Click to launch, click to switch

Today’s post was written by Matt Gauthier, senior program manager with the Office Online team.

Click to launch apps

Last week we announced a new way to organize and launch apps in Office 365 for business cloud-based services. Today, we’re starting to roll out the new app launcher for our consumer services—namely Office Online, and OneDrive. users have been switching apps this way for quite some time, so today’s change represents a small visual change. However, the exciting news is that now launching apps is the same whether you’re working or tending to your personal life. Consistency just make sense!

new app launcher 1

new app launcher 2

Office Online is free and includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote online applications that work in your browser without having to install anything. One of the best ways to use Office Online is when you need to collaborate with other people and edit the same document at the same time. Because the documents you work on are automatically saved to OneDrive as you type, you don’t have to worry about conflicting changes or manually merging copies you used to send as attachments.

However, let’s say you’ve almost finished such a document but you want to polish it using the advanced Word formatting features. Simply click Open in Word in the ribbon.  If you’re on a PC or Mac with the full Office desktop applications, Word automatically launches so you can keep working and your file is still saved to OneDrive.

new app launcher 3


The click to switch method works in all modern browsers and computers with Office desktop versions 2007 or higher installed. If you’re an Office 365 home or business subscriber you never have to wonder about which version you have because you’ll always have the latest—currently Office 2013.

new app launcher 4

Office 365 subscribers also get Office apps for their devices, like the new and popular Office iPad apps. The click to switch method works on iPad too. Let’s say you tap a document link in email and Word Online launches in the Safari browser. To make the most of your touch device, tap Open in Word in the ribbon and presto—you’re editing the same document in the Word for iPad app. This same technique works on your phone too, when viewing a document using your mobile browser your can easily switch to the Office Mobile app.

Well, there you have it. Click to launch apps and click to switch between the web application and the desktop, iPad app or mobile app.

—Matt Gauthier