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How to Get MS Office for Free

Office 365 Package

If you regularly work with text editors or create presentations and spreadsheets, an office suite is probably essential for you. Although the best option is undoubtedly MS Office 365, which includes all available features and is regularly updated, the need to pay a monthly or annual license fee makes it not the cheapest option. If you’re looking for a completely free or significantly cheaper alternative, you’re in the right place. Let’s take a look together to see if it’s possible to get MS Office entirely for free, what free alternatives there are, or how to save money when purchasing MS Office.

MS Office Online

Do you use programs from the MS Office suite only occasionally and have internet access while working? In that case, the online version of the desktop MS Office program could be a suitable choice. Although it is similar in many respects to the equally free Google Docs, which are essentially a competing application, it offers everything you’re accustomed to in MS Office programs, and it’s completely free.

The only downside is the need for an internet connection, although it should be noted that the online version comes with a number of benefits, from the ability to run on almost any device to automatic saving on OneDrive and the ability to share files with colleagues.

MS Office for Schools and Students

The only other completely free version of the MS Office suite is the 365 license for schools and students, Office 365 Education. With this license, both teachers and students from eligible institutions can use all MS Office 365 programs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Microsoft Teams. It is probably not necessary to add that a valid school email is required for free use of MS Office 365 Education. After finishing your studies, you will unfortunately lose the possibility of free use of the office suite.

Free Alternatives

These are the only completely free options for obtaining the MS Office suite. Before we look at cheaper alternatives to the MS Office 365 license, let’s briefly stop at full-fledged alternatives that can be installed on your computer for free (or for a voluntary contribution). Probably the best-known open-source office suites are OpenOffice and LibreOffice. What are their advantages and disadvantages?

For quite a long time, the most popular open-source alternative was the aforementioned Apache OpenOffice. However, it should be said that while you can get by with OpenOffice for regular use, it will not be the best helper for more complex tasks. Mac users may also be disappointed by the fact that it is not available in the App Store for download to a mobile phone or iPad.

If you’re looking for a truly full-fledged alternative to MS Office, LibreOffice is a safer bet. Its interface closely resembles Microsoft programs, but you can download and install it completely free. The advantage is not only the seamless opening of files from MS Office in LibreOffice and vice versa, but also the inclusion of practically all the functions offered by MS Office. Unfortunately, as with OpenOffice, it is available only for Windows, Mac, and Linux – an official mobile version (except for a document viewer for Android) does not currently exist.

Cheap MS Office

Didn’t find the alternatives appealing? If you want to use the MS Office suite without resorting to illegal downloads or paying regular fees for the MS Office 365 subscription, which for the individual version climbs to amounts over 1,000 CZK per year, bet on one-time licenses. Although the price may be slightly higher compared to annual subscriptions, it will be cheaper in the long run – the license will remain with you forever. It is thus an ideal choice especially if the existing features of the given license suit you and you do not intend to upgrade it regularly for a new one.

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MS Office 2016

Probably the cheapest (and also the best-selling on many e-shops) perpetual license is MS Office 2016 for students and households, which you can get for around six hundred crowns. Although some new features are missing, unlike newer licenses, it is compatible with older operating systems Windows 7 and 8. The main attraction is, of course, the unbeatable low price.

MS Office 2019

A slightly more expensive alternative is MS Office 2019, which unlike the 2016 version offers, for example, text-to-speech conversion, a black background theme, new types of charts, and other new features. This time, the price does not exceed one thousand crowns, although it is a few hundred crowns more expensive than the three-year-older version.

MS Office 2021

The newest addition to the perpetual licenses of MS Office is the 2021 office suite, which in the version for students and households you can get for around two thousand crowns. Compared to previous versions, it allows, for example, co-authoring of documents, offers brand new functions in Excel, and the ability to record presentations in PowerPoint.

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