Quickoffice Lets You Settle Into a Sweet Mobile Suite
Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite is a smooth, intuitive and highly practical iPad app that lets you view and edit Word and Excel files, as well as view Powerpoint presentations. It's compatible with cloud syncing services like Dropbox and Google Docs. A few features are sadly absent, but that's only to be expected from a scaled-down office suite for the iPad.
Muscular desktop applications like office suites can't be run on downscale devices like the iPad, but that doesn't mean Apple's mighty tablet can't be a valuable partner with those programs. A case in point is Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite for iPad ($14.99).
Quickoffice is designed to work with files compatible with three mainstays of Microsoft's popular Office suite: Word, Excel and Powerpoint. With it, you can store Office documents with a "cloud" service provider like Google Docs, Dropbox, Mobileme or Box.net, and yank the files into the iPad for viewing and editing (for now, Powerpoint files can only be viewed). When you're finished with a file, you can replace the online version so the changes you made in it are preserved.
You can also create Word and Excel files in the program and ship them to the cloud when you're finished with them.
The chief problem with the program is that the toolsets available in the desktop version of Office are greatly reduced in this iPad app. That's to be expected. Nevertheless, a few more features like the ability to insert hyperlinks into documents and a dynamic word counter would make the software more useful, especially when creating documents with the app.
Easy File Management
Documents in Quickoffice are handled through the File Manager. It has three columns -- a folder column, a document column and an information column.
You can add a cloud service to the folder column by tapping the plus icon at the bottom of the column. An edit icon is there, too, for deleting folders. New folders can be created by tapping the folder icon at the right hand corner of the display.
Beside the folder icon is a document icon that allows you to define the file type for a document -- Office 2003 or 2007 word or spreadsheet files, or a text file.
The program's setting can also be accessed from the File Manager. They permit you to toggle file transfer and sleep modes, turn on a passcode lock and set the size for the app's file cache.
When you rest a finger on a file name, you can drag it around the screen. You can drag it to the trash, to another folder or to the envelope icon for mailing it.
Bringing documents into Quickoffice is a cinch. When you tap your cloud service in the File Manager, all your online files will be displayed. Tap the file you want to work on and it will be automatically downloaded to the iPad. If you alter the file, when you close it, you are given the choice of saving it, saving it with a new name or saving it without the changes you made. If you choose to save it, it will be automatically uploaded and replace the version of it in the cloud.
You can also suck documents into the program through email. When the email containing the document appears in the iPad's mail program, you tap the file. When it opens, a button will appear in the document's title bar that lets you send the file to Quickoffice.
Word files are displayed in the software in Page Layout Mode. Editing tools are simple. On a document's title bar, there are bold, italicize and underline tools, as well as do/undo and a multi-function toolbox. The multi-function box permits you choose a font and font size for a document, format its paragraphs and choose the color of text and highlighting in it.
While it's easy to scroll through a document by swiping a finger on the iPad's screen, Quickoffice has a nifty speed scroll feature. You can drag your finger along the right edge of the display and a carousel of the document's pages will appear. By dragging your finger through the carousel, you can swiftly jump to a page in the document.
The spreadsheet in Quickoffice is more robust than the word processor. It supports more than 125 functions and allows you to select cells and ranges of cells, resize rows and columns, format text and numbers and perform edits in either portrait or landscape mode.
Editing a spreadsheet on a touchscreen seems much easier than with a mouse and keyboard. You can just tap a cell and change its contents, or tap a column or row and resize it with a finger.
Inserting or deleting rows and columns is done through a pop-up menu and is very intuitive. As with the word processor, there's a multi-function toolbox for defining fonts, aligning the content of cells, adding colors and defining cell borders.
Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite for iPad fills fulfills an important need for iPad owners who want to work on their tablets with documents created in Microsoft Office. It's also one of those rare magnet apps that can induce a user to buy new hardware because the software makes the buy a more attractive purchase.