Resources - File - Linking to Office365 documents for students

This page describes a method for creating read-only links for students to view office documents directly in the browser.


It is common for teachers to want to put content on a Moodle course for students to access.

This may be in the form of Microsoft Office documents such as Word, Powerpoint or Excel.

Traditionally a teacher might upload these documents as File resources, either as the original file type (eg. doc, ppt, xls) or exported to PDF first. This method works fine, but these resources need to be carefully maintained should the content of the file need changes in future.

An alternative solution may be to create read-only links for students to view live documents directly in their browser, while also allowing the teacher to edit the content without any need to update or otherwise maintain links in Moodle.

Step 1: Get a link for your office document

This requires your document to be stored in OneDrive or SharePoint and the document open in your web browser. 

Once the document is open and you are satisfied the content is ready to share with your students, click the Share button in the top right corner of the window.


This will bring up the sharing popup, click on Get a link on the left hand side, then click on the drop down list to select appropriate security options.

If you wish to restrict access to Unitec students only; select View link - account in your organization required, otherwise if you want anyone to be able to view the document; select View link - no sign in required.

Warning: Do not leave the drop down list in the default Edit link - no sign in required state; this will mean anyone will be able to edit your document! Select one of the View link - options instead.

Once you have selected the appropriate View link - option you are ready to select and copy the URL link provided.

Right click on the URL box and select copy from the drop down menu (or use control-c to copy the text).

You are now ready to move onto the next step.

Step 2: Create a URL resource in moodle and link to your document

Go to your moodle course page and Turn editing on, then use the activity picker to create a new URL resource.

Give your link a meaningful name, and an optional description if you wish.

Paste your URL into the External URL box

It's a good idea to check that your URL resource is setup to open in a new window so that students don't lose their place in Moodle by following your link. This is done under appearance.

Check any other settings you might wish to change, for example displaying the description on the course page and automatic completion tracking when students view the resource.

Finally, click Save and Return to Course and you are done.

Turn editing off for your course and check your newly created link works correctly.

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