Documents To Go: Your Mobile iPhone Office

One of the flagship features of smartphones in general is the ability to read, create and edit documents from your mobile while on the go. After all, they are supposed to be mobile computers and we have come to expect a lot from them in recent years.

With a powerful device like the iPhone, it is finally possible to handle documents in multiple formats with gusto. There are quite a few mobile office apps in the App Store, but today we’re going to be taking a look at Documents To Go Premium. Join us after the jump for our full review!

Initial Launch

Upon the launching the app, Documents To Go shows a seven page manual of sorts to give users a crash course on using the app. The manual is well documented with screenshots and helpful tips and tricks for formatting and editing documents.

You can choose to skip this manual to start using the app right away (it’s easy to go back later if you need to). Once skipping the manual, we are the shown a thoughtfully designed dashboard from where documents can be accessed. They can also be searched based on their file names from this point.

Initial Launch

Initial Launch

Accessing Documents

Documents To Go allows you to access documents in four unique ways. In addition to accessing the files created on the iPhone, you can also access documents from your desktop, from email attachments and from popular cloud storage services.

All the documents created on the iPhone that have not been synced with the desktop computer are listed in the Local Files section. Tapping on the file names launches the respective documents. A full featured sort option allows you to sort documents based on file name, last modified time, size and type.

Local Files & Sorting

Local Files & Sorting

Documents To Go has an amazing desktop application that synchronizes documents to and from the computer. Changes made to the document are merged on both the device and the desktop over a WiFi connection. After installing the app, create a folder and put all the documents you want to be synced with the iPhone. From there on, files in that folder and the ones that are created on the device will be mirrored instantaneously over WiFi. You can register for the service for free from the Documents To Go app from under the Desktop Files section.

Setting Up the Desktop App

Setting Up the Desktop App

Documents To Go allows you to view and edit documents that arrive as attachments in the emails you receive on the device. Selecting the Attachments section will prompt you to setup an Exchange Server or Gmail account.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to link an existing exchange sever or Gmail account you have already setup in the iPhone. You will have to enter your credentials all over again.

Setting Up Email Addresses - 1

Setting Up Email Addresses - 1

The app allows you to change the number of mail days to sync and supports SSL login. You might want to change the signature that says “Sent via Documents To Go for iPhone” if you plan to attach documents and compose mails straight from the app.

Setting Up Email Addresses - 2

Setting Up Email Addresses - 2

The feather in the cap of Documents To Go Premium is its ability to support importing documents from a multitude of cloud storage services. In total, the app supports six different services including Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox, iDisk, Public iDisk and Sugarsync.

Cloud Sync

Cloud Sync

Setting up a cloud account for import is as easy as entering the login credentials. Documents To Go Premium does a great job in pulling the documents as fast as it can from the services. When I set up my Dropbox account for import, the entire folder structure was listed. Tapping on the files downloads them from the cloud and you can start editing them on the device immediately.

Once you have completed editing the document, you can either store it locally or can save directly to the original document in the cloud. Syncing these changes happens only when you approve them and hence you can complete the sync when you get home over a high speed WiFi connection rather than a patchy EDGE or 3G connection.

Dropbox Import

Dropbox Import

Word

Documents To Go allows creating and editing of Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, supporting file versions all the way up to the latest releases of these apps.

Creating a Word Document

Creating a Word Document

Saving the document brings up interesting choices. You can either opt to save the document on the device under Local Files or alternatively save it in the desktop folder or directly to a cloud storage service.

Saving Options

Saving Options

Editing options on a Word document includes fully functional icons and toolbars similar to the familiar UI you may be used to on a desktop Word processing program.

The conveniently placed scroll bar features options like character formatting, alignment, outline, tables, embedded graphics and hyperlinks just above the keyboard and can be accessed by swiping horizontally.

Toolbar

Toolbar

Extensive undo & redo options and a word count info page are additional perks.

Undo & Word Count

Undo & Word Count

Landscape editing is extremely simple and you can use the shrink icon to gain extra screen real estate by hiding the toolbars and the title bar.

Landscape Editing & Shrink Option

Landscape Editing & Shrink Option

Spreadsheets

Editing spreadsheets is a piece of cake with Documents To Go. Right from cell resizing, editing cell comments to row/column resizing, the process is simple and uncomplicated. For example, double tapping and dragging lets you select a collection of cells without disturbing the ones that are not selected.

You can work on multiple sheets on the same Excel document by selecting the Sheets icon at the top right corner and swiping across the screen to select the one you need.

Cell Editing & Worksheets

Cell Editing & Worksheets

Powerpoint

You can create PowerPoint slides choosing from the three different template designs. Adding content to the slides is made possible through a basic content editor with distinct sections for title, bullets etc.

Landscape Editing & Shrink Option

Landscape Editing & Shrink Option

Documents To Go can also read PDF files and the views can be controlled extensively similar to that of a desktop PDF reader.

Conclusion

If you are a student, business professional, or blogger, Documents To Go is a very useful app for creating documents on the fly. However, Landscape editing is a huge let down and – even with the shrink option – the screen real estate is pretty small for typing a document.

The number of templates and features available for creating a PowerPoint slide are far less when compared to Word, Powerpoint and Excel on the desktop.

That being said, Documents To Go Premium is pretty dependable with a decent price tag of $14.99. When taking into account the extensible cloud sync support, the price is relatively fair. And for those of us who don’t want cloud sync, there is always the $9.99 version with the same set of features.


Summary

Documents To Go is an all-in-one application with support for Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint, PDF, Apple iWork and other files and attachments. It includes a desktop application to provide 2-way file synchronization and a version with support for Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox, iDisk and SugarSync is also available.

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  • Sadru Mawji

    In Excel spreadsheet some times the numbers are xxx. How does one get the numbers to appear?

  • Tracy Tan

    may i know how to select few row in the same time in excel file in iPhone.

    thank you

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