Free Version of MS Office Online

Did you know that you do not need to have MS Office on your computer?

There’s a FREE version ONLINE with your Microsoft account. All it takes is that you have a Microsoft account (a email address) and have installed OneDrive on your Mac (free). If you don’t have a Microsoft account, you can create one at the time that you download the OneDrive app. 

With OneDrive you get 15GB of free storage space online. That’s 10GB more than iCloud. You can add the OneDrive app to your iOS devices. You are not limited to just documents in OneDrive. Anything is allowed. You can share a link to a file or folder with anyone. Do you have a short video you want to share on Facebook? That and more can be done.

All the documents that you have in OneDrive (presuming that they are MS Office or compatible documents) can be accessed with the online version of MS Office.

Here’s how:

  1. On your Mac, click on the OneDrive icon in the Menu Bar. You’ll find it on the right side. 
  2. Then click on the gear in the upper left of the drop down window.
  3. In the new drop down window, click on “View online”
  4. Safari (or your default browser) opens a window with all your OneDrive documents showing.
  5. Double-click on the document you want to open. It will open with Word or Excel or PowerPoint as appropriate.

So if you already have a Mac version of MS Office and you are asked to pay for an update to MS Word, you really don’t need to. In fact, you can delete the MS Office apps without fear of losing anything - as long as you have OneDrive.

There is a downside - or course. The online version of Word and Excel do not have *all* the features of the paid for version. You probably won’t even miss them.

There’s a *free* app that you can install on your Mac that does everything that MS Office does - almost. I’m sure you have heard of it: OpenOffice. You can save your OpenOffice documents ( the default extensions are .odt for Writer and .ods for Calc) as MS Office documents (the defaults are .docx for Word and .xlsx for Excel), and they will open up with the online version of Word and Excel. One word of caution here: not all features of MS Office are available in OpenOffice, and some formatting and styles may change in the conversion.

But anyway, with the online version of MS Office, I really can’t see why anyone would need anything else. You can unlock more features of the online version of MS Office by paying a nominal monthly fee. You need to be a real power user to need to do that.

John R. Carter, Sr.

There is a NEW Sophos for Mac

Sophos Home includes all the features of Free Mac AV with a sleek new user interface that allows you to protect all computers in your home (Mac and Windows) from a single interface. And yes, it’s still free. When downloaded and installed, this new interface, called Sophos Home, replaces the existing Sophos Antivirus application.

There is a totally new interface, in fact, two new interfaces. One is an app that runs on the computer and the other is a web interface accessed at for which you are required to create a free account. Both will allow you to run a scan on the computer, but the web app is where you define or configure how Sophos checks for trouble.

From the computer app, you can only scan the computer or turn on or off a protection. From the Web interface, you have complete control of how each of your computers are protected.

There are three kinds of protection. These are Automatic Virus Protection and Web Protection. The virus protection can also check for Potentially Unwanted Applications in real time and prevent them from being installed - and you an override this if you really want to install an app that you are sure will cause your computer no harm.

In the web protection, there are three categories. These are General InterestSocial Networking & Computing, and Adult & Potentially Inappropriate. For each category there are numerous items to select one of three levels of protection for each item. These are AllowWarn, and Block.

It is still recommended to do a full scan after installing just to let Sophos know it has done that at least once. Thereafter, it may not be needed to do another full scan since the system is being protected in real time.

The only caveat that I might mention here is that blocking some items can result in your not being able to view attached images that someone sends you. Tinkering is allowed.

John Carter

How to Remove Malware & Adware From Your Mac

        From the How-To Geek website Jim Hamm finds some helpful info on viruses, worms, and Trojans, along with adware, crapware, and spyware programs.  The writer outlines the problems and the possibilities.  He also warns, “Don’t have the Java plug-in enabled, either . . . “ This article was published 7-25-15.

Helpful for Mac and PCs

Your PC friends will find this useful, too, according to Jim Hamm.  He begins with, "Here is a good article on antivirus programs. I've used the free version of Avast for years, both on PCs and Macs, and it's worked well for me." (Full article here.)        Jim adds,  "All the info in the article would apply to the Mac as well. Here is the link to a free download for the Mac."  

Two Good Words: Upgrade! Free!

     Keeping us up with the latest, here's from Jim Hamm:  "The next version of OS X is to be called El Capitan, named after a 3000 foot-high chunk of granite in Yosemite National Park. See the picture below. And here an article describing 10 new features of El Capitan. It is to be available in the fall, and will be a free upgrade.  Here is an article describing some of the features coming in iOS 9, which is expected to be released in late October."

