Last month in our articles about online transcription with Word online, Excel online improvements and Automated Word-to-PowerPoint conversion we mentioned that while the online version of the various Office apps are great, they’re not as fully featured as the desktop versions (and honestly, that’s probably a good thing as the desktop versions can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, but we digress…). Microsoft is working more and more to bring feature parity between the desktop and online versions of their applications. The latest update to Word for the web includes a highly requested feature: the ability to insert and edit standalone diagrams comprised of shapes, text, ink, and pictures. With these new features, this opens up a large variety of options for visual content in Word online.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open Word on the web.
- Under New, click New blank document.
- Click Insert > Drawing.
- Insert a shape by clicking the Shapes down arrow and select the shape you want. There are a larger variety of shapes to choose from
- Add a text box by clicking Text Box, and then clicking and dragging the cursor to create a text box to your size needed.
- To add ink to your document, click Draw, select a pen, and begin inking on the Drawing canvas (this step is much easier if you’re running on a tablet like a Surface Pro).
- To insert the drawing into the document, click Save and Close.
- Continue editing the drawing by double-clicking the drawing, object or right-click and select Draw and Annotate.
With these new features, you can add some cool design elements to Word documents that you otherwise couldn’t in the standard online version. While Word isn’t an advanced desktop publishing program like Indesign or even Publisher, it’s getting more and more capable and can be used for most of your publishing needs.