The company, Microsoft, has been in the software industry for more than three decades. This giant has provided us with the best office suite for decades.
In fact, it is one of the most popular and most used application software around the globe. However, it is a paid software which may not be affordable to all.
But now, with high-quality free alternatives it's time to find out what is better.
If you're also looking for a software that has most of the features that comes bundled with Microsoft Office, then you've come to the right place.
Most importantly some of the software that I have covered in this article are either free or much cheaper than Microsoft Office.
All the Microsoft Office alternatives offers all the important features that let you create documents, sheets, presentation and others. Thus, switching over to any of these free office software from MS Office will save you good money every year.
I have compiled 4 Best Microsoft Office Alternatives that are totally free and work as good as Microsoft Office barring some of its premium features. If you don't need all the premium features of MS Office, you'll love using these alternatives.
Let's get started.
Free Microsoft Office Alternatives
1. Google Office Suites
3. Apache OpenOffice
1. Google Office Suites
Google is a giant in the tech industry and has numerous products. One of the most popular among these products is Google Office Suite which offers Cloud Storage services to users.
Google Office Suite includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings.
The Google suite of products is free and allows users to edit and share their documents with others. All of the applications work seamlessly together, so users can switch between editing a document and drawing a flowchart with ease. The suite also includes many collaboration features such as co-editing and multi-user presentations.
Application. Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are free online office suites that allows users to create and edit documents, sheets and slides respectively.
- Google Docs is a cloud-based word-processing software that is a free alternative to Microsoft Word. It can be used to create and edit text-based files such as documents, letters, memos, reports etc.
It provides a word processing environment with basic features, including a spell checker and support for basic office formatting.
It has some features that make it better than Microsoft Word alternatives. It has an auto-saving feature that saves your work every few minutes while you're typing on the document. That way even if you get disconnected from the internet while working on the document, you won't lose all of your hard work.
You can also collaborate with others on projects at once by sending them editing rights to your document files. Thus, you can use Google Docs for collaboration and sharing documents online with others in real time through collaborative editing sessions.
- Google Sheets is a spreadsheet editor that can be used to create and edit spreadsheets such as financial statements, taxes etc. With Google Sheets, you can create and edit spreadsheets, collaborate on them with others and share them all.
It offers a wide range of features that we can use to make it work for us. These features include:
- Collaborating on Spreadsheets: You can invite people to edit your spreadsheet so that everyone is working off the same document
- Data analysis: You can use formulas to create charts and graphs from your data
- Sharing: You can share your spreadsheet with others by inviting them to view or edit the file
- Protection: You can protect your sheet so that only those with permission will be able to see it
- Google Slides is a presentation software that allows you to create and share presentations online or offline. It enables users to insert drawings, images, charts, animations and videos.
This software also allows collaborators to edit presentation simultaneously in real-time. Google Slides is a perfect alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint when it comes to creating presentations online or offline.
With Google Slides, you can:
- Add and format images, videos, and text
- Create animations and drawings with shapes and lines
- Convert slides into PDFs or YouTube videos
- Share your presentations on the web or on mobile devices
Storage. Google Drive is a file storage solution that is part of Google's online Office Suite. It allows users to store files (document, slides or spreadsheets) in the cloud and share them with others, either by sending an email attachment or through their Google Drive website.
Mobile Access. The ability to use this platform on mobile devices is very useful for people who are always on the go and need access to their documents at all times. Each application under Google Suite can be accessed on mobile platforms like - Android or iOS.
Google's Office Suite is one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Office that offers users the ability to create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets with online collaboration features. Get started with Google Office Suite today.
2. Libre Office
Libre Office is a free and open-source, cross-platform office suite. It can be used as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software and more.
It is an alternative to Microsoft Office with most of its features similar to the latter. The interface is also quite similar with the exception of some small differences.
One of the best features about Libre Office is that it can be installed on Linux, Windows and macOS operating systems making it more accessible than Microsoft Office with only Windows and macOS versions available.
Interface. Another thing that makes LibreOffice a Microsoft alternative is its interface. It has a consistent interface. All its platform from the word processor down to the formula editor uses the same interface and it offers the same feature also.
