Using Office Out Of The Office

I do a lot of drafting, editing and text manipulation, primarily in Word, but occasionally in other Microsoft Office programs as well. I long to be able to take those tasks with me in a meaningful, user-friendly way. I could bring my laptop with me, but sometimes dragging that beast around on an all day trek can be tough (more on the heft of my Lenovo in a later post).

With my old Treo 750, I had a DataViz program, Documents To Go, that provided sweet little stripped-down versions of Word and Excel. And the real, albeit tiny, keyboard was not too bad for light typing. I had toyed with the idea of getting a small, foldable bluetooth keyboard and little tiny mouse for the phone, which would have improved the interface dramatically.

Then I went and gunked up the works by replacing the Treo with an iPhone. So what’s a mobile, iPhone-wielding word warrior to do?

Jeff Richardson of iPhone J.D. has a post today about some of the iPhone options. They include a promised, but not yet released, Documents to Go version for iPhone, rumors and rumblings from Microsoft itself about an iPhone-ready package, and the imminent release of a Word and newly updated Excel editor for iPhone by Quickoffice.

Previously, the Quickoffice apps allowed you to upload and download from iDisk, transfer using wi-fi, email from the phone and view a variety of formats. They still do. Transfer and view: cool.

But what about editing? There is an app that is now called Quicksheet ($12.99) which offers some limited Excel editing ability. Coming soon is Quickword, which will permit the same for Word docs.

Richardson rightly recognizes that in practice one might not use these apps as much as one might anticipate. I didn’t regularly use my Documents To Go programs on the Treo, and instead planned my work to coincide with my rendezvous with the decidedly more user-friendly full size laptop and desktop keyboards as much as possible. And it will certainly be an even bigger drop in customer satisfaction when my editing must be performed on that damnable touch screen.

However, I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it, so I welcome any and all offerings in this arena.

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