Category Archives: Technology

Office 2016 for Windows & Mac is Here

MicrosoftToday Microsoft announced the release of Office 2016 for Windows and Office 2016 for Mac as a one-time purchase option. The focus of the release is on better collaboration, more simplified sharing and the ability to easily use Office across all your devices.  Here are just some of the new features and capabilities in Office 2016:

  • Co-Authoring – if you work with others on documents, you will now be able to see others “edits” in Word, PowerPoint and OneNote during the actual editing process
  • Simplified Sharing – You will now be able to share right from within your documents or use  the new modern attachments feature in Outlook
  • Office across all your devices – You will now be able to review, edit, analyze and present your Office 2016 documents across any of your devices including from your PC, Mac, Windows, Apple and Android phones and tablets.
  • Windows Hello allows you to sign into your PC and Office 365 with a simple look or touch
  • Tell Me feature where you simply tell Word, Excel or PowerPoint what you want to do or find and Tell Me helps you quickly locate it
  • New modern chart-types in Excel as well as integrated publishing to Power Bl.
  • OneDrive Cloud storage displays your most recently used documents list which allows you to pick up right where you left off on any device
  • Upgrades to Outlook including Office 365 Groups now being part of Outlook allowing individuals to create public or private teams.

While Office 2016 is optimized to work best for Windows 10, it supports PCs running Windows 7 or later and Macs running Mac OS X 10.10. For more information, including requirements for iPad®and Android™ tablets, view full system requirements.

Office 2016 can be purchased here. Get it in Office 365!.

If you already have an Office 365 subscription,  go here for instructions on how to upgrade to Office 2016 for home, or here for business customers.

More information about the new Office 2016 can be found on office.com/2016.

Five Completely Free Office Suites

Is the high cost of owning an Office Suite preventing you from getting started on your school projects, setting up your virtual assistance business or managing your non-profit correspondence and spreadsheets?  If so,  you may find the following, completely free, open source Office Suites exactly what you’re looking for.  While nice to have, the average individual, entrepreneur or small business owner doesn’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles that come along with the latest version of Microsoft Office.  If your needs are simply to create common business documents that look attractive and professional, then join the ranks of millions of people and organizations around the world that are already using free open source Office Suites for their business needs.

Desktop Versions of Free Office Suites

LibreOffice 5

LibreOffice a Free Office SuiteThe Document Foundation recently released its latest version of its free open source office suite, LibreOffice 5.0. This new version of LibreOffice is a beautiful office suite that comes complete with new icons, major improvements to the menus, sidebar and intuitive style management.   While it still looks like a slightly older version of Office, LibreOffice is a powerful office suite that embeds several applications including Writer, the word processor, Calc, the spreadsheet application, Impress, the presentation engine and Base, the database application.  LibreOffice is also compatible with many document formats such as Microsoft® Word, Excel and PowerPoint  and also uses a modern open standard called the OpenDocument Format (ODF).  Extremely easy to download and use, Libreoffice is by far one of the best free open source Office Suites on the market today.  Download LibreOffice >>

Apache OpenOffice

OpenOffice Free Office SuiteApache OpenOffice is an easy to learn open-source office software suite used for word processing (Writer), spreadsheets (Calc), presentations (Impress), graphics and databases. OpenOffice can also work with ODF documents as well as documents from other common office software packages allowing you to open and work on Microsoft Office documents and save them in the OpenOffice native format (.ODT).

The Apache OpenOffice software was developed over twenty years ago and has continued to improve over the years.   One nice feature of OpenOffice is that you can open any type of document from any of the applications (Writer, Calc, Impress) so it operates essentially as one piece of software.  It also runs on all major computing platforms – Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, Sun Solaris, Apple Mac.  If you’re looking for a reliable, tried and true free Office Suite, you’ll find OpenOffice will definitely fit the bill.  The software can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.  Download OpenOffice >>

Kingsoft WPS  Office 10 for Windows

WPS Premium ReviewWPS offers both a free and premium version of their office suite and if you’re familiar with the Ribbon interface in Microsoft 2013, you’ll be right at home using WPS.  The suite includes 3 applications including Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheets. The software resembles Office 2013 more than any of the other free office suites with its clean Ribbon interface .   We found the Ribbon interface to be extremely intuitive and included all the common tabs and features found in Microsoft Office including the Review tab in Writer that supports advanced collaboration features including track changes, comments, word count and spell check.

