately begin creating your document using your Android smartphone’s default keyboard. Gesture keyboards like Swipe work. You can also use the Google Keyboard to dictate entire sentences.
The Menu on your right allows you to choose a name for document and alter its formatting.
Double tap on an individual word to select it and the pull the two circles across from each other if you’d like to add words to what you’ve selected.
Pressing the button in the top left corner takes you back to the Office Mobile for Android main area. When you tap this option you’re asked if you want to save the document you are working on.
Working with Excel
Excel documents follows most of the same guide lines.
The menu on the right allows you to change the sorting on whatever you’re looking at. Up top are buttons for switching between sheets in an Excel book.
There’s an magnifying glass that lets users search their entire Excel spread for numbers
Working on one cell in the spreadsheet is as simple as tapping on it. Working on multiple cells requires users to tap on the cell they’d like to start with and then slowly move their finger in either direction.
Once you’ve select a cell you can add numeric values or try your hand at creating a simple formula to do something with the numbers you’ve already added to your spreadsheet.
OneNote, while included in the Office suite of productivity apps on Windows, isn’t included in Office Mobile. Instead, there’s a separate OneNote app for Android users.
It’s important that you understand Office Mobile is just a stop-gap for Microsoft. As such, it isn’t a good idea to depend on it daily for anything else than light notes and creating new documents. Office Mobile has a really hard time with formatting created by Office 2013. Other Office apps automatically save, but Office Mobile for Android doesn’t, leaving you vulnerable to any crashes that might occur. Lastly, PowerPoint creation is completely missing from the app. Test the app to make sure it has the features that you need so there aren’t any surprises waiting for you when you’re really need them.
Microsoft does have another slate of Office apps available in the Google Play Store, but they’re specifically for Android Tablets.