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Explore on Diverse Microsoft Programs and Find the Most Suitable Office Software

May 8, 2023 705 views

Microsoft Office comes across as the first choice for anyone who wants to handle their documentation needs. If you are starting on your journey of creating documents, spreadsheets, and slides and want to use the right productivity tools, you are at the right place.

Microsoft programs come with different subscription plans. Here in this blog, we will discuss those plans and also give you alternatives perfectly suited to your needs – keep reading!

Understanding Microsoft Office: What is it?

Microsoft Office is a suite of productivity apps. This suite allows users to create stunning documents, spreadsheets, and slideshows. Using Microsoft programs also helps users send emails, create calendars, and also take video calls.

This suite was first introduced by Bill Gates back in 1988. Over the years, new features have been added to Microsoft Office regularly. This suite is available to use on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.

Microsoft Office is now available in 35 languages. The main applications of Microsoft Office include:

  • Word

  • Excel

  • PowerPoint

  • Access

  • OneNote

  • Outlook

  • Publisher

What are the Most Commonly Used Programs in Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office consists of various apps that can handle individuals and professionals handle their documentation needs faster. Here is an overview of the famous apps included in this suite:

Word

Microsoft Word

Here is a brief overview of Microsoft Word:

Basic Information

Microsoft Word is a program included in the Microsoft Office suite that is used for creating documents. It comes with all the features needed for creating rich documents that are properly suited for all modern document creation needs.

Functions and Features

Here are some amazing features that Microsoft Word provides:

  • You can use “Quick Parts” to insert predefined blocks of text easily.

  • The “Focus Mode” allows you to write without getting distracted.

  • You can use the “Dictate” feature to use your voice for writing.

  • The “Editor” feature allows you to review your work.

  • You can access your “Clipboard” in Word to paste text easily.

  • The “Screenshot” tool allows you to add screenshots to documents.

  • You can use the “Researcher” tool to add citations and references.

Pros and Cons

These are some amazing advantages of Word:

  • It has great support for add-ons.

  • You can use it to create all types of documents.

Here are some of the downsides of Word:

  • It doesn’t support real-time collaboration on documents.

  • It might be difficult for new users to use this software.

  • Microsoft has removed some features from Word over time.

Excel

Here is an overview of Microsoft Excel:

Basic Information

Excel is a smart program for creating spreadsheets. It comes with amazing support for mathematical formulas. People use it for everything from personal budgeting to handling corporate finances.

Functions and Features

Here are some amazing features of Microsoft Excel:

  • You can add Pie Charts to your spreadsheets.

  • Conditional Formatting allows users to format data easily.

  • You can add “Hyperlinks” to provide additional information to the user.

  • Advanced mathematical formulas can help you with all sorts of calculations.

  • You can use the Hide Data feature to hide some information.

  • The “Named Ranges” feature allows you to label data easily.

  • You can use formatting to better present your data.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the strengths of Excel:

  • You can handle all your professional needs with it.

  • You can protect your files with passwords.

  • You can use it across your devices easily.

  • You can put multiple spreadsheets in one file.

These are the downsides of Excel:

  • It is not virus-proof software.

  • It is difficult for new users to use.

  • Excel is expensive software.

  • It is difficult to handle mistakes in Excel.

  • Constant usage makes it work slowly over time.

PowerPoint

Here is an overview of Microsoft PowerPoint:

Basic Information

PowerPoint allows users to create professional presentations in no time. The presentations made with this software can be put on USBs and DVDs. It is easy to edit presentations using PowerPoint.

Functions and Features

Here are some of the amazing PowerPoint features:

  • You can use PowerPoint Design Ideas to create presentations quickly.

  • PowerPoint allows users to add Images, Animations, and Transitions to presentations.

  • Users can Merge Shapes, Icons, and Videos into presentations easily.

  • You can add “Notes” to your presentation to ensure you don’t forget anything important.

Pros and Cons

Here are some advantages of PowerPoint:

  • It provides several design ideas.

  • You can export your presentations in different formats.

  • It allows you to change slides with a remote.

  • It comes with various shortcuts.

  • PowerPoint provides audio and video support.

Here are some cons of PowerPoint:

  • It is difficult to learn how to use PowerPoint.

