February 18, 2024

What is Microsoft Office? A beginner-friendly guide

Throughout the years, Microsoft has created a very diverse productivity suite for any type of user. From business people to artists to stay-at-home parents, everyone can benefit in one way or another from what Microsoft Office has to offer. 

Despite many people using it, there are still questions about what is Microsoft Office and what it involves. It is never a bad idea to have at hand a friendly Office for beginners guide to discuss all these common questions for everyone new to this productivity suite. Even if you’ve been using it for many years, you may discover some tools and features you didn’t know before.

What is Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office is a productivity suite created by Microsoft. This suite offers more than 20 apps thought to be a great ally for its users in any way they want to be productive with them. It has been around for over 30 years. Each of its applications has been designed for different necessities and a wide range of users.

Image taken from www.office.com 

What can Microsoft Office be used for?

Among its many beneficial uses, it can be used for:

Project/Company management: Microsoft Office offers plenty of tools that help teams work together, and organize themselves, in terms of money, responsibility, and time. 

Content Creation: It has tools to plan, write the concept, design, and even edit your content.

Automate and optimize processes: Microsoft Office not only helps you optimize and automate tasks with its various apps, but you can also do it assisted by its AI. Carefully developed to help as much as you need.

Microsoft Office Vs. Microsoft 365

Yes, and no. Microsoft 365 is the subscription-based version of Microsoft Office. Before this, you had to buy the programs each time there was a new version. You can still find one-purchase Microsoft Office versions on the official page, but the latest version is from 2021 and, so far, it doesn’t seem that they’re planning to release any newer versions in the foreseeable future.

Image taken from www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/business 

What Does Microsoft 365 offer?

As mentioned, Microsoft has a big pool of apps that can be used for both personal and professional projects. Let’s briefly talk about some of them. 

Top 5 Microsoft Office Applications 


Word is one of the most widely known word-processing apps worldwide. With it, you can create, edit, organize, and overall manage your text documents as you need. With its advancements over the years, it now allows you to write with the help of your friends or even with AI. 


OneDrive is the name of the Microsoft Cloud Storage service. It supports a plethora of different formats. From 3D models for printing, to images, audio, video, and code. With it, you can access your files from anywhere with an internet connection and decide who has access to each file or folder. 


The classic Microsoft spreadsheet software. This app lets you organize and manage data in general. Some of the things that you can do with it are calculate budgets, create graphs, manage inventory, analyze customer analysis, and increase personal productivity, among many other possibilities.


PowerPoint is Microsoft's solution for creating engaging presentations. It tackles everything you need to engage your audience with your message, narrative, and design-wise. It helps you be aware of important aspects such as inclusivity and interaction with your audience when presenting.


Microsoft Teams has positioned itself to be recognized as one of the most relevant communication and collaboration apps for work teams, education institutions, and organizations in general. It offers a wide range of options to connect, interact, and share thoughts and knowledge with your team while keeping it organized and easy to access. With chat, calls, video conferences, and even webinar options, as well as its integrations with plenty of the other Microsoft apps, Teams opens up the possibilities of managing the communication of your team neatly, regardless of its size.

Top Lesser Known Microsoft 365 Applications

In the past few years, Microsoft has expanded its market to a wider variety of users. Creating even more apps to satisfy even more wants and needs. Here are some of these newer creations.


This MS application ought to simplify booking appointments. It helps you create booking pages connected with your calendar, so people can automatically book meetings with you or someone with your team without it overlapping or creating any conflict with any of your other booked responsibilities.


If you want to quickly and easily create content in a variety of formats, you and Sway could end up being great friends. Sway is Microsoft's application that provides all the tools you need to create appealing content such as reports, presentations, newsletters, and more. The best part of it is that it lets you have all control over the customization while still providing significant assistance. It’ll help you create eye-catching content without needing any design experience or skills.

Power Automate

Power Automate is described on its page as “a comprehensive, end-to-end cloud automation platform powered by low-code and AI.” It is one of the great tools that can help you optimize workflows and processes by using default configurations or prompting AI to help you with whatever you need. It lets you connect multiple programs to achieve any repetitive tasks you can imagine.


With the help of Loop, you can keep your information and documents updated throughout the whole Microsoft 365 ecosystem. It allows users to organize their projects with their related content to keep everything updated and in one place for everyone involved, while also enabling interaction between teammates and real-time collaboration from any Microsoft platform or application.


