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Word Online update: Comments, list improvements, and footnotes now available!

Today, based on customer feedback, we’re making some updates to Word Online. These new capabilities will allow you to bring greater precision, detail, and organization to your documents. We deploy new updates region by region, so if you don’t see the changes we mention in this post, check back later in the week. Read on to find out more!

Comments

A long-requested improvement has arrived! Comments are a critical component of reviewing and refining a document, and now you can work with your comments in Word Online just like you can with the versions of Word you’re familiar with. The new comments pane makes it easy to see all comments in your document, and it allows you to reply to comments or mark them as done. Hints along the margin make it easy to tell where comments have been added.

Now you can make comments in documents in Word Online.

List improvements

Lists are something that everybody uses so we added some additional smarts to make lists in Word Online even better. These new changes make the auto-numbering behavior more intelligent about detecting when you’re continuing a previous list, or starting a new list.

If you want something different than the default, simply right click a list item and select one of the list-specific options, Start New List, Continue Numbering or Set Numbering Value.

Lists are improved in Word Online.

Choose Start New List to create a new list with numbering starting at 1.  If you want to start your list based on a previous list in your document, choose Continue Numbering and if the previous list changes, your list will automatically update.  For more advanced options, choose Set Numbering Value. With this option and you can start a new list with numbering starting at any value, or you can continue from a previous list but have your top entry skip a few numbers.

Footnotes/endnotes

Creating and editing footnotes is easy in Word Online.

We mentioned the new web-first footnotes and endnotes experience in our last post and it is now fully available to all users. Now everybody can create and edit footnotes without leaving the context of your writing. We know that footnote and endnote formatting are important for meeting style guidelines, so rest assured—they will continue to appear at the bottom of the page when viewed in Reading View or when printed.

And more!

We’ve made it easier to export your documents when you’re finished working in Word Online. We’ve added an option to download your document as a PDF file, as well as made improvements to make printing easier for users with PDF readers installed on Internet Explorer and Chrome.  

Also, many of you reached out to us about imperfect layout for some tables in your documents. Today we’re delivering improved rendering support for merged and missing cells. We’ve made sure that your tables look just the way you’ve created them, so that the data in your document or that shiny résumé of yours is ready to make an impact!

Let us know what you think about these changes and please continue to send us feedback on what we can do to make the product that meets your needs. And if you didn’t know already, Office Online is free (Yeah, we said it, FREE!!), so check it out at Office.com. All you need to do is click the Word Online tile and sign in with your Microsoft Account.

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8 comments
  1. When will these features be added to Office Web Apps 2013?

  2. On the Chrome Web Store, the Word Online App and the Power Point Online App are conflicting with each other, I can’t install both! Get it fixed please! =(

  3. One thing that would be extremely useful would be support for coauthored academic papers. This includes support for the different citation styles and automatically generated reference lists.

    • You also have the option of editing documents in the desktop app; just select the desktop app option in the “Edit” button.

  4. Hi,
    Great to see the product improving.

    What about the equation editor?

    Thank You.

  5. Has the Word Preview function, which has been broken since Office 2007 (only a mere 7 years), finally been fixed in this version of Office? I know it doesn’t work in Word 2013 so I have my doubts it will be working in this one.

    How many billions of dollars has Microsoft flushed away on Bing, yet something as basic as a file previewer in your cash cow software of Office still doesn’t work after 7 years. You guys at Microsoft shouldn’t be that surprised that no one wants to use your software anymore if they can find an alternative given your customer support for existing users.

    My company is at long last migrating to Google Docs and is unlikely to come back any time soon.

  6. Hi Office Blogs, I need your expertise in this area. – Please I will like to know how to update my Visio drawings after changing some parameters in the excel database. Please is there a function I can click on Visio for it to update the drawings based on the updated excel database rather than re-creating the drawing from the scratch using the Wizard

  7. I’d also like to see these features in Office Web Apps Server. Everything is available at office.com, but even after installing the recent Service Pack 1 for Office Web Apps Server (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2880558) none of the functionalities mentioned in the blog post is available.

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