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SharePoint | Office 365 Web Apps

29th Jun 2016

SharePoint | Using Office 365 web apps to search for a document.

Do you ever find you can’t preview a document within the ‘Search’ web part of SharePoint Online?


Office web apps are a great addition to SharePoint Online, especially when searching for and viewing documents, but have you ever come across a situation where the Office Web App can’t show you a preview of a particular document or item?

As you are perhaps already aware, Office Web Apps offer a diluted down version of the full Office desktop applications that we all know and love however, it is due to this ‘diluting down’ that results in this inability to display certain documents within SharePoint, as shown here:

Preview Item Image

Office Web Apps, as the name would suggest, are accessible when working online and for that reason Microsoft have done what they can to help reduce load times and improve performance, as a result they have chosen to disregard certain items, in this instance Shapes and/or Objects.

This particular Excel Worksheet happens to contain a company logo in the document header which, as a result of being a Shape or Object, fails to preview within the Excel Online preview panel. Now you might think that opening this document in Excel Online, rather than the preview panel will overcome this issue but, unfortunately as Excel Online is used in both instances the result is the same, as shown below:

Preview Item Image 1

At this point we would love to provide you with a solution to this particular situation but, unfortunately not on this occasion!  The only real option available to you at this point is to open the file in question in Excel rather than Excel Online in order to view the entire contents of your document.  Until Microsoft choose to add additional features to the Office 365 web apps to cater for such situations then I’m afraid its a case of sticking with open in Excel!

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