Using Microsoft Office Mobile on Windows Phone 7

February 22, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Windows Phone 7 comes with integration to the Windows LIVE SkyDrive online storage, and with a new version of Microsoft Office Mobile also included you can use this to create and edit documents from the comfort of your mobile.

Microsoft Office Mobile features Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, documents from which can be opened on your device and edited. Word, Excel and OneNote documents can be started from scratch, while PowerPoint documents must currently be opened from email attachments.

Using Microsoft Office Mobile on Windows Phone 7

Before we proceed and take a look at how this can be achieved, there are a couple of things to make clear. Firstly, the ability to directly synchronize Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents with SkyDrive is not available to any Windows Phone until the release of the Mango update, expected in late 2011.

Second, Exchange integration comes as standard with Windows Phone – there is no longer a Microsoft Office Mobile Outlook application as all email functionality is grouped separately.

Using Microsoft Office Mobile on Windows Phone 7

Getting started with Microsoft Office Mobile is easy – simply access the Office Hub either via the Start screen or the Programs screen on your Windows Phone.

The first thing you will see is OneNote – there is a good reason for this, which we’ll come to below. For now ignore OneNote and scroll to the right, where you will see a list of documents:

  • Explore PowerPoint
  • Explore Word
  • Explore Excel

These are all pre-populated documents with information included explaining their use. You can start a new Word or Excel document via +New Document, while editing a PowerPoint document can only be performed by opening a suitable email attachment (Word and Excel documents can also be opened and edited in this way).

Given the integration between Windows Phone 7 and the various Windows LIVE services it might seem strange that there is no integration between these applications and the SkyDrive. However there is one application that can be used on your Windows Phone and synced with SkyDrive: Microsoft OneNote.

Syncing Microsoft OneNote

The reason that the Microsoft Office Hub on Windows Phone displays OneNote first of all is that this is the only tool prior to the Mango update that allows synchronization with SkyDrive.

To achieve this, tap +New Note to start using OneNote, and create a document by tapping into the document area to display the keyboard. You should also tap into the title area to give the file a name with which you will recognise it both on your phone and when synced.

Once you’re happy, drag the menu at the bottom of the screen via the three ellipses […] and select Refresh, which will sync the document with your SkyDrive. You will then be able to login to Windows LIVE via your desktop browser to open the document in Microsoft Office Web Apps or in your desktop version of OneNote.

Editing Microsoft Office in the Browser

While documents created in Word or Excel can currently only be shared via email, you are able to access anything already stored in your SkyDrive via the Windows Phone browser.

By visiting and signing in to Microsoft Office Web Apps you will be able to edit any document that you have stored online from your mobile browser. While this falls short of the expected level of integration between Windows Phone and SkyDrive, development of this feature is planned in order to make it a fully usable system.

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