View and edit MS Office docs with Polaris Office

Stay productive on the road with this intuitive app.

The BYOD (bring-your-own-device) trend is a new reality, with employees bringing their own smartphones and tablets into the workplace. The idea is to be more productive, but compatibility issues with applications can hinder that. Case in point is Microsoft Office: the only way you can view and edit MS Office documents on your Apple device (for now) is by installing a third-party app. Polaris Office is such an app; it offers users a way to view and edit MS Office docs, as well as PDFs, with incredible ease. We tested it on our iPad.

Polaris Office opens with sample Word, Excel, and PowerPoint docs that you can open and manipulate to get a little practice. The editing tools appear at the top of the screen, and while their function may not be readily apparent at first, tapping each one while in practice mode will give you its function. You'll find Undo and Redo functions and an Insert button for adding images, text boxes, shapes, tables, and even a quick picture taken with your camera. There's a formatting menu for adding touches of color, and for manipulating font size, paragraph alignment, and style. We selected a bit of text, and with just a few taps, we were able to change the font color, style, and size. Likewise, saving the changes to the document was a simple matter of tapping Save as, naming it, and saving it to the Inbox. If you need to access a document or spreadsheet from an e-mail, open the document from an e-mail and select Open in Polaris Office from the menu. It's as easy as that.

Polaris Office does have an ample Help menu, including an FAQ, but you shouldn't need it thanks to the app's ease of use. It comes with a fairly hefty price tag of $12.99, but it's worth the cost if you need to view and edit MS Office documents while on the go. We recommend it for all users.

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