[Libs-Or] Tech-Talk: SOFTWARE - MS Office is disappearing... or is it?

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Tue May 28 15:05:18 PDT 2019

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Which version of MS Office do you have... and why is that important to you?


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 This Week's Topic: SOFTWARE
1. VIDEO ... Microsoft Office is disappearing... or is it?
2. ARTICLE ... Microsoft Office is disappearing... or is it?
3. COMMUNICATING ... Need a response to your email request?

[MS Office]<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0011gVFaxf9KWBfgTnQHafH5LNxQ7D9xEUMpjOt62qja8Ozo0DGT2ZGjfVqPQ1KeKz5uNhITu77jW8CKhMRVQZZDFg0EWSHVb5TlYxSKUwnrL7FZdbwx9loHq-B3N7eueJmcuVv0FkKkJ_Hle5nceJySwueYdUgYAgAp7hX3RXGjydRQ8vFaQe58UBeI5mmcqa6JTQUEO_rX-U=&c=GdgnyVktYCqdArTq9BAnFvGmxLWNWx9RPntdViSM7Sk0fQXx5BxFrw==&ch=BdN3i4iFMOIS17tLhJ4AUYduIcM_yuc_j1HV8kMk-J0rlfiG4lta2Q==>

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SOFTWARE: MS Office is disappearing... or is it?

Whether or not you know the difference between Office 2019 and Office 365, you need to read this article.

[MS Office]

Even if, at this time, you don't care about this topic, at least scan the bolded text.

We guarantee that you will find three or more surprising bits of information you did not know... and which you need to know to talk with teachers, students and patrons.

True Story. It's time for me to buy another computer and of course I need to have Office software. Now here's where my thinking went off track!

These are the thoughts that went through my head:
·     "I want Office 2019 because I need all the features."
·     "I don't want Office 365 because I hear no one likes it."
·     "I don't need remote computing; I'm always on my own computer."

Boy, was I wrong!
·     I didn't know what Office 365 actually was.
·     I was mistaken about which programs I could actually get with Office 365.
·     I had little understanding of when to save files to OneDrive instead of other places.

The need to make a decision drove me to really take a look at what is happening in Microsoft with the different versions of Office software.

The discoveries I made really surprised me! We want to make sure you know them too.

Which Version Do You Have?

OK, let's start with figuring out what the options are... for MS Office software.

Microsoft categorizes its office software by how it is paid for... and does it in two different ways: 1) A one-time purchase license that is bought outright (the DESKTOP version of Office, e.g. Office 2019), and 2) A license that is essentially "rented" because it's paid for over time, a subscription (referred to as Microsoft OFFICE 365).

[MS Office]

1.     The DESKTOP version is what you've been using for years (e.g. 2013, 2016 and now 2019). The software is a one-time purchase that is installed on your computer. It comes in a bundled package with the classic programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. (Or you can buy each as stand-alone, "a la carte" programs.) As a one-time purchase, you need to pay to upgrade to newer future releases, but you can use this version indefinitely as the license does not have an expiration date.

2.     OFFICE 365 is offered at an annual (or monthly) subscription where you get the same bundled package of programs as the Desktop version (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook - though each is not as fully featured) when you're working online. (See which features you lose later in this article.) One of the benefits of Office 365 is that your version is always the newest. No need to pay for upgrades.


Here's one thing you may not know...

When you have Office 365, you can ALSO download the DESKTOP version to your computer. (No extra charge. You get BOTH the Online and the Desktop version at all times.)

Yes, that means you can have Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, along with OneNote, Publisher, Access and more on your computer. Plus, with the 365 version, you don't have to worry about upgrading the desktop software either as you'll always have the latest version. It downloads updates automatically right to your PC.

Here's another angle that might have confused you...

You access Office 365 (also called OFFICE ONLINE vs. DESKTOP) by logging into your MICROSOFT ACCOUNT on the web.

Another benefit from buying the Office 365 version is that it lets you use the entire software suite on multiple devices. (It's all part of the license and not restricted to just PCs.) This means you can login in whether you're on your computer (even Macs), iPads, iPhones, or your Android tablets & phones. With the paid version of Office 365 you also get 1TB of Microsoft’s OneDrive storage. That's a lot!

Did you catch our reference to "paid" version of Office 365? That's right... there is a FREE version anyone can use! See more on this later in this article.

