Difference Between MS Works & MS Word

By Pamela Gardapee

The differences between MS Works and MS Word boil down to the available functions, price and amount of disk space needed for each package. Although each application meetss a specific need for users, some people wanting to customize a document are more likely to use MS Word. Someone who needs to create simple documents can use MS Works.


Price is a big difference between the two applications. The Microsoft Office package that includes MS Word can run up to about $300. The Microsoft Works package costs only about $100. Many computers come with MS Works and/or MS Office 60-day trials installed. After the trial, you can delete the software from the computer or buy the package.

Disk Space

MS Word uses 24 MB (megabytes) of disk space, and MS Works requires only 8 MB of disk space. The MS Works software package includes MS Calendar, Task Manager, Word Processor, Portfolio, Address Book and a spreadsheet application. Most MS Word packages include MS PowerPoint, Access, Outlook Express, Excel and Publisher.


With MS Word, you will have a spell check application and a research option. With MS Works Word Processor, you have dictionary, thesaurus and spell check tools. However, Word has more tools than Works Word Processor, such as the ability to track changes and protect a document.


MS Word offers more formatting options such as adding columns, backgrounds, themes and frames. MS Works Word Processor offers columns, borders and bullets, but formatting options are limited compared to MS Word, which offers text direction options and auto formatting as well.


Under the "Tables" option on the menu bar, Word has auto fit, formulas, sort, insert and many more selections. MS Works Word Processor offers limited options such as inserting a table, row or column and table format and cell text alignment. Thus, Word options allow you to do more formatting and design of the document.


MS Works Word Processor provides insert options such as a watermark, picture, text box, page numbers, date and times, and addresses, plus a few more. MS Word provides auto text, page numbering, hyperlinking, bookmarking and adding pictures plus many more options. Overall, Word gives a user more insert options, and Works is the best for constructing web documents.