It seems like office suites are a dime a dozen for the Android platform. Kingsoft Office is still at the top of the heap, but Olive Office Premium does a fine job of reading, editing, and creating Microsoft Office documents. You should definitely give it a try if you're looking for a mobile office suite that's tops at dealing with that particular format. Note: Olive Office doesn't provide open document, text, or rich text format support (they claim to support rich text, but I was never able to get it open a single .rtf document).
Olive Office features:
- Create, open, and edit Microsoft Word documents
- Select a text range to edit
- View images and tables
- Edit text in tables
- Zoom in/out
- Save documents with Save/SaveAs
- Copy, cut, and paste text
- File support: .DOC and .DOCX
- Create, open, and edit Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
- Edit single cell contents
- Select multiple cell ranges for formatting: bold, italics, underline, font size, and cell background color
- Navigate between worksheets inside a single spreadsheet
- Easily change formula inputs and dynamically recalculate
- View images
- Add and delete one column/row
- Zoom in/out
- Save spreadsheets with Save/SaveAs
- Copy, cut, and paste single cell content
- File support:.XLS and .XLSX
Olive Office also features cloud support for Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box. In fact, one of the best aspects of Olive Office is how easy it is to connect to those cloud drives.
Let's install and start using Olive Office.
The installation of Olive Office is simple, and the application is free. All you have to do is follow these steps:
- Open the Google Play Store
- Search for "olive office" (no quotes)
- Tap the entry for Olive Office Premium (Free)
- Tap Install
- Tap Accept
Once the application is installed, you'll find the launcher on the home screen or in the app Drawer (or both). Open Olive Office and get ready to work.
When you fire up Olive Office, you'll be greeted with the "Recent" screen (Figure A), which displays all documents you've worked on recently.
Olive Office running on the Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Note.
From this window, you can create a new document or spreadsheet by tapping the New Document button. From the resulting screen (Figure B), you'll need to select either the Word or Excel tab, and then click a blank document or select one of the pre-formatted templates.
Tap on the two tabs to see the included templates for each.
Once you've started a document, everything flows as you would expect. The one step that might throw you for a loop is saving a document. To do this, you need to tap the blue up arrow button in the bottom left corner.
Once you tap that button, a new task bar will appear (Figure C). Within this new bar, you can save, format, search, and move through the document.
A document ready to be saved.
Working with the cloud
Olive Office includes support for Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox, but the only true integration is with Google Drive — and even that has its caveats. To connect Olive Office to your Google Drive account, follow these steps:
- Go to the main window
- Tap the cloud icon in the upper right corner
- Tap the plus sign [+] in the upper left corner
- Select Google Drive from the available cloud services
- Enter your credentials for the selected service
- Tap OK
Once the cloud account has been connected, it will appear in the Cloud window. You can then tap that listed account to view the available documents. Open any of the supported documents and edit. The major caveat to this is that getting your edited documents back to your Google Drive is not obvious. Here's how:
- Any Google Drive file you work with is saved in the OliveOffice | MyGDocs folder
- Open that folder by tapping the folder icon in the upper right corner of the main window and navigating to OliveOffice | MyGDocs
- Tap the menu button (three horizontal lines)
- Tap the Upload button
That should then upload all edited documents back to your Google Drive account.
Although Olive Office isn't the perfect mobile office suite, it does a fine job of working with Microsoft Office documents. If this application can get a bit smoother with its cloud integration and support for more document types, it will give KingSoft Office a bit more of a challenge for that top spot.
What office suite application do you use on your mobile device? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.