Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you’re probably familiar with Microsoft Word. You probably used it in school, used it in work, and proudly wrote on your CV that you’re proficient in it (whether it was true or not). MS Word is the world’s most popular word processing software, and it’s not hard to see why. It has a vast amount of often underutilized powerful features that go far beyond basic typing, spell-checking, and word counting. If you have a writing project coming up, then Word could be an excellent option for you
There are three ways to download Word on your PC or Mac. You can get the Microsoft 365 Family plan, the Microsoft 365 Personal plan, or the Office Home & Student 2019 plan.
You can download Word by going to the Word homepage https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/word. You should see two options, Buy now and Try for free (1-month free trial). Please note that the free trial is only available for the Microsoft 365 Family plan, not the Personal plan. However, if you don’t want to pay $69.99 for the Personal plan straight away, you could always opt for a free Family trial and cancel your subscription before it expires.
Click the option that you want and follow the next steps. If you opt for a free trial, you’ll need to sign in or create an account. If you create a new one, you’ll be asked to provide an email address or phone number, name, date of birth, country/region, and verify your email address. If you click Buy now, you’ll still have to log in, but first, you’ll be asked to pick one of the three plans.
Once you’ve paid for Microsoft 365 or signed up for the free trial, the download should begin. If you’re on Windows, then the installer will load automatically. If you’re using a Mac, navigate to your Downloads folder and find the Microsoft Office file that ends in “pkg,” and double click.
If you’re working on an academic paper, article, or other technical documents, you likely want to add references and citations. Word makes this easy with the Researcher tool. If you navigate to the References tab and click Researcher, you can search for references using keywords. An information card will bring up reputable sources from around the internet, and by right-clicking on the source, you can Add and Cite it to your document.
Word’s formatting and processing tools will highlight incorrect spelling and grammar, recommend you start a new paragraph, adjust the paragraph’s alignment, change line spacing, and more.
It can be frustrating when you receive a PDF document that needs some tweaking. Without Word, editing PDFs is a clunky and tedious process, and the document never looks quite right after you’ve finished. With this software, you can edit PDFs easily by converting Word document to PDF and vice versa from PDF to Word.
Word has a Mail Merge feature that allows you to simultaneously create several letters, envelopes, labels, and name tags that all have the same layout. You can store recipient information, like name and address, within a spreadsheet or database and pull this information through to Mail Merge.
Word supports real-time collaboration, allowing co-authors to add comments and make changes to documents. All authorized users can also see what changes have been made over time using the Track Changes feature.
The templates feature is excellent because you can find exactly what you’re looking for without having to create a document from scratch.
If you’re ever stuck using the software, like say a feature isn’t working how you expected it to, or you can’t find what you’re looking for, then don’t worry. A simple Google search will connect you to community forums where hundreds or even thousands of people are discussing the same problem.
MS Word is an excellent option for people who want a powerful word processing tool that can do almost anything. If you just need to write a few pages now and again, the free browser version will probably do the trick. However, if you want to create stunning letters, cards, or brochures to send to a large number of people or extensively edit PDFs, you’ll benefit from the paid version.