A first look at Office Web Apps real-time co-authoring, amongst other new features coming in next update

By damaster | Posted June 20, 2013 20 comments

Ofc_Orng166_rgbBack in early May, the Office team announced that real-time co-authoring will be coming to Office Web Apps soon. As part of the announcement, the team also mentioned other enhancements are coming in the upcoming update as well, but provided no details on exactly what new features are coming.

Today over at the official Office blog, part of the Microsoft Garage series the Office Web Apps team revealed for the first time some of the new features coming to Word, Excel and PowerPoint Web Apps. We have listed those new features below:

Word Web App

Word Web App - Header, Footer and Footnotes

  • Added “Find and Replace” functionality to edit mode
  • Support for adding and editing Header & Footer
  • Support for inserting Footnotes
  • Added ability to add and show Comments in edit mode
  • Added ability to format tables and select “Table Styles”

Excel Web App

Excel Web App - AutoFill

  • Support for Autofill feature – automatically fill-in data based on previous entries in a table
  • Support for Data Validation
  • Support for Freeze Pane

PowerPoint Web App

PowerPoint Web App - SmartArt

  • When adding New Slide – thumbnails are now shown for the design of the new slide layout
  • Ability to insert and edit SmartArt

 

Of course, in addition to the above, all of the Web Apps will support real-time co-authoring, a much-requested feature based on user feedbacks. Similar to Google Docs, the positions of co-authors are shown in the document with a different colored cursor, allowing users to see which portion they are currently editing. To see how it works in action, you can check out the full video on YouTube here:

According to the video, these new features are expected to be released to the public “within the next several months”. What other features would you like to see in Office Web Apps? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted June 20th, 2013 at 4:29 am
Category: News
Tags: Office Web Apps, SkyDrive
  • Ray Wall

    I noticed that I have pane freeze and autofill in my Excel webapp this morning. It’s real nice.

    • davidmk

      Frozen panes would be great… not showing in mine yet, but Australia tends not to be one of the first regions to be updated for anything… ever… except the sun which comes up for us before most other people…

      • Ray Wall

        And now it’s gone today. Was nice while it lasted. I cannot wait until pane freeze is permanent.

        • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

          I wish that Header and Footer support would just be added already. It’s like the only thing I want from Word Web App right now. Maybe in the future they could add the ability to add columns.

          • Ray Wall

            I agree on columns. I hope they do add columns after these updates. Then the Web Apps would include everything I’d ever really need most of the time. I love the way the Web Apps are turning out. Both beautiful and very functional.

          • davidmk

            I have Frozen Panes in Excel Web App! Woohoo!

  • Ray Wall

    I noticed that I have pane freeze and autofill in my Excel webapp this morning. It’s real nice.

    • davidmk

      Frozen panes would be great… not showing in mine yet, but Australia tends not to be one of the first regions to be updated for anything… ever… except the sun which comes up for us before most other people…

      • Ray Wall

        And now it’s gone today. Was nice while it lasted. I cannot wait until pane freeze is permanent.

        • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

          I wish that Header and Footer support would just be added already. It’s like the only thing I want from Word Web App right now. Maybe in the future they could add the ability to add columns.

          • Ray Wall

            I agree on columns. I hope they do add columns after these updates. Then the Web Apps would include everything I’d ever really need most of the time. I love the way the Web Apps are turning out. Both beautiful and very functional.

          • davidmk

            I have Frozen Panes in Excel Web App! Woohoo!

  • Jose

    Still no autosave for word…

    Come on microsoft all your other apps have it. Google has had it for years.

    • damaster

      With real-time co-authoring, I would assume that both Word and PowerPoint will support auto-save. Although we’ll have to see when it gets released.

    • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

      Not having autosave in word imo is not that big of a deal. Before you close the window or leave the page it gives you a warning if you want to save your document, and the app even has a feature were you can recover unsaved text via the browser.

  • Jose

    Still no autosave for word…

    Come on microsoft all your other apps have it. Google has had it for years.

    • damaster

      With real-time co-authoring, I would assume that both Word and PowerPoint will support auto-save. Although we’ll have to see when it gets released.

    • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

      Not having autosave in word imo is not that big of a deal. Before you close the window or leave the page it gives you a warning if you want to save your document, and the app even has a feature were you can recover unsaved text via the browser.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    Finally we can get Header and Footer support! I’ve requested that feature for months.

    Also, I wish the web apps team would add support for Opera (using the Presto rendering engine). They haven’t quite switched to Blink yet on the desktop version.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    Finally we can get Header and Footer support! I’ve requested that feature for months.