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Office Online is a web-version of Microsoft's popular productivity suite, MS Office. This is a handy tool for managing documents online. This web app comes with an online version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. With this program, users will be able to work on text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations without the need to download the desktop version.
Office Online is a web-app. This means that this suite runs on your web browser. While you can't install them on your device like the normal office apps, you can install them as an extension to your browser. It does not require any special plug-in and works on any popular browsers.
Unlike all Microsoft products, Office Online is completely free. Users can install this suite on their browser without paying and use it all they want without subscriptions. In order to create an Office Online file or access existing documents, users only need to log in to their Microsoft account. You can also create a new account for free.
Using Office Online is easy. All you need to do is launch the app on your browser and select a program that you want to use either Word, Excel or PowerPoint. The app will then prompt you to log in to your Microsoft account. Once logged in, the app will direct you to a screen where you can choose to open a new blank document.
Office Online allows you to open existing document files and edit them. However, these files must reside on OneDrive, the official cloud storage for Office Online. Files that are saved on a computer or file share cannot be edited as the program cannot access local files. To access local file documents, you need to save them in your OneDrive account.
Office Online allows easy sharing of document files. Users only need to send links to documents instead of sending file attachments. To do so, you need to upload the document to OneDrive. From the OneDrive window, you can choose to share the link for an entire folder or an individual file. Sharing is one way to collaborate with others in Office Online.
Office Online only works with the latest MS Office files. These are the files with the letter X at the end of the file extension, such as .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx. If your file is saved using older software version, they need to be converted to the new file format. A conversion request will be sent to you, should you try to edit older files in the browser.
Office Online allows users to edit existing MS Office file, provided that they are saved in OneDrive. However, not all application features from the desktop version are found in the online apps. While they can perform minor editing, they cannot do tasks such as mail merging and producing macro-enabled files. More so, the apps won't run if you do not have an internet connection.
Office Online is a stripped down and simplified version of the desktop suite. While you can run popular productivity apps such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on your browser, not all functionality of the desktop app are present. However, files on Office Online are automatically saved, and it is much easier to share files with other users.
Office Online is a cutdown, free, web-based version of the desktop suite while Office 365 is a subscription-based Microsoft office suite. While both productivity suite offers applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the capabilities of Office Online are limited. If you need access to more applications Publisher and Outlook, you will need to Subscribe to Office 365.