Many Microsoft Office users save their Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations only to the local hard drive on their computer. While this may create the illusion of safety and security, it can put your files at risk, particularly if your local hard drive is, like many, not adequately backed-up. In many law firm settings, MS Office is configured to save your files to a drive on the firm's server. While that may be more secure that the local hard drive on your PC, a flood, fire, or theft at the office could also destroy those files.

You can save your documents (and spreadsheets and presentations) to the Cloud using Microsoft's OneDrive service. Not only does this provide secure on-line storage in the event your local hard drive or server fails, it has other benefits. Because the document is stored in the Cloud on OneDrive, you can access it from nearly anywhere. Even if you're away from your computer, you can work on your document whenever you have a connection to the Web on a variety of devices includings phones, tablets, Windows PC's without Word installed, and even Chromebooks, Macs, and Linux computers. This is because saving Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents in OneDrive enables you to view and edit the documents in a Web browser, using Office Online programs.

Saving a document in OneDrive also makes it easy to share the document with others. You can send a link rather than sending an attachment. That way, you maintain just a single copy of the document. If people need to make revisions, they do so in the same copy, with no need to reconcile multiple versions and copies of the document. This is particularly handy when collaborating with other attorneys in your firm, clients, or co-counsel.

In order to use OneDrive, you need a Microsoft account. If you are using a subscription-based version of Microsoft Office (Office365), you already have a Microsoft account. If not, you can create one. It's free.

In Word (or Excel or PowerPoint) 2010:

- Click File, click Save & Send, and then click Save to Web.

- Click Sign in. enter your email address and password, and then click OK. If you use Hotmail, Messenger, or Xbox Live, you already have a Microsoft account. If you don’t have one, click Sign Up to create a new Microsoft account.

-Select a folder on your OneDrive, and then click Save As. Type a name for your file and then click Save. The document is now saved on OneDrive. Click File and Close.

When you are way from your office, but want to access that file to view or edit it, open the web browser on any computer with Internet acess and go to OneDrive.com. Sign into to your Microsoft account. Then select the folder where you saved your document. Click the file name. The document opens in the appropriate Office Online program.

In Word (or Excel or PowerPint) 2013, the process for saving to OneDrive is even easier:

- Sign in to OneDrive when you install Office 2013, or right from any Office app. Just click Sign in in the upper-right corner of the app, and then enter your Microsoft account email address and password.

- Open the document you want to save to OneDrive, tap or click File, tap or click Save As, choose your OneDrive, and then choose the folder where you want to save the file.

Now your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations are stored in Microsoft's OneDrive for you to access from almost any device or to share with collaborators.

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