Many Different Versions of Office 365

Of course there are many different bundling options and pricing schedules for Office 365... something for every size and type of organization. But two surprising basics remain the same:

[MS choices]

1.  Every Office 365 package you choose (with the exception of 365 Basic) includes the fully featured Desktop version which you can download to your PC at no extra cost.
2.  The one-time purchase Desktop version comes with the access to Office Online (although they don't advertise it.)

NOTE: To complicate things more, there are numerous types of Office 365 subscriptions for small business, enterprise, education, government and nonprofits.

Here's a Helpful Secret...

What you don't see on the Microsoft sales page... which displays the difference between the one-time purchase software and Office 365 subscription... is that anyone can use the online version of the Microsoft suite at NO cost! You don't have to purchase the stand-alone software or Microsoft 365 to use the free web version. This is important for two reasons:

1. Not everyone can afford software, but with an Internet connection, they can access the web versions at no charge.

2. If you have the stand-alone, DESKTOP version of Word, Excel, etc. ... you can still use the online version without buying Office 365. Plus you can save documents to OneDrive (Microsoft’s "cloud storage" option), but with less storage available than a purchased Office 365 would give you. The Desktop version comes with 5 GB space on OneDrive. Office 365 offers 1TB (terabyte).

[free online version]

Check out how you can access the no-cost version of Office Online here, https://products.office.com/en-us/office-online/<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0011gVFaxf9KWBfgTnQHafH5LNxQ7D9xEUMpjOt62qja8Ozo0DGT2ZGjfVqPQ1KeKz5vQPyiXg_SZ-Q6X3G2TdFpbKUhTsI7e3o448Zv9EGh57Kj3A3jG04Dy8L9wWRZNK9tFkQ13uk2-tZ0VY0PK3Y_puic104ANG6lxdCNDCypCWFPQ8XXaOw2Q==&c=GdgnyVktYCqdArTq9BAnFvGmxLWNWx9RPntdViSM7Sk0fQXx5BxFrw==&ch=BdN3i4iFMOIS17tLhJ4AUYduIcM_yuc_j1HV8kMk-J0rlfiG4lta2Q==>

Let's Dig a Bit Deeper

Now that we've defined the ways to get the Office programs, we're going to look at:

·     Online Access - Just what version do you have and how do you sign into your online account.

·     Using the Online Version - What are the pros and cons?

·     Functionality - What are the differences in working in the desktop software vs the web version?

·     Saving Files & Sharing Options - How does saving and sharing file in OneDrive work?

Just What Version Do I Have?

To see what version of Office you have so that you'll know if it's the stand-alone product or 365 subscription:


·     Open any Office application, such as Word or Excel, go to File from the menu, and then select either Account or Help from the list on the left.

·     Under Product Information, you'll find your Office product name and, in some cases, the full version number.

·     As in the image to the right, if you are using Office 365, you won't see the version/year in the account section. Instead it just says Microsoft Office 365. You'll always be using the most current version.

How Do You Know if You Are Connected to Office Online?

If you’d like to explore Office Online so that you can use the online apps or be able to save to the OneDrive online storage, you first need to be connected to the online account.

One way to see if you're logged in is when you are inside a document, like in Word or Excel. If you see your name or picture in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, you're signed in.

[signed in]

[file manager]

Or, when you save a document, if OneDrive is an option, you know you're signed into your Microsoft account.

Yet another way is if the OneDrive icon is displayed in your File Manager.

How to Sign Into your Microsoft Online Account

If you're not signed into your account, there are a few ways you can do so.

·     When you are inside a Document: As in the example above, (in versions 2013 and newer) in the upper right corner you can sign into your online account. This connects you to the "MS cloud" so that you can save and retrieve documents from your OneDrive storage area also.

[sign in]

[sign in]

·     Or, when you are inside a Document, if you don't see your name/profile in the upper right of the document, go to File and choose Account (or Office Account) and click Sign In.

·     From the Web: Go to www.Office.com<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0011gVFaxf9KWBfgTnQHafH5LNxQ7D9xEUMpjOt62qja8Ozo0DGT2ZGjfVqPQ1KeKz5Q78BF_D95yWSDGF4eg77XuuIHgzWkpm7ve23GNPEzZLgG4dx9CEKUgaK4VlGbx1ymm_PzIAaTI0=&c=GdgnyVktYCqdArTq9BAnFvGmxLWNWx9RPntdViSM7Sk0fQXx5BxFrw==&ch=BdN3i4iFMOIS17tLhJ4AUYduIcM_yuc_j1HV8kMk-J0rlfiG4lta2Q==> and in the upper right-hand corner select Sign In. Enter your email address and password. This might be your personal Microsoft account, or the one you use with your work or school account.

