Ask the PC Doctor: Making the switch to Microsoft Office 365

Published: 7/28/2021 2:35:43 PM
Modified: 7/28/2021 2:35:44 PM

Dear PC Doctor:

My workplace is switching us over from the Microsoft Office programs to Office 365. What’s the difference? What do I need to know to get used to the change?



Dear Jamie:

When you have the older model Microsoft Office, your workplace had paid to purchase a license for your computer to use that suite of programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and Publisher). The program is installed on your computer and can be used when there is no Internet connection. It belongs to your computer forever.

Office 365 functions similarly, includes the same tools (with the addition of Microsoft Access), but is not purchased outright. Instead, the user (or employer) pays a monthly or annual subscription fee. It comes with some cloud storage and you can share it across multiple devices. So, you can sign in on a different computer at work and still have your documents.

My best recommendation, since your employer is making this change, would be to visit the Microsoft Support site ( and watch their set of Office 365 tutorial videos. There are also “cheat sheets” and infographics that you might find useful.

I hope this helps.

Until next time, happy computing!

Editor’s Note: Questions should be directed to PC Doctor, care of the Athol Public Library, or Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., Athol, Mass. 01331, or dropped off at the library

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