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With the release of Office 2010, Microsoft simultaneously released an upgrade to its server-based collaboration tool, SharePoint. SharePoint allows users to share documents via the Web, and it's most often used in a corporate environment. Now, users with access to a SharePoint Server can edit their documents right from within the browser. For example, let's propose that you are away from the office, using a computer that doesn't have PowerPoint 2010. Perhaps you are on a machine with an older version, or no version at all.
If you have Internet access, you can connect to your company's SharePoint Server and from there you can access any document that is stored online. Let's look at Two Trees Olive Oil internal SharePoint site. After logging in, I can head to the Human Resources Library. There, I'll find the New Employee Orientation presentation that I was working with earlier. But now I'm no longer on a machine with PowerPoint 2010. I'm not to going to let that stop me. If I click on the file, I'll be able to view the presentation right in my browser.
Here is my presentation. And on the bottom, I can advance slides, view Slide Notes and also go fullscreen. Just like a normal presentation, clicking the mouse advances me through the slides. I can press Escape to return back to my presentation. But what if I want to edit the file? Even though I don't have PowerPoint on my computer, I can click Edit in browser.
This loads a watered-down version of PowerPoint, called PowerPoint Web App, right into my browser, which I can use to modify the presentation. Before I get started, I am going to switch to Fullscreen mode, so that we have got a little bit more room to work with. I'll click the Pop-Out button in the right-hand corner. This almost looks like PowerPoint. I can resize the window, maximize it and then edit text, or any other object directly on the screen. But like I said, this is a watered-down version. Although some of the features work, like slide notes - I can click and add them right down here - a lot of things don't work.
You'll see that the Ribbon is limited to just Home, Insert and View. You are not going to be doing a lot of creating using this feature, but you can do a lot of editing. I can click into just about any text box and change what it says, same thing with bulleted and numbered lists. I can select an image and the Picture Tools Format tab appears, which allows me to change the picture to another photo and make some minor changes to the style of the photo.
But again, a lot of the functionality is missing. Still don't let this stop you. Licensed users of Microsoft Office will soon be able to use SkyDrive to collaborate with others. And users of the popular social networking site, Facebook, will also have a collaboration tool that utilizes the new Office Web Apps. As you can see, the Web App version of PowerPoint is limited, but when you're in a pinch because you don't have PowerPoint at all, or an older version, this can be a lifesaver.
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