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How do I read and edit files within Box?

You can open many Microsoft Office files from within Box. If your query relates to using Office from within Box, see How to work with Box from within Microsoft Office.

Reading Office files in Box

Box has a previewer for Word, Excel and PowerPoint files built in. So to view a file simply single click on the file name and you will be able to view but not edit the file

Editing Office files from Box

There are two ways in which you can edit Office files. Microsoft provide online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These are reduced functionality programs but will allow you to do most basic edits. The advantage of them is that you can use these on a computer that does not have Office installed. The alternative is to use the full desktop version of the Office program to edit the file - obviously you must have Office installed to do this.

You access the online and desktop versions in similar ways.


Preview the file by clicking on it, and then click on the Open button and choose the desktop or online version of the program

Open office file in Box


Click on the three dots, elipses, to the right of the file name and then choose open with followed by the program you wish to use.

Open with in box office docs

Whichever method you use you will be invited to lock the file. If you do this it will mean that no-one else can edit the file until you have finished with it. This could be very useful if you are collaborating on some work in a file that is heavily used and updated.

Locking files in Box


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This is question number 2798, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Adrian Chorlton on 5 August 2016 and last updated by Dawn Stewart on 30 March 2020