[sign in online]

So Why Now … And What About Google?

So just why is there now an online version of so many Microsoft applications?

There has been a distinct shift to software moving from a desktop product, to web-based. This can be said for programs like QuickBooks, Salesforce and Evernote.

Years ago, you couldn't always get to the Internet all the time, so you wanted all of your programs and files accessible -- on your computer. However, Internet accessibility is so pervasive now... with connectivity built right into computers, tablets, smartphones, etc... we can work and save files in the cloud seamlessly.

Comparing MS Office Online to Google Suite

To help you understand how the Office Online (Office 365) works, if you use Google, this comparison may shed some light.

When you’re logged into your Google account you can create documents in their web-based tools like Docs, Sheets and Slides. Then you save the files to Google Drive … and you can also share them with others.

This is how Office Online works as well. Use the web, tablet or smartphone versions online and save your files to Microsoft OneDrive (or download to your device) and for sharing with others.

Why Use Office Online (Office 365)?

[Office online]

It depends of course on your situation. Let's be clear, there is no replacement for the feature-rich desktop version. And when you're at a computer with Desktop Office installed, most likely that will be the version you use.

Having said that, Office Online benefits include:

·     When you're using a device where Office software is not installed (maybe at home, when you're traveling or using someone else's computer) it's there for you!

·     Wherever you are, you can quickly access files saved in your OneDrive account to edit, print or share.

·     The sharing feature is helpful in working collaboratively with others so they can make edits on your document... and you theirs. (More on this in a future Tech-Talk article).

·     And of course, if you don't have a paid subscription, there's a free version of Office Online.

What's Missing In the Online Version?

There are distinct differences when working in the DESKTOP software or ONLINE version. The web app is a more stripped-down tool (as is the Google Suite).

The images below compare the DESKTOP version of Word 365's Toolbar... with the Office Online Word Toolbar.

Some major items you may notice are that the ONLINE version...

·     Has a more streamlined and simpler look.

·     There's no "Save" option. (Documents are instantaneously saved to the OneDrive storage account.)

·     Many features, like Styles, are not available.


[desktop toolbar]

ONLINE Version

[online version]

The online apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) have the basic features of their desktop counterpart, but there is specific missing functionality such as:

·     Word - You won't be able to create captions, citations and bibliographies or a table of contents. And the more advanced reviewing, proofing, or page layout tools options are not available.

·     Excel - You cannot apply many of the advanced formulas, create pivot tables, apply conditional formatting, or create external data connections and references.

·     PowerPoint - You cannot create custom animations, integrate Excel charts or insert headers and footers. The advanced design or reviewer tools are also missing.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Although Office Online apps are slightly stripped down, you can work and access your files from anywhere with an Internet connection. That's powerful! Plus, when you get back to your Desktop version, you can go back and add in any changes you wanted with the previously missing features.

Saving Files and Sharing Options

When you create documents with the desktop software, you're probably used to saving files to: 1) Your computer, 2) Your organization’s server, 3) or maybe to a cloud-based storage option like Dropbox or Box.

CAUTION: You’ll find that when you create a document in your Microsoft Online account, the default storage location is OneDrive. In fact, it saves your files automatically, as you will see there is no "Save" button.

You have to look intentionally to find other locations for saving. NOTE: This is similar to working in Google docs, which saves automatically to Google Drive).

TIP: If you want to save your files to your desktop, there is an option to "Download a Copy" or "Download as PDF". You can then keep the file there or move it to another cloud storage.

[save options]

Sharing Files from Your OneDrive Account

You can Share files that you create in your Microsoft Online apps -- like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. directly with others.

Go to File, Share and then you’ll see options to Invite People or Get a Link to share that file. There are options to let the recipient just view or be able to edit the file.

[sharing options]


Communication: Email
Getting people to respond to specific requests

Hey, if you want to be sure someone responds to a message inside your email, tell them in the subject line.

It certainly got my attention ... when an email from Google showed up in my Inbox, with the subject starting with: [Action Required].

"What?", I say to myself. "I'd better open it to see what is expected of me."

If that's the kind of reaction you need from others, you can do it too!


[Response Needed]
[Reply Requested]
[Action Required]

You get the drift! Caution: use sparingly ... and always when you have something specific you want to happen.


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