Last November, Microsoft unveiled its plan to unify Office's mobile applications in a single application. Offered in public preview for several months, Office for Android is now available in a stable version for all users.
The application, which combines Word, Excel and PowerPoint, also includes Office Lens, the tool for scanning documents using the smartphone's camera, and Notes, the utility for creating small sticky notes.
If the documents created in the application are stored locally on the device, it is also possible to configure a Microsoft account in order to synchronize everything. But Office on Android offers much more than just creating and editing office documents. Microsoft has in fact chosen to integrate a certain number of additional functions (file transfer, extraction of content from an image, creation of PDF, etc.) which make it the most efficient productivity application of the moment.
Here's everything you need to know to create, open, and edit all of your documents in Office for Android.
1. Connect your Microsoft account
The step is not mandatory, but connecting your Microsoft Office for Android account will do you a lot of service.
The files you create on your smartphone will not only be stored locally on your device, but they will also be saved on the OneDrive storage space associated with your account. You will also be able to access the attachments of your emails as well as your notes.
To connect your Microsoft account, open Office, tap the profile icon at the top left, and tap Connect an account.
Enter your username and password and validate. You should instantly see all the documents stored on your OneDrive space in the app.
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2. Change the default backup location
This step is not compulsory, but highly recommended. It will allow you, for example, to define the display mode of your documents, but above all to configure the default backup location.
Open Office, tap your profile and enter the settings. Under title File preferences, enter the menu Default storage location. The application is configured to natively save all your documents on your OneDrive space and on your smartphone.
But it is quite possible to connect another Cloud location, outside of OneDrive. Press on Add location and connect your other online storage spaces.
3. Browse the files
The Office home page defaults to the documents you interacted with most recently. Documents stored locally can be recognized by the small icon depicting a green smartphone, while documents stored in the cloud display a small cloud on which it is enough to press to load the document locally.
To navigate among the different recent files, press the drop-down menu Home, at the top of the window, to select the type of document you are looking for. To browse your different storage spaces, tap the folder icon at the top right.
Next to each of your files, the options button allows you to share the document, share it as a PDF, or remove it from the list.
4. Create or edit a document
Editing an existing document will be done simply by pressing on it to open it. To create a new document, return to the Office home page and press the button. +. There are three choices:
- Notes: for quick note taking
- Lens: to scan a document with Office Lens
- Documents: to access Word, Excel and PowerPoint
For these three tools, you can, as on a PC, choose to create a blank document or use an existing template. But each also incorporates another possibility.
In Word, it is possible to create a document by extracting text from an image using the option Analyze the text which is none other than an OCR function. You will have to think carefully to crop the selection in order to analyze only the text areas, otherwise Word will also display image pieces in your document. The gnr document should then display the text extracted from the image, as well as the image, which can be deleted, at the bottom of the page.
In the same way, Analyze the table will generate an Excel table from the photo of an existing table.
Finally, it will be possible to generate a PowerPoint presentation template by selecting Choose images to select images stored on your device. The presentation will then include as many slides as images chosen.
For better readability of your documents, you can choose to use the mobile display, which is clearer on the small screens.
At the bottom of the window, you will find the toolbar specific to each application for editing and formatting your documents as from the desktop version of the application. Then save your documents by pressing the small check mark at the top left of the interface.
5. Use Actions
In addition to unifying the tools of the Office automation suite within a single application, Microsoft had the very good idea of integrating Actions. These small functions can be used independently of office tools.
From the Office home page, just press stock to discover them:
- Transfer files : allows you to transfer files between your smartphone and your PC. To operate, simply pair your smartphone and your PC by scanning a QR Code displayed on the computer by going to the address transfer.office.com. The PC web browser then acts as an interface for sending / receiving files between the smartphone and the PC.
- Share proximity: allows you to quickly share documents with another nearby Android smartphone. Both devices only need to activate the function Share proximity from Office to easily exchange documents.
- Text image: similar to the built-in Word function, Text image allows you to extract the fly from the text displayed on a photo. Just take a picture of the document, crop the area from which you want to extract the text and validate. Office then displays a pop-up allowing you to copy the content to the clipboard to paste it elsewhere, or to share it.
- Table image: same principle as in Excel. This function proposes to extract a table from an image for editing in Excel or copy it directly to the clipboard of the device to paste it into another tool.
- Sign a PDF: opens a file in PDF format to affix a handwritten signature. To do this, you will need to press the area of the document where you want to sign. The smartphone will then go into landscape mode to allow you to create your handwritten signature by signing with your finger. The signature can then be moved and resized according to your needs.
- Scan to PDF: allows you to scan a stolen document in PDF format to save or share it immediately.
- Pictures in PDF format: allows you to generate a PDF file from the images stored on your phone, with the possibility of annotating it, to save or share it.
- Document in PDF format: Quickly convert any Office document stored on your device or in the cloud.
- Scan the QR Code: opens the QR scanner and saves a note containing the scan link.