Google May Have Won the Cloud Wars

        Here's that word FREE.  "For the storage of your photos, Google Photos is free, has unlimited storage, and is available on iOS devices.  What's not to like about this scenario?" asks Jim Hamm.    See    and take a look at this article, dated 5-28-15: 

Shortcut for Finding a Definition

                 Hmmmm.  What does this word mean?  Yes, you can go over to the Dictionary in your long-long list of icons there on the side of the screen.  But this morning Ruth Davis' emailed tip says to   "Hover your mouse cursor over top of the word you'd like to look up and press Command + Control + D. A dialog will then pop up with the word defined by the build-in Mac OS Dictionary."  The little box also lists some words from Thesaurus and Wikipedia.
           She also has free guides for Mac, iPad, and iPhone. 
        Macintosh trainer Ruth Davis publishes Mac2School's Weekly Tips for more than 1000 subscribers. If you want to feel more confident and be more productive with your Mac, iPad and iPhone, sign up for a FREE subscription to Mac2School's Weekly Tips at 


Gigabyte Data Usage

       "If you purchase a data plan from a carrier with, say, a 2-Gigabyte data plan, how much can you use your smart phone or tablet before consuming all your data?" asks Jim Hamm.  He goes on with some useful info.  " This link gives some estimates, which you may find helpful.
        "If you like to listen to music while you're checking the internet (while using your cellular plan), this article gives you a good idea of how much data streaming music consumes."
        Keep reading; Jim sends us that good word FREE.  "If I'm using a cellular connection I usually don't listen to streaming music so I don't consume all my data. But if I did, I'd listen to Pandora (which I do when I'm connected to wifi) and I find it uses a maximum of 64kbps, which is fairly low quality, but adequate (at least for my ears). Of course, Pandora provides a free service, so I'm not complaining."   

See the Earth for FREE

Here's that special word, "FREE."  Thanks to Jim Hays for the following info:  "Google now offers downloads of its Google Earth Pro for Windows and Mac for free at:        "Google Earth Pro is described as a '3D interactive globe that can be used to aid planning, analysis and decision making.' It's also an effective way to traverse the globe without leaving your house." 

John Carter noted that on of 3-25-2016, the Mac download of Google Earth Pro did not validate when attempting to install the package. This does not mean it won't work for you, so keep trying. In addition, the app is totally free to everyone now. So says the website.

Take Command of the Photoshop Basics

        John Carter has some good news, "CreativeLive is offering a FREE online course in Photoshop.

        "Don’t let Photoshop overwhelm you! Get to know the power, functions, and features of this incredible image-editing program.
        "In his three-day live class, Photoshop Hall of Famer Ben Willmore will not only introduce you to Photoshop's interface and essential tools, but will also show you how to make simple changes that will have a big impact on your images. You'll learn how to:
• Retouch stray hairs and brighten eyes
• Combine separate images into a panorama
• “Open” closed eyes in a group shot and more!

        "If you feel intimidated by Photoshop, this beginner-level class will give you the skills and confidence to take command of the program for amazing results.  RSVP Now!

A Fan of Photoshop?

        "If you're a fan of Photoshop, following are comments from a blog I follow that might be of interest, " Jim Hamm begins, and he goes on to explain, "I've not checked any of the websites, but I fully trust the guy writing the suggestions (I know him), so you might see if any of this would be helpful." 
        (You'll find that word FREE by the end of the quotation!) 
        "I’ve mentioned some of this before, but for you Photoshop aficionados, or you Photoshop newbies, or wantabes, I’ve come across some great tutorial sites for you to take a look at.

        "Don’t have a copy of Photoshop and think it’s too expensive? You can go here:
and download a free, licensed version of Photoshop CS2 for either Windows or Mac. It’s about 340 MB and took me less than 30 minutes to download on a 3G connection. Be sure and grab the License Serial Number further down the page."

Maps.Me is FREE

        Jim Hamm has another interesting bit of info here:  "For travel there is an app for your iPhone or iPad that is free today: Maps.Me. In this app you can download maps of the various states ( or even around the world) which you can use when you're offline. Normally the cost is $5 for this app. You might take a look and download it from the App Store."

Learn Via Video, etc.

