If you don’t need the full power of the desktop version of Microsoft Office, you can use the free online version instead. Here’s how to access Office on the web.

Do you want to use Microsoft Office but don’t want to pay for it? Try free Office for web apps.

Formerly known as Office Online and now referred to simply as Office, web applications reside online, accessible through your browser. Instead of installing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on your computer, you use cloud-based varieties of different programs – similar to Google Docs – and all you need is a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer or a similar program.

Instead of storing your files and documents on your computer, you save them to Microsoft OneDrive, the company’s cloud storage service. The only downside is that Office for web apps isn’t as feature rich as their desktop counterparts. You’ll find basic editing and formatting commands, but not much more. However, if all you need are the basics, this is an option worth trying.

Office for the web offers the four main programs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. But you can also access other apps, including Outlook, Calendar, People, Skype, and OneDrive. Another application called Sway allows you to create interactive reports and presentations.

Let’s walk through the steps to access and use Office for web applications to create, edit, and save your documents.

First, you will need a Microsoft account. If you don’t already have one, set it up on the Microsoft account website. A Microsoft account comes with 5 GB of free OneDrive storage

Go to the Office website and click Sign up for free on Office.com.

Sign in with your Microsoft account and you will be redirected to the Office website.

At the top, you’ll see apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Once you start creating and saving Office files, they will appear at the bottom of the page as Recent Documents so you can access them easier and faster.

For example if you want to use Word. Click on it and a page opens where you can select a template to create your document or file. For example, Word offers templates for resumes, cover letters, flyers, and calendars. If you don’t need a special template, just click New Blank Document.


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