How to Activate a Free Trial of Microsoft Word

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.

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Download and install a free trial of Microsoft Word so you can "try before you buy."

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 email you a copy of the product key as well, sending it to the email address you entered when you first logged in.

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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.