Office 365 gives you two options for creating and editing documents in your team site or Sky Drive Pro libraries: you can edit directly in Word Web App or by opening the document in the full version of Word. Similar options are available for Excel, Power Point, and OneNote. There are advantages to both approaches.

  • The web app, an abbreviated, online version of the full Office program, is usually the default when you open a library item. The web app is convenient if your edits involve basic tasks like cutting and replacing content, changing a font, inserting a table or image, or making minor layout changes, when there’s usually no need to open the full Word program.
  • The full version of Word is useful when you need additional features, such as change bars, review markup, TOC, footnotes, mail integration, and so on.

When you click a document in your SkyDrive Pro or team site library, you can choose whether to edit it in Word or Word Web App:

If you choose to edit using Word Web App, you can change your mind later and edit in Word by clicking the OPEN IN WORD tab:

When you finish editing in the web app, you’ll click Save as usual, but then click the Back button to exit this document because you’re not working locally.

If you want documents to open in Word instead of the Word Web App, here’s how to change it:

  1. Browse to the library that contains the document and click the Library button at the top left.
  2. In the settings section of the ribbon, click Library Settings.
  3. In the General Settings section, click Advanced Settings.
  4. Select Default open behavior for browser-enabled documents and set the document to Open in the client application or Open in the browser, whichever method you prefer to open by default.

If you run into snags using a browser other than Internet Explorer, you might want to try using Internet Explorer, which is optimized for this task.