When you receive an Office document as an attachment in your Hotmail Inbox, you can download it to your computer to store it or to open it in an Office desktop application. Just click Download, next to the attachment.
If you happen to click View online instead, you can still download the document by clicking Download, next to the File tab.
However, if you are downloading the document so that you can read it—or print or edit it—you might not need to download the document at all. You can view, print, and edit Office attachments by using the View online command on the attachment, which opens the document in Office Web Apps.
Viewing the document
With Microsoft Office Web Apps you don’t have to download an Office attachment to open and read it. On the attachment, click View online to open the document in Office Web Apps.
- Word attachments open in Word Web App, which displays the document in the equivalent of Print Layout view in Microsoft Word.
- PowerPoint attachments open in PowerPoint Web App, which lets you advance through the slides and view speaker notes. You can also view the presentation as a slide show, including transitions and slide animations.
- Excel attachments open in Excel Web App, where you can view data, or switch to another worksheet in the workbook.
Printing the document
You can print the attachment using commands in Office Web Apps rather than your web browser.
On the File tab click Print.
- In Word Web App and PowerPoint Web App, a PDF viewer is required for printing documents.
- In Excel Web App, you can print a range of cells rather than printing the entire worksheet. Select the range of cells before you click Print.
Editing the document
You can edit the document without downloading it. This lets you work on documents when you are away from a computer that has Office installed, or to work on documents together with friends and colleagues who don’t have Office. Just click Edit in Browser.
Hotmail saves the document on your SkyDrive: file storage that is part of your Windows Live service. If the attachment is in a file format earlier than Office 2007, it is converted to the Microsoft Office 2010 format.
Office Web Apps are intended to make it easier to share documents together with other people and to work on your documents anywhere. They don’t have all the features of the Office desktop applications. You can make basic edits to documents, but for full Office features, click Open in Word, Open in Excel, or Open in PowerPoint. When you click Save in the Office desktop application, the file is automatically saved back on your SkyDrive.
- The Open command works only if you have Office 2003 or later and Internet Explorer or Firefox (Windows). On the Mac, this feature requires Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 version 12.2.9 or Office for Mac 2011 and Firefox or Safari. For details, see If the Open command doesn’t work, download your document.
- In some cases, a document contains items that cannot be displayed or edited in Office Web Apps. Some items, such as drawings in Word, can be displayed as placeholders, and you can edit the rest of the document. Other items, such tracked changes, prevent the document from being opened in the Office Web Apps editor. When this happens, use the Open command to open the document in the Office desktop application.
When you are finished, close Office Web Apps by clicking Close in the upper-right corner of the web app window.
Hotmail asks whether you want to reply to those who got the original attachment. This lets them know that you updated it. Click Yes to send a message that includes a link to the document that you edited. Everyone on the e-mail thread now has a single copy of the document to work on, which they can open in Office Web Apps or the Office desktop applications.
For more information about Office Web Apps, see Using Office Web Apps in SkyDrive.