All three applications come with a variety of  templates that you can download for free or you can create your documents from scratch as this software contains all the common features and functions you’ll find in Microsoft Office including the ability to insert shapes, text boxes, images, notes, charts and tables in PowerPoint and access to literally dozens of formulas and function shortcuts as well as the ability to create pivot tables, freeze frames, sort and style your tables and charts in Spreadsheet.    The File Roaming function was particularly impressive and,  when enabled,  automatically saves and uploads your documents to the cloud.  Fully compatible with Microsoft Office applications, WPS is definitely a great free and paid alternative to MS Office software.  To download, click on WPS Office for Windows and Click the Download for Free Icon.

Cloud Based Free Office Suites

Google Docs:

Google DocsGoogle Docs is becoming more and more popular and comes with a variety of smart editing and styling tools to help you easily format text and paragraphs.  The software also comes with a variety of resumes, reports, and other pre-made templates to get you off to a good start with your document creation.  Even better, you can access, create, and edit your documents right from your phone, tablet, or computer and collaborate and share with others. As this software is in the cloud, your documents are automatically saved as you type so no more worrying about computer crashes.  Another unique feature of Google Docs is that you can view and edit your Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files right within Google Docs and without needing Office installed on your computer making it easy for you to access and modify your files from essentially anywhere.  You will need a Google login ID to access Google Docs and you can sign up here at Google https://docs.google.com

Office Online (office.com)

office.com reviewOffice Online is Microsoft’s free offering of their professional office suite.  It is a slightly scaled down version of the complete office suite but perfect if you just need to create simple business documents, presentations and spreadsheets and of course, you don’t mind working in the cloud.  There are some limitations with the online version. For instance, you cannot close documents without saving once you open them as they are automatically saved to OneDrive. You can, however, easily delete them from the OneDrive Documents area. As documents are automatically saved on OneDrive, there is no “Save or Save As” option from the Backstage view. From the Save As option, you can easily download your documents to your computer. You can also print your documents directly from Office Online.

office.com reviewIt’s real easy to switch back and forth between applications including Outlook, Calendar, OneNote and Sway.  The real benefit of Office Online though is that you can share your files with others and work together on documents, presentations, spreadsheets and notebooks in real-time.  This is a great feature if you are a person that works with other people on Office documents.  You will need to establish a Microsoft Account to get started then you can simply logon to office.com.

Kingston WPS IOS or Android

WPS for IOS is a free mobile office suite designed for iPhone, iPad, iPad Touch and Android.  The mobile office suite includes writer, presentation and spreadsheets and is fully compatible with Microsoft Office® and Google Docs.  The best part is that you can easily easily access and edit your documents in the cloud by connecting directly to Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and OneDrive.   The suite also supports document collaboration including track changes, comments and spell check.  Download WPS for IOS or Android here >>

Office for Android Phones Now Available

Microsoft has just announced the immediate availability of the new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for Android phones. These join their previously released Office apps for Android tablets. All three applications are made for work-on-the-go users and can be used on devices with a screen size of 10.1 inches or smaller.

Android users will find that the free Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps provide the familiar look, feel and quality of Office with an intuitive touch experience designed especially for Android phones and tablets.

Users will enjoy the familiar Office navigation and menu options in the ribbon and all the familiar features such as Images and charts, PowerPoint animations and transitions, Word footnotes, formulas and tables and Excel formulas, tables, charts and Sparklines.  While the apps are free to download, like all other devices,  you’ll need an Office 365 subscription to experience and use all the full Office features.

