How to Install Microsoft Office on Linux
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Getting Microsoft Office on Linux is easy. This article covers three methods for running Microsoft’s Office software in a Linux environment.

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The most widely used office productivity suite in the world is Microsoft Office. It doesn’t matter if your PC runs Windows 10 or macOS, it’s likely that you’re using Microsoft Office. If you’re not, you have a colleague who is.

But your PC runs Linux. How on earth are you going to install Microsoft Office, and use it without running into problems?

You have three straightforward options, which we’ll look at in turn.

How to Install Microsoft Office on Linux

You have three ways to run Microsoft’s industry-defining office software on a Linux computer:

  1. Use Office Online in a browser.
  2. Install Microsoft Office using PlayOnLinux.
  3. Use Microsoft Office in a Windows virtual machine.

Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at each in turn.

Option 1: Use Microsoft Office Online in a Browser

It might not be the full Microsoft Office, but what is made available via your browser is certainly good enough for a big chunk of office-based tasks. It’s an easy way to get started without paying for the full Microsoft Office suite.

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook can all be accessed via your browser and Microsoft account.

Use Office Online in your Linux browser

Is your copy of Microsoft Office via monthly subscription to Office 365? If so, you’ll also have access to the browser-based tools. This is an easy option that delivers some good productivity benefits to rival Google Docs or Sheets.

As the suite is browser based, it’s not going to be available offline. However, you can make things smoother by setting office.live.com as a desktop shortcut.

As useful as it is, this isn’t the full Microsoft Office. It’s just a browser-based alternative with a stripped-back collection of features. Though it’s useful in a pinch, it doesn’t do everything you expect.

Option 2: Install Microsoft Office Using PlayOnLinux

You can install Microsoft Office using Wine and PlayOnLinux. The following instructions are for Ubuntu, but you’ll be able to customize this for distros that use different package managers.

Installing Wine and PlayOnLinux

Begin by opening a terminal window and entering:

sudo apt install wine

Next, add a public key for the PlayOnLinux software that runs alongside Wine:

wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Follow this by adding PPA information to the package manager:

sudo wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_precise.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list

Next, update and then install PlayOnLinux:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install playonlinux

Note: If you want full fat “easy”, you can install Wine and PlayOnLinux via the software center.

Now, all you need to do is launch PlayOnLinux from Menu > Applications. Here, click on the Office tab, then select the appropriate Microsoft Office option.

Install Microsoft Office with PlayOnLinux

However, with PlayOnLinux, you’re limited to Microsoft Office 2013 as the latest version (the 32-bit version, at best). For the best, most stable results, use Microsoft Office 2010. For this, you’ll need the disc (or ISO file) and a genuine key.

You’ll find the official download at microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/office, where you’ll need to enter the product key before you can download the suite.

Installing Microsoft Office on Ubuntu With PlayOnLinux

So, PlayOnLinux is ready. You have the right version of Microsoft Office. All that is needed now is to install Microsoft Office.

Run Microsoft Office 2007 on Linux

PlayOnLinux will prompt you to select a DVD-ROM or a setup file. Choose the appropriate option, then Next. If you’re using a setup file, you’ll need to browse to this.

Clicking Next will proceed with the installation, and once this is done, you’ll be ready to use Microsoft Office 2010. This is the latest version that can be installed without running into issues, although there are beta scripts for Microsoft Office 2013 and 2016.

Microsoft Office will run from the desktop without separately loading PlayOnLinux (although that will be running in the background).

If for some reason PlayOnLinux doesn’t work for you, you might also consider CrossOver. This is a paid tool with a free trial and can run later versions of Microsoft Office. At the time of writing Office 2016 is not fully supported by PlayOnLinux/Wine but runs in CrossOver.

Installation of CrossOver is more straightforward than PlayOnLinux, while installation of Office is along similar lines (there is a developmental connection between the two tools.

And yes, having Windows software running effortlessly on your Linux PC really is amazing, isn’t it? You’ll find that PlayOnLinux can support several other applications, as well as many Windows games.

It all makes for a seamless transition for any switchers looking to put Microsoft’s operating system behind them The Best Linux Distros for First Time Switchers From Windows and Mac The Best Linux Distros for First Time Switchers From Windows and Mac Linux has an intimidating image, making it seem like it would be difficult to start using it. But the switch from Windows and Mac is actually pretty easy, if you can ease yourself into it. Read More , but who are anxious about losing access to their favorite games, utilities and applications.

Option 3: Install Microsoft Office 365 in a VM

Install Microsoft Office in a Windows virtual machine on Linux

There is another option for anyone wishing to install Microsoft Office on their Linux computer. This isn’t as easy as the others, however, unless you’re already running a Windows virtual machine.

In this case, all you need to do is boot your virtual machine, sign into Windows, and install Microsoft Office. This will prove particularly useful if you wish to install Office 365, as this cannot be installed on Linux.

Get Microsoft Office on Linux Today!

Microsoft Office is not the most ideal option for running office tasks on Linux systems. However, if it’s what you need to get the job done, you have three good options for using it.

Yes, open source alternatives are best for most Linux office productivity tasks but installing Microsoft Office overcomes document compatibility problems. This can prove vital in meeting deadlines or accessing complex spreadsheets and databases.

But if you’re not keen on messing about with virtual machines or Wine, there is an alternative. LibreOffice ships with most Linux distributions, and there are many office alternatives for Linux Is OpenOffice Shutting Down? 4 Great Free Office Suite Alternatives Is OpenOffice Shutting Down? 4 Great Free Office Suite Alternatives OpenOffice is no longer a free Microsoft Office alternative you can count on. We have compiled the four best options for Windows, Linux, and Mac. Read More .

Explore more about: Linux Tips, Microsoft Office Online, Microsoft Office Tips.

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  1. Andy
    May 4, 2019 at 8:11 am

    sudo apt install wine
    This command does not work. It should instead be:
    sudo apt install wine-stable
    Thanks.

  2. Isaac Phillips
    April 6, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Ya, you could, but why???
    OpenOffice and LibreOffice are almost identical, and FREE.

  3. Pierre
    March 12, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Option 4: Install Microsoft Office 365 in crossover. ..

  4. Pierre
    March 12, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Option 4: Install Microsoft Office 365 in Crossover .. ..

  5. Daragh
    September 28, 2017 at 1:39 am

    Sooooo... the question then is: what's the best version of Windows to run in a VM, for Office 2016/365. It officially supports Win7SP1, but is Win8.1/10 better?..

    I need to be able to run PowerBI.

    Cheers!

  6. Ganesh
    December 2, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Hey Cawley, OBS Studio released for linux version

    • Christian Cawley
      December 2, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Hey Ganesh, thanks for letting me know.