The interface has different editing modes or options. There is the normal mode for general editing, outline mode for organizing text contents, note mode to view and edit short notes attached to each slide, hangout mode for producing paper-based material, and slide shooter mode for locating slides quickly.
Application. Libre Office include application to create document,
- Libre Office Writer is a free and open-source office suite. It is compatible with most Microsoft Word formats and can read and write files in other formats like PDF, HTML, OpenDocument Text (.odt), and RTF.
The Libre Office writer has highlighting tools that allow you to add notes, comments, or other markup onto a document. The Libre Office Writer includes:
- Formatting: Bullets and lists, tables, graphics and drawing objects
- Editing: Cut/copy/paste/delete text or graphics
- Additions: Comments or footnotes that will be saved in the document but not printed
- LibreOffice Calc is a spreadsheet application that is included in the Libre Office suite. It is an open source spreadsheet application that can be used for many purposes, from calculating simple equations to performing complicated statistics to drawing graphs.
It offers the same features of Microsoft Excel but with an interface that is more user-friendly. Users can format cells, use all the Libre Office math functions, and perform advanced statistical analyses.
Libre Calc also has some advanced features like pivot tables, sorting of data by multiple columns, and auto-filled cells with previous entries. The Libre Office calc is a great tool for people or businesses who are trying to save money on office software or are looking for an alternative to Microsoft Excel.
- LibreOffice Impress is a presentation application, created by the LibreOffice office suite. It can be used to create slideshows that are made up of text, graphics, and other objects.
Libre Office Impress supports many file formats which includes PPTX, ODP, POT (template for web pages), XHTML (template for web pages), SVG (for images), EMF (for images) and more.
The latest version of Libre Office Impress includes features like:
- drag-and-drop support for images and shapes
- HTML export with CSS stylesheet to create HTML5 presentations that will work on all browsers and mobile devices
- improved drawing tools with smart shapes that can be converted into other shapes just by dragging them to the desired object
Open source and data storage. LibreOffice is an open-source office suite software. Meaning that its source codes are made available free and publicly, such that, they can be modified or redistributed. Such software is also known as non-proprietary software. Libre office stores data in OpenDocument format (.odt) for guaranteed long-term storage. It also accepts files in .docx, .xlsx, .ppt (Microsoft formats).
Performance. LibreOffice has a safe mode. With all software, there is a tendency to crash. When you import a file on LibreOffice or try to open it, if you hit a glitch, you can get things working smoothly with the safe mode. It restores the suite interface default.
Well-thought features. It features documents redactions. This kind of editing can be done when documents are been exported as a pdf. Words can be redacted automatically when imported into the menu alternatively, you can draw boxes around the words you want to redact manually. It also has recorded macro features and options for saving presentations on online services.
LibreOffice is the free software replacement for Microsoft Office. It can read and write files from Microsoft Word (.docx), Excel (.xlsx), PowerPoint (.pptx) as well as PDF documents (.pdf) which makes it a perfect Microsoft Office alternative. It's one of the most popular open source office suites for macOS, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Get started with LibreOffice today.
3. Apache OpenOffice
Apache OpenOffice is also an open-source office suite. In other words, users are free to change or distribute it and its source code. It is compatible with Linux, Windows, Solaris, and OS X operating systems. Like all other office suites, open office has different applications under it - word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more.
The software can easily read and write files from other common office software packages. Alternatively, you can also easily export files created in OpenOffice to PowerPoint presentations or Word documents or Excel spreadsheets. You can download the software from Apache's website and used it completely free of charge.
It is compatible with other major office suites such as Microsoft Office and LibreOffice and can be used on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and more.
Easy to use interface. The Apache OpenOffice software has a very familiar interface that is very easy to use. Its feature is similar to Google free office suite. You can also download extensions for Apache OpenOffice on the internet which make it even more dynamic.
Application. Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Draw and Math are applications that come bundled with Apache OpenOffice Suite.
- Apache OpenOffice Writer (formerly known as OpenOffice.org Writer) is a word processor application, which is part of the Apache OpenOffice suite.
Writer is compatible with Microsoft Word files (.DOC). It can open and save files in .ODT, .RTF, .DOCX, and other formats.
