Microsoft Office is a must-have for professionals, students, businesses and more, but unfortunately it is not an affordable solution. The standalone version starts at $150 and they are not easy to find since Office 365 is taking over. A subscription to Office apps starts at $7 per month or $70 per year and the price can quickly increase for professional versions. Investing such amount is not an option for everyone, which is why many people will be pleased to know that there is an alternative. If you don’t require all the premium features, you don’t need to pay a hefty sum for Microsoft Office. here we will go through the options that allow you to get the software for free!
The number of Microsoft apps that can be used online for free, has grown over the last few years. Currently, there is a fantastic selection of apps that you can combine with downloaded apps if needed. They offer a lot of functionality for standard tasks. You can easily sign up, going here: https://products.office.com/en-us/office-online/documents-spreadsheets-presentations-office-online and selecting the app that you want to use. Then you can log into your Microsoft account. If you don’t have a Microsoft account, you can create one easily and enjoy the benefits that it offers. You will be able to use Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Calendar and more popular Microsoft apps. In addition, you get access to options like Sway, an app that supports interactive report/presentation, People, a Skype-friendly contact list and Docs.com, which enables you to upload and share documents.
OneDrive is available for deeper cloud storage, although a subscription may be required in order to access all its features. You can also download multiple Office apps such as Word and Excel for popular mobile platforms like iOS and Android. While the apps previously mentioned are very practical, they are basic versions that don’t offer the full functionality that you need to complete advanced tasks. They don’t give you the full features that Office 365 offer and you need to be connected to the internet to be able to use them. You can create a simple document, but the options are limited. This is why we will take a look at other ways in which you can get Microsoft Office for free.
A free 30 day trial of Microsoft Office 365
The Office 365 trial continues to be a practical solution to get the software free of charge for a full month. You just need to go to the free trial page: https://products.office.com/en-us/try and sign up. The trial lets you download Office 365 on up to five computers or Macs. In addition, you can use the Office mobile apps on up to five tablets and five phones. In addition, you get 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage for every user to try. The trail also comes with the latest Office versions of Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and more.
Sign up for an evaluation (30 to 60 days)
Microsoft runs an evaluation program that lets you test some Office apps for a limited time. You can go to TechNet Evaluation Center here:
Project Professional is one of the options and so is Visio Professional, both of which are available for 60 days. There is also Office 365 ProPlus available for 30 days. In a way, is like getting a free trial, although it offers specialized software with more features. Just keep in mind that it is an evaluation period and the service will stop being available once it expires. In addition, it is worth keeping in mind that Microsoft may use the service to help to find out issues in its new apps, so it is likely that you come across some errors.
Get Office through your school
If you are currently studying or work in an educational organization, you can try to get Office 365 by going to this website: https://products.office.com/en-us/student/office-in-education
and entering the email address of your school there. This is an option that Microsoft offers to all students, but your school has to be signed up first. An administrator can sign up without issues, if your school is not part of the program yet. You get the same features as the trail version of Office 365, although there is a separate Class Notebook for class management, intranet customization options and unlimited online meetings.
However, as mentioned, the trial only lasts one month so if you need Microsoft Office for the long run, this wouldn’t be the best option. In addition, Microsoft will ask for your financial account information prior to the download and once the month is over, it will start charging you automatically. It should also be noted that some product offers can be misleading. For instance the Try Office 365 Personal for free deal on the Microsoft Store, refers to the one month trial version, even if it doesn’t explicitly mentions it.
Huge discounts for college graduates
While this option is not completely free, it is worth mentioning because it will also help you to save a lot of money. If you are graduating from college, you can get a year of Office 365 for half price. If you need to use Office 365 on a daily basis for a long period of time, this is a great deal. Microsoft offers a lot of help migrating data and helping you to deal with major transitions.
Try public previews (StaffHub)
Sometimes, Microsoft does public previews of its software and gives you the chance to test it for free. However, popular solution such as the Office suite are usually not offered. At the moment, you can test StaffHub, a new Office app that can help remote workers to manage all their tasks through mobile devices or temporary computers. You can keep an eye on what app are available to try for free, to see if there is something that may be useful for you.
There are solutions that are similar to Office and that you can get for free. For instance, you can consider FreeOffice 2016 and Apache OpenOffice. These apps offer an interface that resembles Office’s and the files used and created there can be transferred to the Office suite without major hassle.