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Reviewing Microsoft Word Online from Windows Live Web Apps

Groovy Office Online Word How ToAfter trying out the recently launched Office Live, I started looking at some of the features from Windows Live a little more closely.  As much as I like Google Docs, I have to admit I’m glad to see Microsoft pushing the boundaries and bringing some competition into the space.  If nothing else it will drive innovation and keep prices low (and yes, free is good!). Let’s take a look at the Flagship Office Live Web Apps product – Word Online!

So over the next few days I’m going to dedicate a few articles to each of the new Office Live Web Apps. including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.  To begin, let’s take a look Microsoft Word Online!

What’s different between the Word Web App and the Word 2010 Professional?

The Office Web Apps Word Online is honestly pretty nice.  Microsoft not only put Word on the web but they’ve done a few other new things as well which I’ve not seen yet with other online word processors such as drag and drop into the browser as an upload function (excluding gmail).  As mentioned earlier, when you compare the Office Live Web apps to the desktop Professional version of Microsoft Office 2010, they definitely look and feel like a free version rather than a full online version of the Office Suite.  Fortunately, each app packs the most commonly used tools that you use and Word is no exception.  Here’s a side-by-side screenshot comparison of the free web version and the $140 USD desktop version of Word 2010.

The new Microsoft Word Web App in Live Office

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microsoft word web app is free

Compared to Microsoft Word 2010 Professional desktop client

microsoft word 2010

It’s clear the web app is missing more than half of the ribbons and all of the features that go with them, and unlike the desktop version you can’t customize the ribbons.  With that said, the Microsoft Word web app still makes for a groovy tool when you need to edit a document on the fly, draft up something quick, write up something or store something you might need to access on the road.  Saving it to “the cloud’ does exactly that and this is where the SkyDrive 25GB of storage becomes so useful.

How To Access Office Live and The Microsoft Word Web App

The Office Live Web Apps like Word is completely free to use.  The only thing you need to access Office Live is a Microsoft Live or Hotmail account.  If you have one, just visit and sign in.  If you don’t have one, you can sign up and create one there!

sign in to windows live

The Live Office summary page has two options for using the web apps.  Word is accessed from within both of these buttons, and we’ll talk about them below.  Alternatively if you already have documents uploaded to SkyDrive you can just Click on them to open them up in the Microsoft Word web app.

create a new word web app or add new files

Make A Brand New Microsoft Word Document For Free Using Office Live Word

From the Office Live site simply Click New > Word document.

create a new word doc online in office live

Before you enter the web app you’ll be asked to enter a name for the document, Click Save to start writing!

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name your word document and save it in office live web app

How To Open Microsoft Word 2010 Documents In The Live Office Web App

From the summary page you can add files to your SkyDrive so that they can be opened in the Word web app.  Click the Add files button to get started.

add files to skydrive via office live

The add documents page has the groovy ability of using Drag and Drop functionality with Internet Explorer.  To add a file all you have to do is Drag it right into the browser window.  Alternatively you can browse your computer for individual documents using the select documents from your computer link which is the default of other browsers and on the MAC.  Once you’re done uploading, Click Continue.

add documents to my documents from office live

Once you’ve finished uploading your documents, you can view all of them from your My Documents area of Live Office and if you have just uploaded a file, you’ll automatically be taken there.  To open up the document in the Word web app, hover over the document with your mouse and then select Edit in browser.

edit a skydrive document in browser


Microsoft has made it easy to use Word online and although it may be lacking all the features of the desktop version, the fact that it’s integrated with SkyDrive, works with any browser or operating system, is free AND integrates with Desktop versions of Microsoft Office makes it a pretty groovy release from Microsoft this week!

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One Response to Reviewing Microsoft Word Online from Windows Live Web Apps

  1. mike.smith - June 21, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    This application is a direct response do Google docs. No wonder Google pushed/pushes so hard to move its large and paying customers to its solutions.

    But I heard that from the long run MS Web App should be co finance by commercial. This brings a privacy issue since it will scan your documents to display relevant adds. I know that gmail already does this with emails, but documents are somehow considered more private matter than emails. I am not saying whether it is good or wrong, but it is so.

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