• Replacing WordPad (and more) with Office Online

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    #2636743

    ISSUE 21.07 • 2024-02-12 MICROSOFT 365 By Peter Deegan Anyone can view and even edit a Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote file on a compute
    [See the full post at: Replacing WordPad (and more) with Office Online]

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    • #2636747

      For many of us, the whole point of using Wordpad is to be able to do lightly formatted text and documents offline. Just the stuff which Notepad can’t handle but for which firing up Office is too slow or just overkill. Having to be able to get online or use a Microsoft Account login is not an option in these cases, especially when on an airplane or in some other situation where making an Internet connection is impractical or impossible.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Notepad also goes away in some future versions of Windows. Microsoft is tone-deaf to the need for offline tools to get work done quickly and efficiently.

      -- rc primak

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      • #2636810

        I agree, it’s a lot of work for simple editing of Office docs.  The web versions of Office apps are worth keeping in mind — over the years I’ve been surprised at the number of people who forget they are there when their Office software isn’t available.

        Microsoft is mainly dropping Wordpad for the usual reason – money.  A little cost-cutting.

        There’s probably a security reason as well (one less way for a hacked Word/RTF to infect a computer) which might explain their unusual decision to remove Wordpad from existing Win11 setups.

        I don’t think Notepad is going anywhere.  Any OS needs a basic text editor. MS has just spent a lot of money upgrading Notepad with tabs (!) and even a Copilot feature in the works.

        Peter Deegan

    • #2636805

      What a ridiculous amount of effort just to edit a file.

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      • #2636838

        Yes it is quite a lot.

        There is a shortcut, of sorts, that space didn’t permit.

        Use the OneDrive app for Windows or Mac to sync a OneDrive folder with the local computer. That will handle the upload/download automagically.

        If you need to edit a document, copy it to the sync folder.  In a few moments it’ll appear in OneDrive’s web page list.  Edit the file online and any changes are automatically copied back to the folder on your computer.

        When you’re finished, the edited file is automatically on your computer.

        Peter Deegan

    • #2636819

      I tried open a RTF File to edit online, only found that WORD only opened part of the file, the remaining is missing. Try another files which arrived with the same results. I came back open these files locally and found nothing missing. Any ones found these errors or just me?

      • #2636857

        Word online does NOT support RTF.

        Workarounds to try:

        • (interesting) Reports online suggest that renaming the .RTF file to .DOCX then Word online will open the document.  But that might give the same result that you’ve already experienced.
        • Use an online conversion service to convert the RTF to DOCX. Search for “RTF to Word convert” and you’ll see links to various online services.
        • Google Docs do support RTF as far as I know.

        I’m sure forum readers would be interested in hearing what works for you.

        Peter D/

    • #2636827

      Thanks, Peter. Excellent article as usual. The OneDrive account the file is stored in doesn’t need to be yours, of course, if it is shared with you, and it can also work from non-microsoft cloud storage – not sure about them all, but I know it works with Box.

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      • #2636851

        Quite right — a shared document with edit access can be opened in the browser app or modern Office app.

        Office does support some non-Microsoft cloud stores like Box, DropBox etc. However they don’t have all the features that are available when using OneDrive — Microsoft talks about openness but always keeps a little something for themselves.

        Thanks

        Peter Deegan

    • #2636854

      What if you don’t want to use a Microsoft account at all? I have two accounts but only use them for Hotmail. My main use for WordPad has lately been just to edit the list of reference numbers I get from my bank for billing my customers. Opening a browser window to change the font size to 16 and then downloading the same list I already had…

      And what do you do if the Internet doesn’t work? We have a nice neighbour here whose business parner’s ships drag their anchors along the sea bottom for days without noticing cutting the wire.

      I’ve preferred WordPad over LibreOffice just because it starts immediately. Not that I were in a hurry but having to wait for a program to start the same amount of time it takes for the actual job just doesn’t seem right.

    • #2636955

      It’s not about worrying that MSWord is not on the computer.

      When I’m looking at a computer that’s not working, it may be offline, some or many existing programs may be corrupted and on and on.

      I’ve (almost) always been able to open WordPad to take notes, capture text or paste a screenshot. It’s all there on a flash drive faster than you can open the browser or install an app – if you could access it at all.

