Cloud

Kingsoft Office: Finally, a real Office suite for Android tablets

Find out why Jack Wallen is so impressed with Kingsoft Office, a free mobile application for Android tablets.

I've tried numerous Office tools for the Android tablet, but none have made me immediately say, "Wow!" However, that is exactly what I said when I first fired up Kingsoft Office. This is a serious tool with an incredibly familiar interface that will have you viewing and editing .doc, .docx, .txt, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, and .pptx  files in seconds. It will definitely help you take your office on the go.

Kingsoft Office features

  • View PDF files
  • User-friendly and nice UI
  • Built-in file manager that can automatically organize your Office document
  • Tight integration with the mail application: you can open attachments and directly send them after modification
  • Support the cloud storage services with WebDAV protocol
  • Support copy and paste between apps
  • View and edit documents in Page-Layout or Web-Layout
  • Switch between Edit and Reader Mode
  • Full-screen reading mode
  • Select the text with a magnifying glass to aid positioning
  • Display a variety of graphic objects
  • Open encrypted documents
  • Save encrypted files (.doc format only)
  • Document header and footer support (.doc)
  • Document comment and revision support (.doc)
  • Display tables wrap effects in .doc files
  • Adjust paragraph indentation and spacing
  • Auto-Filter
  • Search and Sort
  • Freeze panes
  • Formulas
  • Display charts, view chart details
  • Select cells by trackball or keyboard arrow keys
  • Display AutoShapes in .xls files
  • Display radar charts, separation pie charts, composite pie charts, ring charts, etc (.xls only)
What most Kingsoft Office users will appreciate more than anything is the user interface (Figure A). The UI is not only incredibly user-friendly, but it will feel familiar in the hands of anyone who's used Microsoft Office Word, LibreOffice, or just about any Office suite. Figure A

The main toolbar can be hidden by tapping the icon in the upper left corner. This will give you more screen real estate (if needed).

Installation/usage

The installation of Kingsoft Office is simple:

  1. Open up Google Play
  2. Search for "kingsoft office" (no quotes)
  3. Tap Install
  4. Tap Accept & Download

Once it's installed, you'll find the app in the Application Drawer or as an icon on your home screen. Either way, open it up and get ready to start creating and editing documents.

Connecting to cloud storage

One of the nice features of Kingsoft Office is the built-in Cloud Storage support. You can connect to:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Docs
  • Box.net

To connect Kingsoft Office to your cloud service of choice, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on Cloud Storage
  2. From the list of available services (Figure B), select the cloud you want to connect to
  3. Enter your credentials
Figure B

Obviously, you have to already have an account with one of these services before you set it up here.

Your Office suite is now connected. As for sending documents to your cloud, that's not quite as obvious. Here's how:

  1. Open up (or create) your document
  2. Make your edits or additions
  3. Save the document
  4. In the upper right corner, click the cloud icon (Figure C)
  5. Okay the action

That's it. The file should now be saved to your cloud service of choice.

Figure C

The files and folders you see are on my connected cloud storage, not the device.

The rest of the Kingsoft Office usage is fairly straightforward. If you've used an Office suite, you'll be good to go. Just in case, here are a few quick tips:

  • The Folders icon will open up the Home directory on your device. Here you can access your "My Documents," SD card, device, and the file manager.
  • To change to a different document (from the Kingsoft Office main screen), simply swipe your finger to either the left or right. Once your document is in the center position, tap the document to open it.
  • To go into full-screen Reader Mode, simply tap the Reader button within the document in the upper right-hand corner (Figure D).
Figure D

To get out of full-screen Reader Mode, tap the tablet Back button.
  • When in either Edit or Reader Mode, you can long-press anywhere in the document and then drag to select a section of text. Once the magnifying glass appears (Figure E), drag your finger to the end of the section, and that entire selection will open, ready to Cut, Copy, or Share.
Figure E

The blue vertical line indicates the beginning of the selection.

Anyone who longs to have a solid Office suite on the go will be more than satisfied with the feature set and performance of Kingsoft Office. Do you use Kingsoft Office on your Android tablet? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

About

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 getjackd.net.

6 comments
AtlantaTerry
AtlantaTerry

I'm tired of Android apps that don't seem to understand that system memory is limited but my SD card offers a huge amount of space. Will this app directly install to my SD card without first trying to install to my system memory which forces me to later then try to move the app to my SD card.

MCleveland
MCleveland

I know I'm being lazy, but for the sake of being complete: What are the hardware and Android O/S requirements?

The Cars Forever
The Cars Forever

The biggest thing our users want to do with a tablet is a 'real' PowerPoint presentation. If we could find a solid PPTx presentation tool many users could dump their laptops as tablets handle e-mail, browsing and other travel functions quite well. Kingsoft is pretty solid in this regard, but still struggles a bit with more complex presentations. You cannot access links in the presentations or embedded video/audio (made sure the video/audio file was in same folder as PPTx as well). If your presentations are just static slides it likely will work well, but so would a number of other Office suites (or converting your slides to JPGs or a PDF as well). We also had a difficulty using BOX.NET accounts. We tried a few different ones and could not log in through Kingsoft, but could get in using the BOX app or through the browser. Not sure what the hiccup was, but it definitely minimizes what should be a really slick feature. The interface is really nice - defintely the closest to a desktop Office suite that I have seen on Android. I could see using this suite more than our other favorites if compatibility holds up as we throw more files at it. If PPTx abilities were enhanced it would easily become the standard on all our Android devices.

jelabarre
jelabarre

What, no OpenDocument support??? Not interested. That's a non-negotiable requirement.

kroels
kroels

This is on the Amazon App Store now also

rhonin
rhonin

Have it and been using it for a bit now. It does a good job of interpreting my MSO files into their correct look. It is missing some functionality around more complex docs and on save I have run into the dreaded "it reformatted it" issue more than a few times. I have run into an issue when installed on my phone (Skyrocket). There are times it will not Zoom in on the document unless you use the ribbon zoom feature - no finger allowed - leaving it pretty much unreadable. Overall I would rate it a 4 of 5 pretty close on par to Polaris Office (ASUS) and better than iWorks and Docs to Go. . Nice job - looking forward to updates.

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