24 May 2013

Microsoft's Word App

We've had Office 365 for ages and its web versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint (and, yes OneNote, if you insist) but it is only recently that Microsoft have promoted these. They now call them their Word app (and presumably Excel app etc.)

Google really have led the way in this respect with their Docs getting better and better and considerable integration of Drive in Chrome. Microsoft have done a lot to try to keep up, including an Excel Survey app which I have only just noticed! That may rival the very effective and useful Google Forms, I'll have to review that later.

I thought I would have a quick look to see just how close Microsoft had got to something that really does rival Google.

Accessing your SkyDrive is easy enough, and your folder f documents is displayed. There's a strange-looking symbol for PDF documents. I opened a new Word App document and pasted in some content from a document I had in G Drive. The images didn't come with the paste but the text layout was OK and there are a reasonable number of styles and formatting options in the familiar-ish ribbon.

I chose that particular document because I wanted to remove a footer from the front page which I couldn't do in Google Docs. Hmmm. In Microsoft's Word app you can't even add a footer, never mind what I was trying to do! So I am afraid that's as far as I went. It will need to be more advanced if it is to be a real challenge and not just a place where people who haven't got a Google account go to create simple documents.

Excel looks more powerful but I really can't at this time recommend a move away from Google Docs which are getting better every week.

Something that Microsoft do give you, though, that I spotted is a link to your folder. I suppose Google do provide a url you can copy but here is an embedded blue box! Absolutely no way to change the security for individual items but never mind. And they do warn you about that. So it's pretty useless but quite pretty.

You'll see items there from 7 years ago when I first started experimenting. Gosh, was it that long ago! You'll also see that I have done nothing since.

The necessity to use docx may annoy some who still like Office2003 and there is only Download as a Word document as an option. All a bit restrictive. But more familiar to many and a port in a storm, I guess.

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