Working with Office 2016, Office 365 and SharePoint
This article is intended for new Office 365 users who have recently transitioned to an online cloud environment, but also retain locally installed legacy installations of Office 2016, or who have an Office 365 subscription that includes locally installed versions of Office 2016. The new Office 365 users intend using SharePoint as their document management and storage system.
First of all, what's the difference between Office 365 and Office 2016?
- Office 365 is an online subscription service that includes the most recent version of Office, which is currently (August 2016) Office 2016. It comes with the applications you're familiar with, like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, plus additional applications such as SharePoint, Microsoft's browser-based collaboration and document management platform, extra online storage, ongoing tech support and more. You can choose to pay for an Office 365 subscription on a monthly or yearly basis. The online version of Office 2016 has slightly reduced functionality and so your Office 365 subscription may also include a local installation of Office 2016 with full functionality.
- Office 2016 is also available as a one-time purchase, which means you pay a single, up-front cost to get Office applications for one computer. One-time purchases (such as Office Home & Student 2016) are available for both PCs and Macs. They don't have an upgrade option, which means if you plan to upgrade to the next major release, you'll have to buy it at full price.
This article explains how users may work with SharePoint in an environment that includes both an online cloud-based Office 2016 application, and also an offline Office 2016 application.
Accessing Office 2016 through SharePoint
If you have an Office 365 subscription, and a locally installed copy of Office 2016, then there are two ways that you can work with Office 2016. You may use either,
- The local Office 2016 application installed on your PC/ laptop, or,
- The online cloud-based Office 2016 application located on the Microsoft server.
It is generally easier and safer to work online, using the cloud-based version of Office 2016, as documents are saved automatically, whereas in the local application you must remember to save manually. However, for access to the full functionality of Office 2016 then the local installation is required.
To access Office 2016 through SharePoint, proceed as follows.
- Sign in to SharePoint via Office 365, and open the document that you want to work on.
When the document opens you will see that it has opened in the online Office 2016 application because the word "Online" appears in the header bar, as indicated in the examples below for Microsoft Word Online and Excel Online.
You may now view the document. If you wish to modify it then you need to choose whether to use the online version of Office 2016, or the locally installed PC/laptop application.
Using the online version of Office 2016
To edit your document using the online version of Office 2016, proceed as follows.
- From within the document, click Edit Workbook (or, in Word, Edit Document). Then, from the drop-down options, click Edit in Browser
The document will open in the online version of Office 2016.
Using the offline version of Office 2016
To edit your document using the offline version of Office 2016, proceed as follows.
- From within the document, click Edit Workbook (or, in Word, Edit Document). Then, from the drop-down options, click Edit in Excel (or Word).
- The document will open in the offline version of Office 2016.
If you want to work online when you create a new document, then you should create the new document within SharePoint, in the folder that you would like to save the document to.
Alternatively, if you create a new document using the Office 2016 application on your PC/laptop, then you will not be able to work online with the document until you have saved it in SharePoint, and then opened it from SharePoint.