How to Activate a Free Trial of Microsoft Word

Written by deanne lachner
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How to Activate a Free Trial of Microsoft Word
Download and install a free trial of Microsoft Word so you can "try before you buy." (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Microsoft Office is a suite of programs for home, business and school use. Office 2010 is available in a "Home and Student" version as well as a "Professional" version. "Office Home and Student" contains Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, while "Office Professional" includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access and Publisher. Both levels of Office offer free trials, so you can try out the programs and decide whether their features are useful enough for you to purchase the program at the end of the trial.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Visit the Microsoft Office "Try Microsoft Office 2010" website. Select either "Office Home and Student 2010" or "Office Professional 2010"; both suites contain Word.

  2. 2

    Click the green "Try it free" button under the Office suite you want to try.

  3. 3

    Enter your e-mail address and password if you have a Windows Live ID, or click "Create Your Account" and sign up using your current e-mail address.

  4. 4

    Type in the information requested, which is your first name, last name and country/region, and then click "Continue to Checkout." Don't worry; "Checkout" does not mean you have to pay anything.

  5. 5

    Write down the "Product Key" exactly as it is listed above the "Install Now" button on the "Download Your Microsoft Office Products Now" page. The key, also called FPP, is a 25-character combination of letters and numbers, with five groups of five characters, each group separated by a hyphen.

  6. 6

    Click "Install Now" and save the install file to your desktop. Double-click the install file once it is downloaded, and follow the directions on the screen.

  7. 7

    Type in the product key if you are prompted to do so. Some trial programs in the Office suite fill this step in for you, but some do not. Microsoft will e-mail you a copy of the product key as well, sending it to the email address you entered when you first logged in.

  8. 8

    Complete the installation process to activate the free trial. You may use Word free for 60 days from the date you install and activate the free trial. When the trial period is soon to expire, Word will prompt you to purchase a product key if you wish to keep the program. If you do not purchase a product key, at the end of 60 days, Word will lock your documents.

Tips and warnings

  • System requirements for Word 2010 include a 500-MHz or faster processor; at least 256MB RAM; 2GB free disk space; a monitor with 1025-by-576 or higher resolution; and Windows XP, 7, Server 2003, Server 2008,Vista or a later version of a 32- or 64-bit operating system.
  • Sometimes you can cut and paste the product key during installation to activate a free trial, but other programs do not allow cut-and-paste operations so you must manually enter the sequence of letters and numbers.
  • Many sites offer free trial downloads of Microsoft Office, but since it is free, your best bet is to download the software from the actual Microsoft website, as you can feel more secure knowing the download is virus-free and the site is legitimate.
  • Do not enter any credit card information or pay anything for a "free trial"; if a website asks you for this type of information, close the site and visit Microsoft Office's official website.

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