Quickoffice: Edit Word and Excel Files On-The-Go

It’s no secret that mobile phones aren’t just for phone calls anymore; your iPhone has become your digital life in your pocket. Today we’ll look at an app that lets you take your documents with you and edit them on the go.

With the Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite, you’ll be able to make necessary changes to documents and spreadsheets no matter where you are. Our in-depth review will take you through how the application works, and highlight a few helpful tips to get the most out of it.

Getting Files Into Quickoffice

You probably have files that you’d like to bring into Quickoffice to edit on-the-go. It’s really easy to do if you have a MobileMe, Bot.net, Dropbox, or Google Docs account, because Quickoffice can connect to these services. Before you can connect to any of them, however, you’ll need to have a Quickoffice Connect account.

Tap the settings button on the home screen (it’s a gear on the bottom toolbar), scroll to the bottom, and tap “Sign In.” After tapping “Get Started” you’ll be able to set up an account; it’s not hard to do. Once you verify your account (via email) and log in, you connect your accounts.

Click the edit button in the top right corner of the home screen to begin. Tap add account, and then choose a service from the list. Enter the appropriate username and password and type a description for the account. This description is the label for the account on the main screen. When you’re done, click save. You can add multiple accounts from the same service if you wish.

Selecting Services

Selecting Services

Back on the home screen, the edit button allows you to do more than just add accounts; you can also get attachments from emails. Tap ‘add attachment’ and type your email address. Once you save your address, you’ll need to validate it; time to check your email! Then, you can send or forward messages with attachments to [email protected] You’ll have a folder for email attachments on your home page; tap an attachment to download it.

You can also re-order your folders and remove accounts after tapping that ‘edit’ button on the home screen.

Alternatively, you can copy files to your iPhone in a more direct way. On the home screen, tap the Wi-Fi button on the toolbar (there’s a Wi-Fi button in the top right corner of every folder, as well). Then, turn on Wi-Fi transfers. You should now see a URL, the local IP address for your iPhone. Type that into your web browser and you’ll get a nice web interface from which you can upload files; if you’d prefer, you can mount your iPhone as a network drive on your Mac or PC using that URL. Then, just drag your files in or out.

Creating and Viewing Files

Of course, you can easily create files from directly within Quickoffice; there’s a ‘new file’ button in the bottom left corner whenever you’re viewing folders. You can make a new document, spreadsheet, or text file (document and spreadsheets are MS Office formats). And just to the right of the ‘new file’ button, there’s a ‘new folder’ button, to help keep you organized.

Browsing Documents

Browsing Documents

Quickoffice can edit Word and Excel documents and text files. It will also view PDFs, images, iWork documents, HTML files and play MP3s. They say they’ll add the ability to create and edit PowerPoint presentations within the year.

From the folder view, there are three actions you can perform on your documents: email them, delete them, or move them to another folder. To perform one of these actions, tap the appropriate icon in the bottom toolbar. Once you’ve selected the files you want, tap the email/move/delete button.

If you’re emailing files, an email will pop up, ready for you to type in the recipient’s address. If you’re moving files, you’ll have to choose where to move them to (this can include account folders as well as local ones). And if you’re deleting files, you’ll just have to confirm that you really want to delete the files.

When viewing a folder in Quickoffice, you can tap the blue button to the right of each file to view the file’s properties. You can rename the file from there, as well.

There are two editors within Quickoffice: Quickword and Quicksheet, for documents and spreadsheets, respectively.

Quickword

You’ll use the Quickword editor when you choose to work on documents or text files. Quickword does a pretty nice job of displaying your document. It shows all images in position, and wraps the text so you don’t have to scroll horizontally. Like most apps, you can pinch and spread to zoom in and out on the text.

Double tap the spot within the document where you’d like to start writing, or tap the keyboard button in the toolbar. It’s not hard to format pieces of text after you write them: just double-tap to select a word or triple-tap to select a paragraph. Then tap the format button on the toolbar (it’s the leftmost button). From there, you can make your selected text bold, italic, or underlined, as well as change the font, font size, and font colours. You can highlight text as well.

Quickword Editor

Quickword Editor

The second button on the toolbar is for paragraph formatting. Make sure your cursor is within the paragraph you want to align before you tap the button, which will pop up an options box. You can drag the sample paragraph to left, center, and right-align it. There are also options to indent the first line, or the whole paragraph.

