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Sponsored App Review: Office Documents Viewer

June 4, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: Office Documents Viewer is an Android app that can help users get access to documents on their smartphones or tablets without having to install a sophisticated office suite, or having to pay the cost that would be associated with such a thing. Designed as just a viewer for documents, this can read all your OpenOffice.org documents, LibreOffice documents as well as those in RTF, CSV and other common formats. Perhaps more importantly is the support for Microsoft Office documents and experimental support for PDFs. A near complete solution for viewing documents on the go, does Office Documents Viewer have what you need? Let’s find out.

How it Works: As with all Android apps, you’ll need to download Office Documents Viewer from the Play Store. From there, you’ll need to choose a file on your smartphone or tablet.

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Thanks to the new document picker in Android 4.4 KitKat, you can easily select files from your Google Drive storage.

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When you’ve chosen your file, you can take a look at it in the viewer. Not all your formatting will be the same as the document, but this is because things are converted to HTML to make it easier. However, I find that fonts and such carry over nicely.

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You can choose files from your SD card as well as Google Drive, but it’s best to use files from your SD card.

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You can search for text and keywords within documents for quick reference.

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You can also use Google Cloud Print to print to online-enabled printers or you can save it as a PDF.

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Thanks to the fact that Office Documents Viewer is configured to attach to certain MIME types, you can simply open a Word document that someone has sent you in an email, which works with the major email clients like GMail and K9. That’s not all though, as you can even have the document read out aloud using Google’s TTS engine, a neat feature for those a little too busy.

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Opinion: Office Documents Viewer is a fairly simple app, but that’s not really an issue. Nine times out of ten times we want to look at a document on the go, we simply want to review it, without editing controls getting in the way. That’s why Office Documents Viewer is a good app for those looking for a simple and easy to use viewer to look up material when out of the office or traveling. Cloud Print integration is a nice feature, as is the ability to save to PDFs, but to better handle PDFs in the first place would make for a more featured viewer.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – Office Documents Viewer is a speedy app and works just fine.
  • Features (3.5/5) – Not being able to handle PDFs 100% as well as more advanced word documents is an issue, but this is a simple app that does what it says it does.
  • Theme (4/5) – A decent enough UI that’s easy to use makes this an accessible app to all.
  • Overall (4/5) – Better support for advanced Word documents and PDFs would make this a more viable option.

Pros

  • Easy to use and great when on the move.
  • Works well on tablets as well as smartphones.
  • Good for quick reference thanks to the ability search within files.
  • Cloud Print integration is included.

Cons

  • Doesn’t fully support PDFs.
  • Struggles with more advanced formatting in Word files.

Conclusion: Office Documents Viewer might be a little basic on the surface of things, but there are some advanced features and as this is a simple, easy to use viewer, it works well without being too complicated to use and is easily used while on the move. It’s perhaps not the perfect option for those that need advanced formatting with MS Office documents, but there’s enough on offer here to make it an easy to use, and worthwhile little viewer for quick reference on the move or without a computer to hand.

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