What Version of Microsoft Word Do I Need?


Microsoft has become a lot cooler and competent over the last few years…but their naming conventions for Office still leave a lot to be desired.

  • Office 365 is the name for a subscription version of Office.
  • Office 2019 is the latest one-time installable Office product from Microsoft.
  • If your installation of Office is managed by a central IT group your ability to update might be limited.
  • Windows versions of Word 2016 all start with “16” but Mac versions start with “15.” Go figure.

Please check out our post on updating Word to make sure you’ve got the latest version possible.

To see what version you’ve got:

  • Windows 7 / 8 / 10:
    • Open Word
    • Click File > Account or Help from the list on the left
    • You should see your
  • macOS
    • Open Word
    • Click Word About Word in the app menu
    • Your version should be displayed.

For help see this Microsoft support page.

In general, you should be in good shape if your version of Microsoft Word is at least:

  • Windows 7 / 8 / 10:
    • Version 16.0.6741 or later
  • macOS:
    • 15.20 or later
  • Office Online:
    • January 2017

Windows users on old versions of Word (2016) need to make sure to update Internet Explore 11, also. All Word Add-ins use IE11 to run.

Ideally you have IE11 set to automatic updates. Here’s how:

  1. Open IE11 (Windows 10 users may not even know they have it, since Microsoft Edge is the default browser).
  2. Click the Tools menu or cog icon in the top-right of the screen.
  3. You’ll see the version number of your install and (hopefully) a checkbox that allows you to install updates automatically. If you don’t see this checkbox it’s because your central IT folks have set up some other process for updates.