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Microsoft Office mobile phone apps - do they work?

Microsoft Office mobile phone apps - do they work?
Thanks to the advent of Microsoft Office apps, you can use Word, Excel and Powerpoint on the go. But are the apps any good? Mark investigates.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in favour of being able to work from a variety of locations in a myriad of situations. However, until fairly recently I was pretty sceptical about the ability of the mobile Office apps. If you were wondering the same thing, here is a brief musing on my findings…

Word
Whilst the Word app will quite happily let you view and edit documents it will only do so for .docx files. I found that other features that I am accustomed to on my computer were sadly missing. Recently an update to the apps available on the Android platform has allowed the creation of Word documents and the ability to save them to OneDrive. The menus are unfortunately all hidden and some deft work is needed to locate the menus.

Excel
With Excel I have found it easier to setup an Excel worksheet on a computer and then save it to the OneDrive. When you then open it on your phone calculations will be performed when data is entered. Once again it is quite cumbersome to create a spreadsheet from scratch and use it efficiently. To edit the data in a particular cell you need to click on the cell and then click edit rather than the normal route of Excel just being able to click and type.The other issue I have noticed when inserting a function, there is no prompt for the correct syntax for the function. It is probably best to only use the functions you are familiar with.

Powerpoint
Once again, work is needed on the end users part to find the correct menus. Only basic transitions and animations are available within the phone app. However, when I was testing it did appear to support most of the visual effects that were used in a presentation created on a computer. I did find that rotating the screen did sometimes show additional menus and tabs which did make finding the menu I was looking for easier, but not in all cases.

In conclusion, the apps on the mobile are a useful addition to the Microsoft suite but are only really suitable for amendments and additions to existing documents and not really a full blown mobile solution. With the migration to mobile computing I am sure, in time, the apps available on phones will get to the point where they can be used productively, but currently they are only an extension to the software available for computers.

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