How To

Office Tip: access your Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents online

If you happen to be away from home but need to access a Microsoft Office document, you can use Office Online. It’s a really practical solution for keeping all your documents close and editing them from any computer with an internet connection.

When I was a student, I always carried a USB stick with me. Today, if you look through my bag, you won’t find anything that resembles removable storage. These days, I edit my Office documents with Office Online, a Microsoft web app that synchronizes with the different programs in Microsoft Office.

Here’s how to use Office Online.

1. Save documents

Save documents to OneDrive so that you can access them later.

Once you’ve completed your Word document, Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation, click Save As. You’ll be given three options: OneDrive (Microsoft’s online storage), Computer (to save locally,) and Add a place (for using Office 365).

Choose OneDrive, then Sign in.

Connect OneDrive

2. Create a Microsoft Account

If you don’t have a Microsoft account, you can create one on this page. A Microsoft account includes your OneDrive storage, an Outlook email address, and the ability to sync your PC or smartphone with your account.

3. Connect to OneDrive

By connecting your OneDrive account to Microsoft Office 2013, you can save all your documents to the Microsoft cloud in just one click.

4. Access Office Online

How can you edit these documents on another computer?

Once you’re on another PC or Mac, open the web browser, go to the Office Online home page, click Sign in at the top right, and enter your email address.

Email Office Online

5. Log in

Enter your account details and log in.

6. Edit documents

This is where you will be able to edit all of your Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents. Select the icon of the program you want to open.

Then choose Recent documents on OneDrive, open the document you want, then edit it by going to Edit document, and then Edit in Word Online.

Recent documents Office Online

Edit in Word Online

You’ll find that the interface is very similar to Office 2013; the only difference is that it’s in the browser. Your documents will be automatically saved. In other words, when you’re back on your PC, you’ll be able to find the most recent versions of any texts, spreadsheets, or presentations you may have tweaked in the web browser.

Check back for our next office tips, where we’ll give you info about page numbering.

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