Office on the Go!

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Recently at the hairdressers I had some time to kill. With my Android phone in hand I set about exploring some of the new updates to Microsoft apps available on mobile. Read on if you would like some quick and easy options for increasing your productivity while on the move.

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, right?

With so many applications and tech tools available it is hard to keep up. The Microsoft Office app has huge potential and we can access it anytime anywhere right in the palm of our hands. Overall, the Office app for Android comes with a ton of functionality whilst bringing the main Office apps together in one place.

Graphic containing bitmoji avatar and a screen clip from the Office App showing the Quick Capture Screen with main application buttons for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Forms.

Freely available on the Google Play Store for download. If you haven’t tried it yet, I encourage you to give it a go. You might be surprised how intuitive the Office apps are to use on the go allowing for a more productive mobile experience.

A one stop shop for quickly editing files, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, together with accessibility tools and some magic. There is something for everyone in this app to allow for easier and quicker workflows. I am a huge fan of PowerPoint in the mobile app, quickly put a presentation together and it comes with designer mode too. PowerPoint can help you to make your slides clean, professional and accessible.

Graphic containing bitmoji avatar and a screen clip from the Office App showing the 3 steps to create a PowerPoint from an outline; Start typing, tap on next and select your favourite theme and tap on save.

First off, the app joins your Cloud Storage together with Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Forms, PDF files and Sticky Notes all together behind one button on your phone screen. The layout is intuitive and provides a seamless experience across the main Microsoft apps. If your internet connection is patchy, you will be able to continue to work away on your files offline.

Do you work on shared files in OneDrive, Teams or SharePoint? The app allows for real time collaboration all within one mobile app where you can see others edits as they make them.

The icing on the cake… Working with PDFs

Graphic containing bitmoji avatar and a screen clip from the Office App showing  PDF icon with an arrow pointing to a word document icon.

You no longer need access to a scanner and the Adobe Suite to convert a hardcopy file to a Word Document, you can now do this directly within the Office app. Functionality for working with PDF files is improving all the time within the mobile app; you can easily and quickly make edits to your PDF file while you are on the move. There is also an option to add your signature using digital inking and the writing experience is pretty good. When you click to add your signature your phone switches to landscape view and the entire screen turns into a signature box.

When working on projects or joining back to back meetings I am a huge fan of jotting down to do lists or reminders on post its. This works until my desk starts to look like a wall from a collaborative activity at a PD workshop! The Sticky Notes feature in the Office app allows me to record my ideas digitally and I can even share them with others if I choose to.

More and more places are using QR codes for access, I have started to notice them for accessing WiFi or menus, the app has a handy built in reader.

Finally, the magic!

Graphic containing bitmoji avatar and a screen clip from the Office App showing the dictate button in the Word menu.

With four little taps of your finger you can dictate (voice to text) a word document and the transcription is pretty accurate. Get tired sitting at your desk, or too much screen time, mobile dictate functionality allows you to let the app do the typing for you, while you get on with something else.

Here are the step by step instructions to use dictate… Click on the Office app, click on the orange plus button, click word, click dictate and simply speak to type. This is my all time favourite time saver! Frequently, I set it up before a journey in the car, out on a walk or while cooking dinner.

Imagine if you could take a picture of text and pull the text out of the image so that you could edit, copy and use the text in a file. In the Office app you can. Imagine if you could take a picture of a table and have it inputted together with the content automatically into a table in a file… Yes, you can do that too!

Graphic containing bitmoji avatar and a screen clip from the Office App showing the Actions menu expanded to include the Image to Text and Image to Table buttons.

Presenter coach is now available on the app (in preview for testing). This built-in coach using Artificial Intelligence for enhancing and developing presentation skills has the potential to revolutionise personalisation of the learner experience. Find out more about Presenter Coach in PowerPoint from Microsoft’s Mike Tholfsen here.

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