Today, Microsoft Office is pretty much the default productivity suite in most professional contexts. However, Microsoft no longer sells it as a standalone boxed copy. Instead, you pay a monthly subscription to get access to the latest version of Microsoft Office.
It’s a truly incredible deal, including multi-install and user licenses (using a family subscription), massive amounts of built-in OneDrive storage, and full unlocking of the Office mobile apps for Android and iOS
However, what if you don’t want to spend a cent? What are the best free alternatives to Microsoft Office?
iWork (macOS and iOS
For Apple users running macOS or iOS, the best free alternative to Microsoft Office is without a doubt the iWork suite. Since 2017, Apple has made its alternative competitor Microsoft Office completely free for all Apple users on macOS and iOS
The three main components of the iWork Suite are Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. If you cannot immediately grasp this, then alternatives to Word, Powerpoint and Excel are offered to you. What is missing here is the Apple version of MS Access, but the vast majority of users don’t actually use the database application.
Apple and Microsoft take two very different approaches to their productivity software. Microsoft offers a powerful feature-rich solution, it’s true. However, after all these years, the user experience is still pretty daunting, and you’ll have to learn cool if you really want to get good at it.
iWork, by contrast, is flawlessly beautiful and easy to use. If you want to create a professional-quality word processor document, for example, iWork makes it as easy as shelling pears.
Who Should Use iWork?
Obviously, since this is only available to Apple users, it makes sense to shake up iWork before investing in Office. After all, it’s already available on your hardware for free. So, if it covers all your needs, why waste anything?
It’s also a great package for those who value a sophisticated user interface and beautiful designs. Apple software has been popular among creative people in the publishing industry for decades.
Google Suite (Browser Based)
The documents themselves are stored in your Google Drive 15 GB of storage space is also included for free. Google Docs is a word processor, Sheets are spreadsheets, and Slides is, of course, a presentation app.
The beauty of the Google suite is that it will work in any browser that supports modern web standards. There are also suitable mobile apps for Android and iOS, and offline mode for desktop users.
Google apps are incredibly limited compared to Office. These are very lightweight programs. However, we’ve been using Google suite apps almost since their first release, and the supply has grown by leaps and bounds. In many ways, an application like Docs is better because of its streamlined approach.
Who is the Google Suite for?
The formatting options are quite limited, but if you are writing text that will be formatted elsewhere (by a web designer or publisher) then this is a great choice.
People who write for a living certainly fall into this category. Google Drive offers a flexible and secure way to write anywhere on virtually any device. It also has some pretty awesome real-time collaboration tools that even Office Live has yet to match.
If you, like most people, need to collaborate with a group of people to create documents, Google Docs provides significant efficiency gains over the traditional looping of a document for comments and additional entries.
LibreOffice (macOS, Windows, and Linux)
LibreOffice is the first open source Microsoft Office alternative on this list, which means it’s open source for any change. If you are a programmer, this means that you can create your own productivity package.
For most people, however, this means they don’t have to pay anything to use the software. Moreover, there is a whole community of people who update and update software.
Aside from being free and open source, LibreOffice resembles the classic MS Office in many ways. It doesn’t have a shiny modern user interface or extensive online integration, but it is a robust package with full portability. That is, you can save it to a flash drive and run it on any computer without going through a traditional installation.
Who Should Use LibreOffice?
There are some good target audiences for LibreOffice The LibreOffice style will appeal to anyone who still craves a classic Office experience from the 90s or early 2000s. In terms of functionality, this is a modern package, but it has the same thing.
Linux users and anyone who loves to maintain open source will also find that LibreOffice is a great alternative to Microsoft Office, without any of the baggage that comes with proprietary software.
It is also a great choice for students on a budget or with internet access as it is free and does not require any internet service to function.
WPS Office ) (Windows, Android and Linux)
The WPS Office was formerly known in the West as “KSOffice” or “KOffice”. The first version of this “relatively” unknown office suite was released back in 1988. The modern version of this free office suite is a bit like modern MS Office, so if you already like Office, you will feel more or less less at home here.
We are specifically looking at the free version of the package here. This is not open source software and Kingsoft sells this software with additional features. The free tier includes Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets. We don’t need to explain what they are for.
Format support is excellent, modern MS Office formats are supported as well as a long list of legacy formats. Having a WPS account also allows you to sync documents across your devices and platforms. With the exception of iWork, this is one of the most advanced productivity packages you can get, especially as a free product.
It is worth noting some limitations in the free version. There is no access to ready-made templates and other resources from the WPS online resource. There are ads that support the free version. The free version cannot edit PDF documents, and other useful features like OCR are missing. However, all the basic functions are present.
Who is WPS Office for?
If you don’t like the rough edges of LibreOffice but don’t want to spend money on an MS Office subscription, WPS provides a nice visual impact.
Its unique all-in-one interface design combines the look of a multi-tabbed browser and an office suite. If you don’t like the all-in-one style, you can switch to a more traditional format, but it is great for working on a single-screen laptop and is therefore a good choice for students and writers. P>
Dropbox paper (Browser Based)
Dropbox is known for offering fantastic cloud storage. It has fantastic platform integration across multiple devices and has become a popular way to share files between people who work together.
However, services like Google Drive also offer a convenient cloud storage and way to collaborate in real time. So now we have Dropbox Paper.
It’s not the complete suite we get from Google, but it does provide basic cloud word processing, perfect integration with your Dropbox drive, and well thought out collaboration with other users.
Who Should Use Dropbox Paper?
Dropbox Paper is not really an alternative to Microsoft Office, but if you and your coworkers already store your docs in Dropbox, then this is the path of least resistance to collaborating on body copy, perhaps leaving advanced formatting for trainee completion.
Dropbox has really thought a lot about helping people work together at Paper by letting you assign tasks and set deadlines. Services like Google Docs have some of them, but if you’ve already invested in Dropbox cloud storage, that’s a nice bonus.
Graphite Document Editor (Decentralized Blockchain Program)
Graphite Docs is not a complete Office suite, but it does something so new and interesting that it should be mentioned in the list of Microsoft Office alternatives.
For now, the service essentially offers the equivalent of the Google Docs word processor. With similar collaboration features. So why is this relatively simple online text editor so special? It’s all thanks to the way it works under the hood.
You see, when you use something like Google Docs, Google has full access to the content of your documents. In a sense, this is necessary. For example, it would be difficult to suggest searching within a document if they couldn’t read the data inside.
However, there is always concern that some sensitive or confidential documents might be recovered by someone in the company or by hackers who have compromised their data centers.
Graphite Docs is an example of a decentralized application. It uses the same underlying technology as Bitcoin (i.e. blockchain) to deliver cloud-based online services. The actual processing power is provided by the many peer computers that support this blockchain.
Thus, it provides you with most of the benefits you get from Google Docs, but without any privacy concerns.
Who Should Use Graphite Docs?
Graphite Docs is not for casual users, it’s a new and experimental technology. However, if you are working on things that require a particularly high level of security and privacy, then this is worth looking into.
Get the job done
Microsoft Office is a great product, and to be honest, it provides a lot of value for the asking price.
That being said, the only reason he’s so competitive is, well, well, competition . Each of the Microsoft Office alternatives listed above are great on their own and may well suit you better than the biggest player in the productivity market.
Since they are all free as well, you also have no reason not to try them.