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Category Archives: Office Live

Office Live Workspace hints and tips

webDotWiz has good reason to give you more information on using Office Live Workspace. This type of service which combines files in your documents folder on your hard disk with storage on the Internet (in the cloud to use today’s jargon) is a pointer to the not-to-distant future of software plus service (to use a bit more jargon).

Last week Microsoft announced Live Mesh, a platform which will enable us to connect to all our devices (e.g., desktop PC, laptop, smartphone) to access our files and applications regardless where we are as long as we have a connection to the Internet. Now one sentence doesn’t in any way describe the implications of the Live Mesh platform and it’s best to read through (several times, it’s suggested) Ray Ozzie’s memo (Ray Ozzie is the brains behind Live Mesh).


Anyway it’s time to talk about some hints for using your Office Live Workspace (http://workspace.office.live.com).

Opening and saving documents

When you’re working in Word, for example, and you’ve saved your document for the first time using Save as on the File menu, subsequent saves using the quick save icon (the icon that looks like a floppy disk) will save your file to your hard disk (as normal).

Now you want to save your document to your Office Live workspace so you use Save to Office Live on the File menu. You’ll be asked to sign in for the first time and the dialogue box will pop up asking for a file name. So give a name and click Save.

If you make some edits to your document and click the quick save blue floppy disk icon, your document is saved to the your Office Live workspace but not to your hard drive because your last Save as was to your workspace. So to make sure your document also gets saved to your hard disk, click on Save on the File menu.

When opening a file from the File menu, keep an eye on the Open dialogue box that pops up so you check whether you’re opening a file from your documents folder on the hard drive or from documents folder on your Office Live workspace.


The screenshot above shows the normal view of a My Documents folder (notice the My Documents location is highlighted under the Look in: column on the left).

In the following screenshot webDotWiz has changed his location to Microsoft Office Live to open a document from his workspace.


For those with a version of Office earlier than Office 2003 you can save your document to your Office Live workspace using Add document that’s on the toolbar in your workspace.


Using workspaces

Each new Office Live workspace user has a documents section automatically created. You could simply use this area in which to store all your different documents online (as well as on your hard drive). However you may want to better organise groups of documents into their own workspace (this is somewhat akin to setting up separate folders under My Documents on your hard drive).

As time goes by then, create new workspaces for each group of documents. You can create new blank workspace and add your documents.

Another option is to browse the different types of workspaces on offer – each has a group of files specifically targetted to a certain group of documents you can use for the job-in-hand such as class workspace, essay workspace, planning a trip or managing a sports team.


One of the options available after setting up a new workspace is to share this workspace with other people. As owner of the workspace, you decide who to invite and whether the members of your group will be able to simply view files or the privilege of changing files. Note that each member of your group will have a new workspace set up for them containing the same files as you do.

Using the Notes file and Activities pane

If you set up a shared workspace use the Notes file to jot down ideas for other members of your team to comment on and get feedback and ideas from your team. Each team member will see all the contents of the Notes file so it’s a simple way for everybody to keep up to date.

The Activities pane on the right-hand side of the workspace shows the changes made to documents and by which team member. Even so, it’s a good idea that each team member leave their initials with any idea or feedback they enter into the Notes file.


Office Live Workspace and Skydrive

Office Live Workspace gives you, at the moment, 500 megabytes of free online space for your Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents. Skydrive provides 5000 megabytes of free online storage. If you’re ho-humming about whether to use these free services, answer this question: What would happen to your documents, photos and videos if your hard drive had an unrecoverable error and it had to be replaced?

On a positive note, Office Live Workspace and Skydrive are services that enable us to have access to our files regardless of whether we’re at home, at work or visiting friends.

More importantly, we’re getting a glimpse of the future where the platform and experience will enable us to be in control of and manage our devices and their content wherever we are.


Posted using Windows Live Writer with the help of Microsoft OneNote, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Paint.NET.


