Now you can access Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint for free online. Doing so means that your documents, spreadsheets and presentations are all stored in the cloud. If you go to http://office.live.com you can sign in and get started.
I’ll warn you now; navigating Microsoft’s website is not easy, and we found it a PITA to get to the page that allowed us to use Word Online! At the time of writing, this page gave us access to the Office programs listed above – online.
If you click on the Word icon, the Word app opens and the interface looks so much like Word on your desktop pc, you may be forgiven for forgetting that you’re actually using a web browser.
On initial entry to the Word app, you will see the familiar recent documents list running down the left hand side of the screen, while there is a gallery of templates to select from that occupies most of the screen real estate in the centre. Selecting a template will create a new Word document based on that template.
Here is the initial screen when opening the Word app:
And here is the initial screen when opening the desktop version of Word:
As you can see, they are both very similar.
The recent documents list in the Word app only displays Word documents that you have saved to the cloud; and when we say cloud here, we mean Microsoft OneDrive. If you haven’t saved your document to OneDrive, it won’t be displayed here.
Let’s keep things simple and click on New blank document, to create a new blank Word document. When your blank document opens, you’ll notice the same ribbon displayed at the top that you see in the desktop version of Word, albeit a little sparser.
The ribbon in Word online offers a selection of commands that you can use to manipulate your document. For example, you can change font settings like size, font name and colur (and many more properties).
When you want to save your document, click on File > Save As > Save, and you will be prompted to name the document. Name the document and click Save.
That document will be saved to OneDrive and will now appear in your recent documents list when you next open Word Online.
There are some quirks when you open and save a Word online document, so be sure to get the low down on those tasks.