I would love to have a nickel for every time the word “cloud” is used in some marketing piece these days. Are your marketing numbers down? No fear, just stick the words “cloud-hosted” in front of your product, and watch your numbers soar! For a lot of people, “the cloud” is just some mystery term that makes no sense. Let me put it to you in the simplest terms. If you take data from your computer and store it on another computer outside of your location, via the internet, you’re using “the cloud”. Why is it a “cloud”? Mostly, because you really have no idea of the physical location of the computer storing your information, or of the physical path it takes to get there. Today, I want to describe how you can save Word 2010 documents directly to “the cloud” using Windows Live SkyDrive.
Windows Live SkyDrive is a service of Microsoft. It provides 25GB of free online storage. Two of the greatest features it has are document sharing between yourself and other Windows Live users, and in-browser editing of the documents that you store there. Let’s open a Word document and see how this is done.
In the picture below, you will see a Word document with a grocery list on it. Let’s say that you and your spouse would both like to be able to access and edit this document remotely. An easy way to do this is to use a shared folder in SkyDrive. To begin the process, you click the “File” tab on the ribbon toolbar in Word.
Under the “File” tab, there is the option called “Save & Send”. Look at the picture below to see what this looks like. If you click this option, you will see a sub-menu with an option labeled “Save to Web”. Finally, clicking that option will take you to a sign in box.
You will need a Windows Live account to use this feature. If you are a Hotmail user, then you already have one. Just use your Hotmail account ID.
Once you are logged in, you will see a list of folders available on your SkyDrive. In the picture below, you will see a folder highlighted under the heading of “Shared Folders”. Selecting this folder will make this file accessible to all the people with whom you have shared this folder.
Now that you have selected the appropriate folder, click the “Save As” button at the bottom of the dialog box. You will see a window pop up similar to the one pictured below. Give the document a name and click the “Save” button to finish the job.
The Word document is now saved in “the cloud”. You can access the document by logging on to http://skydrive.live.com from any computer. When you do, you will see your SkyDrive folders listed.
Open the folder that contains your Word document, and you can view, as well as edit, the document right there in your browser. Below, you can see a picture of what the Word document looks like in the browser, as well as the location of the edit button.
Using Word with SkyDrive is a great way to collaborate with others on a document. It is also a good safety net because it keeps files backed up in an offsite location. Hopefully, you can think of other creative uses for this feature. Feel free to comment on this post at the bottom of the page, and let me know your thoughts on the subject.