Icon of program: Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word for Windows

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Key Details of Microsoft Word

  • Create and share content with the help of a comprehensive set of writing tools.
  • Last updated on 2/29/2024
  • There have been 2 updates
  • Virus scan status:

    Clean (it's extremely likely that this software program is clean)

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Editors' Review

Download.com staff

With its solid collection of templates, useful formatting and design tools, and powerful collaboration capabilities, Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows is what every other word-processing program is measured against.


Comes as part of Office 365: Microsoft Word is the word processing piece of the Office suite of productivity tools. With the $69.99 a year Office 365 Personal edition, you also get Excel, the industrial-strength spreadsheet; PowerPoint, business's slideshow tool of choice; OneNote, a cross-platform note-taking app; Outlook, a high-powered email service; OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service; and Skype, for voice and video calls.

For $99 a year, you can subscribe to the Office 365 Home edition, which includes the same collection of apps that you can share with four other users beside yourself.

If you'd rather not get an Office subscription but just buy once, for $149.99, you can buy the Office Home and Student 2016 for PC edition, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Or buy separately: You can get the most recent version of the Microsoft's word processor -- Word 21016 -- separately for $129.99. The standalone version includes bug fixes and other improvements but doesn't include an upgrade to the next major edition of software. The standalone version also doesn't include OneDrive services and Skype.

Rich collection of formatting and editing tools: Through Word's ribbon, You can change fonts; adjust font size; change font color; and apply bold, italics, underlining, and strikethrough. You can apply predesigned styles, including for headings; bullet and numbers lists; and create footers and headers. You or course can incent text but you can also adjust line spacing and set text alignment. You also have control over formatting and can customize how character and paragraph formatting look in your document.

Word also include collaborating editing tools that lets you track changes to documents make by colleagues, accept or reject each edit, and make comments in documents.

Template, template, templates: Word comes with a broad collection of templates for adding a polished, professional look to your documents. You can pick from a range of report styles, brochures, cover letters, resumes, student reports, calendars, reviews, fliers, newsletters, and training materials.

Living in the cloud: If you subscribe to the Office 365 suite, you can take advantage of Microsoft's OneDrive service to store, edit, and automatically update your Word documents from a browser and any Mac, PC, and mobile device that's part of your plan.

Real-time collaboration: You can share a Word document either from your Windows PC or through Office Online, and then collaborate in real time with colleagues with Word online via OneDrive. Comments are threaded, so you can carry on a conversation in a file.

Also mobile, MacOS, and web versions: In addition to the PC edition, Microsoft has Word apps on the Mac, Android, iPhone, and on the web via a browser.

See: For a solid and free choice, try Google Docs


A bit pricey: If you need a powerful and deep word-processing software, you aren't going to do much better than Word. But if you're doing basic text writing and editing, Word's price may seem a bit steep and you should consider another tool, such as Google Docs.

Bottom Line

Available either as part of Microsoft Office 365 Windows or as the standalone Word 2016, Microsoft's word-processing software -- with its collaborations tools, broad collection of templates, and rich editing and formatting tools -- is the 800-pound gorilla of word processors.

See also

Microsoft to give Office 365, Office.com apps a makeover

Three tips for using Excel's conditional formatting more efficiently

10+ things you should know before buying Office 365

What's new in version 2016

  • Work together in real time and share with colleagues who use Word 2016 or Word Online.
  • Tell me what you want to do box help you get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform.
  • Smart Lookup, powered by Bing, brings research directly into your Word 2016.
  • Add complex math equation to your document.
  • Go to File > History to see a complete list of changes that have been made to your document
  • Share your document with others on SharePoint, OneDrive, or OneDrive for Business, or to send a PDF or copy as an email attachment, directly from Word.
  • Choose from a collection of preset fills and theme in the Shapes gallery.

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Full Specifications

February 10, 2016
Latest update
February 29, 2024
Operating System
Windows 7, Windows 10, Windows 8
Additional Requirements
Total Downloads
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Developer's Description

Create and share content with the help of a comprehensive set of writing tools.
Designed to give you the finest document-formatting tools, Word helps you organize and write your documents more efficiently. In addition, you can save documents online and access, edit, and share them from almost any Web browser. Your documents stay within reach so you can capture your best ideas whenever and wherever they occur. In Read Mode, text reflows in columns automatically for easier on-screen reading. And fewer menus-only tools that add value to your reading-keep you focused on your content. The familiar Word program lets you create, edit, and share work quickly and easily. Most people can open and work with a document in Word. It's the most popular word processing program in the world.

Sharing is simplified. Save files to the cloud on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint and just send everyone a single link to the same file, along with viewing and editing permissions. You'll all have the latest version of the file. You and your team can converse, collaborate and co-author your documents in real-time using Word. As you and your team make edits and changes to your documents, the improved version history in Word 2016 allows you to view or go back to earlier drafts. Track changes, and add or reply to comments right next to the text you're discussing. Everyone can follow the conversation and stay on top of changes to the text, layout and formatting.