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.

The “places” screen

From the “places” screen, you can tap phone, email, OneDrive or Office 365 to access the documents and folders that are stored in each of these places.

I have selected the OneDrive place to demonstrate the features and functions discussed in this article. The documents that are accessible through the Office Hub are stored on the OneDrive account that is associated with the Microsoft Account you designated when you set the phone up ( you can tap settings > email + accounts to view the details of the Microsoft account that is being used on the phone).

wp_ss_20150506_0007The “documents” screen lists the folders and documents that are stored in OneDrive’s root directory.

You can swipe down the screen to browse the folders and files that are stored in the root directory.

Tap a folder or file that you want to open.

 

 

 

 

When I tapped the Documents folder shown in the above screenshot, I can browse the files and subfolders that are stored within that folder (see first screenshot below).

I can view a file by tapping it or I can press and hold my finger on the file until a menu pops up and then choose to pin the file to the phone’s start screen, download it, share it via email or text message or save the file to the phone.

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Password Protected files are supported: If I tap the Epilogue Books file, which is a password protected Excel file, I am required to input a password in the space provided before I can view the spreadsheet.

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Password protected files are “view only” on the phone….you can open and view them on the phone, but you won’t be able to edit or even snap a screenshots of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you access the OneDrive place through the Office Hub, you can also browse and work with any folders and files that have been shared with your OneDrive account from a different OneDrive account.

Working with Shared OneDrive folders and files on a Windows Phone

If you return to the OneDrive “documents” screen and then swipe your finger across the screen to the right, you can view the folders and documents that have been shared with your OneDrive account from other OneDrive accounts. Underneath each listed folder or file, you will see “Shared by:” and the name of the account that shared the files or folders with your account. 

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I have four different accounts that I’ve created for my own use and you can see In the shared documents screenshot above that the four documents folders shown are shared from four of my different OneDrive accounts.  The “Family Room” folder was shared from someone else’s account.

Tapping a folder lets me browse the files and any subfolders that are stored within it. Tapping a file opens up the file or I can press and hold my finger on the file until a menu pops up and then choose to pin the file to the phone’s start screen, download it, share it via email or text message or save the file to the phone.

The “recent” screen

From the main Office “places” screen, you can swipe over to the right to the “recent” screen to see a list of recently accessed documents.

You can also create new documents or search for office documents from the recent screen by tapping the icons on the bottom of the screen.

Create new Word or Excel documents 

To create a new document, tap the “new” (+) icon and select the type of document you want to create. You’ll notice that you can only create new Word or Excel documents.

Office recent

Office new doc

What about PowerPoint? 

Personally, I don’t think I would ever want to do much in the way of creating or even editing a PowerPoint presentation on such a small screen, but If you want to create a new PowerPoint Presentation on the phone, you could modify the “sample presentation” that is shown on the “recent” screen, or you could create a generic sample presentation and download it to the phone for future use.

Searching for a File

To search for a file, tap the search icon found on the bottom of the screen, then input search words/terms into the space provided. You can choose to search just the documents on OneDrive, the phone, email attachments, or on Office 365 (sharepoint) or you can choose to search the four places all at the same time.

 Office search1Office search2

Additional Notes about OneDrive

You can store any kind of file on OneDrive – You can open Office 2013 files (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) from the Office Hub and OneNote notebooks via the OneNote app that are native on the phone.

PDF Files are a special case

You can upload PDF files to OneDrive and they will show up in the Office Hub and you can download them to your phone. Whenever you download a PDF file you will be prompted to open the file with the PDF Reader app that is installed on your phone.  In the screenshots below:

  • The “Deviation Statement” file is a PDF file
  • Tapping that file, prompts me to select from one of the three PDF Reader apps that are currently installed on my phone to open it
  • After you open the file, it is saved on the phone within the selected app’s “sand box”

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Save files to OneDrive from the Office Hub on Windows Phone

You can upload and save files that are stored in the phone’s memory to the OneDrive space that is included with the Windows Phone’s Microsoft Account:

  • Open up the Office Hub on the phone and tap “phone” on the places screen
  • Press and hold your finger on the file you want to upload to OneDrive
  • Select the “save to” option from the menu that pops up

When you tap OneDrive from the Share screen, the file is uploaded and saved to the OneDrive space that is included with the Windows Phone’s Microsoft Account. You cannot upload files to a different shared OneDrive space from the Office hub.

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This item might not exist or is no longer available

If you attempt to access a file from a OneDrive space that is not shared with your phone’s Microsoft Account or that is incompatible with the phone, you won’t be able to do it. Instead you’ll see a message like this one.

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This message indicates some kind of sharing issue – either the phone’s Microsoft account does not have sharing privileges with the account where the file is stored, or the link/sharing privileges have been revoked.

If you are trying to access compatible documents that are stored in a OneDrive space that is associated with one of your secondary Microsoft accounts, you are the owner of the account, but you need to log into that account, using its email login and password and share the documents or folders with the Microsoft Account that you use on the phone.

See this article, entitled “Share OneDrive Files with Another Microsoft Account” for more information on this topic.

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