Working with Documents on a Windows Phone via the Office Hub

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You can view and work with Office 2013 files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) from your Windows Phone by opening up the Office Hub on the phone.

The Office Hub “places” screen is where you can access the folders and documents that are stored on your phone, any email attachments received to your Microsoft email account that you’ve opened on the phone, and all the folders and documents that are stored on your OneDrive or Office 365 (sometimes referred to as sharepoint) accounts.

When you access the OneDrive place through the Office Hub, you will also be able to access any folders and files that have been shared with your OneDrive account from another OneDrive account.

The Office Hub “recent” screen, which you can view by swiping over to the right is where you can create new documents and search for documents that are stored on the phone, as an opened email attachment, on your OneDrive or Office 365 account or across all four places.

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Receiving & Saving Bluetooth Shared Files on Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 uses Hubs and application sandboxes to store and access user files. You can browse and access the files that are stored on the phone by accessing the hub or app that is used to view and work with the file.  Files that are stored on a phone must be associated with a Windows Phone app (native or third party) and files are stored in the associated [opening] app’s hub or “sand box.”

Windows Phone 8 can receive and store files that are shared with it from another Bluetooth connected device. Bluetooth shared files are stored in one of the hubs on the phone or in a compatible app’s sandbox.

Receiving Shared Files via Bluetooth

When a Bluetooth-enabled device shares a file with your Windows Phone, you’ll be prompted to “accept” or “ignore” it (in this example, my laptop which is named AVALON48 is sharing a file with my Nokia Lumia 920).

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The Files App Finally Gives Windows Phone 8.1 a File Explorer

Microsoft published a “Files” app to the Marketplace around the end of May that is compatible with Windows Phone 8.1 only.  The Files app enhances the phone’s functionality by providing the phone with File Explorer type access to user files.

I finally got some time to spend exploring all the goodness that the Files app brings to the phone. As you can see from the screenshot below, we can now access the various types of files we store on a phone in a way that is similar to a File Explorer. Instead of opening up the Office Hub to browse and share the Excel, PowerPoint, Word and other files that are stored there, we can find them via the Files app in the Documents folder; Music and audio files are stored in the Music folder, Photos and Videos are stored in the Pictures folder, etc. The Files app also gives us access to a Downloads folder and a Ringtones folder.

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