Microsoft word is a feature-rich word processor that has widespread commercial and academic usage, though it is often a little expensive for home use, especially now that there are other powerful applications available for free.
The cost of Microsoft Word depends on if you’re going to bundle it, use it in the cloud, or specifically want the desktop version. As a standalone product, it’s more expensive than the bundled Office products, and if you need other standalone apps, then it’s wildly expensive.
|Microsoft 365 Personal||$69.99 / year|
|Microsoft 365 Family||$99.99 / year|
|Microsoft Office 2021 Complete||$249.99|
|Microsoft Office 2021 Home||$149.99|
|Microsoft Office Word||$159.99|
Is There a Free Version of Microsoft Word?
Microsoft offers a cut-down version of their Office suite of products for free, there is never any cost, and instead of just getting Microsoft Word, you‘ll get all of the core products such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and even OneDrive with 5 GB of free online storage.
There is no free version of Microsoft Word as a standalone product, so your only option for free is Microsoft Office Online. The drawback of the free version is that it’s web-based only, and you must have an internet connection at all times to use it. You do get access to all the components though, so if you need both Word and Excel for free then it’s a great option.
You will also find that Office Online, the free office suite, does not have the advanced features available in the paid products, but most people won’t need these for writing school reports, essays, or any other standard documents.
How to Download Free Microsoft Word
As part of Microsoft Office Online, Microsoft Word can not be downloaded at all; you must access the product from a web browser while you’re connected to the internet. This is one of the significant drawbacks of using this free product.
Unlike Google Docs, which allows offline editing, Microsoft Word Free does not allow offline editing of documents, and trying to do so may result in loss of your work.
To sign up for your free Microsoft Word product, head over to Office.com and sign up, it’ll take you 5 minutes, and no credit card is required.
What Can Free Version of Microsoft Word Do?
Microsoft Word Online can provide all expected word processing you require; you can create, view, and save your documents. With 5 GB of OneDrive storage, you can even keep your documents online for access and updating from any location.
You won’t get the advanced capabilities that could be an issue if you’re dealing with many different formats of documents, need security on the documents, and customizations you want to make, or macros you wish to use can’t be created.
For most people who just want to write up a document, Microsoft Word Online is perfect, and there are limited reasons for buying Word as a personal user.
If you’re looking for a complete list of features available from Microsoft Word Online, you can find them on the Microsoft website.
Difference Between Free and Paid Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word Online is the free version best suited for people who only need basic word processing and may need to review but not edit enhanced documents from other people.
Many features are not available in Microsoft Office Free, but they are read-only if you need to view them when receiving files from other people. So it’s a great option when you’re not by your own laptop or simply don’t need to edit the enhanced documents.
Paid versions of Microsoft Word are best suited for people that need enhanced features from a word processor, customizations, adding images and links, proofreading, anything that isn’t just writing would be better suited with a paid version or a different free product like Google Docs.
|Microsoft Office Free||Microsoft Word 2020||Microsoft 365|
|Free Version||100% Free||30-Day Trial|
|Full Office Applications||Core Applications||Word Only||Full + extras|
|Desktop Versions||Desktop Only||✓|
|Multiple Installs||Web-Based Only||✓ , 5 desktop installs|
|Online Storage||5 GB||1 TB|
|Full document type support||Limited||Full||Full|
Can Free Version of Microsoft Word Be Used on All Devices?
Microsoft Word Online can not be downloaded to devices, but it is available and can be used on any device with a web browser connected to the internet. This includes any kind of laptop, whether Windows or Mac or even your mobile phone.
While you may think it’ll be challenging to write on your mobile phone via a web browser, remember that you can use voice-to-text to input anything you need into the document. However, formatting and editing may be a challenge.
Is Microsoft Word Still Free in 2023?
Microsoft Word is free for life in a cloud-based service bundled with other Microsoft Office products. So as long as you have a web browser and are connected to the internet, it’s a good product for simple word processing when you simply don’t want to pay for Microsoft Word or Office.
Just keep in mind that advanced features and interoperability with other products will be limited, but it’s free to try it out before buying anything.
Click here to connect to Microsoft Office Online, and start using Microsoft Word for free.
If you’ve decided that the Microsoft Word Online version doesn’t meet your needs and you don’t mind paying a small amount monthly for the full suite of Microsoft Office products, then you can go sign up to Office 365. You’ll even get 1 TB of online storage for use.
Click here to sign up with Office 365.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.