Get Started with Office 365

  • 6/24/2015

Work with files

Your Office 365 subscription includes SharePoint. SharePoint offers the following built-in tools:

  • Team sites With SharePoint, a team site is created automatically. You can create additional team sites as needed. These SharePoint team sites are used for collaboration within teams, such as for managing shared content, tracking tasks, posting announcements, and managing workflow.
  • Document libraries You can use SharePoint document libraries to store, organize, sync, and share documents. Because all your documents are in one place, everybody can access the latest versions whenever they need them. You can also use document libraries to sync your documents to your local computer for offline access. You can create document libraries for each project you’re working on or for specific types of documents, such as reports, presentations, or proposals.
  • Custom lists With the Custom List app, you can build and share custom lists.
  • Task lists You can use the built-in Tasks app to build and share task lists. That way, you can delegate to team members as needed.
  • Site Mailbox The Site Mailbox app helps you keep emails and documents close together by connecting your site to an Exchange mailbox. You can then view your email on SharePoint and view site documents in Outlook.

In addition to these built-in apps, there are several other apps that you can add to your SharePoint team sites. Some are free, whereas others must be purchased. Adding apps really expands the functionality of SharePoint and, by extension, Office 365. For example, you can add a forms library (used to create and store forms), a picture library (great if you deal with a lot of images in your work), and even a wiki page library (handy if, for example, you want to build a wiki that outlines the various processes you use in your business). These and other apps, many of which are designed for a specific type of business or business process, are available from the SharePoint Store (see Figure 2-23). To access this page, click the Sites tile in Office 365, as shown in Figure 2-24. Then, in the Site Contents > Your Apps page, click SharePoint Store in the pane on the left (see Figure 2-25).

Figure 2-23

Figure 2-23 You can buy many types of SharePoint apps in the SharePoint Store.

Figure 2-24

Figure 2-24 Choose Sites from the main Office 365 tiles.

Figure 2-25

Figure 2-25 Open the SharePoint Store from this screen.

To explore your SharePoint tools and settings, sign in to your Office 365 account and open the Admin Center. Then follow these steps:

  1. Click the Admin menu and choose SharePoint. Your main SharePoint page opens. Here the SharePoint team sites of which you are a member are displayed.
  2. Click a team site to view the content created and shared by that team.
  3. Click Documents in the navigation pane on the left to display a list of documents available on that team site—that is, the contents of the team site’s document library.
  4. Click a document to open it. Alternatively, you can click the ellipsis (...) to the right of the document to open a preview of the document, as shown in Figure 2-26. You can click Edit to open and edit the document without checking it out and locking it so others cannot edit it while you are in the file. Also, you can click the ellipsis on the lower right to view a list of menu choices, and click Check Out to lock the file and check it out to you for edit. Figure 2-26 shows a SharePoint team site with the Office Online version of Excel and its menu displayed.

    Figure 2-26

    Figure 2-26 A SharePoint team site represents a centralized location for your organization’s documents.

To make it easier for team members to find your files in a list or library, you can create a view. When you create a view, you can organize content, displaying it by type, date, author, or a custom value specific to your business. The view is added to the View menu for your list or library. For help adding views, see

SharePoint supports document versioning. With versioning, you can have each update to a document saved and recorded as a new version. Alternatively, each update will overwrite the previous version of the file.