Microsoft Office document formats dominate the corporate landscape. Sitting at an office PC, it’s easy to download an Office attachment and open it in the appropriate local app. But what about emails received whilst out of the office? Or if a PC doesn’t have Microsoft Office installed?

The business world is now flexible and mobile, with employees working from multiple locations. The assumption that someone is sat at a desk, with Office on the PC, and so can open an email attachment with ease, no longer holds true.

For customers on our Microsoft Exchange 2013 platform, there are no worries over how to handle Office email attachments, as we provide ways of viewing, and editing, Office documents no matter where people are.

Viewing Office docs online

Thanks to OWA 2013, customers on any of our Hosted Exchange 2013 platforms can view Office documents directly in the web browser, without installing add-ons or extra software. Simply log into webmail, select the email with the Office document attached and select ‘Preview’.

OWA 2013’s built-in Office Web Apps will open the document in a new window, giving a full ‘Office-like’ view of the Word file, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation. OWA works in any modern web browser, so users can view Office documents regardless of operating system.

Viewing Office documents online is available on all our Exchange 2013 mailboxes, from Exchange Basic (our entry-level IMAP email account) through to full Hosted Microsoft Exchange.

Editing Office docs online

Moving on from viewing documents without Office installed, to being able to edit Office files from anywhere, involves the use of extra services beyond OWA 2013. For customers who need a complete online Office-like environment, we provide FutureBox.

This is our cloud storage service and includes access to a complete online software suite, fully compatible with Office documents. Customers can quickly move documents from their email attachments into the cloud storage area, and use the integrated document editing suite to amend Word, Excel or PowerPoint files.

The amended files can then be sent back out over email, or shared with others direct from FutureBox using secure file sharing options.

Office no more

It’s essential a business can handle standard Office document formats, however it’s no longer essential to own a copy of Microsoft Office to deal with those formats.

Organisations looking to provide a better service for employees should be actively investigating the Office alternatives, to see if they can deliver full compatibility within a flexible working environment.