      And I count on Notepad to ensure anything I paste into it is absolutely clean ASCII with nothing hiding in the RTF.

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    • #2636972

      I’m wondering why you don’t mention LibreOffice?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2637096

      My job is fixing household computers and one of the common issues is that the computer is offline. Most often that’s an easy fix but as Bill Barnes said WordPad is always available and it can capture text and paste screenshots. And it does that even in the Safe Mode.

      Further, at least here among my customers, the learning curve for WordPad  isn’t near as steep as that of any cloud based service. It’s partially about age, but I also have met people in their thirties who just aren’t interested. They may do their banking and read the tabloids and watch some YouTube vids but typing a document is something they’ve never done.

      Speaking about LibreOffice, it starts slower than WordPad and for many simple tasks it looks more complicated. I have it on my computer and install it to most every new PC for my customers unless they already have a license for 365. Most often that’ll be unused until they get an Office document in their mail – there’s still plenty of semi-official instances who can’t save their attachments as .pdf files.

       

    • #2637332

      Microsoft has lost their way for quite some time now.

      As has been said before:

      If it’s free, you [your data] are the product.

      The faster you get your data to the cloud, the faster it can be sold.

      • #2637335

        Microsoft doesn’t sell data.

        • #2637344

          Microsoft doesn’t sell data.

          “data
          noun plural

          Facts that can be analyzed or used in an effort to gain knowledge or make decisions; information.
          Statistics or other information represented in a form suitable for processing by computer.”

          “sell
          intransitive verb

          To exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent.
          To offer or have available for sale.
          To give up or surrender in exchange for a price or reward.”

          Computer>Properties>Microsoft Software License Terms—”Some of the software features send or receive information when using those features. Many of these features can be switched off in the user interface, or you can choose not to use them. By accepting this agreement and using the software you agree that Microsoft may collect, use, and disclose the information as described in the Microsoft Privacy Statement at https://aka.ms/privacy, and as may be described in the user interface associated with the software features.”

          From https://aka.ms/privacy—”We share your personal data with your consent or to complete any transaction or provide any product you have requested or authorized. We also share data with Microsoft-controlled affiliates and subsidiaries; with vendors working on our behalf; when required by law or to respond to legal process; to protect our customers; to protect lives; to maintain the security of our products; and to protect the rights and property of Microsoft and its customers.

          Please note that, as defined under certain U.S. state data privacy laws, “sharing” also relates to providing personal data to third parties for personalized advertising purposes.”

          What I wrote:

          Computer>Properties> … From

          Microsoft doesn’t sell data.

           

           

           

          Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
          We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2637369

            Please note that, as defined under certain U.S. state data privacy laws, “sharing” also relates to providing personal data to third parties for personalized advertising purposes.”

            Please note that, as defined under certain U.S. state data privacy laws, “sharing” also relates to providing personal data to third parties for personalised advertising purposes. Please see the U.S. State Data Privacy section below and our U.S. State Data Privacy Laws Notice for more information.

            We Do Not Sell Your Personal Information

            You have the right to know whether your personal information is being sold. Your personal information is “sold” when it is provided with a third party for monetary or other valuable consideration for a purpose that is not a “business purpose” as set forth in the CCPA or other U.S. state data privacy laws. Please note a “sale” does not include when we disclose your personal information at your direction, or when otherwise permitted under law.

            Microsoft does not sell your personal information.

            • #2637417

              Your personal information is “sold” when it is provided with a third party for monetary or other valuable consideration for a purpose that is not a “business purpose” as set forth in the CCPA or other U.S. state data privacy laws. Please note a “sale” does not include when we disclose your personal information at your direction, or when otherwise permitted under law.

              Please note that, as defined under certain U.S. state data privacy laws, “sharing” also relates to providing personal data to third parties for personalized advertising purposes.”

               

              Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
              We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2638126

      I would never use Wordpad online for the same reason I never use my free Office online account – too much of a hassle. I occasionally use Word or Excel online from my MS Office subscription account, but even that is rare — I much prefer using the version that is installed on my computer.

      Outlook is the one exception. I do use Outlook Web App regularly. But that is not at all the same as Word or Excel.

      If I had to guess, I would say that moving Wordpad online is step one to eliminating it. Step two will be to tell the user that they can use the free version of Word online, a more powerful program.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
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