Computer and mobile users have a handful of options when it comes to viewing and editing Microsoft Office files online. Users who have a Microsoft account can use the Office Web Apps in SkyDrive to create, edit, and save Office docs, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents.
A number of free alternatives also around to view Office files online, without having to install the Office suite or any other program. Services such as Google Docs and View Docs Online are two of the best services around to edit and view docs. View Docs Online lets you even view a document from a URL without even downloading the file. A number of lesser known services are also there but many users hesitate to view documents online due to privacy concerns.
Users who would like to view Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files right in their web browsers and who trust the software giant Microsoft can now use a free service named Office Web Viewer to open and view Office documents in web browsers.
The best thing about the service is that you don’t need a Microsoft account to use this free service!
The beauty of the program lies in its ability to open Office documents without actually downloading it. In other words, you can view docs in your browser by typing or pasting the URL of the document. For instance, you can open and view Windows 8 Client Hyper-V document (.docx) file available at the Microsoft Download Center in your web browser without downloading the file.
View Office files in web browser using Office Web Viewer
Step 1: Head over to this page of Office Web Viewer in your Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browser. Please read the supported web browser and browser version provided towards end of this page.
Step 2: Type or paste the URL of the document that you wish to open in your web browser and then click Create URL button.
Step 3: Clicking Create URL button will create a new URL to the document just below the Create URL button (see picture).
Step 4: Copy and paste the new URL of the document in the address bar of the web browser or simply click preview in a new window option to open the document in your web browser. That’s it!
As of now, Office Web Viewer supports Internet Explorer 7 or later, Firefox 3.5 or later, Chrome, Safari 4 or later, Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 7/8, Safari 4 on iPhone. Also note that Word and PowerPoint documents must be less than 10 MB and Excel file must be less then 5 MB.
Via Office Blog