What’s the Difference Between Microsoft Office’s Desktop, Web, and Mobile Apps?

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Microsoft provides a number of other ways to run the numerous Workplace applications—as desktop apps, as cellular apps for Android or iPhone/iPad, and on-line in an online browser. As you may think, the on-line and cellular app variations aren’t as sturdy as the desktop model, however you may nonetheless discover them helpful. And for a few of you, they is likely to be all you want. Right here’s the breakdown.

The Completely different Variations of Microsoft Workplace

Microsoft’s choices can typically be a little bit, let’s assume, perplexing. Workplace isn’t any exception. You should purchase or subscribe to the full desktop model. The subscription possibility additionally provides entry to their cellular apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and (in flip) Chromebooks. And you should utilize an internet model free of charge in your browser.

Workplace 365 (or Workplace 2016) Desktop

The desktop model of Workplace is the full featured model you’re most probably aware of from years previous. These are the full desktop apps that you simply set up in your Home windows PC or Mac. You should purchase this model in considered one of two methods:

  • Workplace 2016: That is the conventional standalone app. You pay the upfront value, get a license, and set up it in your pc.
  • Workplace 365: That is the newer subscription mannequin. You pay a month-to-month (or yearly) subscription charge. So long as you retain your subscription going, you at all times have the newest model of Workplace—together with main new updates. The subscription additionally comes with some further perks, like a considerable amount of OneDrive storage, a month-to-month allotment of Skype minutes, and entry to the cellular app variations of the Workplace apps.

We’ve lined the distinction between Workplace 365 and Workplace 2016 intimately earlier than, so if you wish to study extra about which model could also be higher for you, we advise giving that information a learn.

Workplace 365 Mobile Apps (for iPhone, Android, and Chromebooks)

The Workplace 365 Mobile Apps embody variations of Phrase, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook for the iOS and Android platforms. You can even use most of the Workplace Mobile Apps for Android on a Chromebook, assuming you have got a Chromebook that helps Android apps (although a couple of don’t help PowerPoint).

To make use of the cellular apps, you’ll must have a paid Workplace 365 subscription. That subscription offers you entry to each the desktop and cellular apps—you don’t want a separate subscription.

The cellular apps supply a extra restricted function set than their full desktop counterparts (extra on that in a second), however the look and really feel is essentially the similar. The cellular apps additionally supply offline entry, that means you’ll be able to view and edit paperwork even if you’re not linked to the Web.

Workplace 365 On-line

Workplace 365 On-line helps you to view and edit Workplace paperwork free of charge in your internet browser (like Google Docs, however from Microsoft). All the similar apps—Phrase, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote—can be found. You don’t want a subscription to make use of the on-line apps, though you’ll need to check in with a free Microsoft account.

The Workplace 365 On-line apps supply just about the similar set of options you’d discover in the cellular apps. The large distinction (except for being free) is that Workplace 365 On-line doesn’t supply offline entry; you should be linked to the Web to view and edit paperwork.

All three variations (desktop, cellular apps, and on-line) supply seamless integration with OneDrive, so conserving monitor of paperwork is simple if you transfer between platforms.

Are the Non-Desktop Variations Good Sufficient?

Let’s be clear up entrance: the non-desktop variations of Workplace aren’t any substitute for the full desktop model. Workplace 365 On-line and the Workplace 365 Mobile Apps each supply a function set much like what you’d discover of their Google Docs counterparts. They’re nice for those who simply want the fundamental options, or for those who often must view or make minor edits to paperwork (with out the compatibility points you’d run into utilizing Google Docs, LibreOffice, or one other suite of applications).

For instance, a few of the main options you’ll discover lacking in the on-line and cellular apps embody:

  • Phrase: You can’t create captions, citations, bibliographies, tables of content material. You can’t create or apply kinds. And also you gained’t have entry to a few of the extra superior reviewing, proofing, or web page structure instruments.
  • Excel: You can’t create pivot tables, apply conditional formatting, create exterior information connections or references, or entry lots of the superior formulation.
  • OneNote: You can’t edit embedded recordsdata, use optical character recognition (OCR) to translate handwriting into textual content, use Outlook process integration, or make the most of template help.
  • PowerPoint: You can’t create customized animations, use headers and footers, or combine Excel charts. You additionally can’t make the most of superior design or reviewer instruments.

And there are much more, considerably minor, options you gained’t have the ability to make the most of in the on-line or cellular app variations of Workplace, as properly. For a whole listing, take a look at the Workplace On-line Service Description on Microsoft TechNet. Whereas that listing particularly talks about the Workplace 365 On-line expertise, most of the similar exclusions apply to the cellular apps, too.

NOTE: A few of these options we talked about are viewable in the on-line and cellular app variations of Workplace; you simply can’t create them there. For instance, you can not create a desk of contents type in the on-line or cellular app variations, however it is possible for you to to view one which was created in the desktop model.

Which Model of Workplace Ought to You Use?

What model of Workplace is greatest for you will depend on your wants. When you want the full desktop model, determine whether or not you need to go along with the standalone Workplace 2016 or the subscription-based Workplace 365. Be aware that for those who additionally need to use the cellular apps, you’ll want that Workplace 365 subscription, anyway.

In the case of utilizing Workplace 365 On-line or the Workplace 365 Mobile Apps, we discover that they are surely ok for those who solely want entry to fundamental options, or for those who largely must view (and perhaps carry out minor edits to) paperwork created with the full desktop model.

If you have already got an Workplace 365 subscription, we suggest utilizing the cellular apps primarily as a result of they provide the potential to work offline. You should utilize them simply high-quality on Android, iPhone or iPad, and even on the Chromebook.

When you don’t have already got a Workplace 365 subscription and don’t actually care about offline entry, we suggest sticking with the free on-line app—it’ll allow you to a minimum of do the fundamentals, free of charge, with nothing however an online browser.

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