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Is Word Free on Mac? The Ultimate Guide

Let‘s get this cleared up right away: The full desktop version of Microsoft Word is not free on Mac. However, there are several ways to access Word and create documents on Mac for free or at low cost. Keep reading and I‘ll explain the different options.

Free Online Version of Word

Microsoft provides free online web-based versions of Word that you can use in your browser on any device. With the online Word app, you can:

  • Create new documents
  • Edit existing Word docs
  • View and share Word files
  • Handle basic text formatting
  • Comment and collaborate on documents

The online app has limited capabilities compared to the paid desktop version. But it‘s great for basic viewing, editing and sharing of Word docs on a tight budget.

To use it, just go to office.com and sign in with your free Microsoft account.

How To Get the Full Desktop Version of Word for Free

Now, if you want access to the complete functionality of Microsoft Word for Mac, here are a few legit ways to get it for free:

1. Microsoft 365 Personal Subscription

Microsoft 365 Personal is the most affordable way to get the full Word experience on Mac. For just $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year, you get:

  • Download and install Word on 1 Mac or PC
  • Full editing capabilities
  • Advanced templates and design tools
  • 1 TB cloud storage on OneDrive
  • Always up-to-date with latest features

You also get access to Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more. So Microsoft 365 Personal is by far the best value for individuals.

2. Microsoft 365 Family Subscription

This bumps it up to 6 users for just $9.99 a month or $99.99 per year. Microsoft 365 Family lets you share access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more across multiple devices.

It‘s perfect for families since it allows each person to install Office apps on up to 5 PCs/Macs, 5 tablets, and 5 phones. At just $100 per year for up to 6 users, that‘s an incredible deal.

3. Free Trial of Microsoft 365

You can also access Word for Mac free through Microsoft‘s 1 month trial of Microsoft 365. It allows full use of Office apps for 30 days before you need to pay.

Just be sure to cancel before the month is up if you don‘t want to be charged.

Other Ways to Access Word for Free on Mac

Okay, those are the main ways to get the full desktop version of Word legally for free. But here are a few other options:

Use the Free Built-In Word App on Windows 10

If you also have access to a Windows 10 PC, the Word desktop app comes pre-installed for free. You can access documents stored in the cloud on your Mac using the Windows 10 Word app.

Borrow a Microsoft 365 License from Work or School

If your work or school provides Microsoft 365 access, you may be able to use your license to install and activate Word on your personal Mac too.

Use Free Word Processors Like Apple Pages or Google Docs

While not Microsoft Word, free alternatives like Apple Pages and Google Docs allow you to open, edit and export Word documents.

They provide basic word processing features for free but lack some of Word‘s advanced capabilities.

How Much Does Microsoft Word Cost on Mac?

Okay, so those are the free options. But if you do decide to buy, here‘s a quick look at normal Word for Mac pricing:

Microsoft 365 Plan Cost
Personal (1 user) $6.99/month or $69.99/year
Family (up to 6 users) $9.99/month or $99.99/year
Office Home & Student 2021 (one-time purchase) $149.99

As you can see, Microsoft 365 Personal provides the best value at just $70 per year. You‘ll have to dish out $150 for a standalone perpetual license.

But take note – the standalone Office 2021 only works on Mac and doesn‘t include free updates. With a subscription, you‘ll always have the latest Word features.

Should I Buy Word for Mac in 2022?

With free alternatives like Google Docs improving all the time, it‘s reasonable to ask: should I pay for Word for Mac at all?

Here are a few benefits that may make Word worth the price:

  • Seamless compatibility – Word has the best compatibility with .doc and .docx files
  • Advanced features – Like custom styles, citations, mail merge and more
  • Microsoft integration – Tight integration with OneDrive, Outlook, Teams, etc
  • Familiar interface – Easier transition if you‘ve used Word before

Paying for Word also gives you access to Excel, PowerPoint and other useful Microsoft apps.

For many people, the premium features are unnecessary. But if you frequently work with complex Word documents, the full app may be worth the cost.

Expert Tips for Getting the Most from Word on a Budget

Based on my experience as a tech expert helping people access Word inexpensively, here are my top tips:

1. Use the Free Online Version for Basic Needs

Don‘t pay for Word if you just need to view, share or do light editing of docs. The free online app works great for basic word processing.

2. Consider Cheaper Third-Party Apps Like Pages

Alternatives like Apple Pages offer some of Word‘s core features for free. Give them a try before paying for Word.

3. Look for Discounted Microsoft 365 Deals

Watch for seasonal sales on Microsoft 365. You can sometimes get 20-30% off an annual subscription during special promos.

4. Split a Family Plan with Friends or Family

Splitting a Microsoft 365 Family subscription can bring the monthly cost down to around $2-3 per person. Much cheaper than everyone paying individually!

5. Use Free Software to Convert Files

When you need to open a .docx in Pages, use free online converters to export the file to .pages format first.

The Bottom Line on Getting Word for Mac

While the full Microsoft Word desktop app is not free, you have options:

  • Use the free basic online Word app
  • Get Word as part of a low-cost Microsoft 365 subscription
  • Consider cheaper alternatives like Apple Pages

With the right approach, you can access the Word features you need on Mac while keeping costs low! Let me know if you have any other questions.