How to use Microsoft Office online for free?

Did you know that you can get Microsoft Office online for free? You can easily create, save and share Word, Excel, Powerpoint files online without paying a subscription fee. Let me tell you how to save almost $100 annually, also, I will share some other tips and tricks.

What is Microsoft Office Online?

Microsoft Office Online is a cloud-based application similar to Google docs where you can create, save and share your documents. All you need is a Microsoft account to sign in and use the most popular software for absolutely free. You also get free 5GB of space in Microsoft OneDrive to save your documents.

What applications are available in Microsoft Office online for free?

  • Word
  • Excel
  • Powerpoint
  • Outlook
  • OneDrive
  • Teams
  • OneNote
  • ToDo
  • Skype
  • Forms
  • Calendar
  • Family Safety

What you do not get?

  • MS Access
  • MS Publisher
  • Outlook Premium features
  • Premium templates
  • AI tools

Features you will love

  • Create documents and save them on Microsoft OneDrive for free.
  • Get 5GB free space on OneDrive.
  • Easily share documents with anyone online
  • Collaborate,
  • Download a copy of your document to your PC.
  • Convert to PDF and save on your PC using the Print to PDF option.

What is missing?

  • The application does not have the full features as in the subscription-based M365.
  • With M365 you get 1TB space with Personal and 6TB space with a Family plan.
  • You cannot upload any documents from your PC.
  • Any document you download cannot be opened unless you have at least an older version of the MS Office program.
  • Premium features like some premium templates.

How to signup and access the free applications?

You need is a Microsoft account, if you do not have then do not worry, it is easy to create one. Go to Microsoft login page.

Microsoft office online for free
Create a Microsoft account

After you have signed in you need to go to Services and Subscription and scroll down to the bottom of the screen where you will be able to see the Free services menu.

Free services with Microsoft office online
Free services with Microsoft account

That is it. Click on Office for the web and access the suite of free applications that are available.

microsoft Office online Welcome screen
Welcome screen

On the left-hand side, you can see all the applications available to you for free online cloud usage. Create new documents easily with a click of a button.

Create New microsoft Office online document
Create New document

Click on any thing like, Word or Excel and create a new document.

How to use Microsoft Office online?

It is very simple. Click on any application like Word or Excel and an online web version of the application will open on the browser window. It is very easy to use. However, if you are used to using an installed version of the program you may find it difficult at first. Like the keyboard shortcuts will not work, especially for those who work on Excel, it may be frustrating. Nevertheless, you get an almost identical UI on your browser.

See the below screenshots of Word and Excel.

Online Word
Online Word
Online Excel
Online Excel

What are the other Tips and Tricks to use MS Office for free?

Share an Office family plan

Share the Microsoft 365 family plan with someone. This is meant for family members only. The owner can add up to 5 members to the plan and each gets separate 1TB storage.

Try Office 365 Education plan if you are a student or a teacher

Avail the Student or Teacher plan. If you are a student or a teacher at an eligible educational institution then you can use the M365 plan for free. Check with your institute if you are eligible.

Corporate plans

Certain offices do have plans for their employees. It may not be absolutely free but the rates can be discounted up to 30%.

Try an Open source software available for free

There is a number of Open source software available like LibreOffice and OpenOffice. You can also try Google Docs for online and offline use as well. Check out my article on LibreOffice if you want to know more about it.

Conclusion

In this online age, an online Office application is not that bad. Yes, you will miss the feel of an installed version but if you are an occasional user this won’t affect you much. But for moderate to high Excel users this will not be a good experience, you will miss the keyboard shortcuts and performance. Try it and you won’t regret it. There is always the option to signup for the full version later.

Please do share any other tips and tricks that I have missed and what you think about this free Office version.

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