Media‎ > ‎Blog‎ > ‎Articles‎ > ‎

How good is Office Online?

posted 13 Jan 2015, 02:36 by Stephen Hind   [ updated 25 Mar 2015, 08:11 by Stephen Hind ]

Office Online

In case you missed it, Office Web Apps, Office 365's online document editing suite, has now relaunched as Office Online.

Since many of our clients use Office 365 and Office Online, we thought we'd give a quick review of how Office Online has improved since its inception, using Word Online as our testing bed.

Of course, we cannot look at Word Online without considering Word 2013. Word Online's messaging is that it is a companion to Word - a tool to make 'quick edits', rather than a deep and feature-rich document editor you'd want to spend a long time on. This used to be acutely apparent, but thanks to a magnitude of updates Word Online now finds itself far more feature rich, and in some ways even superior to its desktop client equivalent.

Let's look at three of Word Online's features in more detail:
  • Layout and Editing - There are impressive features in Word Online, like a very attractive array of styles for picture framing, good paragraph and line spacing features, a competent array of fonts, and a large number of preset Headings and Table Styles, all in keeping with Word 2013. There's certainly room for improvement, however. For example, there is no page ruler, which means no custom tabs or hanging indents, and images are always in line with text, with no options to move images freely.
  • Automatic Saving - Word Online ditches the traditional 'save' button, favouring automatic saves and its' previous versions' feature for all your versioning needs.
  • Collaborative Editing - This is by far the most appreciated update. Word Online now has collaborative editing - Here, two or more people can edit a document simultaneously in real time (as long as they have the right permissions). This is not available in Word 2013, giving Word Online an advantage here.
Overall, while it's a little disappointing that some features aren't present in Word Online, the service has clearly come on in leaps and bounds and its fantastic improvements make us very optimistic about its future.