If you’re like me, you grew up learning how to use Microsoft Office. Whether it was Word, Excel, or Powerpoint, those programs basically dominated your school and work life. Today, while there are many alternatives, these programs continue to dominate.However, buying and upgrading these programs has always been a financial struggle for new and small businesses. In this video Eric Spellmann shows you how to use these programs for free. Be sure and watch until the end, which is where Eric shares his latest favorite online FIND!
Note from Eric: Below, you will find a word-for-word transcript of this video. I provide this as an aid for the hearing-impaired and for those who might just want to read it rather than watch the video. This conversational style is not reflective of how I write. Be nice! Hey I am Eric Spellmann and today’s topic is a little different. Instead of going over online marketing strategies and techniques, I’m gonna be talking about something very basic to business. Spreadsheets, Word Processors and Presentation Software.
A lot of us grew up on Microsoft Word, but when you start a small business or even some at medium sized businesses sometimes cringe at the thought of having to spend that some of money at essential software. So, that’s what I want to talk about. How you can use the world’s number 1 Office Software totally and legally for free.
First, understand that it’s all about the cloud. The fact that we’re even talking today is because there is a huge cloud fight. What I’m about to share is no trick. It’s not like you’re gonna watch this video and go “Oh he said it was free but it’s not!” No! The reason certain aspects of Microsoft Office are totally free is because Google and Microsoft are involved in a huge battle.
Now, just for you to know, I use Google Apps. Google Apps is Google’s online version of a Word Processor, a Spreadsheet and Presentation Software. And in fact, what you’re seeing behind me is actually on the Google version of PowerPoint. And I’ve been doing that for a long time, it’s a cloud version. So even though I use Google Apps, let’s talk a little bit about Microsoft.
Microsoft is competing now with Google Apps with something called Office 365. It is their new version of office. Because all software, just so you know, all software is moving to the cloud, which means we are moving away from a time when you will take a DVD or a CD and install software directly on to your computer.
Instead of doing that, because we are so connected to the internet 24/7 now, most people are now using the web and using programs in the cloud and simply accessing em through their web browser like Chrome or Firefox or Internet Explorer.
So, that’s where it’s going. And that’s what we wanna talk about. With Microsoft, you can now use the online versions for free. And it’s very easy. You simply go to office.com. Get a Microsoft account. Now when I say that, it doesn’t mean get a new email address. You can use your existing email address to create a free account at office.com. Now keep in mind, the free versions are only the online versions.
So you’re gonna be using an online version of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. They throw in a couple of other things like OneDrive, which is simply a place to store your documents. And they also have an application called OneNote, which I don’t even use, hardly anyone uses. So they just kind of throw that in for free. But, these are free for you to use.
Keep in mind that with these versions your documents are stored in the cloud, automatically by default in this One Drive account. You can download them if you want as Microsoft Word Docs, PowerPoint or Excel spreadsheets.
But for the default they are stored in the cloud which is kind of cool because it gives you access using your other devices to these same documents.
There are also offline versions. So, what do you do about those? And are any of those completely and totally free? Offline meaning the old kind, the kind that you install on your computer. Well, first question I have for you are you a student?
Because if you are, and when I say so it means you’re either at a registered high school or in a college. A lot of times you can access, get to download an offline version at little or no cost.
Now the way Microsoft checks that you’re a student is typically by your email address. So if you have an email address tied to your school on that office.com page, look for that little line that says Students Check Eligibility.
And you can click there and you will be sent to a page that discounts the software so that you can download it or lets you download it totally for free! Once again it’s based on your student email that they give you, not like an email account like Gmail etc.
The programs in the offline versions are recently, completely and totally free. For your Android, your iPhone, your iPad, your tablet you can actually download and install these 3 programs (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) for free, whether you’re a student or not.
That’s a recent change from Microsoft. Like I said, this fight is getting really vicious.
You can also get an Office 365 subscription. So let’s say you’re not a student. And you want the downloadable versions of these. Believe it or not, they’re really really cheap. And I know, you’re wondering I said it was all free. Well it’s free if you like the online version.
But some people want the offline version. And so if you want that, believe it or not the pricing is not that bad. For a Home account, if you’re gonna be using these at home, it’s only 10 dollars a month. But that gives you up to 5 accounts, one for every member of your family. They have their own individual login account, but it can also be installed on all those computers as well.
If you’re in the office and want to use Office 365, they’ll charge $8.25 per month. Now, the advantage of a subscription is that you’re not having to pay a huge amount of money upfront. But, you are allowed, it will automatically update you; you don’t have to worry about buying a new one every year to get the new versions because you already have the new version.
And in the office one, you can install it to 2 other computers besides your own, say at home. So if you have an office subscription, it does legally allow you to install it at home as well.
There is another option however, and that’s what I really wanted to talk about. Because really it’s the option I chose. Because once again, I’m just looking for the functionality.
There are PC alternatives to Microsoft Office. And when I say that, people who have built software with something attached to it like open source or free etc that you can download and install and access and save and use Microsoft Office Documents. And recently I found my favorite hands down.
It’s called WPS Office. You can go to wps.com and see it. Used to be called Kings Soft before that. The reason I like it is because it’s so compatible. Documents that were created in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel translate almost perfectly into this.
This is something you can download and install. I’m talking about an offline version. It is better than the 2 leaders in this area. Libre Office and Open Office, which are also versions that have been around for a while.
It does load a lot faster, believe it or not than Microsoft Office! So if you have a slower system that really can’t run the newest version of Microsoft Office, you might want to give WPS a try, because they pop up quick! It is truly compatible.
Like I said, I’ve used Libre Office and Open Office, and the documents always didn’t come across the same way. When I would save something in one of those and open it in the real version of Microsoft Office, it always didn’t translate back again. But with WPS, I’ve had no problem at all. I love it. And once again, it’s totally free for everyone and anyone to use. It’s really good.
You’re probably saying what’s the catch with WPS? Well basically the only catch is that if you want to use Macros, then they have a paid version you can get. It’s called the Pro Version. But other than that, it’s free. Every option on there, use it, play with it, it works perfectly. I love it.
Well as always if you have any questions, just give our office a call or shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to help. I am Eric Spellmann; I’ll see you in cyberspace.