The Web Apps – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote – together with the changes to Windows Live, “Wave 4”, offer new ways of creating, storing, managing, and sharing documents.
As with all things new, there is a bit of learning involved. In fact, there is quite a bit to learning the new ways of doing things. So let me start by pointing out a new link on the Windows Live page – once you are signed in. The top looks like this:
Or maybe like this:
Note the Office link. That gets you to your “Office in the Cloud”, SkyDrive. Right there you can create a new document by clicking on one of the icons as shown above or by clicking the New command, and then clicking the Web App of your choice.
That is easy and straight forward. I don’t recommend creating documents this way because they wind up “on the office floor”. I will come back to that. But being inquisitive let us proceed to create a Word document this way. The first thing that happens is that you are asked to specify the name of the document.
Now that looks familiar to users of Word 2007 or Word 2010. It is a lean but adequate application. If you need all of the features of the full Word program, you can click “Open in Word”. But lets stay here.
You can set the style of text. There is also the expected wide range of fonts, sizes and other features. Note that even spell checking is provided. Spell checking is “live” and provides warnings with the familiar wavy underlines.
There are only four tabs on the Ribbon. Home, as expected, is the default when the app opens.
The Insert tab allows adding tables, pictures and hyperlinks. The View tab offers the default Editing View and Reading View. The difference is rather interesting: In editing some of the “fancy” details do not show. In Reading view all the neat details show, but you are essentially taken out of the app and you cannot do any editing in the Reading view. In another post I will show off some of these details more.
The last tab is File, really the first one on the Ribbon. Here there is another opportunity to open the document in Word. That means downloading the file and opening Word on your computer. Since this is a dotx file you should have Word 2007 or Word 2010.
Save does just that. The file was named before the app opened. It is saved in the folder where the app was launched. Since we just started in “Office” it is saved “on the floor”, in my way of describing it. Note that the little “floppy disks” icon does the same thing.
In this location, the Share command brings up a page with the controls for sharing the document.
Sharing can be defined in a very granular manner. There is the vertical slider control that goes from “Just me” to “Everyone (public)”. The top two positions will allow other people to view the document but not to edit it. When sharing with friends there is an additional option to allow just viewing or complete edit permission.
The last option on the bottom allows you to specify just who can share. You can enter the e-mail address of a correspondent. You can also select from your contact list which includes groups that you may be a member of. Very detailed!
The File > Properties command brings up something like this (the details were moved in this picture to make it more compact):
This is a familiar view to all who have used SkyDrive before. There are some other interesting options on this page, we will get to those another time. I will skip over the other commands in the File menu except the last one: Close.
Close does what you expect. It closes the document and returns you to folder view where you started.
Creating a document in Word Web App is simple and relatively familiar. Setting up how you want to share the document is also very easy. So what was that remark about not doing it this way at the top of this article? Well, for that you must wait for my next post! In the meantime make good use of the new tools!