Creative Commons plugin for MS Office

By Michael Nieckoski

Creative Commons Licensing is an essential part of Open Education. According to the Creative Commons website:

“The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools... give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law.”

By placing their work under a Creative Commons Licence, students and professors participate in a growing digital commons and invite others to share, use, transform, and remix their work.

The Creative Commons Add-in for Microsoft enables you or your students to embed Creative Commons licenses directly into Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents. It creates a menu item in the Office application and you can create different licenses, depending your needs. To apply a license to a document, spreadsheet or presentation, just go to the Creative Commons menu, then pull down the license that you’d like to affix to the document.


  1. Download the version of the add-in for your version of Office. The download, along with full instructions for downloading, can be found here.

  2. Close out of all Microsoft software (including Outlook), and install the add-in. (Note that you must have administrator access to your computer to install this add-in.)

  3. When you have downloaded the add-in, you can start licensing! The add-in creates a new tab in the Microsoft Office Ribbon. Note that the document cannot be in “compatibility mode.”

Learn more about the choices among the Creative Commons licenses.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0