Web-Based Microsoft Office That Works Natively With Linux - No Wine Required

  8 years ago

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I am an avid user of Libre Office on Linux Mint.

However, I'm sure there are some Linux users who would like to use Microsoft Office apps (Office, Excel, Powerpoint) if available for Linux.

Good news! Did you know there's a version of MS Office that works natively in Linux? What's more, there's no need to use the Wine emulator. Best of all - it's free!

In actuality, it's a web-based version of MS Office called “Office Online.” It will work regardless of whether your underlying OS is Linux, OS-X, or Windows. It includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and Notes.

So if you want to use free web-based MS Office apps with your Linux system without Wine, heres how:

1. Open your favorite web browser (I use Firefox for Linux).

2. You must first create a free Microsoft Account here: https://login.live.com  Click on the "Sign Up Now" option (lower right) to creat your account. 

3. After you've created your Microsoft account, go to Microsoft One Drive here: https://onedrive.live.com

4. Next, click on the One Drive “Sign In” box at the top right. Use your Microsoft Account to sign in. You'll be re-directed to this link:  https://login.live.com/login.srf?wa=wsignin1.0&rpsnv=12&ct=1394662346&rver=6.4.6456.0&wp=MBI_SSL_SHARED&wreply=https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?cid=B0431E1C0159A4CF&resid=B0431E1C0159A4CF!164&app=Word&wdo=1&lc=1033&id=250206&cbcxt=sky&cbcxt=sky

5. After successfully signing in, you'll be redirected back to the MS One Drive Main page at https://onedrive.live.com

6. You are now in the One Drive environment, main page. In effect, you have created your own individual 7GB free cloud storage drive. Along with this comes access to MS Office On-Line.

7. To open to MS Office apps, there are two ways:

(a) At the top left next to the “One Drive” logo (with the cloud icon), click on the down arrow. This opens a list of links to apps - Outlook, Contacts, Calendar, One Drive (cloud storage) Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote.

(b) Or, at the top left next to the word “Create”, click the down arrow. You'll find options for going straight to creating Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations, etc.

8. This tutorial does not cover specifics of how to use each MS Office application (perhaps a topic for a follow-on tutorial), other than the following points:

(a) In the One Drive main page, top left, you'll find “Sort By.” Click the down arrow to find options for sorting docs by name, type, date, etc. Hint - you have to create docs first for all sort options to be available.

(b) Next to “Sort By” you'll find icons for “Views.” Hovering your pointer over each icon shows options for “Details View,” “Thumbnails View,” or “Details Pane.” I prefer the Details View as it shows the folder structure of your One Drive account.

(c) You can create new docs on One Drive.  Use the "Create" button.

(d) You can upload existing docs to One Drive, and then edit in one of the MS Office apps.  Use the "Upload" button.

(e) You can save docs to One Drive, and/or save to your local system drive.

(f) In each app (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), at the top very far right of the screen, you'll see a question mark “?”....this will open the useful Help Menu.

(g). Office on-line is meant to be highly collaborative (similar to Google Docs), so take a look at the collaboration features.

(h) There's no off-line MS Office capability, so if you want to work offline on a doc, you'll have to use your favorite Linux app (Libre, Open Office, text editor, etc)

(i). See also more information here: 


ander 4 years ago

Thanks for this. Unfortunately (and obviously), the online Office apps use the dreadful command "ribbon" with which Microsoft replaced its standard command menus over 10 years ago. So those of us who prefer menus (and their familiar keyboard shortcuts) will find it of little use. (I'm still using Office 2003, myself.) Cheers, A.

elstellino 5 years ago

I see this instead as a very good thing, because you can say whatever you want, but in the corporate world THE STANDARD IS MS OFFICE with its .docx and .xlsx, period.
Good luck in having them working properly in Libreoffice! If you need to work and you create documents in Libreoffice that then are not rendered properly by your clients who use MS Office, you can whine that it’s Microsoft’s fault, but I bet they won’t listen to you.
I’d honestly rather use MS online than having Windows running in Virtualbox to check the files I have to send, draining all the resources of my machine.
@mintgineer, thank you.

Zhies 5 years ago

Web-based office great! I only wonder if Microsoft is as intrusive as Google when it comes to scanning stuff you put in their cloud? Looking at the "spy characteristics" of Windows 10 - I'm willing to bet they do.

With that said I'm not totally against it, but be careful not to put everything sensitive in the cloud. I only wish LibreOffice worked as well with bullets as Microsoft Office does. :(

MagicMint 7 years ago

Everything that holds back a novice from fully converting to Linux delays his satisfaction, the more so that an online Office is necessarily slower than anything locally installed. Calling the so-called “free” availability of that suite “good news” places the tutorial obviously on the spam side, even unintentionally ;-)

jahid_0903014 8 years ago

If you are looking for a office like MS Office then Kingsoft office is probably the best choice you have.

If an office software is made on line, then certainly it will be made available for every OS, and for Microsoft it's a measure taken against the free world and you are literally advertising for them for free. So if someone regards this as a Spam that's totally understandable and logical.

But there are contradictory logics too. I have promoted this tutorial, because it's entirely directed to the newbies coming from windows, not the linux experienced users.
This tutorial will help users coming from windows to get a little spare time before they become accustomed with the new system.
And once they are accustomed with the new system and found the alternatives to do the same tasks they needed to do in windows then they themselves will give up this windows trick, because, believe me, one office software won't be able to hold them back in windows.

Actually it's not about one office software, but there are a slew of versatile and sophisticated softwares in windows for which linux doesn't have a compatible alternative.

But the thing that windows users are converting to linux, it's not softwares, not versatility, not sophistication, it's something else. It's called Freedom.

Where there is freedom there is something to hope for. If the present is not that bright then certainly the future will be. Those who understand the value of freedom they won't be bought by some petty good looking softwares. If the Microsoft think that in this process they can grab some of the linux users back, then certainly they have gone crazy. These absurd thinkings and steps once will be the end of them.

I consider this Microsoft trick as a grave mistake they have made. Because who have decided to convert to linux or at least to check out a bit, they just need some time to understand linux and come to like it and Microsoft themselves are providing this spare time by inventing stupid ideas.

It will take Microsoft to become open source to take linux on, but that's a fantasy that they will never even dare to dream of.

mintgineer 8 years ago

I've read on other Linux websites where some Wine users seeking a better way to inerface with Office apps. This tutorial offers an option. Calling me "marketing of MS products" is off base and classic name calling (vs. the real issue) that doensn't belong on this reputable forum.

Hammer459 8 years ago

Strictly speaking it is MS spam as it is promoting a Microsoft system even though it does not require Windows.
I have no issue with people using MS-stuff but I would rather see Mints (and other Linux distro) website free of marketing of MS products.

mintgineer 8 years ago

Follow-on for Hammer459 - by the way I don't use the MS Office on-line apps for daily use....I use Libre Office (ie. I pass the Linux sniff test). I just discovered the MS on-line apps, and wanted others to know. By the way, you don't need Microsoft to run the on-line apps....you need Google or Firefox etc.... So technically not MS spam.

mintgineer 8 years ago

In response to Hammer459 - I'm an avid Linux user, and Libre Office user....completely off Microsoft. So the characterization that I'm MS spam is misplaced. I thought some Linux users might want to know about MS Office vs. Libre Office (and even vs. Google Docs). Believe it's a fair observation. Their might be some who are interested.

Hammer459 8 years ago

Microsoft spam IMHO