Let your customers view your Microsoft Office documents on your website

When you host Microsoft Office documents on your website, you might fret that people need to have Office or an Office viewer installed to read the document. Don’t worry. By using Office.com to create a URL for the document, you can share a link that opens the document in a web browser.

When someone clicks the link, Office Web Apps run in the browser to display Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents with Office features intact. Formatting and layout in Word documents are preserved; data in Excel workbooks can be filtered and sorted; animations play in PowerPoint presentations.

Create and use the URL

To create the URL, follow the steps on the Create URL page: Type (or paste) the URL of the document you want to link to, and then click Create URL. Copy and paste the resulting URL onto a page in your website.

For example, if you have forms for volunteers to print, press kits, price lists, brochures, or annual reports, you don’t need to go through the extra step of saving them as PDF files. You can host them in their native Office format on your site, and link to them with the URL you create on Office.com. When site visitors click the link, the document opens in their browser.


If you edit a document after creating its URL, the link will continue to open the older version for a few hours. If you want people to see the changes immediately, do the following: Replace the original document with the new version, saved with a new file name, and then create a new URL on Office.com.

If you see the error, "We’re sorry, but for some reason we can’t open this for you," it means the document could not be found or could not be displayed. Likely reasons include:

Ways to reduce file size.
For example, to encode a URL that includes an ampersand (&), you would type %26 for the ampersand character. For more information about URL encoding, also known as percent encoding, see Percent-encoding on Wikipedia.