Office for Android gets one new feature, a change and a duplication

The February update to Office for Android has one new feature, one overhyped change and a reannouncement of something they’ve already done!

Office-Watch.com knows from twenty years’ experience that you have to carefully read Microsoft’s announcements.  They are usually carefully worded to be true but sometimes misleading.

In this case, there are some differences between the changes in the January and February 2017 updates to the Android apps. But one appears to be a ‘reannouncement’ of something from the previous month.

Here’s the official list of Feb 2017 improvements.

  • View PDF files in WordOpen and view portable document format (.pdf) files on your device.
  • Open more file types in ExcelWe heard your feedback! Now open files that contain scripts as well as files including Query tables with parameters.
  • Make your pictures pop in Word, Excel, and PowerPointAdd Shadow and Reflection effects to enhance pictures in your Office documents. You can insert an image, select the image and select the desired effects from the picture tab.

 

The first item is new and welcome addition to Word for Android.  Microsoft hasn’t really added ‘more file types’ to Excel for Android and the latest item appears to be a repeat of a January 2017 announcement.

Open / View / Convert PDF’s

Only the top one for PDF files is truly new.    Select a PDF from Word for Android to view.   It opens in Read-Only mode but you can Save As the PDF to another location.  Or click the Edit icon on top right to convert the PDF (if compatible) to a Word document.

More ‘file types’ in Excel

Microsoft is playing a little trick here.  They aren’t really adding new ‘file types’ to the Excel apps.  Over time, Redmond is adding more compatibility for existing Excel Windows/Mac features that are saved in the worksheets.

In January, Excel for Android got the ability to open .xlsx documents that contained form controls.

February’s update adds support for other elements saved in .xlsx files;  scripts and Query tables with parameters.

To call these ‘more’ file types is a stretch, but a typical bit of Microsoft hype.

Shadow and Reflection

In the January 2017 update, according to Microsoft’s own document they added Shadow and Reflection effects to Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Android.

We can’t see any real difference between that and the February 2017 announcement.  It’s different wording but, apparently, the same feature

” Make your pictures pop in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Add Shadow and Reflection effects to enhance pictures in your Office documents. You can insert an image, select the image and select the desired effects from the picture tab”

Whenever it was added to the apps, the features are definitely there now. Tap on an image to see Shadow and Reflection buttons on the bottom toolbar.

Tap on the buttons to see the pre-set options available.

You don’t get the fine detail options available in Office for Windows (Size, Blur, Transparency etc).