Microsoft Word is by far the most popular word processor. However, the software doesn’t come cheap. And if you don’t need Microsoft Word for your business, you might not be ready to pay for it.
Luckily, there is a way for you to get Word and other Microsoft Office apps for free. In some cases, the free app comes with limited functionality, though it’s enough to open and read documents.
Microsoft Word for Mobile Devices
Over the past few years, Microsoft is making a shift towards cloud-based apps. As a result, you are allowed to download and use Word, as well as PowerPoint and Excel, on a variety of mobile devices. This method works on most Android, iOS, and Windows tablets and smartphones, as long as the screen is less than 10.1 inches.
This means that you can edit and create Word documents on an iPhone, iPad Air/Mini, and the regular iPad. But if you are an iPad Pro user, you will only be able to view documents. Then again, there are still some limitations to the mobile app, even when used on a smartphone or smaller tablet.
On a mobile device, you get what Microsoft called the core Office experience. This means certain features and editing tools are not available in the freemium package. That said, the mobile app works just fine for light Word users and allows you to easily share documents.
Microsoft Office 365 Education
As a socially responsible company, Microsoft offers its entire Office suite for free to full and part-time students and teachers. The suite includes Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Excel, and Microsoft Teams. In addition, you get some handy classroom tools that can help your learning or teaching efforts.
Microsoft Office 365 Education is available permanently, i.e. it doesn’t have a trial period beyond which you’d have to pay. All you need is a valid school email address to apply for these apps. If you are eligible for this offer, just go to Microsoft’s website  and enter a valid email address and click Get Started.
Microsoft Office Online
If you are not a student/teacher, it’s probably best to use Microsoft Office Online rather than having to depend on the mobile apps. This cloud-based suite is completely free and includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Skype, OneNote, and more.
Go to office.com  and sign in with your Microsoft account. Click on Word and you’ll be able to create/edit documents from your browser. Of course, some features are not available in the online version. But it’s still a useful hack if you are not using Word for a living.
Besides the above, you can at least get the full version of Microsoft Word for a month or so. Here are the two free trials that are worth considering:
Office 365 Home
Once you sign up for Office 365 Home, you get a 30-day free trial of the entire productivity suite. This means all the advanced functions and editing tools are there for all programs in the suite.
In addition, you are allowed access to 1TB on OneDrive to store your files on Microsoft cloud. But there’s a catch. Before you can start the trial, you’ll have to keep a valid credit card on file with Microsoft. The selected subscription will be automatically billed unless you deactivate the account before the end of the trial.
Office 365 ProPlus
After exhausting the 365 Home trial, you can try for more freebie with Office 365 ProPlus. To do that, you need to sign up for the TechNet Evaluation Center .
That’s where Microsoft allows its users to test out the latest features before an official release. You’ll have to fill out a fairly detailed form about your company, position, work phone number, etc. If it all goes well, you might get another 30 or 60 days of Office 365 ProPlus for free.
Note: Word and other Microsoft applications in the Evaluation Center aren’t fully debugged. But that is to be expected since your job is to spot problems and report them.
Free Word for All
As you can see, getting Microsoft Word for free is quite easy as long as you don’t need all the features. More people are switching to their tablets for daily productivity purposes, so if you are one of them, feel free to give Word a try on your iPad.
On the other hand, you can also try some free Word alternatives such as LibreOffice .
Also, note that we have intentionally omitted the various illegal ways of getting Word for free.