Microsoft OneDrive - Viewing and Editing Files


In our last tutorial, we discussed what Microsoft OneDrive is and how to access your files within OneDrive. This article continues our OneDrive series and introduces users to how they can view and edit files online using Microsoft's Online Office Suite. If you are unfamiliar with OneDrive and how to access it, read our Getting Started article before continuing with this tutorial.

Within OneDrive, all of your files and folders that are synced from you computer are accessible online. As we discussed in the Getting Started article, IT has configured this automatically for users so that their Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures, and Video files are backed up to the Cloud with OneDrive. 

Now that your files live in the cloud, what can you do with them? For starters, you can access your files from your home, or remote office for instance. As an additional benefit, you can view and edit Microsoft Office files without the need to have Office installed on the computer from which you are retrieving your OneDrive files. Let's look at how this is done.

Below is a view of a list of files in OneDrive. Right click a file and you are presented with several options. In this tutorial we are starting with the first option -> Open.

Screenshot showing the shortcut menu for a selected file

Open Microsoft Office Files Online

From OneDrive, any Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote file is capable of being viewed and edited online. When selecting Open, you will be given the option of opening the file in the Online version or client version of the relevant Office product. In the example above, we are opening a Word document in MS Word Online. After selecting open in Word Online, a new browser tab is opened and you are presented a very similar experience to that of the traditional Word application with the familiar Microsoft Ribbon of tools.

Image result for word online ribbon

You are now ready to edit the document online using familiar Microsoft Office tools. Pretty neat! 

**When you edit documents online, Microsoft automatically saves the changes as you edit. Closing the document does not require a Save action. This can sometimes throw users off who are coming from the Microsoft Word client application.**

IOS and Android Apps

You can also access your files with dedicated Microsoft apps for your phone or tablet. 

Next Steps

Now that we've learned how to access OneDrive files and open them in Microsoft's Online Office applications, our next tutorial will take a look at how you can restore files through Microsoft OneDrive's versioning feature.

Go To Next Tutorial


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