For those looking for a professional yet easy way of transforming information into visual aids, Microsoft Visio might be a great tool to explore. With Visio, you can find templates for timelines, flowcharts, and even floor plans, among many others. Its intuitive and familiar interface makes it easy to use while providing a wide range of possibilities to adjust any type of diagram to your needs.

How does Microsoft Office work?

Getting started with Microsoft’s productivity suite is as easy as creating a Microsoft account and deciding which subscription sounds best for you. Remember that you can always get a version of Microsoft Office for free with the Microsoft 365 free version.

Once you choose and pay, —if you went for the paid versions—open any of the apps in your browser and voilà. You can access all the benefits your plan has and get support from Microsoft’s team if needed. 

Thanks to cloud-based support, you can save, share, and work collaboratively on your documents with anyone from anywhere with an internet connection. Even if you’re somewhere with no Wi-Fi, you can still work offline on your documents and update them later by using the desktop applications. 

Why should I learn Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Productivity Suite is one of the most spread across the globe; knowing how to use it will not only make you a prepared professional for any industry, but will also provide you with tools that can contribute to both your career and your personal projects.

How does Microsoft Office help in the workplace?

Microsoft 365 works also as a very complete digital work environment with aids for communication between coworkers, content production for a considerable amount of formats, data manipulation, and so much more. Plus, it helps with accessibility and standardization by being so widespread. Facing little to no compatibility problems when working with people outside your organization.

How does Microsoft Office help in my personal life?

All of these tools can be useful when aiming to achieve your personal goals. Any person with any interest can find something beneficial in Microsoft’s suite. Like personal budgeting, getting some help with booking personal dates and events, AI assistance for text production, and management of your personal email, just to name a few.

How can I learn about Microsoft Office?

Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about learning how to use something would be looking for YouTube tutorials, and you’re not wrong. But what about an entire training hub in the Microsoft Office suite? Or courses and certifications you can get and even add to your curriculum to make it more appealing to recruiters? Let’s dive a little deeper into these options.

Microsoft Office Training

The Microsoft 365 Training page is a very complete hub where you’ll find guidance on every single Microsoft app. From text to videos and tutorials, and even tips and tricks, you will learn about anything you need on a single platform for free.

Image taken from Microsoft 365 Training page 

Microsoft Office Certification

There are plenty of online courses in Microsoft’s suite, but If you take the course with Microsoft itself and pass certain exams, you can get the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification. With it, you can validate your knowledge and skills in Microsoft 365. There are a variety of different certificates you can use. You can even focus on cloud services or how Teams work, just to name a few. If you’re interested in checking these certifications up, you can find more information here

Image taken from Microsoft 365 training and certifications document


Microsoft has put its effort throughout the years into developing and creating ever-useful and easy-to-use apps and tools to give its users the most complete productivity environment it can and, so far, it is always bettering itself and doing a great job in it.

It doesn’t matter what your job is or what your passions are; if you give yourself the chance to learn about Microsoft Office, you will find great advantages to help you achieve your goals sooner than you thought. With time and consistency, anyone can learn how to make the most of it.


Where do I Download Microsoft Office to my computer?

For downloading Microsoft Office 2021 or Microsoft 365, you simply need to sign in with your personal, school, or work account at https://www.office.com. Once signed in, you’ll find an “install apps” option on the home page. Once you download it, you can finish the installation process by following the steps. You can find a full guide on how to do it here

Can I install Microsoft Office on multiple devices?

Yes, but there are a limited number of devices on which you can be signed in simultaneously. To keep this limit, Microsoft will sign you out from other devices automatically so you can sign in on new ones. If you need to be signed in again on a previous device, you can do so normally. It won’t be very problematic if you don’t need to be simultaneously signed in on more devices than your plan allows.

Is there a mobile version of Microsoft Office available?

Yes, you can find Microsoft apps on AppStore and PlayStore.

How can I get help with Microsoft Office if I encounter issues?

You will not only find a great amount of tutorials on the internet thanks to its popularity, but you can also check Microsoft’s support and training pages and community forums for answers.

Are there any additional features or tools I should explore in Microsoft Office?

Yes, everything you find in this guide is just the beginning. There are so many more applications and tools That Microsoft offers and is constantly improving for each of its users. We definitely recommend that you be curious and explore all these hidden Microsoft treasures.