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Share Microsoft Office Files with the New Facebook Messages (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Facebook Messages and Office.comI’ve been getting acclimated to the platform, and so far, the changes are pretty low-key and generally positive. One such exciting development that didn’t get much of the limelight when the new Facebook Messages system was being erroneously trumpeted as a Gmail killer is the ability to share Microsoft Office files with other Facebook users via Office.com. That is, you can view PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents in all of their glory with a single click without having to sign up for Office Live or downloading the or anything like that.

For Facebook users on the old messages system, you won’t have this feature yet, in spite of what was announced last month on the Microsoft Office Blog. Old Facebook messages users can only attach links, photos and videos to their message, whereas new Facebook Messages users can attach anything and everything. But the magic happens when you attach a .doc, .ppt, .xls, .docx, .pptx or .xlsx file.

View Microsoft Office Files in Facebook Messages

On the recipient’s end, they’ll have a dropdown menu next to the attachment that lets them View on Office.com or download the attachment.View Microsoft Office Files in Facebook Messages1

When they choose the first option, the document will open right in their browser. No plug-ins required. Here it is in Google Chrome:

View Microsoft Office Files in Facebook Messages

Unfortunately, you cannot edit the document, even if it’s an Excel or Word document.  The File menu consists of nothing more than an option to Print or Download your document, as well as some links to the Privacy and Terms of Use statements.

View Microsoft Office Files in Facebook Messages

While a very nice feature, especially for those of us who haven’t shelled out the hundreds of dollars to obtain Office, I think any implications that this changes the game in terms of Google Doc’s supremacy for online document collaboration would be strained at best. This would be truly useful if you had an option to open an Office document from Facebook Messages directly in Office Live or your Skydrive, or if you could even save a copy of it to said cloud services once you had it open on Office.com via Facebook Messages. That’s where  Gmail + Google Docs really shines, after all. But Office’s step towards turning Facebook Messages into a more serious email replacement and answers one of the big questions that all the speculators had about attachments. Now that you can attach any document and view most Office documents with Facebook Messages, that eliminates another subset of situations where you might use email instead of Facebook.

Bottom-line: Facebook + Office.com isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s certainly promising.

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4 Responses to Share Microsoft Office Files with the New Facebook Messages (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

  1. Suzanne July 11, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Since I found my friends can attach word doc by their facebook message, but can’t I. I just want to ask how can I get the new version in order to attach any kind of document.

  2. Given March 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    very useful! thanks! ^_^

  3. Tim Lev May 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    I tried this option just to find out that it requires target users to have office installed… plus it’s heavy in terms of loading time. I recommend on share.kagoon.com , this shares it directly on facebook and works on iPhone Android Mac Linux etc…

  4. Sajid Ali April 4, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    Thanks Alot Very Helpfull…………….I search for it alot forums says it is not happening and you will have to put your docs on external files hosting sites and put the link to FB… but you were Great………Thanks Again…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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