Getting Started with Microsoft and Office 365


Office 365 is more than just an email system. All students, faculty, and staff can access a range of powerful web applications including online versions of most popular Microsoft titles. You can access your mail, edit documents, create video, manage data with Excel, and create webpages using SharePoint from any PC running a compatible web browser. You don’t have to install anything on the host system since it all runs off of the web and uses Microsoft cloud storage to save files.


Office 365 Applications

The University’s Office 365 environment is also configured with access to the Pitt global address list. It's easy to view your friends’ and colleagues’ availability, dash off a quick email using Outlook online, create a meeting, collaborate on a project, or watch a video.

Best of all, Office 365 is available free of charge to students and teaching faculty. Non-teaching faculty and staff need to be in a department that has purchased the Microsoft Campus Agreement license in order to fully utilize Office 365.



Accessing Office 365

All University students, faculty members, and staff can log into the Office 365 environment. Just go to and enter your University email address in the Email or Phone field. You may need to select the work account login option if you are presented with a choice between a work account or a Microsoft account login. Then, look for the Pitt Passport login page and enter your University Computing Account username and password.


Access to the Office 365 web applications requires a license. The University has negotiated a site license that authorizes all students and teaching faculty to access the entire suite of Office 365 web applications at no individual cost. Non-teaching faculty and staff need to be part of a department that has purchased a yearly subscription to the Microsoft Campus Agreement.

Office Online

Office 365 offers access to online versions of established Microsoft Office PC applications such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, among others.

These online versions of the Office applications require no configuration and can be run from any system with a reasonably up-to-date web browser. They are not intended as full-blown replacements for the full desktop-PC versions of the Office applications but are great for quick, convenient editing. For the best experience, establish a home-base Windows or macOS computer, outfitted with full-featured versions of Office applications by taking advantage of your Office 2016 download options (see below).

The mobile versions of the Office applications can perform many utility functions quickly and can easily access files stored on your OneDrive cloud file share. Click on the links below for more information on the most popular uses of the Office 365 online applications.

Pitt Email (Outlook)
Microsoft Word Online
Microsoft Excel Online​​​​​​​
Microsoft PowerPoint Online​​​​​​​


Office 365 /Office 2019

The University's Office 365 agreement with Microsoft includes download access for the Office 2019 suite of Windows and Macintosh desktop PC applications. These applications are available for download and installation to all teaching faculty and students free of charge. Non-teaching faculty and staff can download these applications if they are members of a department that has purchased the Microsoft Campus Agreement. Microsoft markets this access commercially as Office 365. The University's license allows eligible students, faculty, and staff to install Office 2019 on up to five different PC systems.

Office 2019 is the suite of office productivity applications that you can install locally on your Windows and Macintosh PC. Because they run on your PC, you don't necessarily need an internet connection to use the applications. They are configured slightly different then their Office 365 online counterparts and may offer better performance, especially calculating complex Excel formulas or editing large PowerPoint presentations. More information on Office 2019 is available here.


Mobile Apps

An additional benefit of exploring the Office 365 environment is quick access to a variety of mobile apps that you can install on your tablet or smartphone. These are mobile versions of popular Microsoft Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint, or Excel. Look under Other installs or Get Office apps when you are logged into Office 365. The license that enables students, faculty, and staff access to Office 365 also covers the full licensing of these mobile apps. The installers for these apps are also available on other online app stores including the Pitt App Store.

The Microsoft Office mobile apps will install without a license code but will operate in a reduced capacity (only being able to open, but not save files). However, registering apps with your University username and password opens up locked features of the apps such as saving and creating new documents. This eligibility to fully utilize these mobile apps follows the license that enables access for Office 365. That is students and teaching faculty can download and fully activate the mobile apps at no charge. Staff and non-teaching faculty need to be part of a department that has purchased the Microsoft Campus Agreement.

Under the University's license that covers Office 365, Office 2016, and the mobile apps, licensed users can fully activate Microsoft Office mobile apps on up to five different mobile/tablet devices. These entitlements are separate from the Office 365 privileges, that also allow installation on up to five PCs and five mobile devices.

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Article ID: 266
Mon 8/7/23 8:20 AM
Wed 4/3/24 10:01 AM

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Links to training resources available for Office 365 and Office 2019.

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EMAIL AND COLLABORATION SERVICES Microsoft 365 features online versions of recognized Microsoft applications, Pitt Email and Calendar (Outlook), and five terabytes of cloud file storage.