Earlier this week Microsoft announced Office for iOS, a new app that seeks to centralize all the tools offered by the Office suite in one place. That is, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, notes, document scanning, PDF signing, and more in one place. The app is currently in beta phase and is not available to the public, however, at Apple we have already tested it to see what the first impressions are .
The idea behind Office is that it is literally the user’s office on the mobile. This means accessing, creating and editing all the documents and files you normally work with on a larger computer. Therefore, in Office we will be able to create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Although it also allows you to take notes, scan physical sheets or sign digital documents for example. An all-in-one solution that does the job.
The app syncs with our Microsoft account, so will show files that we have on OneDrive that are always in sync . As soon as we open the app we’ll see a chronological list of these files, with the possibility of putting pins in the ones that we want to keep handy. It is a very visual and perfect screen to find all the recent documents at a glance.
Main Office screen (center), document creation (left) and option to add notes, scan or create documents (right).
The app is not just about displaying OneDrive files, it also allows you to create and edit them. Specifically there are three options for creating files :
- Notes: Opens a new blank document where we can point out text to be formatted (bold, italics, underline, strike out and lists). It is also possible to add photographs or images from the Photo Library.
- Lens: Opens the device’s camera to take a picture of a document to be scanned. You can treat it as a photograph, a sheet, or a whiteboard by adjusting the settings to make the information visible. Scanned documents are scanned for text recognition and saved as a text document if desired.
Scanning documents for text recognition in Office for iOS
- Documents: Allows you to create new blank Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. It is also possible to scan a text with the camera from which to create a Word document. As for Excel, we can take a photograph of a table so that it recognizes it and creates a file from it. Within each Word, Excel or PowerPoint document we find all the tools necessary to create complete files. These are basically the tools we have in the separate apps.
Editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files in Office for iOS
- File Transfer: Allows you to scan a QR code from your computer app to transfer the Office file to iOS.
- PDF file management: Allows you to sign PDF files, create PDF documents from images or convert documents from other formats to PDF.
- Scanning QR codes: To access documents or open web links.
The app is certainly interesting. Microsoft has managed to put all these tools in one place without giving the feeling of being overwhelmed and without creating a chaotic interface. It is really useful for those who work daily with Office on the desktop. This app saves you from installing a separate app for all file types and is more than enough for quick management and editing, which is usually done on a mobile phone.
Different Word tools in Office for iOS. In AppleOffice: Microsoft will merge Word, Excel, Powerpoint and other services into one application for iOS
As always, it will depend on the use of each Office. It should also be noted that while the app allows most actions for free , having an Office 365 account gives access to all its advantages such as 1 TB storage on OneDrive. In Office for iOS, the only option that has not allowed me with a free account is to add WordArt styles to the text in Word. But of course, I’m testing a beta and limited version, so the final features available may vary when the app becomes public. In any case, for the time being, it promises.
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