Office Web Viewer: View Office documents in a browser

What is the Office Web Viewer?

It’s a service that creates Office Web Viewer links.  Office Web Viewer links open Word, PowerPoint or Excel files in the browser that would otherwise be downloaded. You can easily turn a download link into an Office Web Viewer link to use in your website or blog (e.g., recipes, photo slide show, a menu, or a budget template).

Some benefits of the Office Web Viewer include:

  • You don’t need to convert Office files for the web (e.g., PDF, HTML).
  • Anyone can view Office files from your website or blog, even if they don’t have Office.
  • It keeps eyes on your website or blog, because readers don’t need to download the file and they stay in the browser.
  • One link will work for computers, tablets, and mobile phones.

How to get started

To use Office Web Viewer, click this link: http://officewebviewer.com

Then copy and paste the document’s URL in the text box. It looks like this:

To make the URL yourself, you can use the link below, where <Document Location> is a URL to the document.

http://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=<Document Location>

Note: the <Document Location> needs to be URL encoded, and the document must be publicly accessible on the internet.

Here are a few examples of documents in the Office Web Viewer:

  • At the Microsoft Build conference there were a lot of presentations with PowerPoint decks. If you want to watch a video of one of the presentations, you can also look at the PowerPoint deck that goes with it using the Office Web Viewer. http://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=http%3a%2f%2fvideo.ch9.ms%2fbuild%2f2011%2fslides%2fTOOL-532T_Sutter.pptx
  • On a popular banking site we found this great Wedding Budget Planner spreadsheet.  To preview the spreadsheet instead of downloading it, we created an Office Web Viewer link. http://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=http%3A%2F%2Flearn.bankofamerica.com%2Fcontent%2Fexcel%2FWedding_Budget_Planner_Spreadsheet.xlsx
  • Here’s a school newsletter template we found on Bing.  With the Office Web Viewer, you don’t have to worry about everyone at the school being able to view a Word document–now all they need is a browser. http://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=newteach.pbworks.com%2Ff%2Fele%2Bnewsletter.docx

If your document is an Office document and is publicly accessible on the internet, then you are good to go.  Office Web Viewer links are a great alternative to download links because your readers don’t need a special program to view your documents, and they don’t have the interruption of leaving their browser.

 

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