Create and share a new Office Live workspace

The first time you open your new workspace at Office Live Workspace (http://workspace.office.live.com) you don’t have any files set up and you need to use the New menu to create new documents or save Excel, PowerPoint or Word documents from your desktop.


However, if you want a set of documents for a particular task, all you need do is choose to create a new workspace and make your choice from a wide range of options.




In general you’ll get a set of documents including a note file to jot down ideas, a to-do list, contacts list for working with others in a group, a PowerPoint presentation file, a Word document and others.

At this stage it’s worth pointing out that you can share your new workspace, that is, all the documents that are set up, with other members in a group so your team members can contribute. As leader of the team, you decide whether other members can edit documents or are restricted to simply viewing them. Once you’ve chosen your team members, they’ll receive an email notification to go to their new workspace and all the necessary documents are automatically at their disposable.

A real bonus is that members of your team don’t all need Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook or Word installed on their own computers to take part in your group’s work. Your team can contribute online through the workspace Note document, log when they’ve completed a task in the To-do list or view what other team members have written up in a Word document or PowerPoint presentation.

webDotWiz chose a Project workspace and after the document list page loaded he changed the title of the project to WNews articles and entered a short description.


Here’s the list of files that are automatically created as part of this new workspace:


Documents now available to webDotWiz include a notes file for brainstorming and comments, a Word document to type up the proposal for this project, two PowerPoint documents to use for before and after presentations, a contacts list, a schedule for important dates and events during the life of the project and a to-do list.

A similar list of documents is created for you if you choose one of the other workspaces when you choose to create a new workspace.

If you’re the leader of a group that’s going to work together, now is a good time to click the Share button and have Office Live Workspace send off an email to those in your group (remember to choose those members who can edit and those who are only allowed to be viewers).

Once they’ve clicked the link in the notification email they receive, they can sign in with their Windows Live ID and see that they have their own workspace with all the required documents.

If you’ve allowed others to edit documents then any changes they make and save in their workspace become available to other members of the group (the Modified by column records the email address of the person who last made a change).


As well, over on the right-hand side of a workspace page is the Activity pane which also keeps you up-to-date with what changes have taken place to documents. As well, you can leave a comment, using the Comment button, in the Activity pane.


The above is just an introduction to the different workspaces you can create in Office Live Workspace either for yourself or a group to work together. Once you start spending some time in a workspace you’ll come up with plenty of ideas of how you can make best of the service. By the way, it’s free!

Posted using Windows Live Writer, with the help of Paint.NET, Live Photo Gallery, Microsoft OneNote, and, of course, Microsoft Office Live Workspace.

Office Live Workspace – the New menu – create a List

There are several options on the New menu when you’re in your Documents folder in your Office Live Workspace. The second option is to create a new List.

One way to think of this option is that it enables you to create a small database-type of list, e.g. a list all the DVDs you own. Or you make a list of all the towns you intend to visit on a trip along with the photos you took. By the way, for the latter you could choose to create a new workspace – one of those already set up for you to use is a travel workspace.

The list we’ll look at setting up in this tutorial is a free-form list where we can choose what columns to add and what sort of data we’ll put in each column. For example, we can have a column that contains text or we can set up a column that only contains numbers or another that stores dates.

To get started go to your workspace at http://workspace.office.live.com and sign in. Click your Documents folder and hover your mouse over the New button – you’ll see this:


Choose List from the dropdown list of choices and click to bring up the next page which starts off a new list for you:


Basically what we’re doing here is creating an online Excel spreadsheet document so if you have some experience with Excel you’ll be familiar with rows, columns and specially formatted data in cells.

The new list doesn’t yet have a name so it’s called List 1 for now. Under that line we can enter a description so we know what we’ll be using this list for.

Imagine you’re setting up a table of data, e.g. a list of your Music DVDs – you’ll need a column for the title of each DVD (e.g. Mothership), another column to store the name of the artist (e.g. Led Zeppelin), another column to record if you’ve loaded it to friends, another column to record when you loaned this DVD and another column to record that this DVD has been returned and is therefore in your home DVD library.

