Summary: Find out how an absolutely free program called Open Office can replace Microsoft Office.
Our son is returning to college this fall and one of the professors has required that students have Microsoft Word installed on their computers. I have a couple of questions about this. Can I buy only Microsoft Word, or do I also have to buy the entire Microsoft office program? Where is the cheapest place to buy Microsoft Word or Microsoft office?
Chuck’s Answer: I would first check with the professor to see if the requirement is simply to have the ability to create Microsoft Word files to hand in for homework. If this is the case, your son or daughter may not need Microsoft office or Microsoft Word, but instead can use a wonderful free program called “OpenOffice” that is available for download on the Internet. Open office is a free program that is available for different computer operated systems, and it is compatible with all other major office suites including Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office. To find open office, perform an Internet search for “openoffice.org”
The most recent versions of free OpenOffice look quite like the Microsoft Office program. So, if you know how to use Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word you’ll be right at home using OpenOffice. More importantly, for your application, the OpenOffice program can create files that are compatible with Microsoft word. So your student can use the free OpenOffice program to create Word files that can be submitted for homework.
If the professor absolutely requires Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word, you have a couple of choices of where to buy Microsoft Office for word at a lower than retail price. Probably the most expensive place to buy Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word is your local office supply store. Microsoft sells student versions of Microsoft software at most university and college bookstores. You can also find current and older versions of Microsoft software on eBay. Just make sure that the seller from whom you buy has a good positive feedback score (generally greater than 100) and that the seller is selling copies of Microsoft Office that include a Microsoft “Certificate of Authenticity.” When I checked eBay’s closed auctions, there were a few thousand completed auctions with an authentic version of Microsoft Word selling for as little as $36, and full current versions of Microsoft Office selling for $73. Older authentic versions of Microsoft Office were selling for as little as $40.
Be sure that the version of Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word is compatible with your computers operating system. For example make sure that you buy a Mac version if you have a Mac and buy a Windows version if you have a PC.