What is Office Online?

Office Online is a free basic version of the most popular programs in the Microsoft Office suite. It lets you create Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and more without having to buy or install software. There are four Office Online apps:

  • Word: For creating text documents
  • Excel: For working with spreadsheets
  • PowerPoint: For creating presentations
  • OneNote: For taking and organizing notes
Screenshot of Microsoft OneDrive

You don’t need to install anything on your computer to use Office Online. Instead, you work with it online using a service called Microsoft OneDrive.

What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is a free online storage space you can use as your own personal online hard drive. When you create a document with Office Online, it will be saved to your OneDrive. You can store other files there too. Some people refer to this type of online storage as the cloud. Since Office Online and OneDrive are based in the cloud, you can access them from any device with an Internet connection at any time.

Once you’ve used Office Online and OneDrive to store files in the cloud, you can edit and share them without ever having to download them to your computer. You can also upload files from your computer, including photos and music. You can even sync your computer and OneDrive so any changes you make to your files are automatically copied between the cloud and your computer. As you can see below, working with the cloud makes all of these things possible.

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