Use These Microsoft Word Add-Ons to Transform Your Business


Word processing software is so ubiquitous these days that it’s easy to overlook one of the most powerful tools in your small business arsenal, Microsoft Word Add-Ons. Word Add-Ons, or apps as they’ve recently begun to be called, turn an everyday application into a veritable Swiss-army knife that takes your work to a whole new level while saving you both time and effort.

Microsoft lists over 150 apps for Word, so we decided to dive in to discover the best ones for you to start with. Under each listing, we’ve included the price of the add-in (if any) as well as the compatible Microsoft Word version(s) if different from Word 2013 or later.

A quick note on compatibility: most of the add-ons listed below require Microsoft Word 2013 or later. It seems that add-on development and support for older versions of Word disappear as soon as Microsoft releases their latest upgrade. As for Mac users, the market, as well as the interest to develop Mac Word add-ons, seems to be small, thus there are no Mac compatible add-ons listed.

Microsoft Word Add-Ons: Workflow and Process Management

Nativity Translations

If you need to translate your documents to other languages, the nativity translations Word app enables you to order the work as the need arises. From request to translator selection and payment, everything happens within the document itself, a true time-saver.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app however, you will pay for each translation

TextMaster

If you want to go beyond translation to copy editing, or if you’re interested in copy editing only, you can use TextMaster to submit a request for a bid right from Word. Aside from the addition of copy editing, TextMaster also offers priority ordering if you’re in a rush and experts in specific categories.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app however, you will pay for each translation and/or copy editing job

DocuSign for Word

With DocuSign for Word, you can sign or send documents to be signed, such as contracts, without ever leaving Microsoft Word. Once sent, you can track the process in one central place.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app however, you will need to pay for a DocuSign subscription

Datapolis CollaborationApp

If you tend to pass your Word documents around for review and approval, then Datapolis CollaborationApp is the add-on for you. A workflow tool, CollaborationApp has a Word process all set up for you to use that includes options such as: request for comment, request for approval and task assignment.

No matter how you share the document (via email, fileserver, Google Drive, etc.), any comments added, approvals or rejections declared and changes made are automatically synched to every other copy of the document, assuring that everyone has the most up-to-date version handy.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app and you will need to create a free CollaborationApp account

Microsoft Word Add-Ons: Look-Up and Research

Search the Web

The super-handy Search the Web add-on allows you to do just that: search Google and see the results within Word. You can also search Google for images.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

Wikipedia

If you like to look things up on Wikipedia, then you’re going to like the Wikipedia app. As you likely surmised, the Wikipedia app enables you to search Wikipedia and see the results directly within your Word documents. You can also use Word’s define feature to view Wikipedia definitions.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

Contextual for Word

Contextual for Word is billed as a “content discovery app” and that’s just what it does, after analyzing either a highlighted selection of text or your whole document. Once the analysis is complete, both text and images are displayed, both of which can be inserted into your document or simply used as background research for your writing.

word add-ons

Price: $2.49 for the app

Rhymes.net

Rhyming is a great way to catch attention in both your writing and advertising. However, if you’re not a great poet, and you know it, installing the Rhymes.net Word add-on will help. Simply enter the word you’re trying to match and the tool will return a large list of words that rhyme. It doesn’t get easier than this.

Price: $0 for the app

Microsoft Word Add-Ons: Writing Style and Grammar

Pro Writing Aid

Essentially an all-in-one tool for improving your writing, the Pro Writing Aid add-on for Word will take your text to a new level. Here’s a sampling of what’s included in this robust app:

  1. Overused Words Report
  2. Sentence and Paragraph Length Reports
  3. Grammar Report
  4. Writing Style Report — points out Passive verbs, Hidden verbs, Overused adverbs and Repeated sentence starts
  5. Clichés Report
  6. Repeated Words and Phrases
  7. Eloquence Report
  8. Transitions Report
  9. Corporate Wording Report — shows how to simplify your text
  10. Vague and Abstract Words Report
  11. Consistency Report — analyzes spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, and more

word add-ons

Price: ranges from $35 for a year to $120 for lifetime use

Compatible with: Microsoft Word 2007, 2010 and 2013

Abbreviation List

If you use a lot of acronyms, you’ll love the Abbreviation List add-on. This app scans your document to find abbreviations and the definitions you’ve used for them. Then it displays a table of abbreviations with their definitions as well as a list of undefined ones. Lastly, it checks if you used an abbreviation before it was defined or if the definition repeats.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

AP Stylebook

The Associated Press (AP) stylebook is the bible of the news industry. If you plan on writing even one press release for your business, you should check out the AP Stylebook app. The app enables you to access the guide, ask questions of the editors and establish a number of personal settings to stay AP style compliant.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app however, you must pay $26 annually to subscribe to Stylebook Online

Irregardless (sic)