The apps are currently available for free download at the following links:

Source:  https://blogs.office.com/2015/06/24/office-for-android-phone-is-here/

 

An Early Look at Office 2016

The experts at Microsoft recently offered the following Public Preview video to give you an early look at the new Office 2016.  The demo is offered on Windows 10—both on the desktop and on a phone.

Some of the new features available in Office 2016 include:

  • New chart types in Excel.
  • Improved ways to create, open, edit and save files in the cloud
  • Improved Outlook integration with OneDrive
  • Improved collaboration iwith real-time co-authoring
  • New compliance and security controls like Data Loss Prevention (DLP)—native in the application experiences for Excel, Word and PowerPoint
  • Secure authentication for Outlook to add support for things like Multi-Factor Authentication

Microsoft is still accepting Office enthusiasts who are interested in trialing the new software. Microsoft recommends that you should only trial the Office 2016 Preview if you enjoy trying out software that’s still being developed and are willing to provide your insights and feedback. It’s important to note that Office 2016 cannot co-exist with Office 2013 so if you have Office 2013 installed, you must first uninstall it before you can install the Office 2016 Preview. Therefore, it’s also important that you feel comfortable backing up data and uninstalling and installing Office.  Once installed, you will be on the Office 2016 Preview track until you uninstall the Office 2016 Preview or until Office 2016 is released.

Office 2016 Preview supports PCs or Windows tablets running Windows 7 or higher.  Details of how to download the preview and get the product key can be found on the Microsoft website at:  Office 2016 Preview

Source:  https://products.office.com/en-us/office-2016-preview

What Version of Office 2013 is Right for You?

Microsoft StoreOffice 2013 as a Subscription

Unlike the traditional Office Suite where you pay a one time license fee and get to use it for as long as you need it, Office 365 is a subscription based version of Office 2013 that you can subscribe to on a monthly or yearly basis.  Depending on the subscription you choose, Office 365 allows you to install Office applications on up to five different computers (PC or MAC) including tablets and iphones.  It also includes access to the online version of Office and free cloud storage on OneDrive.

One of the advantages of buying an Office 365 subscription is it guarantees that you’ll be able to upgrade to the latest version of Office whenever it’s available at no additional cost.  You’ll also get access to the full suite of Office 2013 software.  You’ll need to set up a Microsoft account where you will be able to manage your account settings and payment information.  For home users, there are a number of different packages depending on your family size, needs and budget.

Office Online:  It’s completely free to use Office Online at office.com.  All you’ll need to do is set up a Microsoft account, login and you’ll immediately get access to the free version of Office 2013.  This is a scaled down version of the full blown Office Suite but is a great option if you just need simple word processing and spreadsheet functionality and you don’t mind creating and managing your office documents online.   All your documents will automatically be saved on One Drive.

Office 365 Personal:  This single subscription costs $6.99/month or $69.99/year and can be installed on one PC or MAC, 1 tablet and 1 phone.  It includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access.

Office 365 Home:  This subscription costs $9.99/month or $99.99/year and is great for a family or small home office as it can be installed on 5 PCs or Macs plus up to 5 tablets and 5 iphones. It includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access.

The following comparison summary from office365.com summaries the latest subscription offerings from Microsoft:

office-365-home

Office 2013 As a One Time Purchase

It’s still possible to purchase a one time license of Office 2013 that can be installed on just one computer but you’ll need to think carefully about what applications are most important to you and buy a license accordingly.  For example, Office Home & Student 2013 for $139.99 installs with only Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.   This is a great, affordable option if you don’t need to create databases or do not need to send emails via Outlook.  If the full Office Suite functionality is what you need, you would need to purchase the Office Professional 2013 license which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access.

View the comparison summary for current 2013 licenses from Microsoft’s website below:

office-365-license

Office 365 University

If you happen to be a student or faculty member, you can purchase a 4 year subscription of Office 365 University for just $79.99 which works out to be less than $1.67 per month.  You will need to provide Microsoft proof of your student or faculty standing before your product will ship.

Surface Holiday Bundle – Buy Office 365 Home and a Sleeve under $49.99 for $99.99 (Save up to $49.99)