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How to use the new Microsoft Office apps for iOS or Android

How to use the new Microsoft Office apps for iOS or Android

The Microsoft Office application provides a practical way to work with Office documents and files on your mobile device.

In addition to working with Microsoft Office on a PC, you can also use it on mobile devices when needed. To help the mobile experience, Microsoft has a new application designed for the iPhone and Android phones. Known as Microsoft Office, or simply Office, this application combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to facilitate your ability to work with different documents and use less space than each application individually.

The new Office application offers several features, including the integration of Office Lenses to scan documents, options for signing PDFs on your device, features for converting images and documents to PDF, and how to extract text and tables from images. You can even access and create Sticky Notes if you use the feature in Windows.

For Apple users, the Microsoft Office application is designed for the iPhone. There is no special iPad version. You can run applications on iPad, but only in the smaller screen mode or zoom mode available for applications optimized for iPhone. Android users can run applications on an Android phone or tablet. You will find some differences between the iPhone and Android versions of the application – mostly in the availability and placement of commands that are unique to each of the two operating systems. Basically the same functionality on both platforms.

To get started, download the new Office application from the Apple App Store for iPhone, or from Google Play for Android devices. The first time you run the application, you will be asked to connect your account. Click the Link Your Account link and log in with your Microsoft Account username and password.

After you log in, the application retrieves and displays the names of your most recently used Office files, including Word documents, Excel worksheets, PowerPoint presentations, and Sticky Notes. Swipe down the screen to see older file names. Tap the file that you want to see. You can now swipe the file to read it. To edit it, tap somewhere in the content; in some cases you might need to tap the pencil icon at the top to switch to edit mode. Tap the left arrow at the top to return to the main screen (Figure A).

Figure A

1

To manage certain files, tap the ellipsis icon on the right. On the next screen, you will find some differences between the taste of the iOS and Android applications. On iPhone, you can share files via links or invitations to specific contacts, pin files up, delete from the latest list, open on OneDrive, rename, move, delete, and see their properties. On an Android device, you can share files, delete them from the list, and view their properties (Figure B).

Figure B

2

To find files that don’t appear in the most recent list, tap the folder icon at the top of the screen. You can now browse files stored on your device or on OneDrive. You can also add locations. Tap the link to Add Place and you can then add locations for Box, Dropbox, SharePoint, and various other storage sites (Figure C).

Figure C

3

You can also search for files. Tap the Search icon at the top. Type your keywords or terms in the search field. This application shows you the latest matches. Tap the link to See Other Results, to see all files related to your search term (Figure D).

Figure D

4

To create a new document or file, tap the plus icon at the bottom. Then select the icon for Documents. On the next screen, tap the icon for the type of document you want to create, e.g., Word document, Excel workbook, PowerPoint presentation.

You can choose to create an empty file or one based on a template. If you choose a template option, tap the template that you want to use. Create your document and tap the left arrow to return to the main screen (Figure E).

Figure E

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Furthermore, you can perform several different actions with Office applications. Tap the Actions icon at the bottom of the screen. Tap the option for File Transfer and now you can send or receive files between your phone and computer through the transfer.office.com website. With an Android device, you can also share files with other nearby devices (Figure F).

Figure F

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Tap the option for Image To Text and you can extract text from photos or other images on your mobile. The option to Figure to Table can extract tables of figures or other data from images and import them into Excel (Figure G).

In both cases, select the image you want to use from your photo library and the application will try to extract the relevant data. You can then copy or share the results. With the second option, you can also open extracted tables in Excel.

Figure G

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In the PDF section, you can sign PDFs stored on your device, scan images with your camera into PDFs, convert image files to PDF, or convert documents to PDF (Figure H).

Figure H

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Finally, the last option allows you to scan the QR code with your device’s camera.

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