So let’s give this list a name and enter a description:


We now want to put a heading in Column 1 so click in the highlighted box:


Backspace and type in your own heading for this column – webDotWiz is using Title (of each music DVD; e.g. Mothership):


Clicking the arrow in the Title cell gives you the formatting options you have for the type of data we’ll be entering in each cell down the Title column. We’ll be entering text so choosing either Single line text or Multiple lines of text (for longish DVD titles) will be appropriate.

Now it’s time to add another column to record whether a DVD is a movie or a music DVD:


So click Add Column and the page refreshes to show:


The heading is ready for you to type in your own heading so do that – webDotWiz called his Movie or Music:


At this point, we can enter the title for a DVD in our library (e.g., Mothership) and we can type into the next column whether that DVD is a movie or music  video. Let’s add another column – click Add Column – and enter Concert as the heading for this column:


You’ll see we’ve clicked on the arrow at the end of the Concert heading cell so we can choose a particular type of format for all the data that goes into this column – let’ls make it a Yes/No data type because we’ll be answering the question "Is this DVD a live concert?" as we make our catalogue.

You can create another column for the name of the artist or band for each music DVD and so far we’ve got our list looking like this:


You can see from the above that we’ve entered one row of data. For each DVD, we simply click Add Row and enter the data across the row under the corresponding heading so the list builds up:


Click on Save.

You’ll note that, if you have Microsoft Excel on your computer, you could load your list into Excel, add more data and save it back to your Office Live Workspace.

Another scenario is that you could share this list with a friend or workmate who doesn’t own Excel. However they could still view or edit this list (depending on your preference when you set Sharing for the document).

After you’ve Saved this list, click Close and you’re returned to your Documents folder:


Creating a new List as we’ve done here means we’ve been able to choose our own column headings and what type of data we’ll put in each.

Lists that are already set up for use for special purposes include the Task List (a to-do list), Contact List (names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and so on) and Event List (when the event is to be held, location, and so on).

If you’re looking for more options in types of lists, then look at the different types of workspace you can set up, each of which contains specific types of lists depending on the workspace. You can save yourself lots of time by checking out the New Workspace option.

For other tutorials to help you get started using Office Live Workspace, check the Office Live category from the front page.

This tutorial brought to you courtesy of Windows Live Writer, Microsoft OneNote, Paint.NET, Live Photo Gallery, and, of course, Office Live Workspace.

Office Live Workspace – the New menu – create a Note file

There are several options on the New menu when you’re in your Documents folder in your Office Live Workspace.

The first option is to create a new Note file which is just a text file in which you can do some basic formatting such as bolding and making a bullet list. This note file – and any others you create – are stored online in your workspace and you can share them with others when you’re working in a group.

You’ll see from the dropdown list there are other documents you can create: List (e.g., a list of your music DVDs), a task or to-do list, contact list and event list. These last three are already formatted for you so all you need do is enter the data you want to store. Again, you can share any of these.

At the bottom of the list you’ve got the option of creating new Excel, PowerPoint or Word documents but you’ll need these program installed on your computer.

So go to your Office Live Workspace, sign in and click New to start a new note file.


Click Note to get Office Live to create a new note file. A new page opens with the title line highlighted so you can enter a name for your new note file.


You may as well type in a description for this note file so you – and others if you intend to share it – know at a glance what notes you’re going to make. Once you’ve done that, the cursor is placed in the text area. Note the layout is similar to what you see in Live Hotmal – you can choose a font and colour, use bolding and italics, create bullet lists and so on.


So type a couple of notes with the intention of making a bullet list – highlight the text you want to make into a bullet list.


Click the bullet list icon on the formatting toolbar.


You can bold text and apply any other formatting you wish by using the toolbar. When you’ve finished your note make sure you click the Save button.


Click the big red Close button at the top right of your workspace and you’ll be back in your documents folder where you’ll see your new notes file listed (it’s the one with the yellow icon).


