Use Microsoft Office docs on Android with Docs To Go
Documents to Go is the elder statesmen of mobile office suites in the sense that it has been touting its wares ever since the era when Palm was the big beast of the handheld-computing jungle. Like many elder statesmen, the somewhat prosaically named app makes up for being ever so slightly dull by having enough experience to handle the job in hand without fuss. So if you need an Android app you can rely on for everyday office work while you are out on the hoof, then this old boy won’t let you down. So long as you can live with a few foibles, that is.
Documents To Go has certainly grown more versatile over the years its been around. You can still synchronise your files between a smartphone and a computer using a dedicated desktop app, provided gratis, yet it's now also possible to quickly drag-and-drop these files from the computer onto the handset, or you can use Google Docs instead. Documents to Go will happily download your files from Google's cloud-based service, and will even update them when you hit the “save” button. Nice work, but Document To Go doesn’t offer as many choices in this regard as the apps own iPhone version, which also works with Dropbox or iDisk.
The app does a mostly impressive job of handling Microsoft Office files. With PowerPoint presentations, you will lose a few fonts, and some images might drop advanced effects, but the text should all be in the right place and the basic look and feel will be intact. The same goes for Word files.
It is, in fact, the word-processing features where the software really shines. The app enables you to control your text styles, spacing, bullets (or numbering) and, surprisingly, paragraph styles too. You can track any changes as you, and others, make them, and it even offers a word count - a frequently overlooked, yet eminently practical feature for any office software.
To be fair, the app does weasel its way out of being incompatible with some of the more advanced Office 2010 features by simply omitting, say, the affected pictures. Even so, its handling of tables is exemplary, which goes a long way towards making up for this.
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Excel support is also strong. Documents To Go supports complex formulae and calculations that, in tests, made QuickOffice surrender, even if the method you must use to flick between separate Excel worksheets is laboured, to put it mildly. This is also, at the time of writing, the only app that enables you create PowerPoint presentations on an Android handset, albeit only in a sketchy form. You can add titles, text and bullet points to each slide, but admittedly not much else.
The suite doesn't have the most user-friendly or exciting menus, yet it does offer more creative power than any of its rivals and that is what it’s all about. It’s an all-too-rare rare instance of substance over style. In the end, this type of app is about empowering you to get on with your work while out and about. On this basis, despite a few gripes, Documents To Go offers the most power for making a few tweaks en route to a meeting - and you had to choose an Android app with which to rough out a decent-looking new Word or Excel file, this would be it.
The Bottom Line
Expensive, yet the only genuinely business class mobile-office suites for Android fans
Version tested: 3.001
Android 1.6 and above