How to get free Office Software
Whether you are working on an essay submission, your dissertation, or data input for your summer internship, Microsoft Office software is a necessary and unavoidable evil we all must embrace. The problem with the Office software suite is that it can be very pricey and take a good chunk out of your student loan if you aren’t savvy with your sourcing. To stop you being ripped off when getting hold of what is arguably a basic human right in the 21st century, here are all the ways we could find to get Microsoft Office software for free.
Free Microsoft Office for Students and Teachers
Students rejoice for you are entitled to Microsoft Office entirely free! Why no one has told us this before we don’t know! Nevertheless, students, teachers and anyone with an academic email address (support staff take note) can easily download the full suite of Office software including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher and everything else.
Just go to https://products.office.com/en-gb/student/office-in-education type in your valid academic email address and you are away. You will then have access to all Microsoft programmes for the duration of your studies on up to five individual Macs or PCs.
Microsoft Office Online
If you don’t have an academic email address, or are no longer a student, then never fear there is Microsoft Office online. Microsoft Office online is essentially all Microsoft Office applications but ‘light’. It offers web-based versions of the most used programs – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, allowing users to perform all basic tasks they would do in the full versions, but with limited functionality and extras.
Really Office online is only good for editing documents in a basic manner. For example, in Word you will only be able to highlight text, copy text and paste. There is no functionality for citations or bibliographies.
The other big issue with Microsoft Office online is that you need to be online at all times to edit any documents.
There is an extension to the use of Microsoft Office Online in the form of IOS and Android compatible apps. The apps are supposed to make basic editing of documents easier on touchscreens. These apps are free to download but suffer from the same issues as the online Office package. If you only need basic functionality though it’s a lot better than nothing.
Microsoft Office 365 Free Trial
Microsoft Office 365 offers a one-month free trial to new users. During the free trial you will have full access to the Office 2016 suite of programs in physical form on your PC or Mac, with all available features at your disposal. This is for up to five PCs or Macs, and five tablets and phones, including 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage per user. Once the trial is finished there will be the option to pay £79.99 and continue with Office 365 Home for a year.
To sign up for a free trial go to https://products.office.com/en-gb/try
Beyond illegally downloading Microsoft Office, which opens up your device to all manner of nasty viruses, and is illegal, you will struggle to find many other legit ways to get Office for free. However, there are a few decent alternatives available for free that SMS would highly recommend.
Microsoft Office Alternatives
It is easy to lump all three of these software suites together because they all function in a similar manner and offer similar applications. They all offer the basic word processor, presentation maker and formula editor / CVS creator alongside other applications. LibreOffice and OpenOffice are often considered more powerful tools. FreeOffice is arguably the easiest to use, and OpenOffice and FreeOffice are the most similar to Microsoft Office.
4. Google Docs
Google Docs offers a web-based alternative to Microsoft Office. Offering a word processor, spreadsheet creator and presentation maker, Google Docs allows users to create and share documents. Updates are automatically saved online whenever they are changed, and multiple users can access documents simultaneously with changes being tracked if desired.
The only catch is that you need to have a Gmail account to access these applications.
For anyone with a Mac iWork is actually a pretty great alternative to Microsoft Office. iWork has all your favourites just under different names:
·Pages = Word
·Numbers = Excel
·Keynotes = PowerPoint
All iWork applications allow the user to save documents into Microsoft compatible formats, and as long as the formatting is kept relatively simple the document will look the same on either Mac or PC.
A plus point for iWork is that the applications are constantly updating and there is no need to buy new versions like you have to do with Microsoft Office.