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Krister's Blog
krister at hallergard dot com

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Cloud Editing of Spreadsheets

Creating and editing Office files is mainly a job for the PC, but at times I want to do some smaller edits on the Android Tablet (or Android phone), and this is what do:
View Video 3 min

Cloud Apps

I am using three cloud apps: Dropbox, Google Drive and MS OneDrive. For editing Office files I prefer Dropbox for cloud synchronization of (now max free) three of my devices: PC, Mobile phone and Tablet. The main reason is that Dropbox actually downloads the files I want available offline. Google Drive and OneDrive require WiFi to edit on Android devices, which could be inconvenient when travelling.

Office Programs and Formats

I prefer using the free LibreOffice which works fine on Windows and Linux. The Google Apps and MS Office apps do not run on Linux. On Android I use the Google Apps, but in Office compatibility mode.

With LibreOffice I am using the MS Office 2007-2019 formats, xlsx Excel spreadsheets and docsx Word documents. If I were to use the MS Excel app on the tablet to edit files created by LibreOffice as per above, it would sometimes require conversion to a newer xlsx version. This forces me to choose default, and is LibreOffice considering also Linux as per above.

An alternative would be the Google Sheets and Google Docs formats, gsheet and gdoc, but this would sometimes require conversion to the Office formats, especially when sharing.

Office Compatibility

The PC - Windows and Linux

When booting Windows or Linux from another partition than the main one, one has to remember that any edit with LibreOffice will not be synchronized until the main partition is rebooted. And make sure this has happened before editing on the Tablet!

The Tablet - Galaxy TAB S2

To enable synchronization with the Dropbox cloud, each Office file to be made available offline, has to be marked. Dropbox downloads those spreadsheets to this directory:


After editing on the tablet I run the Dropbox app to ensure synchronisation.

Offline Availability

Update 2020-09-09
Since a couple of months ago Dropbox does no longer syncronize from Android devices to the Cloud see also here! Hopefully this is a temporary regression. Otherwise I will sadly have to look for alternatives to using Dropbox.

Update 2021-02-22
When recently starting the Dropbox app on my Android tablet, it started "migrating" and as a result all files in the scratch directory were gone! The "offline" files still show up in the app but are read-only. Very disappointing! Started Dropbox on my mobile phone and the same happened. See also here!