6 Things You Can Do With Microsoft Office for iPhone

Microsoft has just updated Office on iPhone, separating three separate apps (Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) from the only Office 365 app Microsoft has released before. These standalone apps can be used with Outlook, OneDrive and OneNote, which were already available as standalone apps prior to this update.

We’re going to show you six useful things you can do with Microsoft Office for iPhone. Before we go any further, see how to set up Office on your iPhone.

The new apps offer a nice option for those who want to make quick edits to a Word document on the go, present using a mirrored iPhone via an Apple TV connected to the screen, or watch some numbers in a spreadsheet. The apps will amaze users with everything the user can do.

The 6 tips below will make Office for iPhone users more productive.

Connect to Dropbox

Microsoft has added support for Dropbox syncing. Although it gives unlimited OneDrive While (formerly SkyDrive) transferring storage to Office 365 subscribers, they eventually acknowledged that more people are using Dropbox to sync than OneDrive. Dropbox sync will attract more users with all their computers, devices and files built into Dropbox.

connect powerpoint to dropbox

New features in PowerPoint for iPhone, including syncing with Dropbox.

To add Dropbox, install the new Word, PowerPoint or Excel and the login screens will allow users to connect to a Dropbox account. From the “What’s new” screen, tap on the first item in the list of new features. The Dropbox app will open and ask for permission to allow the app to access Dropbox.

connect dropbox to office for iphone

Office for iPhone now works with Dropbox

For those who have already installed their Office apps without connecting them to Dropbox, tap the tab at the bottom of the home screen. Tap then tap . Like the first method, the Office app will open Dropbox and ask for permission to link the Dropbox account.

Highlight Content or Point to Point in PowerPoint for iPhone

highlight in powerpoint for iphone

Launch the virtual laser point by tapping and holding the screen while playing a presentation. Move the highlighter to the item you want to draw attention to.

When sharing a presentation on an iPhone using the new PowerPoint for iPhone, speakers can point at content on the screen with a virtual laser pointer. This allows users to replace physical laser pointers with a virtual one. Although the iPad version includes this feature, presenters can now also use a screen highlighter with multiple pen styles and colors.


Three buttons turn on the highlighter, configure the highlighter, or open a chalkboard.

To use a highlighter, swipe down from the top of the screen while viewing a presentation. A toolbar appears. The first icon opens the default highlighter. The second icon opens the screen below for configuring pencils/highlighters. The third button blanks out the screen to use as a chalkboard.

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highlighter screen powerpoing for iphone

When showing a presentation in PowerPoint for iPhone, use highlighters by tapping the pen icon on the screen’s toolbar. Show the toolbar by swiping down from the top of the PowerPoint slide.

This configuration screen allows users to choose between a marker (top row), a highlighter (middle row), or an eraser (bottom row). The user can also clear all pen marks with the lower button. Tap the small downward facing triangle in the upper right to return to the slide.

Use Word Templates

word templates

Word for iPhone offers some nice templates. A user can create a resume, newsletter, class notes, outlines, or even a research paper.

Tap the New button at the bottom of the screen to open the templates in Word for iPhone. Shows all default templates. What users will benefit most from, New Blank Document template. Other templates show various types of layouts as mentioned above. Tap them to open one and start editing.

Finish Work Started on Computer

All three Office for iPhone apps include syncing with OneDrive online. People using Office 2013 for Windows can easily open files they’re working on while using their computer. Any file saved from the Windows version of Office will appear in the Recent window.

Office for Mac users can still open files launched in the Mac version of Office, but must install the following: OneDrive sync client from the Mac App Store before and save the files to OneDrive’s folder located on the Mac hard drive. In 2015, a new version of Office for Mac comes out that includes OneDrive sync.

open recently in excel for iphone

Windows users can save their files and then go to iPhone and open the Office app. For example, open Excel and tap the Recent tab at the bottom of the screen. The app lists all files that the iPhone app or desktop program has opened and edited recently. Find a new file and tap it to open and start editing.

Share Files

Share files using the same steps above to show recent files. Instead of tapping the filename, tap the Share icon at the right end of the filename. It looks like a box with an up arrow. A menu with several options appears. Tap the second one, read with a right-pointing arrow.

share files in office for iphone

To share files, tap the share button to the right of the file and select the share option.

Office for iPhone apps shares the file using one of three options. The user can email the link of the file, which is the best option for large files like large PowerPoint or Excel files, or Word files with lots of media. The second option attaches the file to an email and sends it directly. Use this for smaller files. Third, copy a link to the file. Use this to share using something other than email like Facebook or by posting a link to a blog post.

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Use Word Strips to Work with Documents

word toolbar for iphone

Tap the formatting icon that looks like a pencil above the letter A.

A document created on iPhone might be expected to contain only simple text in paragraphs, but this is not true. Open a document or create a new document, and then tap the format button on the toolbar. It looks like a pen resting on the letter A (see above). This shows the formatting screen at the bottom of the screen (see below).

formatting window in word for iphone

Formatting windows allow users to change fonts and paragraph formatting.

The formatting screen contains a button that shows the different ribbons we are used to seeing on the desktop. Tap on it with the up/down arrow in the upper left corner of the formatting window that appears at the bottom of the screen. We also get undo and redo buttons and a down arrow that hides the window.

Each Ribbon screen renders the same things these ribbon tabs do in the computer version of Word. There are Home, Insert, Layout, Review, and View tabs. After you first install Word, play around with the various functions of each strip to test them out. Some of the best functions include: