One of the main benefits of Microsoft Office Mobile on Windows Phone is the presence of SkyDrive, and the various sharing options available. In fact, you can be remarkably productive with the slimmed down versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote!
We previously looked at Microsoft Office Mobile and Office 365, and the different ways in which Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote can be used on a Windows Phone device.
However, we overlooked the real strength of the integration – SkyDrive. Thanks to improvements in SkyDrive and Microsoft’s browser-based version of Office, you can start a project on your phone, pick it up in the browser on a hot desk PC and finish it off on your desktop computer.
All of this is without sending a single email!
Opening and Creating Documents in Office Mobile
Office tasks on Windows Phone start in the Office Hub, available from the apps list. It can also be added as a shortcut on your Start screen.
Places is the first screen you will see, where documents stored on your phone, any open email attachments and access to SkyDrive and Office 365 (if you have a subscription) are available.
SkyDrive is the important element here, as this will give you access to any existing documents saved to your Microsoft cloud storage service.
(Be aware that although PowerPoint documents can be viewed and edited on Windows Phone, they cannot be created.)
Write And Sync A Report, Article or Spreadsheet With Microsoft Office Mobile
The best thing about all of this is that it takes place in the background – once an article is created or edited, syncing occurs behind the scenes. For anyone who used Microsoft Office Mobile with the old Windows Mobile platform, this is clearly a massive improvement!
Opening an existing document on your SkyDrive is easy – swipe to SkyDrive, then scroll to the document you want and tap it to open. You can then spellcheck, reformat and do anything you need!
To create and sync any work you’re doing in Microsoft Word Mobile, first ensure your phone is connected to the Internet via WiFi or 3G/4G. Open the menu, tap Save or Save as…, enter a filename and select where you want to save the file to. In order to make a file available on SkyDrive you’ll need to select this option.
Note that if you’re creating a new Word file, three templates — Agenda, Outline and Report — are available to help you save time. Similarly, Excel has three templates: Budget, Event schedule and Mileage tracker.
Accessing Your Office Documents In SkyDrive
A Windows Live account has come a long way since the days of Windows Messenger. Now that Hotmail, Windows Live and others have been unified under the Outlook banner, online email, calendar and contact management, cloud storage with SkyDrive and browser-based office apps are available in one package.
Documents created on Windows Phone and saved to SkyDrive can be easily opened by signing into SkyDrive.com with the same Microsoft account you use on your phone and finding the file in your cloud storage account. This can then be launched in your browser via Edit Document > Edit in Word or Edit in Word Web App. Similar options are available for Excel.
If you have Office 2013 installed on your PC, the document can also be opened from SkyDrive using the integrated tool in Windows Explorer navigation pane. Do you have an Office 365 subscription? If the computer you’re using doesn’t have Office installed, you can open the document in a temporary version of Word, Excel or PowerPoint on a suitably-equipped PC running Windows 7 or later.
Make Notes With OneNote
We’ll avoid spending too much time on OneNote – our recent guide Five Ways To Use Microsoft OneNote On Windows 8 covers this in far more detail – but be aware that SkyDrive is the real power behind OneNote on all devices.
As long as you have a network connection, OneNote can sync to its browser based version as well as any post-Office 2010 releases (including OneNote MX on Windows 8).
The potential of this setup is obvious, so if you are going to use any Microsoft Office Mobile app on Windows Phone or any other mobile platform, make sure it is OneNote. After all, I use it as a major part of my mobile working when there’s no laptop around, and it’s arguably a better mobile word processor than Word itself!
SkyDrive Makes Mobile Productivity On Windows Phone Work!
There are other sharing options for Microsoft Office Mobile documents on Windows Phone; Tap+Send (NFC) is one option, as is any email account you have set up. If you are a corporate user with access to SharePoint, meanwhile, this is also a choice.
SkyDrive is really the sauce that makes using a Windows Phone for office productivity worth the effort. Gone is the wooden USB syncing of old, there is no necessity to email documents and basically – to borrow a phrase from Apple – it just works.
In fact, despite its slow start and bad reputation, I would contend that SkyDrive is one of the few success stories of modern Microsoft. It certainly adds to Windows Phone.
Image Credits: Mack Male Via Flickr