Office 365

Traditionally you purchased Microsoft Office on DVD for a one-off charge and installed it onto your computer (or it was pre-installed for you). Nowadays you can get Microsoft Office online as a subscription service, and Microsoft has branded this Office 365. You pay per month and can download and install Microsoft Word 2016, Excel 2016, PowerPoint 2016 and so on. When installed, these are just like previous versions of Office: they work offline, and ClaroRead works perfectly with them. You’ve simply obtained them differently.

However, Microsoft has also branded its online-only Web App versions of Word, Outlook and Excel as Office 365. These all run in your web browser (not necessarily Internet Explorer) and so work on tablets, phones and non-Windows laptops and desktops. But they’re essentially very complex web pages, so ClaroRead can’t work with them in the same way it works with installed Office: they don’t provide the same assistive technology access as the installed versions.

(There are also yet more versions of Word like “Word Mobile” in the Windows 10 Store, or Word for Android – again, these are not the same as installed desktop Word 2016 and don’t work with ClaroRead in the same way. It can be confusing, and it changes frequently.)

So if someone says “Office 365” you have to ask them: “you mean the Office Web Apps, in your browser or tablet? Or downloading and installing Office 2016 from the Office 365 website?” The installed Office 2016 will work perfectly as it always has done.