Don’t Pay for Microsoft Word! 4 Reasons to Use Office Online Instead

MakeUseOf | 9/12/2019 | Ben Stegner
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Microsoft Office is the world’s de facto productivity suite, but did you know that you don’t really need to pay for Microsoft Word and other apps? Thanks to Microsoft Office Online, you can access the most popular Office apps for free.

For most people, these stripped-down versions of Office work just fine. Let’s look at some of the reasons to use Word Online, Excel Online, and the other free offerings.

Benefit - Office - Online - Way - Microsoft

The biggest benefit of Office Online is that you can use it without paying. This is the easiest way to get Microsoft Word for free and legally.

Traditionally, you had to pay upfront for a standalone copy of the latest version of Office (like Office 2013 or Office 2019), which could cost a hundred dollars or more. Nowadays, Microsoft wants you to subscribe to Office 365. This is more affordable at $10 or so per month, but the subscription still adds up over time.

Office - Online - Access - Versions - Word

With Office Online, you gain access to online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and also Outlook.com at no cost. Lesser-known apps like Flow, Forms, and Sway are included in the list of Office Online offerings too. There are no online versions for Access and Publisher though.

To try it, sign in to your Microsoft account on Office.com, then visit your Office apps page. Here you’ll see everything that’s available and can jump to any app you like.

Files - Computer - Problems - Device - Option

Having your files saved only to one computer can cause problems when you need them on another device. While the option of saving to the cloud is available in modern desktop versions of Office today, it’s the default and easy to use in Office Online.

Everyone gets 5GB of free storage in OneDrive with their Microsoft Account, which is plenty for storing personal documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. When you work in Office Online, all changes...
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