Editing Microsoft Word and Office Documents on Chromebook

Editing Microsoft Word and Office Documents on ChromebookThere is currently no version of Microsoft Office on Chromebook. This is not the end of the world. You can still get your Microsoft Office work done on a Chromebook. There are many ways to edit Microsoft Word documents on Chromebook. There are also ways to edit Microsoft Excel documents on Chromebook. Google Docs will allow you to create, edit and open MS Word and MS Excel documents. Google docs isinstalled by default on ChromeOS, and works in offline mode (via Google Drive). This makes Chromebooks a great alternative to many users of Microsoft office if they want a cheap and inexpensive way to work with Microsoft office.


You can open and edit Microsoft Word documents on your Chromebook in a few different ways:
  • Use Google Docs or your Chromebook’s built-in file editor.
  • Add the Microsoft Word Online app from the Chrome Web Store.
  • Add the Office Editing Chrome extension to your Chrome browser.


Installing Google Docs Offline

You can try it out here by installing from the Chrome Store (or if you’re using GMail, you may have  seen it already when clicking on a document attachment and selecting the “Open in Google Docs” option). You can also edit Excel and Powerpoint files on Chromebooks (and view PDFs) – see here for more details.  Microsoft also have Office Online – this allows you to edit Office docs in a web browser. It’s integrated with Microsoft’s OneDrive online storage instead of Google Drive, and doesn’t work offline.


Microsoft Office on Chromebook

With Google Play becoming available on Chromebooks, the Android versions of Microsoft Office are now reported to be working correctly. Microsoft Office Online, the free cloud version of Office, is available as a series of apps forChromebooks, and you can always use the native Google Drive to open and edit documents and spreadsheets.All of your Office 365 creations will be saved in your OneDrive account in the cloud, so no need to worry about saving it on your machine!

To access the Office Suite online, go to: login.microsoftonline.com and login with your personal or school credentials (again, check with your IT manager). Once you are logged in, you will see the option to access all of your available Office tools and then select the tool that you want to use. If you are using an Office 365 Education account, your administrator can determine which tools will be made available and which may not be turned on.


Running Windows software on Chromebook

Although not the intended purpose of these machines, any Chromebook with an Intel CPU can also run a variety of Windows software via the WINE emulator. This opens up a huge amount of additional software such as Office/Productivity apps, graphics/image editing apps, games and more. If you really needed to get something down on Windows on Chromebook, this would be the way to do it but beyond the scope of this blog.


  1. Chromebook is crap. Don’t get one is my advice. I have not managed to use it properly. Think I’m too old for this technology (in 40’s). Files get deleted, lost etc.
    What I find I have to do is write my documents and then save them in my email account that way I will have them where ever I go.

    Seriously I cannot use this device properly at all. I know some people love it but I only use it for browsing google now and reading emails. Shame.

  2. From what I can tell, Excel is only vaguely usable on Chromebook. Every cell with a formula in it has ERROR# (which I understand can be helped by adjusting the formulas in the original, using Excel). So if you’re unfortunate enough to only have a Chromebook and don’t have a computer with Microsoft Office, there’s no way to edit your original. Articles online talk about how you can use Excel for free by using Microsoft Online but you can’t download files from Google drive to Onedrive so again…. no access to your original. Even if you could, you still can’t use Excel for free online. You have to pay for it by subscribing to Onedrive. Chromebook has been a waste of money for me so far. It’s just a glorified tablet, and not an especially good one at that, unfortunately.

  3. Having a lot of difficulty using word doc, will not allow me to edit an existing document, as the program stops responding and stalls. Not very good.

  4. You have to save a copy it will open in office 365 online or word online, then you can edit it. To convert to pdf docx plus others i downloaded a converter Took me a while but use it everyday for coursework


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