Microsoft Office is one of the most useful tools in the arsenal of business owners and office workers alike. You should understand the capabilities and functionalities of each of the applications that are included in Microsoft Office Suite to optimize the productivity of your office workplace.
A standard desktop version of Microsoft Office Suite traditionally included the following applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, and Publisher. Nowadays, web access versions of this suite of programs might include some additions such as OneDrive, Teams, and more. Below is a brief description of each of some of the most important individual applications in the Microsoft Office Suite of Programs.
Standard Microsoft Office Programs
Although individual Office Suite programs such as Word and Excel came out earlier, Microsoft Office was first available as a suite of programs in 1990. Below are some of the earlier applications that were included in this suite of programs.
Microsoft Word is the word processing program that Microsoft offers. This program was originally released way back in 1983. Since then, it has become the standard in word processing. Microsoft Word became standard as word processing software so quickly that it has been available and commonly used even on Mac computers since 1985.
With Microsoft Word, it’s possible to create text documents. It’s also easy to edit text documents and give text documents the format that one desires. It’s quick and convenient to use this application within the Microsoft Office Suite once one learns the many shortcut keys for functions like saving, copying, pasting, undoing, and more.
Nowadays, Microsoft Word documents can be designed to be interactive. They can contain graphics and even detect grammatical issues with autocorrect features.
Those who need to perform calculations as part of their everyday office tasks can take advantage of Microsoft Excel. Excel is the spreadsheet program that is included in the Office Suite of programs.
Excel is one of the oldest applications within Office Suite having been around since 1987. The application is currently available for use on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android operating systems. Excel offers graphing tools, computation abilities, table creation, and Visual Basic programming.
Those who have Microsoft Office available and need to create presentations can use Microsoft PowerPoint. This program makes it convenient and quick to set up high quality presentations.
With PowerPoint, users can combine images, videos, and text to create complete presentations. PowerPoint has been part of Microsoft Office Suite since 1993. This application was originally created by the software company Forethought, Inc. for release in 1987.
Microsoft Outlook is an Office Suite program with a wide variety of functions, most of which focus on the use of email addresses. The program functions mainly as an email client. The program is most helpful for users who are looking for a program that will allow them to conveniently write, edit, send, and read emails.
Microsoft Outlook has numerous additional functions. Microsoft Outlook also offers capabilities including web browsing, task managing, calendar managing, contact organization, note-taking, and more.
With Access, Microsoft Office users can manage data. This application is a database management system that features a user interface and software-development tools that assist data architects and software developers.
Access has been available as part of Office Suite since 1995. The major data elements of Access include tables, relational databases, forms, queries, and reports.
Microsoft Publisher is a component of Office Suite that is only available for use on Windows devices. Publisher is a desktop publishing app.
With Publisher, users can achieve more control when it comes to the design and layout of documents than they can get when using Word. Publisher was originally released in 1991 and was first included in the Small Business Edition of Office Suite in 1996.
Compared to the applications mentioned above, OneDrive is a newer Office Suite application. OneDrive was first launched in 2007. As a file hosting service, OneDrive is used to store files by those who use the web version of Microsoft Office Suite (Office 365).
There are numerous storage options available to those who use Office’s web version. Users can opt for 100 GB, 1 TB, or 6 TB of storage using the OneDrive app.
Other Recent Additions to Microsoft Office Suite
Microsoft Office has continued to add on new applications within the last decade that have been highly popular. Some examples of more recent Office suite programs include Microsoft Teams, Forms, Office Remote, Office 365 Video, and OneNote.
Of these newer apps, Microsoft Teams and OneNote have been two of the most successful. Teams was released in 2017. Teams is a videoconferencing and workspace chat app that also offers application integration and file storage features. OneNote is a note-taking application that was originally released in 2003. It was included in Microsoft Office 365 in 2021.
Availability of Microsoft Office Suite
These days, Office Suite is available both in desktop versions and in web versions. Desktop versions are installed on the hard drive of individual computers. These desktop versions typically include Word, Excel PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.
Although desktop versions of Office Suite are still available, they are gradually losing their popularity to Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 is a version of Office Suite that is available via the cloud. This means that users access Office applications on Office 365 over the Internet rather than on their hard drive.
Advantages of Microsoft Office 365
Office 365 has taken off in terms of popularity due to the numerous advantages that it offers. With Microsoft Office 365, users can access the suite of programs anywhere where they have an Internet connection.
Office 365 offers easier communication, automated upgrading capabilities, and secure storage capabilities over the cloud. Office 365 can also be purchased as a monthly subscription. Paying a monthly subscription fee can be considerably more affordable than paying upfront for the desktop version.
The future of Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office has remained a prominent office tool for decades. Microsoft has managed to keep the Office Suite of programs popular despite the rapidly changing tech world through the development of the Office 365 version that is accessible via the cloud.
Whether you’re looking for a word processing, spreadsheet, email client, or videoconferencing program, Office Suite has you covered.