Pinterest Word is powerful and flexible, but you pay for that utility. Microsoft There are many reasons for using Word. The best is that you like using it, because of its power, rich feature list, ease of use or whatever. The second reason is that you need it to read old files, which is one of your problems. This depends on the complexity of your files. If your documents include multiple columns, embedded images, custom fonts, footnotes and similar features, you can more or less forget about using anything else. But if your documents are simple text files, then a lot of programs will load them. The third reason is that we live in a world where Microsoft Office is the de facto standard for business documents, and you absolutely have to be able to read them accurately. This applies in spades to files that use VBA Visual Basic for Applications and macros, and to Excel spreadsheets where errors can have career-ending financial consequences. And when time is money, the cost of sorting out incompatibilities and usability issues is far higher than the cost of Office.
We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. Do you really need to buy Microsoft Office? Could you save money by using free software instead? Pretty much all of us will have have used it at some point to create Word documents, Powerpoint presentations or Excel spreadsheets. If you're an Office user, before you next splash out to renew your subscription, it might be worth thinking about whether you really need Office at all.
Here's what you need to know to work out whether or not you really need Microsoft Office. Related Story 4 ways to save on back-to-school tech What does Microsoft Office offer?
There are a few different ways you can use Microsoft Office. The first is to buy a subscription to Office which lets you use the latest full versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook on your PC as well as on any tablets or smartphones you own. You also get Publisher and Access but you can only use these on a PC. Visit office. Can I use Google Docs instead? Just like Microsoft, Google offers a similar service to Office that lets you create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations from your PC, tablet or smartphone.
The difference is: Again, your files are saved to a secure area online, known as Google Drive. All you need is a Google login to use it. What are the pros of Google Docs, apart from cost?
It's simple to use. This can make Office seem a little cluttered. Google ditches all but the most necessary features, which makes its programs easier to use.
You can even remove any features you don't need. No more scrolling through endless menus looking for the spell checker! You get extra free online storage space. Although the web version of Microsoft Office does this, if you use the PC version it autosaves to your local hard drive after a specified number of minutes. To open a new document, sheet or slide, type docs. There are loads of templates to choose from. They come in handy when you're creating files like CVs, flyers or letters, in particular.
Microsoft Office lets you edit more files types. This could be particularly important for students and professionals who need full control of a wider range of file types. Willie B. These have a lot of the same features as the Word, Excel and Powerpoint apps in Microsoft Office but you'll struggle to open the files you've created using Pages in Word - as will anyone you share your files with.
Our verdict Buying a Microsoft Office subscription will be unavoidable for those who have a lot of more complex files to create and edit, like students or professionals.
But if you need software for light word processing and data entry then we would recommend switching to the Google Docs Suite. If Microsoft Office sounds like the better option, buy it online here.