Microsoft Word Online

Word Online is the version of Microsoft’s word processor that can be accessed through just about any Web browser running on Windows, Mac OS, Linux distros, and Chromebooks. It has many of the same features as the version that can be installed on Windows.

Like the installed version, the features and functions in the application can be accessed in the two ways listed below. Many of the items in these menus also can be performed by keystrokes.

  • Ribbons
  • Context menus


The Ribbons interface contains eight menus that are constantly there, regardless of what objects are selected. Other ribbons appear when certain objects, like images or tables, are selected.

The row of icons for the different ribbons is located below the row of ribbons. Clicking a desired ribbon will change the row of icons.

Here are the constant ribbons:


The File menu is different from the other items in the list of ribbons because instead of the row of icons changing when it is clicked, clicking the File menu launches a vertical panel from the left side. It has nine tabs, where users can save, download, print, and perform a few other tasks.


Home is the default ribbon that is selected when the document is first opened. This ribbon contains items to change the font style, size, and style, and it also has other settings for setting up lists, changing line spacing, and other paragraph settings.

There is also an item for dictation, where the user can speak into the computer’s microphone, and it will be typed in the Word document.


Through this menu, users can insert various types of objects, such as images, tables, emojis and special characters, comments, and headers and footers.


Layout ribbon has settings for the entire document and paragraphs. These include page margins, orientation, indentation, and paragraph spacing.


This ribbon has items to create a table of contents, endnotes, and footnotes into a document. It also has a search item, where the user can search for terms he enters into a text box that appears in a panel to the right of the document. Results, that are provided by Bing, appear below the search box.


Through the Review ribbon, users can see the word count, translate a document or parts of it into another language, manage comments, and track changes. There is also an item for assisting with resumes.


This ribbon has different reading views, zooming capabilities, and users also can launch a navigation pane for searching through the document.


The Help ribbon has links for help topics, contacting support, leaving feedback, and a list of keyboard shortcuts.

Other ribbons

There are two ribbons that appear when corresponding objects are selected.

  • Table
  • Picture

Context menus

The vertical and horizontal menus for the selected text have many of the same items that are in the ribbons, but they also have items that are not in them. This is true of all context menus.

There are two types context menus, a horizontal and vertical one. The horizontal one is a list of items that differs based on the object or text selected. It only appears when an object or selected text is right-clicked on.

The horizontal menu also appears when objects and selected text is right-clicked on. the menus also differ based on what is clicked on. When a user moves the cursor over selected text, it also appears.

Many of the items in these menus can be found in the ribbons. Other items can only be found in one of these. For example, in the horizontal menu for a picture, there are shrink and grow icons that change the size of an image each time one is clicked. Neither the Picture ribbon nor the Format Picture pane has these two items, though both contain other settings for changing an image’s size.