For almost as long as the Internet has existed, Excel fans have been trying to put their work online. In the past, this was a tedious process that involved converting a spreadsheet into one or more HTML web pages and uploading these pages to a website. Only then could someone else view your Excel masterpiece in a web browser.
Life improved when Microsoft introduced the free Office Web Apps. Not only do the Apps let people view office documents online, with no conversion required, they also let people edit Office documents in a web browser. Best of all, no Office software is required, so you can brush up your data on the go, whether you’re using a fully decked out laptop or a handy tablet like the iPad. (Smartphone users can’t do quite as much—they get tools that let them view Office documents, but not edit them.)
Each web app differs in its exact capabilities, but none matches the extensive functionality of the desktop software. In this chapter, you’ll meet the Excel Web App, which is a competent, useful, scaled-down version of its desktop big brother. The Excel Web App lets you edit data, create tables, write formulas, and even build basic charts. Perhaps most interestingly, the Excel Web App adds a live collaboration feature that lets a whole team of people change the same spreadsheet at the same time, with none of the multiuser headaches you encountered in Chapter 22.
The idea of running an Office program in a web browser ...