And it’s app-solutely wonderful!
Apologies for the above, but we can hardly contain our excitement. Today marks the general availability of the new Microsoft Office app! A fair few months in the making, the new Office app is a mobile workers dream, and is sure to become an integral part of their tool set.
Fusing together Word, PowerPoint & Excel, the new app makes document creation, editing and sharing a breeze with intuitive menus and controls that feel familiar and comfortable to use, even on smaller mobile screens. Often difficult to wrangle when trying to seriously and confidently work on documents, a smartphone or tablet screen can occasionally feel like a drawback. But now, with the new Office app, Microsoft have taken their stellar suite of programs and tools, and augmented them to fit the mobile work space. They’ve achieved this with great success as it’s now incredibly easy to access the tools you need within a few taps. This means that amending tables, adding data to spreadsheets, and creating presentations now feel a lot less aggravating than in previous generations of these productivity apps.
PDF tools – there are plenty of PDF related tools in the new Office app too, which is a lifesaver. You can sign PDFs, create them directly from an image or file, and also edit and share them, directly through a dedicated PDF section found in the “Actions” section of the app. How’s that for productivity! The PDF tools echo what has been available in the desktop app through add-ins, so it’s nice to see this natively built into the app.
When using Word, gone is the ribbon found in the dekstop version. Instead, the page fills the entire screen, immersing you in your document. In place of the ribbon and it’s menu tabs are a handful of buttons which you can delve into further, if you need additional tools. In the case of Excel, for example, the interface used to add, edit and generally utilise it’s tool set have been squeezed into a vertical style menu, which feels so natural when using a one-handed device such as a smartphone. You work almost vertically rather than point and click as you would with a PC. This is great considering most Excel documents tend to flow across, as well as down, the worksheet. Additionally, PowerPoint feels quick and efficient. If your presentations are punchy and to the point, then the Office app will work wonders for you. You can customise your slides if you need to, but the focus here is on adding content and getting your point across!
There will be some additional upcoming features that will be available in the near future that you should certainly look out for. They are as follows:
Word Dictation – Capture your voice and transcribe it into the document. As you speak., word will type out the words for you, just like in the Desktop version.
Excel Cards View – This will make it easier to manage rows/columns in Excel in bulk. You’ll given a simplified “card” view, in which you can edit the key details and data for your spreadsheet cells.
Outline to PowerPoint – Create presentations directly from a list of bullet points.List your core concepts and items for the presentation, and from that a skeleton slideshow ill be generated!
We’ve already harked on about the slickness of the design elements here, but the new visual language is in keeping with Microsoft’s new Fluid design theme. The menus are simplisitic, yet the approach in completing tasks is easy, with the options available feeling within context as to what you wish to do. The way the layout is displayed encourages you to create content first and foremost. You can setup a note, so straight away you are able to capture important info. You can utilise Lens, which allows you to convert pictures (whether it be of a physical document or a whiteboard) into digital documents. Thirdly, you can create Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents. With this trifecta, you also have a triple whammy of options to start your document off. You can either scan content from images, create a blank document, or build one from an existing template. What is lacking, however, is some of the options you’ll find in the desktop clients of these corresponding programs. But in favour of simplicity, Microsoft have taken what users find most intuitive, useful and integral to an Office workflow and positioned them front and centre – and it works. Providing you flexibility, whilst allowing some level of “on-rails” guidance is a surefire way to efficient document creation that makes this app an excellent option for any on-the-go employee.