We all realize that nothing is really free in today's world, yet we all look for free stuff all the time. Well, maybe we were
partially wrong when we said "nothing is free", because you can get a free, or at least a cheaper copy of PowerPoint and
Microsoft Office. When we say free or cheap, we do not refer to bootlegged copies -- but genuine, original software. Here are some
options for you to get a free or cheaper copy of PowerPoint:
- Get a trial copy of Microsoft Office: You can install and run this for 30 days almost like a full copy. If you
are doing a project that's going to be over in a small duration, such as a month -- then this is a great option. Of course, that is
not the intent behind a free trial -- Microsoft rightfully assumes that you will like the product after the trial period is over,
and will buy a licensed copy. There are trials available for both the Windows and Mac versions of Microsoft (both as part of the
Office 365 trial). Fortunately, trial versions on both Windows and Mac include PowerPoint:
Microsoft Office (part of Office 365 Home) 30 Days Trial
Do you just want a trial version of Microsoft Office without signing up for an Office 365 subscription? Yes, that’s still
possible although Microsoft has sort of hidden this option in some corner of their TechNet site – go to this
Download Microsoft Office
Professional Plus 2013 page. Yes, this page is still for Office 2013 for Windows! This is a standalone version that you can
download and install on your computer – also compared to the 30 day trial of Office 365, this one is a full 60 day trial. No such
luck for Office for Mac users though – looks like the only way to get a trial of that version is through a trial of
Office 365 Home.
: Confused about why you need Office 365 Home to get trial versions of Office 2016 for Windows and Mac?
That’s because Microsoft actually is providing you with a 30 day trial of their Office 365 Home subscription –- this includes
5 licenses of Office (you decide if you want to use Windows or Mac versions of Office). Learn more about Office 365 in our
Office 365 or Perpetual Office?
Apparently, Microsoft has provided an option to extend the trial period of Microsoft Office to 180 days --
the utility to extend the license is included within the Office 2013 trial installation -- this does require
bringing up the Command Prompt window, but you can also do it through
third party tools. Note that this is not a crack but a legal option provided by Microsoft to extend your trial period.
- Explore Microsoft Office Online: Microsoft provides a free copy of the PowerPoint Online, a web based version of
PowerPoint to anyone who has a Microsoft account. If you have a Hotmail, Live, Passport, or XBox account -- then you already have a
Microsoft account -- just head to the OneDrive site, and you can
use this free, online version of PowerPoint and other Microsoft programs. These online versions are fairly limited in their capabilities
than their full desktop counterparts, but for most people, they work well. One caveat though -- you need to be online all the time.
PowerPoint Online has some extra features up its sleeve that you may want to use even if you have a desktop version of the program
-- it lets you collaborate on a presentation so that more than one person can edit the same presentation at a time. Also, you can embed
your PowerPoint presentations online at any web site using
OneDrive embed options.
Additionally, you can share your PowerPoint slides
on social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Best of all, the online version uses the same file formats as the desktop version -- so the same presentation can be edited on both
- Consider Home and Student versions: Microsoft provides Office in a Home and Student version that's cheaper than the
regular version. Fairly often, you can get a copy of this version for around $150, and you can get even better deals typically during
Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales. The license allows installation on one computer. Microsoft does limit the use of the Home and
Student version to non-commercial activities. According to Microsoft, the Home and Student version "cannot be used for any commercial,
nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities, by schools or academic institutions, or by any government organization."
Office for Windows -- Home and Student
Office for Mac -- Home and Student
- Get Academic Versions: In addition to the Home and Student version of Office retail products, Microsoft offers
academic versions of Office 365 subscriptions. Depending upon whether you go to a university or a school, you will choose between
Office 365’s University and Education subscriptions.
Office 365 University
Office 365 Education
For more information on both these offerings, access the links above. We provide brief descriptions in our
Office 365 or Office 2013 or Perpetual Office? page.
Additionally, Microsoft also provides Office 365
Nonprofit that will get your qualified nonprofit organization a free of discounted license for Office 365.
- Free Software from Microsoft: Microsoft offers free software as part of its BizSpark, WebsiteSpark, and
DreamSpark initiatives -- in addition, they also have a Microsoft Faculty Connection program. You can check if you are eligible from
Microsoft -- Free Development Resources
- Previous Version from eBay or Garage Sales: Auction sites such as eBay often sell older, used copies of
Microsoft Office at a substantial discount. We suggest that you try and get a copy that is newer than Office XP (2002) -- also if
you can, there are good deals available for Office 2007 for Windows, and Office 2008 for Mac. Do check if any of these older versions
are compatible with newer operating systems like Windows 7 (or newer) or Mac OS X 10.6 (or newer).
Also if you buy from a garage sale, make sure that the product has not been activated -- although even activated products can usually be
reactivated after a year or so. If activation fails, you can always call up Microsoft's activation phone support. Even better, try and
get a shrink wrapped copy of an older version -- many users buy software that they never open -- these end up in auction sites and
garage sales after a few years!
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado?
Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?
Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.