Office Online for Chrome: Create documents online without having Office installed

Here is one more reason why Microsoft’s Office Productivity suite is better than other productivity software in the market. Microsoft’s team has developed a plugin called Office Online for Chrome, that lets you create & use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Sway Online without needing Office installed on your Windows PC.

Office Online for Chrome browser

Office Online for Chrome browser

This online app essentially gives you the freedom to access and work on your documents anywhere and that too on a variety of Office tools. This app comes as an extension to the Chrome browser and you can open or create an Office document with just a single click.

Setting Up

To start using Office Online on Chrome browser, you just have to click and install the extension and once completed you will get a message that the extension has been added to your Chrome browser.

Office Online

To access the extension click onto the red “Office Online” icon located at the top right hand side corner of the browser window. You will asked to select the location where you would like to your online files. You can choose from OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.

Office Online

Like most apps nowadays require access to user’s basic information this app also prompts you to accept certain permissions. However, you can change the permission settings anytime by going to your account settings.

Office Online

Accessing and creating documents

If there are no online documents created earlier you won’t get to see any of them on the application window. The application window consists of 4 basic tabs, namely,

  1. New
  2. Open
  3. Account
  4. Settings

Office Online

New : When you click on “New”, a drop-down window appears showing various Office apps that you can choose to create. As of today, available tools are Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft OneNote and Sway.

Click on any of the above tools to start using. For instance, I clicked on Excel and a new page opened with the WorkSheet as you would see in an Offline version.

Office Online

Now, having worked on the worksheet, you have various options to save it. Click on “File” and you can choose any of the below options to save your document.

Office Online

I choose to save my file to OneDrive and renamed the file to “Sample1” and I close the window. Now, when I open the “Office Online” app again, my worked on files would be available for access or rework from any location of the world. Similarly, you can use and access other Office tools.

Open : Using Open you can access any saved document from OneDrive or the second option you can also choose to upload any office file from your PC. As shown below, just click on browse to upload files from your PC.

Office Online

Account: The tab allows you  to Signout from the app window. You can also log in with other OneDrive account using this tab only.

Settings: Through Settings tab, you can choose to select or deselect the option of automatically sending data to Microsoft servers for their program improvements.

To conclude, Office Online App is a simple yet very productive tool that allows you to access and modify your Microsoft office files wherever you like and that too without bothering whether the PC in use has an Office productivity suite installed or not.

Click here to get the Office Online extension for Chrome browser.

Also check out Open with Microsoft Office Online for Chrome. It allows you to view Office files.

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Ankit Gupta is a writer by profession and has more than 7 years of global writing experience on technology and other areas. He follows technological developments and likes to write about Windows & IT security. He has a deep liking for wild life and has written a book on Top Tiger Parks of India.


  1. Andrey

    I think that needs to mature. Tested on Linux and could not open local files or files available on the Web. Google Docs extension works well for files available on the web.

  2. john_43035

    “Office installed on your Windows PC.” Office needs to be installed on the windows machine for the plugin, will not work with Linux…it does serve little purpose.

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