How-to: Access MS Office and OneNote for free online

Did you know that there is an online version of Microsoft Office(new window) and OneNote(new window) that you can access for free? And while the Microsoft Office apps are pared-down versions of the full products, they still offer enough features to allow you to create a professional looking document, spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation. Not only that, but you’ll get access to the online version of OneNote. If you haven’t heard of it, OneNote is a powerful note-taking application that allows users to instantly sync notes across devices. OneNote also offers some amazing accessibility features, such as Immersive Reader. Turning on Immersive Reader removes all of the editing tools, and turns your page into a full-screen document with thick, easily legible text, and lots of white space, perfect for individuals with vision or learning challenges. Plus, Immersive Reader also has as a text-to-speech function, which will allow users to have their work read out loud. To learn more about OneNote’s many accessibility features, check out our e-bulletin here(new window).

Now let’s get started!


1. Sign in(new window) to, or create(new window) an outlook.com email address. If you already have a Hotmail or Microsoft.com email address, you’re ready for the next step. If you haven’t already created an account, create one here(new window) .

Outlook screenshot

2. After signing-in, you land on your e-mail’s “home page”. If you haven’t already, take a moment to look around. The layout is pretty consistent among email providers, but there are a lot of features to explore, so take some time to do so.

Outlook screenshot

 

3. Next, click on the “apps” button, located on the top left-hand side of your screen.

Outlook screenshot

 

4. You’ll see a collection of Microsoft apps that can be accessed online. Take a moment to explore these. You might notice that the online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have fewer features than the full versions. While that is the case, you’ll still be able to create great looking documents with the features that you do have. To purchase the full version of Microsoft Office, go here(new window).

Outlook screenshot

 

5. Click on “OneNote”. If this is your first time using OneNote, you’ll have to create a Notebook. You can create as many notebooks as you want, and you may choose to base your Notebooks around a specific, subject, place, day of the week, or however else you choose to organize your ideas.

Outlook screenshot

6. Next, add a section to your Notebook. Once you create a section, you’ll be prompted to start adding content to the page. You can create as many sections and pages as you like, so get organized!

Outlook screenshot

7. That’s it! There are lots of other features to explore, so get out there and start exploring!