The program has all the features that you would expect in a word processor: it can insert images and tables into text documents; it has an autocorrect function; it supports mail merges; you can create footnotes, endnotes, comments and bookmarks; there are functions for working on large numbers of pages quickly.
- Apache OpenOffice Calc is a spreadsheet application, fully compatible with other major office suites, and available free of charge. Calc is a powerful spreadsheet application which provides you with the tools you need to analyze data, develop financial models, generate charts and graphs, do statistical analysis, create diagrams and illustrations. You can easily add pictures or charts or diagrams to your spreadsheet which will make them stand out on the page. Calc is also able to read .xlsx files created with Microsoft Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac OS X.
- Apache OpenOffice Impress is an open-source presentation program. It can be used to create tutorials or multi-media presentations about almost anything. Its features include animations, charts, graphs, diagrams, drawings and shapes. The basic features of OpenOffice Impress are similar to those of Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 or 2010 for Windows or Apple Keynote for Mac OS X.
Some other applications offered by Apache OpenOffice Suite are Base (to create and manage databases), Math (to create mathematical equations with a graphic user interface) and Draw (lets you create simple diagrams to dynamic 3D illustrations).
Free Software. You may download Apache OpenOffice for free and use it for any purpose - private, educational, government and public administration, commercial. You may pass on copies of Apache OpenOffice to family, friends, students, employees, etc.
OpenOffice has the ability to read and write Microsoft Office formats such as .docx, pptx or .xlsx which makes it an attractive choice for anyone who doesn't want to pay for Microsoft Office. Get started with OpenOffice today.
FreeOffice 2021 is a free office suite that comes with word processing (TextMaker), spreadsheet (PlanMaker) and presentation (Presentations) software. The files created in FreeOffice applications are seamlessly compatible with Microsoft Office and can be used on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Interface. Like LibreOffice, FreeOffice has a neat interface. It has an optional sidebar for managing features for editing without opening a separate menu.
The interface is in two styles – the classic toolbar interface and the ribbon-style interface. The classic interface only keeps some of the features on the toolbar while the ribbon style allows you to switch between menus and tools with ease.
Applications. TextMaker, PlanMaker and Presentations are the application software that comes with the FreeOffice suite.
- TextMaker is a free text processing program which has almost all the features of Microsoft Word. The only difference is that it does not contain any macros, interactive buttons, or custom menus that may confuse beginner users who are familiar with using MS Word. In other words, it makes it suitable for users who are not familiar with the usage of the Microsoft Office applications.
It includes various design elements like bullet lists, numbering styles and font customization to help users create professional looking documents without being overwhelmed by too many options. You can also insert images, drawings and text frames into your documents to make it more interactive.
- PlanMaker is a free alternative to Microsoft Excel to create worksheets. It contains more than 350 built-in calculation functions to perform simple to complex mathematical calculations.
You can create large worksheets with up to a million rows and 16,384 columns. It also supports important functions like pivot tables. It opens and saves all Microsoft Excel files (.xls and .xlsx) and also supports exporting worksheets in PDF format.
- Presentations is another great free alternative to MS PowerPoint. It contains all the important features that you won't miss using PowerPoint like ability to insert pictures, drawings and text frames into your presentations.
It also contain lots of ready-made animation schemes for animating entire presentations at once along with breathtaking animations and slide transitions with OpenGL graphics acceleration.
Touch mode. The touch mode is suitable for users with touch screen devices. When it is activated, it makes the icon bigger and increases the space between them. It is available in both the classic menu interface and the modern ribbon interface.
Compatibility/Preferences. FreeOffice uses a file format unique to only it, such that no other application can open its documents. You can override this if you set the default file saving format to RTF, Microsoft, or OpenDoc formats. When it comes to opening files on the FreeOffice, the software does that without issues, especially documents created by Microsoft and other office suite software.
FreeOffice gives you the power to edit documents in your web browser or on your desktop computer. It also means you can access your files from anywhere - even on your mobile devices! And best of all, FreeOffice is completely free for both personal and business use. Get started with FreeOffice today.
There are so many alternatives to Microsoft office, that choosing the right one can be very confusing. However, we picked out these offices suites after carefully considering the factors we highlighted above. Feel free to try one or all of them today!
Which Microsoft Office alternatives you like the most and why? Please offer your comments below.
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