Office Online is similar to the applications in the desktop Microsoft Office suite, but it's not identical. Because it's free to use, Office Online has fewer features than the desktop version. Still, if you already know how to use Microsoft Office, you should find Office Online fairly easy to work with.
This lesson will focus on using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. To learn about OneNote, visit Microsoft Office's OneNote Online page.
Watch the video below to learn more about using Office Online.
Office Online includes useful tools for creating basic Office documents. However, it lacks advanced document formatting tools, which can make it a challenge to create polished and professional-looking documents. One way to avoid this problem is by creating documents in Office Online, then polishing them as needed in desktop Office programs.
Word Online is the online version of Microsoft Word. You can use Word Online to create text documents, including letters, resumes, and flyers.
If you’re unfamiliar with Microsoft Word, review our Word 2016 tutorial to learn how to create and format documents.
Compared to the desktop version, Word Online has fewer editing and formatting tools. This means you won’t be able to use Word Online to heavily customize the appearance of your documents. In addition, Word Online lacks several advanced features, including the ability to track changes and use SmartArt and Mail Merge.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to become familiar with the Word Online interface.
The File tab allows you to create new documents, open existing documents, print documents, and more.
The Home tab gives you access to some of the most commonly used commands for working with Word Online, including copying and pasting, formatting, paragraph alignment, and document styles. The Home tab is selected by default whenever you open Word Online.
The Insert tab allows you to insert pictures, tables, hyperlinks, page numbers, and more into your document.
The Page Layout tab allows you to change the print formatting of your document, including margin width, page orientation, and more.
You can use the Review tab to access Word Online's editing features, including spell check and comments. Comments make it easier to collaborate on documents.
The View tab allows you to switch between Reading View and Editing View. Reading view is helpful if you don't need to make any changes to your document.
Click here to open the document in the desktop version of Word. Note that you must have Office installed on your computer to use this feature.
This is where you'll add and edit text for the document.
Excel Online is the online version of Microsoft Excel. Like the desktop version of Excel, Excel Online allows you to use spreadsheets, or worksheets, to store and analyze data in organized workbooks.
If you’re unfamiliar with using Microsoft Excel, review our Excel 2016 tutorial to learn how to create and use workbooks.
Excel Online contains many of the most useful Excel features. For example, you can perform calculations with formulas. You can even organize your data into tables and charts, although you won't be able to do much to customize their appearance.
Most of Excel's advanced tools are not included in Excel Online. For instance, you won't be able to create PivotTables, perform advanced data analysis, or customize the page layout.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to become more familiar with the Excel Online interface.
From the File tab, you can create new workbooks, open existing workbooks, print workbooks, and more.
The Home tab gives you access to some of the most commonly used commands for working with data in Excel Online, including copying and pasting, formatting, and changing number formats. The Home tab is selected by default whenever you open Excel Online.
The Insert tab allows you to insert charts, tables, and more, which can help you visualize and communicate your workbook data graphically.
The Data tab gives you access to advanced data options. However, this tab contains very few commands compared to the desktop version of Excel, so you may not find it very useful.
You can use the Review tab to access Excel Online's editing features, including spell check and comments. Comments make it easier to collaborate on spreadsheets.
The View tab allows you to switch between Reading view and Editing view. Reading view hides the Ribbon and other toolbars, which makes your data easier to read.
Click here to open the current workbook in the desktop version of Excel. Note that you must have a version of Office installed on your computer to use this feature.
This is where you'll enter the data for the current worksheet.
When you select a chart, the Chart tab will appear on the Ribbon. From here, you can customize the chart's appearance, change the chart type, and more.
If you're working with a lot of data, it's easy to switch between worksheets. You can also click the New Worksheet button to the right of the existing worksheets to add a new worksheet.
PowerPoint Online is the online version of Microsoft PowerPoint. You can use PowerPoint Online to create slideshow presentations that include text, images, and SmartArt graphics.
If you’re unfamiliar with Microsoft PowerPoint, review our PowerPoint 2016 tutorial to learn how to create and format presentations.
While it still lacks many of tools found in the desktop version, PowerPoint has fewer limitations than Word and Excel. You can easily insert pictures, SmartArt, animations, and transitions.
However, there are some design tools that are not available in PowerPoint Online, including Slide Master view. While it is possible to create professional presentations with PowerPoint Online, you won't have as much control over the way these presentations look as you would in the desktop version.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to become more familiar with the PowerPoint Online interface.
From the File tab, you can create new presentations, open existing presentations, print presentations, and more.
The Insert tab allows you to insert pictures, text boxes, SmartArt, and more.
You can apply themes from the Design tab. A theme is a predefined combination of colors, fonts, and effects that can quickly change the look and feel of your entire slide show. Different themes also include different slide layouts.
You can apply slide transitions from the Transitions tab. Transitions are the movements you see between slides when presenting your slide show. Note that PowerPoint Online includes very few transitions compared to the desktop version.
You can use the Review tab to access PowerPoint Online's editing features, including spell check and comments. Comments make it easier to collaborate on presentations.
The slide navigation pane allows you to view and work with the slides in your presentation. The selected slide will appear in the slide pane to the right. You can add, delete, duplicate, and rearrange slides in the slides navigation pane.
Here, you can view and edit the selected slide.
You can add notes for each slide in the Notes pane. Often called speaker notes, these notes can help you deliver or prepare for your presentation.
The Home tab gives you access to the most commonly used commands, including copying and pasting, formatting, and adding new slides. The Home tab is selected by default whenever you open PowerPoint Online.
The Animations tab allows you to animate text and objects. Animations can be used to draw attention to specific content or make the slide easier to read. PowerPoint Online includes only a limited number of animations compared to the desktop version.
The View tab allows you to switch between several views for your presentation, including Slide Show view, which you'll use to play the presentation.
Click here to open the current presentation in the desktop version of PowerPoint. Note that you must have a version of Office installed on your computer to use this feature.