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Microsoft Office for Free?

Learn how you can get a free or cheaper copy of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. There are more options that you may have imagined.


Product/Version: PowerPoint

OS: Windows and Mac OS X

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

Download Office 365 for 30 Days Trial

Tip: 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? page.

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. 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.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013

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, and 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 is that you need to be connected 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 platforms.

A PowerPoint presentation in OneDrive

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

Office 2013 for Windows: Home and Student Office 2011 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

Office 365 University

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 this site:

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 could 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, and these end up in auction sites and garage sales after a few years!

You May Also Like: Updates for Office 365 Applications | Which Themes are Installed within Office Versions?

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