Microsoft is making a big move to provide their users with a way to keep all of their important information stored online and at the heart of that move lies SkyDrive and Office Live. We are big fans of SkyDrive, and have written articles about useful ways that you can incorporate it into your life, such as this option that allows you to backup from Windows to SkyDrive. And, naturally, any documents that you create in Office Live and save to SkyDrive will be saved in the appropriate Office file format. But some people want to use Office Live as a means for creating documents, but need to share them to users without Office Live, or access to comparable Office programs. If these individuals are using open source programs, then it is better to save files to the corresponding formats for those programs. Fortunately you can change the default document format in SkyDrive so that you can share your files as needed.
Change SkyDrive Office Document Defaults
I’m actually pretty surprised that this is even an option, as I don’t think anyone could fault Microsoft for wanting people to use their file formats for documents created in their programs. In fact, I wasn’t even thinking about or looking for this option. I just stumbled across it and thought it was interesting. So continue reading below to learn the steps necessary to change file formats in SkyDrive.
Step 1: Open a Web browser window and navigate to skydrive.live.com.
Step 2: Type your Microsoft account email address and password into their appropriate fields at the right side of the window, then click the Sign In button.
Step 3: Click the gear icon at the top-right corner of the window, then click Options.
Step 4: Click Office file formats at the left side of the window.
Step 5: Check the option to the left of OpenDocument Format, then click the Save button.
Now when you create a new document by clicking the Create button at the top of your SkyDrive window, you will see that the file extension has been switched to the appropriate OpenDocument format file type for the document type you select.
If you need to create Word, Excel or Powerpoint documents, but are unable or unwilling to do it through the online version of Office, then you need to purchase Microsoft Office Home and Student. Amazon sells it for a cheaper price than most retailers, plus they have all of the different versions of Office that also include programs like Outlook and Publisher.
A lot of newer laptops are being shipped with a free version of Office called Microsoft Office Starter. This features ad-supported versions of Word and Excel that you can use to create and edit documents in those programs. Here is an example of a laptop under $500 that includes Office Starter. That is a heck of a value if you only need those two programs for personal use.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.
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