In this tutorial you will learn how to transform a simple Excel spreadsheet into an app. With the Open as App Wizard you can create the masses of professional apps you need in your daily business. This can be simple calculations that you use every day, or complex offer calculations your employees use in the field. The logic of the Excel file remains in the app and can be expanded with additional functions.
You can start your carreer as an App Creator with some less complex apps to get 'a feeling for it' and move on to more complex apps step by step.
So far no master has fallen from the sky...
Single steps in this tutorial:
- Start App Creator
- Select source file
- Select Template
- Edit App
- Create App
- Install App on mobile device
The app created in this tutorial will consist of 1 input field and 4 results. Thus 4 variables are calculated for the input number - just like in the Excel spreadsheet that serves as our source file. It is a very simple example, which is dedicated to give you a "quick start".
The app creation process takes place in the Open as App Creator.
Start the App Creator by clicking 'App Creator' in the dashboard (screenshot below).
Alternatively, this URL takes you directly to the App Creator: https://www.openasapp.net/index-admin.html#!/apps/wizard/data.
First, locate the file that you want to transform into an app.
You can upload a spreadsheet from your PC or choose an Online saved file (for example, from your Dropbox).
Detailed information about the individual options for uploading files, please see the section Data.
- Select the Source Excel file.
After selecting the file, you will be automatically redirected to the next step.
We created some sample files (like the calculator in this tutorial). They are available for you online. Feel free to use them to train your skills. The tutorial files can be found at the bottom of the 'Select your Online Data' page.
Of course, you can start directly with your own Excel spreadsheet.
Based on the data in the Excel sheet, the Open as App Wizard automatically suggests 'Calculation' as appropriate template. The additional design process will be adjusted based on this selection. This is important as a calculation app should include other features as a list for example.
On the right side you can see a preview of the template. Please note that the app preview does not displays data from your file here.
You will find an overview of the different templates here: App Templates
- Highlight the desired template.
- Confirm your selection by clicking on the 'OK' button.
The step 'design' consists of several sub steps.
First, you select the cells that you want to display in your app, one after the other.
In the second step, you can use the additional design to visually edit your app and possibly expand the functionality.
Select app cells
- Select the cells you want to display in your app.
- Check your selection in the preview.
- Confirm the step with 'OK'.
This is how you show the wizard which input and results cells you want in your app.
When you convert complex calculations with many cells in an app take extra care in order not to miss a cell in this step.
The cells should preferably be some input cells as well as some calculated cells.
This example has one input cell (B3 - Radius) and 4 result cells (B5 - circumference, B6 - area, B7 - diameter, B8 - spherical volume).
After a few seconds the creator will display the corresponding preview of your app on the right side.
Note: Labels are transferred automatically and do not need to be selected if the excel file is arranged logically. All selected cells will be highlighted in yellow.
Confirm your choice with 'OK'.
In the sub step 'Additional Design' you'll find lots of possibilities to pimp up your app even more. You may for example change the appearance of specific items or add a chart.
This step is optional.
For simplicity, and because the app is basically ready, we will only change the header image.
Each individuall element of the app can be edited in the "Preview". You can always access the preview under 'Preview your app'.
- Simply hover over the header image and enter the editor for this element by clicking on the pencil symbol.
- Change the header image
- Confirm the design step with 'OK'.
You will find more information regarding 'Additional design' in this section: https://support.openasapp.net/hc/en-us/sections/201744459
In the last step of the creation process you can name your app and add a description. Your app can be found under the name selected here via the app player search function (for example on your iPhone). This name also appears in the title bar of the app. (You can change it later on.)
- Give your app a name.
- Add some additional information that describes your app best.
- Click 'CREATE MY APP' to finish the process.
You have turned your Excel spreadsheet into a native app which is now ready for use!
In case you are using Open as App for the first time (or you are not logged in), you will be asked to log in or to create an account.
The sign up process is quick and easy - and of course free of any costs!
Your app will be created instantly and you will receive an email that contains a link to your app.
- Open the mail on the device on which you want to use Open as App.
- Click on the link.
- The host app will download and run the new application.
To use your created app, the 'Open as App' app must be installed on your device. All apps you create will be stored there for you. If you have not yet installed the host application on your device, download it on your app store.
Open as App is free of charge and available for iOS, Android and Windows.
- Download Open as App on your device. Links to the available versions can be found here: https://www.openasapp.net/get
My Apps View
Logged in users can find all self-created apps in the 'My Apps' view.
You can find and run your app on your device by using the search box in the 'Open as App' application.