Monday, April 22, 2013

Using Microsoft Office Web Apps

What can you do when you need to quickly create several new slides for a PowerPoint presentation and Microsoft Office is installed on your computer at home, not the computer you are using now?  Microsoft Office Web Apps to the rescue!

Other examples of occasions ideally suited for Microsoft Web Apps include team projects such as managing a Little League team or planning the neighborhood street party that involve multiple people needing the ability to work from the same file.  Microsoft Office Web Apps are also a perfect solution for people who seldom need to create a Word, Excel or other Office document. 

Microsoft Office Web Apps are a simple way to create a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation or OneNote notebook while on the go, save the file to SkyDrive and then email the file with or do additional editing later with Microsoft Office.

Creating Microsoft Office Web Apps

These simple steps illustrate how easy it is to create Microsoft Office Web Apps.  All you need to get started is a free Microsoft Account, an Internet connection and you are ready to go. 

There are two ways to access Microsoft Office Web Apps.

1.  If you are already logged on to, merely click the arrow to the right of Mail then click the SkyDrive icon. Icons

After SkyDrive opens, click Create and select the type the type of file you need to create.

Create Office App

2.  The second method is to go to  click the "My Office" link and sign on with your Microsoft Account. Signon
Scroll past your SkyDrive files and click the appropriate icon located under the Create New heading, depending upon the type of file you need to create.

Office App Create New
Whether you access Microsoft Office Apps directly from SkyDrive or from the portal, the rest of the steps are the same.

Using Word as an example, a blank document will open with all of the standard formatting tools you are accustomed to finding in the ribbon readily available, including spell check!

Split between the two screen captures below is a copy of some of the formatting features available in the Microsoft Word Office App.

Word App Ribbon

Word App Ribbon

When you have finished creating your document, merely click the save icon or File > Save. 

Share the File

After you have finished creating/editing your document, it is just as easy to share the file with team members, co-workers, family, etc., as appropriate as it was to create the document.

If you are ready to share the document, you can do it right from SkyDrive.  Merely click "Share" and you can type in an email address or use one already in your address book.

Select whether the recipient(s) need the ability to Edit the document.  If it is a business file, check the requirement that recipients need to sign in.

Share Office App

You can also attach the document to an email from  Merely create your email and click the paperclip.  Click your SkyDrive app and select the document.  At this point, you can elect to send the file using SkyDrive or attach the file, in which case the recipient can download the document.

Are You Ready Now?

You can see how easy it is to use Microsoft Web Apps.  Give it a try and if you have questions, leave a comment.  I'd also love to hear from you if you use Microsoft Office Web Apps for a group or team project.

Update:  This short video by MSFTOutlook illustrates the simplicity of combining, SkyDrive and Microsoft Office apps in your everyday life:

Update 2Consumer Camp is an excellent resource for, you guessed it, consumers!  The purpose of Consumer Camp is to "showcase Microsoft’s consumer-facing technologies, through education and engagement."

To learn even more about Microsoft Web Apps, set aside 15 minutes and visit the link below to watch the Office Team's video shared by my friend and fellow Microsoft MVP, Marques Lyons: Getting things done with Office Web Apps.

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Note:  I am a SkyDrive and Insider.  If you have a question about this article, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to assist.
Learn more about the SkyDrive Insiders program here.
Learn more about the Insiders program here.


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