        Helpful PMUG leader John Carter scores big with this link,  and you'll want to take a look at this website.  Turns out they have more than 900 FREE video tutorials on how to use your Mac, iPad, iPhone and other Apple Technology.  
        And here's some very welcome news: They never sell, rent or share your email address.  Read details at Policies. 
       No, we're not listing all 900 of their video tutorials.  But look at some of these other helpful categories.  

Here's another list of pages you'll want to check out. 
And this concludes the August PMUG meeting handout that's not getting handed out tomorrow, August 16; it's just posted here for your convenience.  Thanks again to John Carter who keeps an eye out for useful info for us.  
by Elaine Hardt. 

Temporary Price Cut for Password App

        "In security presentations at PMUG meetings, we’ve often mentioned 1Password as one of the apps to use for password security,"  Past Prez Art Gorski reminds us.  He then gives the good news.  Read on!  
        "While LastPass is free and does a good job, 1Password has always been pricey. What you get for the money is continuous development and features that you can’t get in free alternatives. For example, the next version for iOS8 will support the TouchID fingerprint sensor and the new extensions that will let it work with many more iOS apps. Currently, 1Password for both Mac and iOS has been reduced in price."  Note here that the price cut is temporary, but the upcoming iOS 8 version will be a free update. 

NeoOffice Now Available at App Store

        John Carter has some good news.  "In the past, NeoOffice (which contains a full featured word processor nearly identical to Word in MS Office) was available for a nominal fee of $10, which presumably had to be renewed every year. NeoOffice is now available in the App Store for $29.99, and presumably all future updates will be FREE. I would expect this to apply to minor updates, but major updates might come with a fee (and discounted if you own a previous version).

         "If you decide to get the FREE version as indicated in the image, please note that you won’t be able to save changes — or save a new document. It is therefore a read-only version.
       " If you already have NeoOffice installed, there is nothing for you to do. You will still receive notices when an update is available, but now you will no longer be bothered with having to login to get the update. I might expect that when the next major update comes along that you will be asked to pay for it — but you can continue using your current version.
       " LibreOffice, and its precursor OpenOffice, works equally well on PCs as it does on a Mac, whereas NeoOffice runs only an a Mac. There is almost no difference between LibreOffice or OpenOffice and NeoOffice. Unlike LibreOffice or OpenOffice, NeoOffice runs natively on Mac OS X. Since it’s inception in 2003, the NeoOffice engineers - Patrick Luby and Ed Peterlin - have continually added improvements to NeoOffice that users will not find in OpenOffice or LibreOffice such as:
• The option to open Calc or Impress instead of Writer at launch
• Works with Mac OS X Gatekeeper
• Works with Mac OS X Versions
• Native Mac OS X text highlighting
• Native file locking support for local and networked volumes
• Mac OS X Services support
• Native floating tool windows
       John has more info here:  "If you find that some of the above features are not working in your current version of NeoOffice, then purchasing NeoOffice from the App Store will make those features available.
     "LibreOffice does ask for a donation when you initially download it, but you can still get the app if you choose not to donate and nothing will be disabled.
    "One word of caution about LibreOffice: Do NOT download it from anywhere other than If you do a Google search for libreoffice, be sure that the site you go to is the authentic place.
     "One user has reported that NeoOffice has been acting up lately. Switching to LibreOffice resolved that issue, and there were no noticeable differences.
     "How NeoOffice (or LibreOffice) differ from Pages is fairly significant. For one, Pages does not have a feature to include cross references in a document. That feature is only useful for serious authors. For two, it is much easier with greater flexibility to manage the properties of a picture or other object in NeoOffice/LibreOffice. Pages does have an extensive assortment of templates to work with whereas NeoOffice/LibreOffice have only a few.
     "LibreOffice loads much faster than NeoOffice. Patience will be needed when downloading either one. If you download LibreOffice, you then have to install it and then remove (eject) its presence in the Devices section of Finder and then delete the .DMG file in your Downloads folder. If you purchase NeoOffice from the App Store, installation is automatic and there is no clean up to do.
     "For as long as LibreOffice is free, that is the app that I will be recommending."
    And John concludes with,  "The choice is yours."

Amazing Photos From Your iPhone

        "If you haven’t heard about it yet, this is totally awesome — and I don’t say this about anything unless it really is!"  Now John Carter goes on to explain.

        "Fyuse is a FREE app for the iPhone that takes astounding 3D images (actually, a GIF image that you can manipulate to make it look like a short movie which gives you a 3D look and feel). Really! But I’m not going to spend any time here talking about how to use it or what it's like, because you can see the short demo yourself here in iTunes."