To this day, the Microsoft Office suite is pretty much the default productivity suite in most professional contexts. However, Microsoft no longer sells it as a standalone boxed copy. Instead, you have to pay a monthly subscription fee to get access to the latest version of Microsoft Office.
It’s actually a pretty amazing deal, which includes licenses for multiple installs and users (using the family plan), loads of included OneDrive storage, and full unlocking of Office apps. for mobile devices on Android and iOS.
However, what if you don’t want to spend a dime? What is the best? Free alternatives to Microsoft Office? Be sure to check out our YouTube video as well where we walk you through some of the options mentioned in the article:
I do (macOS and iOS)
For Apple users running macOS or iOS, the best free alternative to Microsoft Office is definitely 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 parts of the iWork suite are Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. If you can’t figure it out right away, here are the Word, Powerpoint and Excel alternatives on offer. What’s missing here is an Apple version of MS Access, but the vast majority of users don’t actually use the database application.
Apple and Microsoft have two very different approaches to creating their productivity software. Microsoft offers a powerful, feature-rich solution, it’s true. However, the user experience is still pretty tough after all these years, and there’s a tough learning curve if you really want to get to the good stuff.
On the other hand, iWork is beautiful and easy to use. For example, if you want to create a professional word processing document, iWork makes it easy.
Who Should Use iWork?
Obviously, since this feature is only available to Apple users, it makes sense to support iWork before accumulating any cash for Office. After all, it’s already available for free on your hardware. So if it covers all your needs, why spend it?
It is also a great set for those who value a refined user interface and beautiful design. There’s a reason Apple’s software has been popular with creatives in the publishing industry for decades.
Google Suite (Browser Based)
Google Suite is a free suite of cloud-based productivity apps from Google. Each person with a Gmail account automatically has access to Docs, Sheets and Slides along with some other neat apps.
The documents themselves are stored in your Google Drive. 15GB of storage is also included for free. Google Docs is a word processor, Sheets offers spreadsheets, and Slides is of course a presentation app.
The beauty of the Google suite is that it will work on any browser that supports modern web standards. There are also mobile apps suitable for both Android and iOS and an offline mode for desktop users.
Google apps, compared to Office, are extremely limited. These are very light software. However, we’ve been using the Google suite apps almost since they were first released, and the offering has grown by leaps and bounds. In many ways, an app like Docs is better for its streamlined approach.
Who Should Use Google Suite?
The formatting options are pretty limited, but if you’re writing type of text that will be formatted elsewhere (by a web designer or publisher) it’s a great choice.
People who write for a living certainly fall into that category. Google Drive provides a flexible and secure way to do your writing anywhere on almost any device. It also has some pretty cool live collaboration tools, which even the Office Live service doesn’t have.
If you, like most people, need to create a document with a group of people, Google Docs is far more effective than the traditional “pivot” of turning a document around for commenting and writing additions. fig.
LibreOffice (macOS, Windows & Linux)
LibreOffice is the first open source Microsoft Office alternative on this list, which means source code open to anyone to edit. If you’re a programmer, this means you can create your own custom productivity suite.
However, for most people, this means they don’t have to pay anything to use the software. Furthermore, there is a whole community of software updaters and upgraders.
Aside from being free and open, LibreOffice feels pretty much like the classic MS Office experience. It doesn’t have a shiny modern user interface or extensive online integration, but it’s a solid toolkit with Options for full mobility. Meaning, you can keep it on a flash drive and run it on any computer without having to do a traditional install.
Who Should Use LibreOffice?
There are some good target audiences for LibreOffice. Anyone who still craves the classic Office experience from the 90s or early 2000s will love the LibreOffice style. It’s a functionally modern set, but it has that feel.
Linux users and anyone who enjoys open source support will also find that LibreOffice is a great alternative to Microsoft Office without the need for any proprietary software to come.
It is also a great choice for students with limited budget or internet access, as it is free and does not rely on any internet service to provide its functionality.
Office of WPS (Windows, Android and Linux)
WPS Office was formerly known as “KSOffice” or “KOffice” in the West. The first version of this “relative” office suite was released in 1988. The modern version of this free productivity suite looks pretty much like modern MS Office, so if you already like Office , you will feel more or less at home here.
We’re specifically looking at the free version of the suite here. This is not open source software and Kingsoft sells it with extra features. The free tier includes Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets. We don’t need to explain what any of these are meant for.
Format support is excellent, with modern MS Office formats 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 highest-rated productivity suites you can get, especially as a free product.
There are some notable limitations in the free version. No access to ready-made templates and other content from WPS online resources. There are ads that also support the free version. The free version cannot edit PDF documents and lacks other useful features like OCR. However, all the core functions are there.
Who Should Use WPS Office?
If LibreOffice’s rough edges don’t appeal to you, but you don’t want to spend any money on an MS Office subscription, WPS provides a visually pleasing experience.
Its unique “all-in-one” interface design blends the feel of a multi-tab browser with an office suite. If you don’t like the all-in-one style, you can switch to a more traditional format, but it’s great for working on a single-screen laptop and is therefore a good choice for students or writers.
Dropbox is well known for providing a great cloud-based storage solution. It has great cross-platform integration across various devices and has become a popular way to share files between people working together.
However, services like Google Drive also provides convenient cloud storage and provides a way to work together in real time. So now we have Dropbox Paper.
It’s not a full suite like we got from Google, but it does offer basic cloud-based word processing, integrates seamlessly with your Dropbox drive, and well-designed collaboration with those you’re looking for. other users.
Who should use Dropbox Paper?
Dropbox Paper isn’t really an alternative to Microsoft Office, but if you and your co-workers already store your documents in Dropbox, this is the least resistant route to working together on documents. base, perhaps leaving the advanced format for the intern to complete. .
Dropbox has really put a lot of thought into helping people work together in Paper, allowing you to assign tasks and set due dates. There’s some of that in services like Google Docs, but if you’ve invested in Dropbox’s cloud storage, this is a nice bonus.
Graphite Documents (Decentralized Blockchain Software)
Graphite Docs is not a complete Office suite, but it is doing something very new and interesting that should be mentioned in the list of Microsoft Office alternatives.
Essentially, this service provides the equivalent of the Google Docs word processor at this time. With similar collaboration features to boot. So why is this relatively simple online word processor so special? 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 document. In some ways, it is necessary. For example, it will be difficult to perform searches inside a document if they cannot read the data inside.
However, there is always a concern that some sensitive or confidential documents could be extracted by someone at the company or by hackers infiltrating their data centers.
Graphite Docs is an example of decentralized register. It uses the same core technology as Bitcoin (i.e. blockchain) to provide online cloud services. The actual computing power is provided by the many peer-to-peer computers that maintain that blockchain.
So it gives you most of the benefits you get from Google Docs, but without any privacy concerns.
Who Should Use Graphite Documents?
Graphite Docs is not for the general user and it is very new and quite experimental technology. However, if you’re working on things that need a particularly high level of security and privacy, it’s well worth considering.
Complete the work
Microsoft Office is a good product and to be honest, it offers a lot of value for the asking price.
That being said, the only reason it’s competitive is, race, contest. Any of the Microsoft Office alternatives listed above are great in their own right and may be more suitable for you than the biggest player in the productivity market.
Since they are all free, you have no reason not to try them out.