Microsoft has an excellent office suite—what with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Outlook—but it’s not exactly cheap. Even if you’re using business funds to supply your employees with the software they need, why should you pay more for Microsoft’s suite when you can get a similar service for a lower price?
If you’re a bit confused by my words, don’t be: there are actually dozens or more of free office suites that you can find online. Some of them are equal in quality to Microsoft’s—and, of course, they cost nothing. And hey, some are even better. There are also those which are more lightweight: they compensate their smaller amount of features by providing you with all the specialization you need for business or commercial use.
Basically, there are countless free sites out there, which are alternatives to Microsoft Office. We’re going to discuss 7 of them in this article, but many more are available online. Read carefully; you just might find the suite that’s perfect for you.
Top 7 Microsoft Office Alternatives
1- DropBox Paper
Think DropBox is just a place for storing files? Think again. Instead, the Paper Suite aims to be a legitimate competitor to Office 365. It will allow you to create documents, share and edit those documents with your friends and coworkers, and employ features that will improve project management and communication between team members.
It doesn’t have its own file formats, but you can add compatible files—those in formats by Google or Microsoft Office—that are stored on your PC, Google Drive, or of course DropBox. The interface is clean, intuitive, and easy to use, and it makes editing files together easy as pie. It’s also compatible with every platform, although note that you’ll need an Internet connection to get it to work.
2- Office Online
If you’re looking for lightweight alternatives to Microsoft Office, the Office Online could be a great choice for you or your company. It works like G Suite, in that you can access files and documents directly from within your browser. You simply need to access your Microsoft/Outlook account, and voilà! You have access. While it’s true that it doesn’t have every feature that its big sister does, it has all the most important ones: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, as well as Sway, for presentations, and Flow, so that you can set tasks to get done automatically.
You can also modify files from within your browser; store them on your hard drive or Microsoft’s partner, OneDrive. The file formats are the same as those you’d find in Office 365, so there’s easy switching between applications, and you won’t have to learn how to use any new software if you’d like to work with it. It’s also integrated with Skype, so you can talk with your buddies while you guys are modifying a document together. You can also download the Office Online extension onto your Chrome browser so that you can easily create Microsoft files even though you’re not using Edge or Internet Explorer. In fact, it’s compatible with basically any Internet browser. Learn more about SharePoint Data Migration and OneDrive Migration.
3- Polaris Office
Polaris Office is more than just a cool name: it is also the best free office suite this side of G Suite (see point #4). With more than 60 million users all over the world, it is especially helpful if you’d like to engage in creative activities or related tasks since it allows for handwriting input. You can also draw whatever you like, and the software will give you access to the image or the words.
Completely compatible with PDF Reader & Converter as well as Microsoft Office, the suite features everything you’ll need to get your project off the ground and into the sky. It’s also installed on some models of the Galaxy Tab, so working on documents while using your Samsung tablet is no problem at all.
4- G Suite by Google
G suite is another amazing Microsoft office alternative because Google is always there to save the day—whether it’s regarding our phones’ operating systems, e-mail accounts, or video-chatting with friends across the world—and its office suite is no exception. Featuring everything you’ll need to get started—including software for editing documents (Docs, Sheets, or Slides, depending on whether you’re looking to replace Word, Excel, or PowerPoint), the aforementioned e-mail system (Gmail), and Google Drive, so you can store tons of files at one time—there are fewer free suites better than Google’s. You can even share your documents with each other so that everyone can work on them collaboratively and add comments, complete with revision history so that you can see the most recent changes.
Gmail will allow you to star messages, organize them by category, and add e-mail alerts that work in tandem with Google Calendar. You can fill out documents with Google Forms, create templates with Google Docs, and add drawings to your documents via the Drawings functionality. And because G Suite has all the tools you’ll need, you can swap between documents and services quickly and easily; you won’t need to log in or out of different windows all the time. You can even convert other documents, including Microsoft documents, into Google’s native formats.
Aside from this, the amazing thing about G Suite—other than the fact that the basic package is free—is that it works incredibly well with Chrome, Google’s home browser, and thus is compatible with thousands of extensions. Download as many extensions as you want (including Google’s own native software for editing Microsoft files) and you’ll be as well-equipped, if not better-equipped, than when you’re working with the Microsoft’s Office suite. You might even say that Google offers you the best free office suite.
5- WPS Office
WPS Office is an excellent Microsoft Office alternative. It doesn’t take up a lot of space on your hard drive (35 MB, to be precise), and has been downloaded by millions of users. Fully compatible with the office suites by Microsoft and Google, it will allow you to do everything you need for your tasks.
It offers many unique templates for presentations, including animation and transition effects, and you can recover documents which you deleted by accident in 30 days. It lets you read documents on mobile, is available in 51 languages, and even offers a special night mode so that you can read PDFs without damaging your eyes too much. It’s also compatible with all the file formats offered by Microsoft, including .doc, .docx, .pdf, .dot, and so on, and so forth.
You might not have heard of LibreOffice, but know this: it split off from the high-quality OpenOffice some time ago and is also of very high quality. Indeed, it might even be better off than OpenOffice, since it’s being updated much more frequently. It’s one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Office: it has a lot of features, including everything you’re looking for and more. It’s also awesome because it doesn’t require an Internet connection, so you can work on your documents and files no matter where you are—whether that’s on the subway, in a public place with no WiFi, or even during a power outage. It receives regular updates, so it’s being streamlined all the time and is compatible with the file formats belonging to Microsoft Office. It even has its own file formats, so you can modify documents and files with more ease of use, and have your files all be even and uniform.
It’s also the best free office suite to use if you’re using Linux systems; if you’re using one of them (Ubuntu and its spinoffs, for example), then, chances are, you’ve probably already used LibreOffice (or are using it right now) to take care of all your office needs. It’s also open-source, which makes it an improvement over Office. The office is closed-source, which means that third-party additions are simply not available—but LibreOffice gives users the ability to tweak with the software on their own. This means that, if you know what you’re doing, you can create specific shortcuts and functions to deal with specific situations.
7- Calligra Office
Calligra Office, an open-source Microsoft Office alternative, has many applications—even more than LibreOffice. These features include the abilities to manage databases, edit images, and create flowcharts. You’ll also be able to use project-management features to get the absolute most out of your project and ensure that everyone is functioning at top productivity. It’s fully compatible with FreeBSD and Linux, and also offers basic support for Mac and Windows operating systems. It’s also available in 18 separate languages and gives you the ability to input photos and videos directly from your phone or other Android devices.
Microsoft Office Alternative: Available all over the Internet
If you’re looking for alternatives to the Office 365 software made by Microsoft, then you’re in luck: dozens, if not more, of suites like this, are available online, and a great many of them have a price tag of zero dollars. So if you’re looking to download Microsoft’s for the first time—or to click “submit” to signal another year’s worth of payments to the biggest name in computers—think carefully, and consider the free options offered online, before you make your decision.
Also Read: Top 10 Teamviewer Alternatives