One of the frustrating things about the initial release of Windows Phone 7 is the problem with syncing documents with SkyDrive.Currently of the items in the Office Hub, only OneNote documents can be auto-saved to the cloud storage provided by Windows Live SkyDrive, with Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents able only to be emailed to recipients (although this is soon likely to be resolved with the NoDo update for Windows Phone).
Whether you have the NoDo update or not, however, you can take advantage of the Windows Phone 7 browser’s ability to access Microsoft Office Web Apps as a suitable alternative to synchronization with SkyDrive.
An Imperfect Fix
It’s not perfect, but until NoDo is available for all users, editing documents on your Windows Phone with Microsoft Office Web Apps it offers a chance to apply formatting that you might not have access to in Microsoft Office Mobile, as well as a means of previewing how things might look in the finished document.
To take advantage of the web apps, all you need to do to is open Internet Explorer Mobile and enter the URL office.live.com. Once you have signed in with your Windows Live account details, this page will display a list of documents you have previously saved to SkyDrive – highlighting an option will give you the chance to Edit in browser (notice that Open in Word will not open the document in Word Mobile) and take advantage of the power of Microsoft Office Web Apps. As you might have seen from previous tutorials there are plenty of options on offer from standard formatting tools to Microsoft Office 2010 text styles.
If you haven’t already used SkyDrive and don’t have any documents stored there, this is easily resolved by logging in to office.live.com and finding the SkyDrive link. Click Add files to begin the process of choosing a folder to upload your documents to; if you’re using Windows Live Mesh, meanwhile you will be able to set up automated copying of your documents to your SkyDrive storage.
Other Microsoft Office Mobile Sharing Options
The above method works not only for Word but also the other Microsoft Office Web Apps such as Excel and PowerPoint. While it might seem strange that Microsoft omitted full Office and SkyDrive syncing from the first release of the phone, it is no stranger than not featuring cut and paste, and when the NoDo update is applied accessing Microsoft Office Web Apps from a Windows Phone may well become a thing of the past (in all but the most extreme circumstances).
Other sharing options for documents created on your phone are limited to sharing with a SharePoint server (an option limited to corporate users) and sending them by email – this is done by dragging the ellipses […] to reveal the menu and then selecting Send…to choose an email account to send from!