What is Microsoft Word?

Microsoft Word is a word processing program that was developed by Microsoft in 1983. Since then, Microsoft has released an abundance of updated versions, each offering more features and incorporating better technology than the one before it. The latest web version of Microsoft Word is Microsoft 365, but the software version of Microsoft Office 2019 includes Word 2019.

Microsoft Word is included in all Microsoft Office application suites. The most basic (and cheapest) suites also include Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel. Additional suites exist that include other Office programs, such as Microsoft Outlook and Skype for Business.


Do you need Microsoft Word?

If you just want to create simple, bulleted and numbered paragraph documents with very little formatting, you don’t need to buy Microsoft Word. You can use the WordPad application included in Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. However, if you need to do more than that, you’ll need a more powerful word processing program.

With Microsoft Word, you can choose from a variety of preconfigured styles and designs, providing an easy way to format long documents with just one click. You can also insert images and videos from your computer and the Internet, draw shapes, and create and insert all kinds of graphics.

If you’re writing a book or creating a brochure, which you can’t do effectively (or at all) with WordPad or an application like Abiword, you can use Microsoft Word’s functions to set margins and tabs, insert page breaks, create columns and even configure the spacing between lines. There are also functions that allow you to create a table of contents with a single click. You can also insert footnotes, as well as headers and footers. Options allow you to create bibliographies, legends, a table of figures and even cross-references.

If any of these sounds like what you’d like to do for your next writing project, then you’ll need Microsoft Word.

Do you have Microsoft Word?

You may already have a version of Microsoft Word on your computer, tablet, or even your phone. Before making a purchase, you should educate yourself.

To find out if you have Microsoft Word installed on your Windows device:

À partir de la fenêtre de recherche de la barre des tâches (Windows 10), de l'écran Démarrer (Windows 8.1) ou de la fenêtre de recherche du menu Démarrer (Windows 7), tapez msinfo32 et appuyez sur Entrée.

Cliquez sur le signe + à côté de Environnement logiciel.

Cliquez sur Groupes de programmes.

Recherchez une entrée Microsoft Office.

To find out if you have a version of Word on your Mac, look for it in the Finder sidebar under Applications.

Where to get Microsoft Word

If you’re sure you don’t already have a Microsoft Office suite, you can get the latest version of Microsoft Word with Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365, however, is a subscription, which you pay for monthly. If you’re not interested in the monthly payment, consider buying Office outright. You can compare and buy all available editions and suites on the Microsoft Store site. If you want to wait, you can get Microsoft Word 2019 at the end of 2018 by purchasing Microsoft Office 2019 suite.

Some employers, community colleges, and universities offer Microsoft 365 free to their employees and students.

The History of Microsoft Word

Over the years, there have been many versions of the Microsoft Office suite. Most of these versions ranged from low-cost suites that included only the most basic apps (often Word, PowerPoint, and Excel), to higher-priced suites that included some or all of these apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, SharePoint, Exchange, Skype, and more). These editions of the suite had names such as “Home and Student”, “Personal” or “Professional”. There are too many combinations to list here, but the bottom line is that Word is included in every suite you can purchase.

Here are recent Microsoft Office suites that also contain Word:

  • Microsoft Word 365) is available and updated regularly in Microsoft 365.
  • Word Online is a free limited version.
  • Word 2019 is available in Office 2019
  • Word 2016 is available in Office 2016
  • Word 2013 was available in Office 2013
  • Word 2010 was available in Office 2010
  • Word 2007 was included in Office 2007
  • Word 2003 was included in Office 2003
  • Word 2002 was included in Office XP

Of course, Microsoft Word has been around in one form or another since the early 1980s and has had versions for most platforms (even before Microsoft Windows existed).

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