How to select Microsoft Office Software

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If you’ve never purchased Microsoft Office software before, it can be a little tricky deciding which option is the best for your needs. The latest version of the Microsoft Office Suite is Office 2010 for PC and Office 2011 for Mac, but there are also different versions of each. You can purchase the Home and Student edition, the Home and Business edition, or the more expensive Professional edition. Each edition has its own benefits.

  • Home and Student – features Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Word is a powerful and intuitive word processing program. Excel is a spreadsheet program that is highly effective in managing finances, viewing data, creating graphs, and filtering information. PowerPoint allows you to make dynamic slide show presentations. OneNote is an easy-to-use note-taking program that is excellent for students with multiple courses.
  • Home and Business – features all of the Home and Student software and also includes Microsoft Outlook. Outlook allows you to communicate with contacts, manage emails, and maintain your schedule – it is especially effective for maintaining in-office communication.
  • Professional – is the most expensive version of the Microsoft Office Suite. It improves upon the Home and Business edition by including Microsoft Access for database management, such as tracking inventory and customer information, and Microsoft Publisher for creating professional emails, brochures and newsletters.

Microsoft Office Software has a tiered pricing system, so the more programs you wish to have, the more you will have to pay. All of Microsoft Office’s programs are well established and defaulted to, but there are always alternative solutions you can find. For example, you may need Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for class, but opt to use Gmail, Google’s free online mail instead of Microsoft Outlook. In this case, you would only need to buy the Home and Student Edition. Be sure to evaluate which programs you’ll need to use before purchasing Microsoft Office software.

Written by Asher Briggs

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