Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the free and for-pay features, part of Up and Running with Office for Android Devices.
- In this course, we're talking about the Microsoft Office apps for Android tablets and phones, but we're really focusing on the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps. There are other apps that fall under the Microsoft Office banner, including OneNote and Outlook, but those are covered in other courses. The Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps are free to download, but there's one important variable that you need to be aware of. Even though these apps are free, you do need to have a Microsoft account to do any real work.
Now, you can set up a free account or you can use a paid Office 365 membership, but you do need some sort of Microsoft account. Now, most people get an Office 365 membership only because that's the way to get the full Office applications for a computer and the pricing is in line with that. It would be a little unusual to buy the Office 365 account, just to work in the Android apps, but that option is there for you. So first, let's get an idea of what you're able to do in these apps with or without an account.
Now, you can certainly download these apps for free and start using them without logging into any Microsoft account and if you do that, you will be able to open Office Documents and you will be able to read Office Documents, but everything that you do in the apps will be read-only. You're not able to make any changes or edit any documents and save those changes, and since everything is read-only, you can't really create a new document, because you won't be able to save your changes. Now, if you set up a free account with Microsoft and then log into the apps with that account, it will open up a lot of functionality.
For example, you will be able to edit documents. You'll be able to create new documents and save your changes and in fact, most of the tools in the apps will work. Now, the third option is to create an Office 365 Account, which is a paid membership, but if you do that, it will unlock all of the features in the Microsoft Office apps. Now, just to give you one example, the track changes feature in Microsoft Word, that will work with a paid Office 365 Account, but it will not work in the free Microsoft account, but really, in my experience, most features that I use, on a day-to-day basis are going to be available, even with the free account.
So, that's what you're able to do with the different sorts of accounts. So, now you might be thinking about creating a new account, so what I'm gonna do is go to this website address, office.miscrosoft.com, and this is where you would go to create a new account. Now, if you wanna set up just the basic, free account, what you should do is go to this option up at the top that says My Account. You can click on that and if you have an existing account, you can login here, but what we're looking for is this option at the bottom.
Don't have a Microsoft account? Sign up now. So, you can click on that and go through the process of creating your free account. Once this account is set up, you'll have a name and password that you can use to log into the Microsoft Office apps for free. Now, I'm not gonna go through this process for now, I'm just gonna hit the back button a few times to get back to this page. Now, if you do want to go ahead and buy the Office 365 membership, so that you get the paid membership, then you'd wanna click on one of these two buttons, For home or For business.
So, I'll click on For home and now we can see all of the pricing options for an Office 365 account. Just choose the option that you want. Go through the process, plug in your credit card information and pay for your account and then you'll have a full Office 365 account that you can use to log into those apps. Now, once you've figured out which of these accounts that you want, let's take a look at how things work inside of the apps on Android. So, I'm gonna launch one of the Office apps. I'll just go ahead and launch Microsoft Word, I already have them installed here on my device and this is the first time I've launched this app on my tablet, so I get some introductory screens here.
I just wanna skip through them, so I can just swipe through until I get to this screen. Now, if I have an existing account, whether it's the Office 365 account or the free account, I can just tap on this option that says Sign in and then, I can log in with my username and password. Now, I don't wanna do that for now, so I'm gonna take a step back, I'll hit the back button on my Android device. I also have an option here to create an account. If I tap on that, I could actually create my new account directly here on the device.
So, I can create the account here or I can do it on the webpage that we saw just a moment ago. Now, I don't wanna create an account, so I'm gonna take a step back here, again. And then, there's this option that says, Skip for now. This is what you would hit if you do not want to sign in with any account at all. I'm gonna go ahead and hit that option, and now I can use the app, but in a very limited basis. I've got this thing here about Dropbox, I'm gonna hit Not Now and we can look at some options here.
So, since I have not logged in with any account, if I create a New document, which I can do by scrolling through these templates and I'll just choose the Blank document, you'll see that this document is read-only. It says Sign in to edit and save changes to this file. So, I can see how it works and I could type something into this document, but I won't be able to save anything. Now, if I open an existing document, I could read that document, but again, I won't be able to make any changes. So, there's really no point in creating a document without signing in.
So, I wanna get outta this. We're gonna be learning all about the interface and controls very soon, but for now, to get out of this document, I'm just gonna hit the File button up here in the ribbon and I'll hit Close. Now, if I decide now, that I do wanna login with a Microsoft account, there's an option right here on this screen that says Sign in. So, I'll tap on that and I do have a Microsoft account that I can login with, so I'm gonna hit Sign in here, and I'll log in. So, now that I'm logged in, I'm able to create and edit documents.
Let's do what I did a moment ago. I'm gonna choose the Blank document template and now, I do not have that message saying that it's read-only. I can type in whatever I want here and I can save my document. Now, with this free Microsoft account, I don't have all of the functionality, as I mentioned before and we'll run into this later in the course. Signing in with a paid Office 365 membership, gives you access to everything, but really you can do almost everything, with the free account, that you would need. You've got a lot of functionality that you can use with the Microsoft Office apps on Android completely for free, but it is important to note, that you'll need to set up a Microsoft account to use these features.
Finally, I want you to see how account information like this, is stored on your Android device. I'm gonna go to the home screen and I'm gonna go to the app chooser because, I wanna go into Settings on my device, and I'm gonna go down into Accounts. And you'll see here, in the Accounts on my Android device, there's an item here for Office and if I tap on that, you can see that my Microsoft account is set up and stored on my Android device. This is handy because I can install any other Microsoft app and it will already be set up and logged into this account, because the account information is stored on my device settings, not in the individual app.
Now, if I wanted to, I could tap on the little menu button, up here on the top right and I could remove this account, which would remove my credentials from all of my Microsoft accounts. No, I don't wanna do that, so I'm just gonna back outta this and I just wanted you to see how those accounts are stored. So, now I'm all set up and logged into my Microsoft account, so we can dive in and start using these apps as we go through the rest of the course.
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 03/21/2016. What changed?
A: We added three tutorials covering the Office mobile apps update cycle and the new Office mobile capabilities: inserting photos directly from the camera and using auto save and save history.