Working with Text

Working with Text

Moving along the toolbar, the next button brings up the keyboard for you. The next button will turn the current paragraph into a bulleted list item. There’s also a delete key, and finally, a find menu. Within the menu, tap “find” and type in your search term; then, you can use the next and previous buttons in the menu to go through your document. The find menu also has a word count option, which will give you a few document statistics. You can select a portion of text to just count that piece.

If you make a mistake in your document or want to to undo some formatting, just shake your iPhone to bring up the undo/redo dialog. You can undo the last ten actions.

In Quickword’s great horizontal mode, the title bar disappears, giving you more room to see your document.

Quicksheet

QuickSheet is the spreadsheet editor. Tap a cell to select it; then, type the desired contents in the textbox at the top. Or double-tap the cell to edit it inline. You can type in functions just as you would in a regular spreadsheet application; Quicksheet offers a list of functions in the ‘fx’ menu, to the right of the text box.

Within the function menu, tap the function to put it into the cell; you can then add the necessary arguments by tapping the desired cells. Double-tap and drag to select a range of cells. Tap the ‘X’ to the left of the textbox to clear the box and the done button when you’re finished editing the cell.

You can format cells in Quicksheet, too. After you select the cells you want to alter, tap the formatting button, leftmost on the toolbar. From here you can choose your font, size, color, background color, and cell borders, as well as set bold, italic, or underlined. You can select the number format as well (for example, currency or scientific). Next to the format button is the cell alignment button. Tap the button and then drag the sample text to choose your alignment. You can also turn on word wrapping if desired.

QuickSheet

QuickSheet

Next we have the worksheet button; tap it to switch worksheets. When viewing the worksheet list, you can tap the edit button to add new sheets, re-order the sheets, or rename sheets (just tap the name to edit it).

It’s not hard to add rows and columns to your worksheet; just tap the next button along the toolbar. If you have selected an entire row or column (which is done by tapping the row number or the column letter), you’ll have the option to delete that row/column.

Worksheets

Worksheets

Next is the delete button; tapping it will remove the formatting and content of the selected cells. Finally, the find button allows you to search the worksheet; it works just like find in Quickword.

Both Quickword and Quicksheet autosave your work, so you can easily switch between apps without losing work. To save a file yourself, click the “Back” button in the upper left corner; you’ll be asked if you want to save your work, save it as a new file, or discard your changes.

Settings

The settings panel, accessible from the home screen, doesn’t have too many options. You can set the size of the document cache and choose whether your iPhone should fall asleep when Quickoffice is open. You can choose whether documents created in Quickoffice should be in the MS Office 2007 format (docx/xlsx) or the previous one (doc/xls). You can also password-protect the app.

Settings

Settings

Conclusion

I put Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite to the test by writing most of this review in the app itself. This app isn’t the best office app out there; I really don’t like the way it zooms the whole page instead of just popping up the magnifying glass when you’re placing your cursor. However, it must be tough to develop a document/spreadsheet editor for a small screen, and Quickoffice does a very good job.

The killer feature for me is the ability to edit Dropbox files; I haven’t seen another app that offers that. Since Quickoffice has that feature, and the rest of it does reasonably well, I’m happy with it. I wouldn’t have paid the full $19.99 for it, but since it’s currently on sale for $9.99 it’s an appealing deal!


Summary

Quickoffice provides a way to edit your word and spreadsheet files on-the-go, with a range of powerful features. Although it's no easy task to do on such a small screen, Quickword and Quicksheet certainly provide a usable solution.

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  • http://www.ikreateit.com Julia Altermann

    Thanks for the in-depth review and the many screenshots. I’ve always oggled this app but was never sure if it was really usuable or not – since working on spreadsheets and such on the iPhone screen didn’t really seem manageable to me. As far as I can see, it does actually work nicely. Will probably give it a try with the reduced price right now.

  • fendy

    Can the files created be stored/saved locally in the iPhone coz this was not mentioned?

  • nevertell

    Same question, can the created files be stored or saved on the iphone itself?
    This is a deal breaker for some of us. I have a need to create several small word docs a day, and then print them out later. I often can’t connect with a phone signal or wifi, so I need to save the docs to the iphone itself.

  • Ray

    Is there a spell check?

  • xcjaxcjcnm

    i cannot edit it? helppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp?