Feb 5, 2013

Even if you do not have Microsoft Word installed on your computer, you can edit and collaborate on Word documents others have sent or shared with you just by using your web browser. One way to do this is with Microsoft's free SkyDrive cloud service — and its included Office Web Apps versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

To open and edit the document, just log into your SkyDrive account through your Web browser and upload the file; SkyDrive users can also share files through the service. If you use the SkyDrive desktop program, you can also drag the file into the SkyDrive folder to upload it.

Next, open the document from within the browser and click the Edit Document option in the Sky-Drive menu bar. You can choose to edit the file in Microsoft Word or edit the document in the Word Web App — which is not as versatile as the full Word program, but can handle basic editing functions. Microsoft has more information on using SkyDrive and Office on its site.

Those using Gmail and Google can collaborate on Word files by using the Google Drive and Google Docs services or by opening Google Docs files in Microsoft Word. If you do not want to convert the Word file to the Google Docs format and only want to read it, you can view the document in its original format with the Google Drive Viewer. Google Drive Viewer can also preview more than 15 different file types, including Apple Pages documents, Adobe Illustrator artwork and AutoDesk AutoCAD files.

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