Using Box Edit

When you click on a file in Box, it will preview the file in your web browser, be it a video, PDF, Word document, etc. But how do you edit that file without downloading it to your desktop, making modifications, and then re-uploading it?

You can edit most files live using a plugin called Box Edit.

    • Preview your file by clicking its name.

Hovering over file name in Box

    • In the top right, click Open, and choose the non-online option. (Word is the example here, but it could be another application, such as Excel.)

Open in Microsoft Word

    • If your computer doesn't have Box Edit yet, you'll be prompted to install Box Tools (which contains the Box Edit plugin). Download, launch, and follow the prompts in the Box Tools installer.

Prompt to install Box Tools for Mac

    • Once you've finished installing Box Tools, click Continue in your browser.

Continue after installing Box Tools


Staff and faculty Mac users can use the Self-Service application to install Box Edit instead of downloading this Box Tools installer.

    • Your file will now open in your desktop application (Microsoft Word, in this example).

Launching application dialog with option to lock file

    • Notice there's an option to lock the file so other people can't make changes to it at the same time as you. This is a good practice to prevent your new changes from getting lost.
    • Now you can edit the file in your application. When you choose File > Save, you'll see desktop notifications that the file was saved to Box. Keep in mind, the file has NOT been saved anywhere to your computer—you're working directly on Box! 

Desktop notifications

      • After you save changes to your file, the browser preview will offer to show the updated version. Click Refresh to see it.

Update preview?

Final Note

Remember locking the file earlier? A small lock icon in Box indicates the file is still locked.

File locked

    • Click this icon to unlock the file when you want others to be able to make changes to it.
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