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Introduction to Word Web App

Microsoft Word Web App extends your Microsoft Word experience to the web browser, where you can work with documents directly on the website where the document is stored.

Integrate seamlessly with Word

You create a document in Microsoft Word. You want to post it on a website so that other people can read it, maybe print it out. What if you notice after you've posted it that you spelled someone's name wrong? Wouldn't it be great if you could just fix it quickly, right there on the website? Word Web App makes this scenario possible.

In Microsoft Word 2010 you can start using Word Web App by saving your document to your SharePoint library. On the File tab, click Save & Send, and then click Save to SharePoint.

Office Web App screen

Now, your document is available to view and print quickly, to edit in the browser, or re-open in Word.

Note:  Documents don’t need to be created in Word 2010 to be opened in Word Web App. For best compatibility, use Office Word 2003 or later, or use Word for Mac 2008 version 12.2.9 or Word for Mac 2011. If you are using Word 2003, install the most recent service pack and save documents on your computer as .docx files Then upload the document to a SharePoint site where Office Web Apps programs are configured.

Read a document in the browser

When you open your document in SharePoint, Word Web App opens the document in the browser. The layout and formatting are what you would see if you were to open the document in Print Layout view in Word.

View mode

Note:  If you don't have Microsoft Silverlight 2 or later installed, Word Web App displays a bar with a link to install Silverlight. Silverlight is not required, but documents display more quickly and with greater visual fidelity at high zoom levels if you have the latest version of Silverlight installed.

In Reading view, you can page through the document, or move to a particular page. Type the number of the page that you want to move to, or use the Previous Page and Next Page buttons.

Go to Page

If you want a closer look, or if you want to see more of the page on the screen, use the Zoom command to increase or decrease your view of the page.

You can also use the Find command to search for words or phrases. Search results are highlighted in the document.


As with a web page, you can select text in the document and copy it so that it's available to paste in another application.

Print from the browser

Word Web App prints a document as it appears in Reading view. To print a document, click the File tab, and then click Print.

Print command

Note:  A PDF viewer is required for printing in Word Web App. If you don’t already have a PDF viewer you can download one for free from the Web.

Edit in the browser

If you want to make changes to the document, click Edit in Browser. In Editing view, you can add and delete content, and format text. Editing view is optimized for editing content, not displaying the document. Layout is simplified in Editing view, and items that the view cannot display are shown as placeholders. The placeholders prevent you from unintentionally deleting content that can be displayed but not edited in Word Web App.

Edit mode

In Editing view, you can type text as usual, and you can use copy/paste and undo/redo commands. You can format text by applying styles and all the text formatting choices that you see on the Home tab.

You can also add pictures, clip art, tables, and hyperlinks. Clip art comes from the collection of images available from Go to the Insert tab to add these.

If you want to see how your changes look in the document, click Save on the File tab, and then switch back to Reading view: on the View tab, click Reading View.

Seamlessly edit in Word

Editing in Word Web App is best suited for quick changes, such as making a correction, inserting a picture, or adding more text. If you want the full set of Word capabilities, click the File tab, and then click Open in Word.

Word Web App opens the document directly in your Word desktop application, where you can work more substantially — for example, if you want to change styles in the document, change SmartArt, or add headers and footers. In Word, when you click Save, Word saves the document back on the web server.

Note:  Opening documents directly from the browser into the Word desktop application is supported in Firefox, Internet Explorer (Windows), and Safari (Mac) browsers. In Windows, you must also be using Word 2003 or later to use this feature (If you are using Firefox, you must also be using Word 2010). On the Mac, this feature requires Microsoft Word for Mac 2008 version 12.2.9 or Word for Mac 2011.

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