As far as word processors go, Microsoft Word is still the king. Even today, we keep discovering hidden Word features that make our lives easier. And just as surprising, we keep discovering new ways to get Microsoft Word for free.
Here are all the ways to access Microsoft Word and almost all of them are free.
Platforms: Windows 8, 10
For a long time, Microsoft offered a free program called Word Viewer to open any DOCX file without paying for the full version of Office. But, Word Viewer was retired a few years back. What you have instead is the new Word Mobile.
Word Mobile can be installed on any Windows laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone. But if you install it on a desktop, laptop, or a large tablet, you can’t create nor edit files with the app. You can only open documents and read them.
To grab the app, head to the Microsoft Store and search for Word Mobile. Otherwise, click the link below to open it in a browser tab, and then the Download button to open it in Microsoft Store on your Windows computer. Proceed to download it like any app.
Download: Word Mobile for Windows (Free)
Microsoft Word for Android and iOS
Platforms: Android, iOS
Microsoft is making great apps for Android. The Redmond giant has separated its Office suite into individual apps on mobile operating systems, so you can actually download a full-fledged version of Microsoft Word without needing to get Excel, PowerPoint, and the others. And yes, it’s a completely free version of Microsoft Word.
Perhaps the best part about Microsoft Word on mobile is how well it represents documents filled with charts and graphics. This has historically been a problem on most mobile office suites, but such files show up perfectly on Word Mobile, scroll through smoothly without lagging, and are smartly optimized for mobile screens. Indeed, the new Word Mobile apps show why Microsoft is king of the office suites and not Google Docs.
Use the Android App on Chromebooks
This is also the best method to get Microsoft Word on Chrome OS. As long as you have a Chromebook that runs Android apps, go to the Play Store and download the same Microsoft Word for Android. It will work as if you were using a tablet. The app works fine with a keyboard, and you can keep using the regular keyboard shortcuts you are accustomed to.
But in the end, that’s a mobile version of Word, not the proper desktop one. For something closer to the desktop Word experience on a Chromebook, you’re better off using Office Online.
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
The first thing you need to know is that you don’t have to pay for Microsoft Word. If you have an active internet connection, you can use the free Office Online instead.
We can think of a few reasons why you should use free Office Online instead of paying Microsoft to use Word. For starters, you can access documents through a web browser on any computer. It also accurately retains Microsoft Word formatting, unlike other apps. It’s an easy step to cloud computing for anyone who is already hooked into the Microsoft Office ecosystem.
However, you can’t use Office Online without an internet connection. When you need an offline office suite, fully installed on your own PC, then good old Office is still your best bet.
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows tablets
Price: Free trial and paid Subscriptions (starting at $6.99 per month)
If you temporarily need the full version of Word installed on your PC or Mac, you should go with an Office 365 subscription. Until a few years ago, buying Microsoft Office was a one-time cost, but a hefty one. Now, Microsoft has embraced the subscription model, which actually increases the price but makes a lot of sense if you are using Office on multiple computers for your whole family. Plus, there are some cool freebies packaged with it.
So why should you be willing to pay more? The new Office 365 subscription model not only gets you Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher, but it also adds 1TB of OneDrive storage and 60 Skype world minutes.
The Office 365 Home package is available for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. If you plan on sharing your Office with members of your family, this is the best value-for-money deal you can get. It basically applies to five users; so you can install Office offline on five computers (PC or Mac), five tablets, five phones, and get the aforementioned 1TB storage and 60 Skype minutes for five users each. And you also get some additional features for Word Mobile on your smartphone:
The cheaper Office 365 Personal package costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year but supports only one user for the storage and Skype minutes, and offline installation on one computer, one tablet, and one phone.
If you don’t like the new subscription model, you can purchase Office at a one-time cost varying from $139.99 to $399.99. Here’s the difference between the Office packages.
Students can get Office 365 for free if your school supports it. You can check out eligibility on the official site. However, be warned that the 1TB of OneDrive storage is associated with your school’s account, which means a school administrator can change permissions and access.
Still Nothing? Microsoft Word Alternatives
Microsoft Word has always been a fantastic word processor. Maybe you have moved away from it because of its price. Though these alternatives aren’t the full-fledged Office suite that you expect to grab for free, you can still rely on these methods and use them for your productivity.
Also, you might want to consider these fresh alternatives to Microsoft Office. You never know which of those free or cheap alternatives will work out for you.