  • Making changes to presentations online isn’t possible.

  • PowerPoint is an expensive software tool.

  • It has many extra features that are hardly used.

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Outlook

Microsoft Outlook

Here is an overview of Microsoft Outlook:

Basic Information

Outlook is a great tool for sending and receiving personal and professional emails. It comes bundled with Microsoft Office, but it can also be used as a separate application as well.

Functions and Features

Here are some of the amazing Outlook features:

  • It provides Email Scheduling to save time.

  • It bundles emails in Contact Groups.

  • You can also use its “Inbox Rules.”

  • It comes with the “AutoArchive” feature.

  • You can manage your Email Filters.

Pros and Cons

Here are the pros of Outlook:

  • It provides integration with Microsoft Office.

  • You can use multiple email accounts in it.

  • It comes with a powerful search tool.

  • You can customize its interface.

  • It comes with reliable security features.

Here are some of its cons:

  • It is expensive software.

  • It is difficult to use.

  • It has limited storage options.

  • It might have some performance issues.

  • It also has some compatibility issues.

OneNote

Microsoft OneNote

This is an overview of OneNote:

Basic Information

OneNote is an online tool for keeping notes. It allows you to manage everything you need to know for work, school, office, or your home. OneNote comes with great organization features to save you a lot of time and effort.

Functions and Features

Here are its features:

  • You can translate your notes.

  • You can “Tag” your notes easily.

  • You can record voice notes.

  • You can use free templates.

  • You can protect notes with passwords.

  • You can utilize the “Web clipper” feature.

Pros and Cons

Here are its advantages:

  • It can be used on all devices.

  • It comes with many powerful features.

  • It is an affordable option.

Here are the cons of OneNote:

  • It is difficult to learn.

  • Organizing notes in it is difficult.

  • You cannot format notes easily.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

Here is an overview of Microsoft Teams:

Basic Information

Microsoft Teams is a great tool for hybrid teams. It allows team members to chat, call, share files, and integrate apps easily. Microsoft Teams is a famous choice for businesses worldwide.

Functions and Features

Here are the features of Microsoft Teams:

  • It allows dividing employees in Teams.

  • It provides great communication features.

  • Microsoft Teams allows saving files in SharePoint.

  • It provides amazing telephonic calls.

  • It makes recording meetings easier.

Pros and Cons

Here are the benefits of Microsoft Teams:

  • It integrates all apps in one place.

  • It provides amazing chat features.

  • It allows you to search chats and files.

Here are its downsides:

  • It is just like other tools in the market.

  • It might become a security risk for businesses.

  • It doesn’t provide unlimited chat channels.

OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive

Here is an overview of OneDrive:

Basic Information

OneDrive allows users to host their files easily online. It is one of the most famous services built by Microsoft. It comes with a lot of features that are perfect for personal and professional needs. Using OneDrive provides users with real-time synchronization of files.

Functions and Features

Here are some amazing features of OneDrive:

  • It has a reliable uptime.

  • It enables file sharing with enhanced security.

  • It makes it easier to access online files.

  • Using OneDrive makes file management easier.

  • It comes with shared libraries for users.

  • It allows live collaboration for all members.

  • It has amazing app integration features.

Pros and Cons

These are the pros of OneDrive:

  • It can be accessed easily.

  • It has strong security.

  • It has a bandwidth-limiting feature.

Here are its disadvantages:

  • It doesn’t have great privacy features.

  • It has limitations for special characters.

  • It has improper path sizes.

  • It limits synchronization.

New Invention: ChatGPT

Microsoft with ChatGPT

ChatGPT is the tool that Microsoft has made available for catering to both individual and professional needs. It is a tool based on the GPT-4 language model. You can type a chat-like input and get an output that is articulated. Businesses can use the ChatGPT models to streamline their workflow.

What are the Different Versions of Microsoft Office?

Here is an overview of the different versions of Microsoft Office:

Microsoft 365 Personal

Below is a review of Microsoft 365 Personal:

Basic Information

Microsoft 365 Personal is a subscription plan that provides access to premium Office tools and also offers 1 TB of cloud storage. It comes with professional contact support free of cost, so you can fix your technical issues easily.

Services and Features

Here are some of the Microsoft 365 Personal features:

  • It provides you with AI-powered suggestions for creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

  • It comes with great online functionality.

