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webDotWiz Online column Oct 28 2010-Hotmail updates now for everybody

Over the past couple of months there have been several updates for Live Hotmail. Some of these updates were available in certain countries only but now they’re available to Hotmail users worldwide. An overarching feature of the new Hotmail is that you can view documents, photos and videos from within Hotmail itself – that means no more having to start up other Windows programs outside your browser.

Insert toolbar – Office docs

The Insert menu in Live Hotmail.

When you begin a new email, you’ll notice the Insert toolbar now contains buttons for Attachments (as has always been the case), Office docs, Photos, From Bing and Emoticons.

Attachments works as it always has in the past to enable you to attach documents and photos. However there are now special buttons for these two functions, namely Office docs and Photos.

Clicking Office docs opens your Documents folder so you can choose a Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote document you want to send to your recipient(s). Once you’ve chosen a document and clicked Open (yes, webDotWiz knows), you’re informed that the document has been uploaded to your Live Skydrive (your free 25,000 megabytes of online space for documents, photos and videos). If you look on your Live Skydrive (click on Office at the top of any Windows Live webpage or use the link to Skydrive under the Windows Live menu item) after this step, you’ll find there’s a folder name Folder in which the document is stored online.

Use he Edit Details dialogue to set permissions for your document.

Note the Edit details on the right-hand side of the screen.

The Edit Details dialogue.

Click this to bring up a dialogue where you can specify for how long the document will be available from your Live Skydrive and whether your recipient can edit and delete the document. Later we’ll look at what happens when your receive a document attachment.

The document is uploaded to your Live Skydrive online space.

Be aware that the recipient of your Office document doesn’t need to have Microsoft Office installed on their computer. Yes, that’s right – read that again if you have to. In fact, you can create Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents yourself without buying the desktop version of Office by using the Office Web Apps. The only requirement is that you have a Windows Live ID. webDotWiz had a column devoted to Office Web apps back in June so have a look to catch up on how you can make use of this free Windows Live service.

Receiving an Office doc in Hotmail

The email your recipient receives with a link to the document that's been stored online in your Skydrive. You've given permission for the user to view and/or edit.

When you open an email with an Office document attached, you can immediately view the document or download and save it. The latter will only be possible if you have Microsoft Office installed on your computer. If you don’t have desktop Office or you want to view the document immediately, click the link to the document, that is, click on the document’s name.

You view the document directly from within Hotmail.

A new webpage opens and the appropriate Office Web app loads the document (Word, Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation or OneNote notebook). There are options available at the top of the screen for you to edit in the browser using the appropriate Office Web app or you can save the document to your Documents folder on your own computer (only applicable if you have Office installed). What you’re allowed to do at this stage will depend on the permissions set by the sender but if you’re working with other people, you’ll be able to edit, save and share with others.

Attaching photos

Photos chosen from the sender's computer are being uploaded into an album.

The most common choice from the drop down menu will be Photo album. From a folder in your Pictures folder on your computer, choose the photos you wish to send.

The Edit Photo Album details dialogue where you set various permissions.

Click on Edit album details on the far right of the screen and you’ll see some details already filled in for you: the name of the photo album which will be stored on your Live Skydrive (the name is taken from your email’s Subject line), when the album will expire (at 90 days) and the size of the photos (set at 1600 pixels maximum). Those webDotWizards who have sent a link to an album from their Live Photos albums will be familiar with these options.

The reason why Hotmail enables you to send a photo album is that there are so many email systems that still restrict the size of attachments received to a megabyte or so. In these days of megapixel digital cameras, this restriction doesn’t enable your family and friends to view your photos in all their glory.

By receiving just a link to an album on your Live Skydrive, Hotmail enables you to “send” an album of photos up to a maximum of 10Gb (yes, 10,000 megabytes) with the album containing as many as 200 photos, each of maximum size 50Mb. No more excuses from your family and friends that they can’t receive your photos in an email.

This is the email your recipient receives. They can view a slide show of the photos or download them.

The email your recipients get enables them to view a slide show of your photos or download them all. Remember your recipients will have access to this album for the time period you set before you posted the message. If your recipients aren’t on Windows Live and they lose the link to the album, they’ll have to request the link again. In this way you can protect your photos so they’re not available to everybody.

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Posted using Windows Live Writer 2011.

Cross posted from webDotWiz Online at www.webdotwiz.com/column-281010.html

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