If you’re not writing a press release and would like writing style suggestions, then check out the Irregardless app. This Word add-on taps into the crowdsourced stylebook hosted over at http://irregardless.ly, and provides tips to improve your writing.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

Content Beautifier Application

A straightforward Word add-on, Content Beautifier Application performs bulk actions on your selected text. Operations include converting all text to uppercase, converting all to lowercase, setting all initial letters to capitals, setting all initial letters to lowercase and more.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

Microsoft Word Add-Ons: Images and Maps

Lucidchart and Gliffy Diagrams

Both Lucidchart and Gliffy Diagrams offer Word add-ons that enable you to easily import any charts, graphs, wireframes, etc. into Word using a simple in-app interface. This saves you from a lot of cutting, pasting and importing manually.

word add-ons

word add-ons

Price: $0 for either app however, both Lucidchart and Gliffy require paid accounts

Mind-O-Mapper

Mind maps are a great way to brainstorm and present information clearly. Installing the Mind-O-Mapper add-on enables you to create mind maps within Microsoft Word. The feature can add to the usefulness of your documents.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

PicHit.Me

A picture is worth a thousand words and the PicHit.Me app gives you access to thousands of photos to use in your documents. Add in the ability to request photos, and it’s hard to imagine how anyone ever lived without this Word add-on.

Price: $0 for the app and $0 for the service however, if you want no ads, better resolutions and no 24-hour delay before your photo requests are delivered, then the cost is $9 per month

My Facebook Photos

The handy My Facebook Photos add-on enables you to view and import your Facebook photos right from within Word. That’s all it does, but what a useful and time-saving feature.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

IMG Effector

Spice up your documents with the IMG Effector add-on. This app enables you to modify your images using more than 15 effects to change the way they look. Once you’re done, you can insert the images straight into your document.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

Maps for Office

The pain of adding Google maps to your Word documents is a thing of the past with the Maps for Office app. The app allows you to choose from a selection of map types including Road Map, Terrain, Hybrid or Satellite view. You can include a “Map Marker” to highlight an address in the generated map. Additionally, there is an option to scale the generated map to twice its size for higher resolutions.

word add-ons

Price: $3.49 for the app

Pro Word Cloud

The final app in this category, the Pro Word Cloud add-on, actually comes bundled with the Pro Writing Aid app mentioned earlier. A word cloud is a great way to communicate the theme or contents of a document, plus it just adds to the fun.

word add-ons

Price: See pricing for the Pro Writing Aid app listed previously.

Microsoft Word Add-Ons: Templates

Vertex42 Template Gallery

When you create a document, starting with a template is a real time saver. The Vertex42 Template Gallery add-on for Word provides that jump-start by giving you access to over 150 free templates to use.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

Microsoft Word Add-Ons: Utilities

Selection Diff Tool

If you’ve ever had to compare two separate selections of text, you know how tedious that task can be. The Selection Diff Tool app automates the entire process by scanning the two selections and listing the differences for you to review.

word add-ons

Price: $4.99 for the app

Link Checker for Microsoft Word

Broken links are the bane of any online marketer. Now you can battle this pesky problem using the Link Checker for Microsoft Word add-on.

word add-ons

Price: $9.95 for the app

Font Finder

Do you ever find yourself pulling out your hair while looking for just the right font? With the Font Finder add-on, finding the perfect font just got easier. This app categorizes fonts that are installed on your device, enables you to browse through broad categories, or search for specific types of font.

You can also preview and compare fonts easily, and click on a font to change the style of highlighted text in your document. Lastly, Font Finder also allows you to keep track of your favorite fonts, and groups them together for easy access.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

Lorem Ipsum Generator

When you need filler text for a document, the Lorem Ipsum Generator app will simplify the task. Be warned however. This is not the same old “Lorem Ipsum” text. The add-on uses http://baconipsum.com, and that means that the words will all be meat-oriented. Oink!

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

Word of the Day

Our final Microsoft Word add-on is the Word of the Day app. Exercising your brain while increasing your vocabulary — it’s a win-win.

word add-ons

Price: $0 for the app

The right Word add-ons dramatically enhance the quality of your documents. And they can simplify your workflow too. This list of add-ons should start you on your way to a better, more efficient Word experience.

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Matt Mansfield


Matt Mansfield Matt Mansfield is the Tech Editor and SEO Specialist at Small Business Trends where he is responsible for directing and writing many of the site’s product reviews, technology how-to’s, and lists of small business resources as well as increasing the reach of our content.

5 Reactions

  1. Joel Libava

    Fantastic article, Matt.

    I never knew about any of these Word apps.

    The Franchise King®

  2. Aira Bongco

    I guess this could work as people are now used to apps as it is used in different gadgets. It is also a nice way of customizing user experience.

  3. Some of these sounds great. As the world goes smartphone friendly its nice to see that big productivity tool, the PC, and Office making a resurgence.

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