Microsoft today announced a slew of improvements to its Office Online suite, and put together a YouTube video for each. Because these productivity apps are only available in the browser, there is no need to update anything — you’ll get the new features on a rolling basis.
First off, the Reading View has got a new toolbar with Edit, Print, Share, and Comments commands just one click away. More advanced tools, such as Translate or Download a file, are also easier to find. Word Online can now print PDF files directly — no need to first download the file.
Next up, Microsoft has expanded its save options: Save As will save a copy of the file to your OneDrive, Rename will modify the file name, Download a Copy will save the file onto computer or any attached storage device, and Download as PDF will do the same after converting the file to PDF first.
The Office Online toolbar now lets you easily add files to OneDrive. If you are viewing a file that you don’t have permission to edit, you can now save your own copy by clicking Add to OneDrive, choosing a destination, and hitting Save. From there, you can edit or share the file like any other.
The new start experience for Office Online lets you directly navigate to your most recently used files or see more of your OneDrive files. You can also quickly create a document with the new blank page template.
Next up, Microsoft has made back-end improvements to its proofreading service and introduced the highlighted word count feature. In addition to the total word count of your document, you can highlight specific sections to figure out the count (both totals are shown in the lower left corner of the screen).
With the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps now available for Android tablets, Microsoft has tweaked Office Online to work with them. When you open a file in Office Online using Chrome for Android, you’ll see an Open in Word, Open in Excel, or an Open in PowerPoint button in the top right corner which you can tap to launch the corresponding app.
Last but not least, the ? Help icon has been integrated with Tell Me, Microsoft’s expanded Office Online help tool. Just click inside the Tell Me box on the top part of the Office ribbon and type in what you’re looking for.
Microsoft promises “much more to come this year” in regards to Office Online. Add the company’s plans for Office 2016 and Office for Windows 10, and this will be a big year for Microsoft’s main moneymaker.