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Before you buy that software…

The U offers popular software licenses to students, faculty and staff for little or no cost.

By Annalisa Purser

There are many perks to being a student or employee at the U: museums, theatres, beautiful views, concerts, events and lectures name just a few. Did you know that access to expensive software is another?

The Office of Software Licensing, part of University Information Technology, has negotiated campus agreements with several software providers to allow students, faculty and staff to access certain software at no (or very little) additional cost. The software can be used at work or even at home for personal use, depending on the agreement.

Dozens of programs are available through UIT’s Office of Software Licensing, and some of the most common are outlined below. A full list is available online.

Adobe Creative Cloud

  • What is it?
    • Adobe Creative Cloud is Adobe’s newest version of professional creative software and includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, Dreamweaver, After Effects and more.
  • Why would I use it?
    • Adobe Creative Cloud is the industry standard for creative professionals. It is used for graphic design, layouts and formatting, video editing, website development and more.
  • What people are saying
    • “I feel a lot more comfortable with my resume and work skills knowing that I can include knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud in them.”

–Ivy Smith, sophomore, gender studies major; page designer at the Daily Utah Chronicle


Microsoft Office

  • What is it?
    • Microsoft products are used across disciplines and include Word, Excel PowerPoint, Outlook, Skype for Business and more.
  • Why would I use it?
    • Nearly everyone from every field and discipline uses Microsoft products on a daily basis. The software is the industry standard for office work, including email, instant messaging, word processing, preparing presentations and more. Using the U’s license gives users instant access to the entire campus directory, making it easier to connect with your colleagues.


Skype for Business

  • What is it?
    • Skype for Business, formerly called Lync, is an all-in-one collaboration tool that provides instant messaging, audio and video calls, online meetings and sharing. It integrates seamlessly with the U’s Microsoft Exchange/UMail system, allowing you to easily view and collaborate with your colleagues at any time.
  • Why would I use it?
    • Skype for Business makes it easy to collaborate without having to be in the same room. It offers instant messaging, phone calls, user availability status that’s connected to your Outlook calendar, desktop sharing, conference calls and online meetings. The desktop sharing feature even allows a user to take control of another user’s desktop with his or her permission.
  • What people are saying
    • “I’m the co-chair of the Faculty IT Ad Hoc Committee of the Academic Senate, and one of the most challenging aspects of the role is finding time to meet. With faculty from diverse departments around campus, it can be nearly impossible to get everyone in the same room at the same time. By adding the option to call in using the Skype for Business license, we can get better participation. It’s easy to use, and we all have access. We can generally walk a new user through the connection process in a matter of minutes and have them attend a meeting from anywhere with Internet access.”

— Nancy Lombardo, associate director for Information Technology, Eccles Health Sciences Library



  • What is it?
    • Box is software for sharing critical information securely and easily. Large documents, spreadsheets or rich media assets can be uploaded and shared and easily accessed from anywhere on any device. A Ubox account with a 50 GB quota is available at no cost to all current students, staff, and faculty. Box is HIPAA- and FERPA-compliant, allowing users to easily store sensitive and/or confidential data in a safe, secure way.
  • Why would I use it?
    • With your free 50 GB Box account, you can upload, edit and store files as large as 15 GB. Users can access their files on any device at any time, post comments, assign tasks, and invite users to Box folders as collaborators. Box provides password-protected sharing, group-based access, version history and more, allowing you to easily collaborate and exchange information with other University of Utah/University of Utah Health Care users in a secure and encrypted environment.
  • What people are saying
    • “I use Box all the time to collaborate with my classmates. We especially like the features that allow us to track who edited which documents and when. We can set permissions for who can read, edit or invite others to the document. When we need to invite another student to collaborate on a document or project, it’s easy to start typing their name into the box, and their contact information just shows up because Box is integrated with the university directory.”

–Shon Harris, senior, political science major


Annalisa Purser is a communications specialist at University Marketing and Communications. If you have an interesting story idea, email her at