Microsoft Adds PDF Viewing to Word Web App; Excel Web App Now Supports Freeze Panes

Microsoft Adds PDF Viewing to Word Web App; Excel Web App Now Supports Freeze Panes

PDF viewing comes to the Word Web App. (Image source: Microsoft.)

It may have taken a while, but if you’re a Microsoft Office Web Apps user (think of them as lightweight, web-based versions of Microsoft’s Office productivity apps), you can now view PDF files using the Word Web App. Announced through a blog post, the company has detailed how this can be done on SkyDrive,, and Office 365. For SkyDrive, you can optionally convert the PDF to a Word document so that you can edit it (depending on the complexity, formatting may not be the same as the original). This PDF viewing capability was initially enabled for SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint users too, but has since been removed after ‘customers began to encounter issues’.

The above came a week after Microsoft updated the Excel Web App to support freeze panes, header row snapping, data validation, autocomplete, and a new way to sort data.

According to Microsoft, Freeze Panes has been Excel Web App's most requested feature. (Image source: Microsoft.)

These are just a couple of Office Web Apps updates that Microsoft is delivering this year. With more new capabilities in the pipeline, the Redmond-based company is hoping to transform Office Web Apps into a more comprehensive productivity experience, instead of just being a browser-based companion to the desktop apps. Now, just give us real-time co-authoring already.

Source: Office Web Apps blog, Excel blog.

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