Microsoft Packs Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and PDF Tools into One Nifty App

Want to put Microsoft’s Office software on an iOS or Android device? Soon you won't have to download individual versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to use them. 

In an announcement from its Ignite conference in Orlando, Microsoft revealed that it's beginning to publicly test a new version of the Office app that will combine the three popular apps into one primary, centralized Office app. 

Reviewers have been quite impressed with how much you can do with your phone camera from this app. It’s quite easy to turn one or many pictures into a PDF or a Word document. When scanning a table from a user manual to turn it into an Excel spreadsheet, the text recognition was spot on.

The Lens mode also has special sub-modes for whiteboard and document scanning. So, if you attend a lot of lectures or meetings, this app could make it easier to grab notes without much effort.

Plus, the app also lets you take notes, kind of like you would in Google Keep. You can jot down text, create lists, and attach images. So, even if you’re not immersed in the Microsoft Office world, the app can help you in many situations where you need to send or sign a document quickly.

In the new app – which is available now as a public preview on Android or as a beta through Apple's iOS Test Flight program– you'll be able to create new documents, presentations or spreadsheets as well as edit and view existing documents. You'll also be able to "snap a picture of a document" and make it into an editable Word file, create and sign PDFs or "transform tables from a printed page into an Excel spreadsheet."

Microsoft's individual apps have been popular on mobile. All three rank in the top 25 productivity apps on iOS' Top Charts for the category, while each app has been downloaded over 1 billion times on Android. 

Subscribe to Technology This Week