The days of Microsoft having a complete monopoly on the best word processing, spreadsheets, slideshow software is now over. In the past few years there have been many competitors sprout up with software that competes with and in some cases beats the quality of the Office Suite. While there may be reasons for advanced users to have the Microsoft Office Suite there are many frugal consumers who know there are alternatives out there for the majority of people who just need the main features. Luckily popular free alternatives such as Google Docs and OpenOffice are now available to download for both Windows and Mac users. Check out our list of the best free alternatives below.
OpenOffice has become a very popular alternative for those who don’t want to pay the high price of Microsoft Office. Their open-source and free suite of tools includes alternatives to everything that Office has to offer. You can use the word processor, slideshow creator, spreadsheet and more. Being open-source there are plenty of additions and plugins available within the community. This also means that you can save in dozens of different formats including Word formats to be able to easily switch between both programs if needed for situations such as school or work. Their official website has documentation on how to use the product as well as advanced guides. It’s free to download and use for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Google is known for providing top quality web-based software and tools for free with their documents platform being no different. Google Docs is much like Microsoft Word or Open Office where they provided you with any tool you could need for work, school, or general projects. A big selling point of Google Docs is that you can collaborate and access your documents anywhere as it’s saved on your Google account. You do have to sign up for a Google account to be able to access Docs but this is something you should do to take advantage of their free tools regardless if you use Google Docs. Google Docs is available for both Windows and Mac with dozens of apps from major companies to choose from to give you an even deeper experience.
Free Office by SoftMaker
Free Office is a free alternative provided by SoftMaker. The program is free to download and includes TextMaker (Word), PlanMaker (Excel), and Presentations (Powerpoint). The features are more on the basic side when you compare it to Microsoft Office or OpenOffice but it’s still a lightweight tool to get the job done for those just looking for the basic features to type up a paper or make a schedule in excel. The software is for Windows only and is available in both English and German.
Kingsoft Office Suite
The Kingsoft Office Suite is one of the lesser known freeware alternatives to the Microsoft Office Suite. The software offers almost every tool you can find in those above including more advanced features like document encryption in a small download package of less than 50MB’s. This software is for Windows only as of right now and is compatible with all major file types.
As you can see above there are many good alternatives to the high price of paying for Microsoft Office. As the Office Suite evolves there may be some reasons for those needing ultra-advanced features to pay the price of well over $200 for the entire software suite. The fact of the matter is that right now 99% of users have no reason to fork over any cash as almost all of the features and file types needed are available for free. My favorite out of the software used is OpenOffice but Google Docs is also a great alternative as well, especially for those who need their documents hosted in the cloud. So check out the best free alternatives to Microsoft Office above and let us know what your favorite Office alternative is in the comments.