They say "you don't get anything for free" or "there's no such thing as a free lunch" or something like that. Well I'm here to tell you "they" . . . is wrong (whoever "they" is). There are tons of free software programs if you know how to find them. There are millions of software developers around the world who like to make their software free to anyone who wants to use it. And a lot of this software is top notch. One of the better known applications is "OpenOffice", developed by Sun Microsystems.
Basically OpenOffice is a very similar product to Microsoft Office, but without the big bucks attached. Some people are scared to try it just because they have a hard time believing it could be as good as something they have to pay for. I've been using OpenOffice for years (even when it was called "Staroffice") and I just don't understand why anyone would waste money for MS Office instead. Mind you, I've been using MS Office professionally longer than OpenOffice because most of the jobs I've worked at used MS Office.
Some people think they need to use what everybody else does to stay compatible. But it just ain't so. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Access files all open up seemlessly into Openoffice. And you can save your OO files in MS Office format with no trouble at all. Are there differences? Of course there are some. But if you know how to use MS Office or other office suites, you won't have any trouble with OO. Use this link to check it out and download it for FREE. http://www.openoffice.org/ (If you really feel bad about using something that's free, you can always donate some money.)
If you really want to get rid of $100 or more for your office suite, download OpenOffice and send me the $100. ;-)