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Office Web Apps: Can it replace desktop Office?

Running through basic office work or academic tasks using Office's web applications.
By Zack Whittaker, Contributor
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With Word Web App, as you would expect you can easily edit and change not only the font but the styles also, as well as paragraph adjustments. You can bold, italic, underline, superscript, sub-script, justify, and change font colour. Even though here you don't see a ruler and the margins are not apparent, these are applied by the document template on the host computer when downloaded. So even though it looks very widescreen for a Word document, when downloaded or printed the margins are applied.

(I'm sure many may agree that I could have picked a better essay topic, but this is my academic degree and "live" - so using anything else would have been a fabrication and a distortion of the truth. Plus, I don't get to pick the essay titles, unfortunately, so I just have to go with what I've got.)

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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Even though the bullets are not as wide ranging as those of the desktop Office applications, you can still apply basic bullet formatting to your text. If you wish to change it at a later date, you can using Office Word. However, if you need to get something out quickly, this works just fine.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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Tables are relatively basic here too, but they still offer a wide variety of options and the ability to manipulate text into certain areas and cells. You can't merge cells at the moment, which is a pain, but this would not be difficult to add as a future feature.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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Adding pictures to a document is simple enough too. Unfortunately you can't select the place to look for pictures other than the computer you are on. If you find a web graphic, you can easily copy and paste in the URL of that image and through that it will download to your computer and upload a cached copy.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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A kitteh! At this stage, you cannot do much with the picture, such as align it to a particular side of screen or justification - let alone add filters or graphic effects that you can with desktop Office. On the other hand, you can set the scale which can be changed at a later date offline, but it gives you the basic functionality for now.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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Excel is much more friendly than it once was. I discovered that it isn't the easiest thing to do to get a web Excel document or graph into a web Word document, but you can still just about do it if you have 'print screen' button or a screenshot utility. No doubt this will be added in future builds.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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At least now you can create graphs out of the data you input, unlike before. This new feature means you can create the simple versions of graphics and graphs, but if you open the web Excel document into desktop Word, the data is still there and you can 3D-it-up.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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Seeing as you can embed pictures into your web Word document, by taking a simple screenshot of the graph, you can save it to your desktop and upload it into Word. However, if you are working 'truly in the cloud' then you might well struggle.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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As before, you can upload images very easily into the Word Web App. All the content you upload gets stored on your SkyDrive which has plenty of space for these kinds of things.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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This image then gets treated like any other image. If you were to embed an Excel graph into Word on the desktop, the graph is dynamic and can change based on the values you plug into it from Excel. However in this case, this image is static.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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The spellcheck utility works well, however there is no way of checking the grammar of the text you write, nor a simple way of checking your current word count.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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Adding footnotes (Oxford referencing) is easy to do in desktop Word...

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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...though it does not appear compatible in the Word Web App. If something cannot be displayed such as a footnote or an object embedded, the point of where it should be will be replaced with a hover-note. But as previously mentioned, if it doesn't get displayed here - it's still very much there and will appear once again when opened in desktop Word or printed out.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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Printing works an absolute treat. Instead of printing it out, I wanted to show you exactly what it does based on what you can see. The document was originally started in Word, with a header and footer, page numbers and footnotes, but these aren't displayed in the Word Web App but are still there.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.
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When 'printed out' (using CutePDF writer to display it on screen in a printed format), the margins are intact and everything which should be there is in fact there.

To get a background story on this screenshot gallery, head on over to the iGeneration blog for more.

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