  • It allows users to access new Office features easily.

Advantages and Limitations

Here are the pros of Microsoft 365 Personal:

  • It is a powerful productivity suite.

  • It can be used on all platforms.

  • It enables seamless collaboration.

  • It provides a great user interface.

Here are its downsides:

  • It doesn’t work well on all web browsers.

  • The new AI features might give unexpected results.

  • It is difficult to access some of the advanced features.

Microsoft 365 Family

Here is an overview of Microsoft 365 Family:

Basic Information

Microsoft 365 Family is a family version of Microsoft 365. It provides access to six people to use Office products in one subscription plan. Microsoft 365 Family also comes with 6 TB storage for every family member.

Services and Features

Here are the features of Microsoft 365 Family:

  • It makes collaboration between family members easy.

  • It helps family members meet their diverse needs.

  • It aids with all the file storage needs.

  • It provides great security features.

Advantages and Limitations

Here are the advantages of Microsoft 365 Family:

  • It is ideal for families.

  • It can cater to diverse documentation needs.

  • Using Microsoft 365 Family is a reliable option.

Here are its limitations:

  • It is an expensive option.

  • The provided storage plan might be inadequate.

  • It contains several tools that are not used regularly.

Office Home & Student 2021

Here is an overview of Office Home & Student 2021:

Basic Information

Office Home & Student 2021 is a great option for people who want to use Office tools but don’t want to subscribe to a membership plan. It comes with all the latest features that are needed for documentation in this digital age.

Services and Features

Here are the features of Office Home & Student 2021:

  • It is a one-time purchase.

  • It is fit for individual needs.

  • It packs all the powerful features.

Advantages and Limitations

Here are the advantages of Office Home & Student 2021:

  • It saves costs by avoiding the need for a monthly subscription.

  • It comes with a free 60 days of customer support.

  • It also has integration with Microsoft Teams.

Here are its limitations:

  • It doesn’t provide real-time customer support.

  • You will have to pay again for a new version of Microsoft Office.

  • It cannot be used for commercial needs.

How to Download and Install Microsoft Office?

  • Use your personal account to Sign In.

  • Visit the Microsoft 365 online page and choose the “Install Office” option.

  • Click on the “Install” button.

  • Press the “Run” button after Office is downloaded.

  • Follow the prompts on the screen to install it on your computer.

The Best Alternative to Microsoft Office: WPS Office

There are several downsides to using Microsoft Office. It is a costly office suite and also lacks many features that you might need. For example, the templates provided by this suite are not good enough for personal or professional needs.

Using WPS Office is the best option for individuals and businesses. It is the best alternative to Microsoft Office as it provides all the features that can help you meet your documentation needs.

WPS Word

Basic Information

WPS Office is a standalone tool for creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. It can be run on all leading platforms. The good thing about WPS Office is that it is free to use and has a very affordable premium plan.

Features and Functions

  • It has all productivity tools in one place.

  • It is great for both individual and professional needs.

  • This tool has a great template library.

Steps to Download WPS Office

  • Visit the wps.com website.

  • Click on the “Free Download” button.

  • Locate the installer in your computer storage.

  • Double-click on the installer and follow the on-screen guide to install WPS Office on your computer.

FAQs

Q1: What is a product key, and where do I find it?

  • It is a 25-character key that has an alphanumeric combination. You can find this key by paying the subscription plan on the Microsoft website. The key is present in your product card email.

Q2: Can I try Microsoft 365 before I buy?

  • You can sign up for the trial by visiting the Microsoft website. By providing your account details, you can use Microsoft 365 free for a given period of thirty days.

Q3: Can I use Microsoft 365 in languages other than the one I originally purchased?

  • The good thing about Microsoft 365 is that it comes with support for 35 languages. You can easily switch to your desired language to boost your productivity.

Summary of Microsoft Programs and the Alternative

There’s no denying that Microsoft Programs pack a lot of power. But if you are dealing with a lot of documentation processes, you might not find this software product perfect for your needs.

The best alternative to this suite is WPS Office. Around 500 million users worldwide trust WPS Office to meet their documentation needs. You can try WPS Office to save your time and money without compromising on productivity.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.