Microsoft Office is a suite of desktop business applications developed by Microsoft, which is available for computers running both Windows and Mac operating systems. It consists of several core software programs for managing email, creating documents and word processing, building spreadsheets, and developing business presentations, along with various other programs that are packaged with versions of the suite targeted towards different users.
Microsoft Word is a word processing program that can be purchased individually or as part of the Office suite. The 2010 Word version includes features such as a spelling checker, reviewing tools that allow users to highlight and track changes to streamline editing by multiple people, an AutoCorrect feature that automatically corrects common misspellings, grammatical errors and incorrect capitalization, and advanced picture editing tools to format pictures within a document.
Microsoft Excel is used for creating spreadsheets. It allows users to take large data sets and create graphs and tables, using formulas within the program that automatically calculate data. Users can create pivot tables, which gives users the ability to automatically sort, add or calculate the average of a set of data.
Microsoft Outlook is primarily used as an email-management application, allowing enterprises to efficiently and securely send and receive email for their employees. It also allows businesses to enable their employees to have secure access to email on their mobile devices. Other tools in Outlook include a calendar and task manager, a contact manager and note-taking.
PowerPoint is a program that allows users, including business users, students and educators, to create graphical presentations. It works with both Windows and Mac OS. Users typically create a set of slides that could include embedded video, 3-D effects, audio, and images and text that can be formatted to be visually compelling.
OneNote is designed for note-taking. Users have access to a digital notebook in which they can add large amounts of notes that can be easily searched and divided into subsections, replacing paper notebooks. Publisher allows users to create professional newsletters, brochures, calendars, postcards and many other publications using the program’s templates. Visio provides a set of data-linked diagramming tools to create visuals for organizational charts or business processes. Access allows users to more easily create customizable database reports using templates and themes.
Microsoft Office 2011 includes three different suites: Professional, Home & Business, and Home & Student. Professional includes all of the Office programs except for Visio, which is sold separately. Home & Business includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. Home & Student includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.