[Android] Best free office documents editor

A few months ago I wrote an article discussing the best free office documents viewer on Android. Now we revisit the realm of office documents, but this time we are looking for the best free office documents editor.

Before we discuss what app is the best free office documents editor, let me state one thing. On Android the general trend is an office documents app has a free version which is a viewer only and a paid version which allows for editing. Because of this industry trend, all quality office documents editing apps are paid apps. There are free office documents editing app(s), of course, but at the moment of this writing those app(s) are buggy and of inferior quality. Therefore, if you are looking to edit documents with your Android, I highly suggest you shell out the money to purchase an office documents editing app*. (Ranging from $5-15 USD, depending on if you can find one on sale or not.) If you insist on taking the free path, continue to read below to learn about the best free office documents editor; but be warned your experience with free office documents editing apps may be a highly distasteful one.

*Many phones already come with an office documents editor preinstalled, so look for one on your phone before you purchase one.

(Note: This article mainly focuses on the ability to read Microsoft Office documents [DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX]. However, we weighed in apps’ abilities to read other types of documents, like OpenOffice and PDFs.)

This article is part of our Best Free Android Apps repository. Feel free to drop by when you have time!

Table of Contents

Best Free Office Documents Editor

App Name: OliveOfficePremium

Developer: OlivePhone

Download Size: 3.7 MB

Version Reviewed: v1.0.35

Requires: Android 1.6 and up

Pros

  • Allows users to view and edit DOC/DOCX, XLS/XLSX, PPT/PPTX files.
    • Users can also create new DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX files.
  • Supports the ability to view PDF and CHM files.
  • Has the ability to import files from Google Docs and Dropbox.
  • Ads-free.
  • Supports app2sd; is installed on SD card by default.

Cons

  • Extremely buggy:
    • Pinch-to-zoom doesn’t always work and messes up text size.
    • For Excel files, sometimes cell selection is misaligned (i.e. to edit the content of a cell you have to tap next to it as opposed to on the cell itself).
    • PowerPoint files don’t show images.
    • Excel files don’t show cell background colors, if applicable.
    • Won’t open large files.
    • …and more.
  • Lack of full support for touch gestures (e.g. for Word files users must tap the keyboard button to bring up the keyboard to type as opposed to just tapping where they want to type and the keyboard coming up; PowerPoint files don’t support finger flicks to go to next slides; etc.)
  • Displays non-supported files when browsing for files to open.

Discussion

When you run OliveOfficePremium (the main app itself, not directly opening a file with OliveOfficePremium via a file manager), you are greeted with a fairly nice interface: A simple list of options on a light teal colored background with smooth transitions between screen to screen. Unfortunately the niceness of OliveOfficePremium ends there.

OliveOfficePremium is a free app that allows users to view, edit, and create office documents, yes. (It can also view PDF and CHM files.) However, it is poorly programmed: It has a lot of bugs (see bugs list stated above under Cons) and an interface – when viewing documents – that does not have full touch gesture support.

OliveOfficePremium is a terrible app; so much so that there isn’t much I can discuss about it except to say that it is bad. However, the lack of competition means this bad app gets the crown of best free office documents editor… a crown OliveOfficePremium truly does not deserve.

If you are looking for a way to reliably edit office documents, OliveOfficePremium is not for you. You never know when this app will bug out on you. In fact, its hard to recommend OliveOfficePremium to anyone for any reason. It is only because of the lack of alternatives that OliveOfficePremium is even mentioned here.

Other Alternatives

We don’t know of any other free office document editors. If you know of any other free office document editors, please share with us in the comments below.

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5 comments

  1. J.C. Hendee

    Seek out Kingsoft Office on the AppBrain or Android markets. It has just been converted to freeware. You can view and edite DOC, DOCX, TXT, XLS, XLSX PPT PPTX, etc. files for free. Combine it with local syncware, such as Cheetah Sync (free or pro) and you have all you need for basic office work on the go. With some limitations, it is better than any trialware or freeware I’ve tried. I even use it for novel, story, and notation projects in developing the manuscripts I submit to my publisher. Combined with the superior note and annotation features of the Mantano ereader, I can do my work even away from my notebook or home and transfer / sync the files at home or through an online free service like DropBox.

    Stop wasting time and money on multiple free or purchased apps!

  2. TomTom

    I haven’t yet tried either of these, but…

    MyExcel v1.5.0
    http://slideme.org/en/application/myexcel
    MyExcel is one of the best Android Excel editors. Now you can copy your Excel sheets into a cellphone from your computer and edit them anywhere for free.

    Androffice V1.00
    http://www.androffice.com/tag/xls/
    Now you can view, edit and create spreadsheet documents in:
    -Open Document format (.ODS)
    -Microsoft Format (97-2003) (.XLS)
    -Comma Separated Value (.CSV)
    Apparently the developers plan on implementing Open Document formats and Word file support ASAP, although that may take a while.