If you wanted to shared your note file, hover over the file name (Workspace tutorials in this case) and wait for the popup menu to appear.


The next page that loads gives you the choice of who you want to share this document with. Those you share with can be allowed to simply view the contents of the file or they can also be allowed to edit the contents. Use the address book icon to choose who to share with or type in the person’s email address. Send the invitation email and the recipients, if they accept, will find that your note document is listed in their workspace documents.


Another method of sharing is to share your complete screen with up to fifteen other people. This can be very handy to teach people various features of Office Live or to work together on a document on a project. The only requirement is that each person’s computer has the SharedView program installed (a free download).

There are other tutorials here at webDotWiz Online has a Space that show various Office Live Workspace features such as creating a new Contact List, Task List, Event List, and List file which you format to your own needs.

This tutorial brought to you courtesy of Windows Live Writer, Live Photo Gallery (storage and tagging of screenshots), Microsoft OneNote (screenshot capture), Paint.NET (resizing and highlights in screenshots) and, of course, Office Live Workspace.

Office Live Workspace – view contents of a file

Office Live Workspace has a built-in file content viewer so you can browse the contents of Excel, Word and PowerPoint files in your documents workspace.

So load your Office Live Workspace in your browser and you’ll have a list of files. Here’s one such list:


Now hover your mouse over a file whose contents you want to view – webDotWiz is hovering over an Excel file called FCalc 2.0 Diesel or Electric Locomotive.xls in the screenshot above. NOte the options on the popup: View, Open in Microsoft Office Excel, Share, Rename. Let’s use the View option – hover over this choice and it underlines as a cue before clicking:


So click View and the spreadsheet opens for viewing.

Note that the graph, part of the spreadsheets, is also displayed, even the tooltip associated with the graph:


Before closing the document, click in the title of the document (it’ll be highlighted with a different coloured box) to change the name of the file if you want to:


A click on the line below the name of the file (where it says to click…) enables you to enter some keywords to describe the content of the file:


When you’ve finished viewing, go to the toolbar and use the Close button to close the viewing session and get back to your document listing in your workspace:


Above content posted using Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Microsoft OneNote (for the screengrabs) and Paint.NET (resizing and adding arrows to the graphics).

Office Live Workspace – upload multiple files

Here are the steps so you can install the multi-file upload tool and see how it works on your Office Live Workspace.

Note: because we’ll be installing an add-on, we need to be in an administrator account on our computer, so if you are the person who’s in control of your computer, log in to your administrator account otherwise you’ll have to ask the relevant person to carry out the install.

For this demo, we’ll start by loading our Office Live Workspace in our browser and go from there. So go to to http://workspace.office.live.com, sign in and wait for the Documents page to load. Now click on Add Document to access the Mutliple Documents option.


Click Add Document:


To get the download and install of the Multiple Documents upload tool started, click Multiple Documents and wait a bit for the following to appear:


Close the information box and then click on the yellow info bar:


Click Install ActiveX Control to start the download and install.


As shown, you get the usual security warning informing you what you’re about to install and verification that this software is published by Microsoft – click Install. After a bit of a wait your screen will show the following:


Note the background of the web page changes to the brownish colour while you’re using the multiple upload tool.

Success smile_regular.

Now click Cancel, sign out of your Workspace, and swap back to your usual restricted account on Windows.

Load up your workspace in your browser again, sign in, and once again click on Add Document and choose Multiple Documents from the dropdown list. When you click on Multiple Documents, you’ll need to agree to installing the multiple upload tool in your workspace:


Close the Information Box, click on the yellow info bar to Run the ActiveX control:


Accept the security warning and click Run when the following dialogue pops up:


After clicking Run, wait a moment or two and you’ll know all is well when the following appears:


There’s no time like the present to try things out so load up one your My Documents folders. Position the folder on the screen so you can see some of the workspace upload box (if you’re a Skydrive user, you’ll know what to do) – have something like this on your screen with a few files selected:


Drag the selected files over to the workspace file upload box (you’ll know when to stop dragging because a little + will appear on the mouse cursor). In a moment or two, the workspace box shows a list of files.


