Microsoft Office is usually a necessity for most people, yet the suite isn’t exactly considered budget-friendly. Subscriptions are between $7 a month or $70 annually, and stand-alone versions of the set start at $150. Despite the fee, there are (thankfully) ways to use the software for free.
Without using the professional version that has all of the bells and whistles and latest features, there are plenty of ways to save your wallet.
Use The App: There’s a free online Microsoft app store where you can sign in (or signup) and use the functionality with other apps as well. Follow the on-screen instructions to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Calendar, and other Office suite apps. A few less-popular apps are available too, such as Sway, an interactive report/presentation app; People, an advanced contact list; and OneDrive, a cloud storage service allowing you to save and access files effortlessly. These apps are limited to basic functionality but are still useful. To use the apps, you will need to be connected to the Internet.
The School Advantage: If you are a student, faculty, or staff member at an educational organization, you are eligible to use Office for free. As long as your school is signed up for the program, you can reap the benefits of using the Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) along with other apps such as Microsoft Teams, Access, and Publisher. If you are a recent graduate, you can obtain the programs at a low cost. The alumni discount program enables post-grads to use Microsoft 365 Personal for only $1 per month for 12 months.
Use that 30-day Trial: For a month, you can use Microsoft Office for free, no strings attached. Up to six users can be added across Windows, Mac, and smartphones. One TB of OneDrive cloud storage is included, which boasts the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more. When your trial expires, Microsoft will automatically charge you for the full version, as they require your credit card information before you can sign up initially.
Get an Evaluation: For $30, Microsoft’s Evaluation Center program lets you test certain Office apps. This is essentially another free trial, but it provides specific, full-featured software for Office 365 ProPlus. It’s not ideal as a long-term solution, but it is a great temporary option. Since this is a test service used by Microsoft developers, you might encounter a few glitches.
Valid Alternatives: There are plenty of free alternatives that work well and transfer features over to Office seamlessly.
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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.