Both in ~ home and also at work, Microsoft Office has been a staple component of computer for decades. Quite much every one of us will have used it at some point to create Word documents, Powerpoint presentations or Excel spreadsheets. It’s so well-known that in 2020, Microsoft Office 365 had an astounding 258 million payment users. However with packages starting at £60 a year, that doesn’t come cheap.

If you"re one Office user, before you following splash out to renew her subscription, it might be precious thinking about whether you really need Office in ~ all. Almost 30 year after Microsoft Office launched, there’s ultimately a free alternative precious considering. Google has actually its own similar collection of apps, and also they’re all accessible online right now, totally free!

Here"s what you require to know to occupational out even if it is or no you really need Microsoft Office.

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What go Microsoft Office offer?

There space a few different means you deserve to use Microsoft Office. The an initial is to buy a subscription to Office 365 which allows you usage the latest complete versions that Word, Excel, Powerpoint and also Outlook on her PC as well as on any kind of tablets or smartphones you own. You additionally get Publisher and access but you deserve to only usage these top top a PC. You also get 1TB that storage room on Microsoft’s cloud service, OneDrive (everyone can get 5GB free). It expenses £59.99 a year for an individual use for one user, however for £79.99 a year, friend can acquire Office 365 residence which allows you have six various log-ins - a much better deal for a family. Through both alternatives you’ll get every new update such as brand-new tools and also features, as well as security to update and bug fixes.

The second option is to do a one-off purchase of Office home & student 2019 for £119.99. You’ll have accessibility to Word, Powerpoint and also Excel to usage on one computer or Mac, yet you can"t use the software application on a tablet computer or smartphone and also you won’t gain the extra virtual storage or the updates.

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It is feasible to use Word, Excel and Powerpoint totally free of charge, though. Visit from any kind of web web browser to access limited versions of these programs (you can also download complimentary apps for your smartphone or tablet). You"ll need to sign up for a complimentary Outlook account yet it’s worth noting the there are lots of features absent and girlfriend won"t be able to save documents to your computer"s hard drive - they"ll be stored in your OneDrive space instead.

Can I usage Google Docs instead?

Just prefer Microsoft, Google supplies a similar service come Office that allows you create and edit documents, spreadsheets and also presentations from your PC, tablet computer or smartphone. The main difference is: it"s free. Again, your files are saved to a secure area online, known as Google Drive. Every you require is a Google login to use it.

What room the advantages of Google Docs, apart from cost?

It"s an easy to use. Microsoft Office comes through tonnes of features (some suitable to much more advanced use, such as Word’s References food selection which helps you write in an academic format). This deserve to make Office it seems to be ~ a small cluttered. Google only has the most vital features, which provides its programs easier to use. Friend can even remove any features you don"t need. No much more scrolling through unlimited menus trying to find the assignment checker! You obtain extra totally free online warehouse space. Google Drive provides you 15GB of totally free storage an are - that’s triple the lot Microsoft offers totally free of charge. Google autosaves everything you carry out to Google journey by default, which method you’ll never ever lose any kind of work because every click and keystroke is saved. Return the internet version that Microsoft Office go this, if you use the computer version that autosaves to her local tough drive after ~ a specified variety of minutes. If you want it to save more often - or instantly - to OneDrive, you’ll have to tweak the settings.

GHI TIP: To open a brand-new document, sheet or slide, kind, or right into the deal with bar of your Chrome browser.


What are the advantages of Microsoft Office?

There are tons of templates to select from. Everything kind of file you’re creating, Microsoft Office has actually a template for it. Castle come in handy as soon as you"re producing files like CVs, flyers or letters, in particular. In comparison, creating documents choose these top top Google can be trickier and you won’t have actually as much manage as you would with Microsoft. Girlfriend don’t should rely ~ above an net connection. A large problem with using Google’s complimentary service in your web web browser is that it relies greatly on an net connection. If you all of sudden lose net access, friend won’t be able to access your documents or pack the services in your web browser at all. Google Docs deserve to be provided ‘offline’ however this is fiddly come set-up and also has to be excellent in advance. That won’t be a problem with Microsoft Office because everything is easily accessible both online and also offline.There’s a broader range that apps top top Microsoft Office. Through your payment subscription, you don’t just get Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. You’ll additionally have access to Outlook for your emails, Publisher come build more professional documents and files, as well as the accessibility database software. Microsoft Office allows you edit much more files types. A significant downfall that Google Docs is that it won’t allow you edit PDFs, vice versa, Microsoft native will. This might be specifically important because that students and also professionals who need full control of a wider range of file types.


GHI TIP: If you have an apple Mac or iPad from 2015 or later, iWork comes pre-loaded and also includes the program Pages, Numbers and also Keynote. These have a the majority of the same functions as Word, Excel and also Powerpoint apps in Microsoft Office yet you"ll struggle to open the records you"ve created using Pages in word - as will anyone you share your files with.

Our verdict

Buying a Microsoft Office subscription will be inevitable for those who have actually a the majority of more facility files to create and edit, favor students or professionals. But if you need software for light word processing and also data entry climate we would recommend switching to the Google Docs Suite.