Cloud

How to use WPS Office's Roaming feature

WPS Office is the office suite you've probably never heard of--one that offers some interesting features. Jack Wallen introduces you to one feature that will have you and your files roaming.

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Image: Jack Wallen

Although the feature suffers from a misleading name, WPS has created something very handy in their office suite. The feature is called "Roaming." It allows you to work within the WPS Cloud service, so your documents are automatically synced with your WPS cloud account. Before you balk, you can sign up for a free WPS Cloud account, which will give you 1GB of space. I have yet to figure out if there is a way to subscribe to an account with more space. Since this is a new feature, my guess is Kingsoft will make it possible to upgrade in the future.

Even with a scant 1GB of space, Roaming is still a very useful feature. I want to walk you through the process of making this work in the latest release of WPS Office. Do note—this only works in the Windows and iOS ports of the suite, so Linux, Android, and macOS users need not apply (at least for the time being).

With that said, let's set up this feature.

What you'll need

First you'll need the latest version of WPS Office installed. I'll be demonstrating on Windows 10, but the process will be similar on all supported platforms. You will also need to have a WPS Cloud account. It should go without saying, the machine or device you will be working on must have an internet connection.

And that's all you need to make this work.

Setting up Roaming

Open up WPS Office on your device. Once open, you should see a button that wasn't available on previous iterations. The button is labeled Sign In (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The new WPS Office interface includes the ability to sign into your cloud account.

Once you click on that button, a new window will appear where you either sign into your existing account, or login with Google, Twitter, Facebook, or Dropbox. Once you've authenticated, that Sign In button will change to your WPS Cloud account icon, and a drop-down that allows you to gain access to information about your account.

At this point, start working on whatever type of document you need to create. Once you've finished, click on the WPS Menu | File | Save. In the newly-minted Save dialog box, you'll have the option to save to your WPS Cloud account (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

The WPS Save dialog has a new offering.

If you don't see the Personal Space option, click on the WPS Cloud entry and it will be revealed. Click the Personal Space option, give the file a name, and click Save. That file will then be saved on your WPS Cloud account. If you connect any WPS Office suite to that account, or visit your account via the web-based interface that new file will be available. If you go through the web-based version of WPS, it does allow you to open the file via WPS Office.

The same process works for opening a file from your cloud account. Click the WPS Menu | File | Open. You will see the same window open that appeared when saving your file. Click on WPS Cloud and then click Personal Space. You should find your Roaming files, where you can then open one to work locally.

Seems a bit beta-ish

Although WPS Roaming is out of beta, it still feels a bit beta-ish to me. For instance, the fact that attempting to open a file from the web-based version of the tool doesn't perform as expected. What should happen is WPS Office opens the file for editing. What actually happens is nothing. Another issue is found within the My WPS sidebar. There's a toggle to enable File Roaming Service (Figure C), which should then make files uploaded to your WPS Cloud account available. This does not happen. No matter how many times you hit refresh, your uploaded files do not appear in that sidebar. This is not a make or break issue—as you can still open and save Roaming files from the standard Open/Save dialog windows.

Figure C

Figure C

The My WPS panel doesn't function as expected.

Even though the feature is just barely out of beta, it does show promise. I hope that Kingsoft continues building the Roaming feature and gives it even more priority—as without cloud support, their outstanding office suite will suffer under the weight of giants.

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About Jack Wallen

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.

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