Click Upload:


Just as with Skydrive, you’ll have a progress display to see how things are going:


When all files are uploaded, you’ll be returned to your Documents folder:


Now you can upload more files, use New (the subject of a future tutorial) or you can view the contents of one of your files (another tutorial).

Posted using Windows Live Writer, Live Photo Gallery and Paint.NET – and Office Live Workspace, of course.

Office Live Workspace – more free online storage

In his last column (here or here) webDotWiz introduced Windows Live Skydrive (http://skydrive.live.com) which gives you 5000 megabytes of free online storage to backup and share your documents, pictures and videos.

Now there’s another free service, Microsoft Office Live Workspace (http://workspace.office.live.com), which provides 500 megabytes of online storage for your Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents.

The main difference between Skydrive and Workspace is that you can install the Workspace add-in so you are able to open and save Workspace documents from the file menu in Excel, PowerPoint or Word. By the way, Workspace supports Office XP, Office 2003 and Office 2007 and if you’re sharing documents with others, those people don’t need Office to view the content when you invite them to your workspace.

To set up your Office Live Workspace so it’s available from the Office file menu, go to http://workspace.office.live.com, sign in with your Windows Live ID and you’ll be greeted with the Workspace welcome screen.


The first job to do is install the add-in that enables you to open and save documents from the file menu in Excel, Word and PowerPoint. You’ll have to change over to a computer administrator account to do this so exit the workspace, change accounts, sign in to your workspace again to get back to the screen above.

Click Install Office Add-in and you’ll be taken through the usual steps to install.


At this stage you’ve set up your Office Live Workspace and you’ve got the add-in installed so start Excel, PowerPoint or Word, load a document and we’ll see how things work. In the screenshots below, webDotWiz was working in Word 2007 (psst: what’s the strange language his document is written in?).

Go the File menu and you’ll see two new options: Open from Office Live and Save to Office Live.


Click on Sign in to Office Live Workspace beta.


We’re going to save a file so the workspace File Save dialogue opens. By the way, give things a little time to come up because we’re now working across the Internet.


You need to tell Office Live Workspace that you want to save your file in the Documents folder so click it (it’ll be highlighted). Type in a name for your file as per usual and click Save. Done.

Now let’s check the file is there so go the File menu and choose Open from Office Live. Click Documents to open this folder in your workspace.


When the Documents folder appears you’ll see the file listed.


The File menu isn’t the only way to save and open files in your workspace. Go directly to your workspace using http://workspace.office.live.com and you’ll see there’s an Add Document option. This works like the file upload function in Skydrive. As well a message will pop up advising there’s a multi-file upload tool available to install.


Once in your workspace, click the New button to see more options. You’ll discover that you can create  to-do lists, notes, lists, contacts, events and even new Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents.

Also notice the Share option on the toolbar – useful for team assignments at school and group projects at work.

Office Live Workspace has many uses and webDotWiz will show you more in the future. At the moment you’re now able to save your documents online at home or work and retrieve them from another computer connected to the Internet for more editing.

Remember that Office Live Workspace is a part of Microsoft’s Office Live Small Business service that is yet to come to Australia (it can’t be too far away) which gives businesses online space for a web site, email addresses and the tools for managing and promoting a small business.

Posted using Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Paint.NET.

Office Live Workspace available to all


Microsoft Office Live Workspace gives you online storage so you can save your Excel, Word and Powerpoint files on your own workspace. Then you can retrieve these files from wherever you are on the web. Using the Workspace add-in, you can save and open files from the File Menu in Excel, Word and Powerpoint.

To get started, use your Windows Live ID to get your account at workspace.office.live.com.

From the Office Live Workspace community blog:

Today, we are announcing the public availability of Office Live Workspace to English-speaking users worldwide. With this, English-speaking users can use this service for free and access and share their documents and other information online anywhere globally. We look forward to adding additional languages this year too!