Best 5 Alternatives to Microsoft Office [Compared]

5 min


Here we give you the five best alternatives to Microsoft Office. We compare them based on features, are easy to use and provide you guide to choose the one you need.

I think we all agree that Microsoft Office is one of the best software developed by Mircosoft. It has a presence almost everywhere in the entire world in nearly every business. It is a fine piece of software that evolved over a couple of past decades.

And obviously, it doesn’t have a Linux native installer and comes with a significant price. If you are a business owner or a personal user, the current Microsoft Office 365 subscription pricing is a little higher. And not everyone can afford that price bucket for a longer time.

Then what are the alternatives? You can try other options that relatively get the job done for most users or businesses.

This article gives you the five best alternatives to Microsoft Office.

Best Alternatives to Microsoft Office

LibreOffice

LibreOffice
LibreOffice

The first alternative we highlight here is LibreOffice. The Document Foundation develops and manages the entire LibreOffice free and open-source office suite, available for Linux, macOS and Windows.

It comes with a spreadsheet (Calc), word processor (Writer), presentation (Impress), drawing (Draw) and a database program (Base).

This project is actively developed, and compatibility with Microsoft Office documents is improved in every release iteration. If appropriately used, LibreOffice can effectively do all the work that a Mircosoft office program does. A massive set of documentation and communities can help you adopt LibreOffice in no time.

If you are a small or a large corporation, you don’t need to pay for the software itself. But paid deployment and support is also available at minimal cost if you require them for your critical work.

However, LibreOffice does not come with an Outlook-like email program. This might be one of the minor drawbacks, but you can access emails from web browsers today for all email service providers.

More details about LibreOffice


Google Docs

Google Docs - alternatives to Microsoft Office
Google Docs

The search engine giant Google provides a complete web-based Office suite (aka Google Docs) with its own Docs (document processor), Sheets (spreadsheet program) and Slides (presentation) for free users.

You can access and create documents in your Google Drive account by default for free and access them from anywhere in the world. The office components provide well-designed web-based toolbars, advanced options, spell check, Voice to Text feature (only in Chrome), encryption and cloud access. Google also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android to access your documents and edit them on the go.

One of the best features of Google Docs is templates. With the power of pre-built templates, you can start professional-grade documents in time. The collaboration option gives you more control when sharing and deploying documents with a Google account-based authentication and authorization mechanism for a wider audience.

If you need more from Google Docs, you may opt for Google Workspace with a very minimal price compared to costly Microsoft Office. The Google Workspace is a complete and integrated solution that gives you Google Forms to collect data and integrate into your docs and Sheets, website builder Google Sites, Google Calendar and more storage options to keep your document.

More details about Google Docs

OnlyOffice

OnlyOffice - alternatives to Microsoft Office
OnlyOffice

OnlyOffice (styled as ONLYOFFICE) is a free and open-source complete Office productivity suite that contains text editor, spreadsheet program, presentation tool for you and your office work. It supports advanced features such as real-time collaboration with proper tracking changes for your shared documents, fillable forms and many such features.

This powerful office suite looks better with its Office 365 type ribbons which helps to adopt this program quickly. OnlyOffice has better Microsoft Office compatibility with .docx .xlsx and .pptx file formats which are easy for you and your organization to share documents.

It’s worth mentioning that OnlyOffice provides an Enterprise office suite,, aka “ONLYOFFICE Workspace, ” a paid product with additional features and instant support. This enterprise suite is perfect for those with a tight budget on office products but needs near compatibility with Office 365.

The ONLYOFFICE Workspace comes with an Email client, CRM product, Project Management tool and an integrated calendar. Although everything works well, you face some issues with spell checking, print preview, page size and some bugs. But you should not worry as the team is receptive, and you can report issues in GitHub and get help.

More details about OnlyOffice

Softmaker Free Office

FreeOffice - alternatives to Microsoft Office
FreeOffice

The FreeOffice is another option if you are looking for Microsoft Office alternatives. This office suite was developed by SoftMaker and is arguably one of the choices that you may have. The FreeOffice brings TextMaker (like Word), PlanMaker (like Excel), Presentations and a comparison utility. The user interfaces as two options. The modern Ribbon option makes it a desirable product due to its popularity. It also has a traditional Legacy user interface with a menu and toolbar with a considerable fanbase.

The SoftMaker FreeOffice provides a specific user interface and features in touch-based devices. The Microsoft Office document format compatibility is well established to get the most done.

However, you may have little trouble working with Open Document Format files, whose support is limited.

This is a closed source product.

More details about SoftMaker FreeOffice

WPS Office

WPS Office
WPS Office

Remember Kingston Office? Well, it’s now renamed and repackaged as WPS Office, which is the acronym for Word, Presentation and Spreadsheets. Today, the WPS Office is one of the oldest office suites with more than three decades of development and releases. It is a fully-featured office suite available for all platforms and mobile devices.

Some of the unique features of WPS Office are its real-time collaboration in its core programs which helps you work in a team in a shared document. The office suite comes with 100,000+ templates which allows you to create professional-grade documents and presentations.

The WPS Office comes with the standard edition, free to download and use but limited in features.

If you need additional features such as PDF editing, Cloud support, collaborations and enterprise support, then you can opt for the WPS Premium of WPS Business option with a price.

Its important to mention that this is a closed source program and may contain Ads. Also its developed by a Chinese company.

More details about WPS Office

Comparison

Here’s a quick comparison of the above free Microsoft office alternatives based on features and other details.

ProductPriceSource TypeProsCons
LibreOfficeFreeOpen sourceFree and cross platform
Multi language support
Complete support of ODF files
Best compatibility support of Microsoft Office
Very active deleopment
No email and project management suite
The database program depends on Java
Google DocsFreeClose sourceFree and cross platform
Well documented support
Access documents via cloud anywhere
Complete Mobile device support
Requires internet connection
Little slow due to web based tool
No native desktop executable available
OnlyOfficeFree (basic product)Open sourceThe user interface almost similar to Microsoft Office
Better support and compatibility with Microsoft Office files
Cloud integration, and plugin support
Cross platform
May face problems with some basic features.
Cloud integrations are not compatible with EU due to GDPR
The web app version is slow
FreeOfficeFree (basic product)Close sourceFree and lightweight compared to LibreOffice.
Touchscreen support
Good Microsoft Office compatibility
Cross platform
Free version only have document, spreadsheet and presentation.
Additional prodcuts needs purchase
Open Document Format support is limited
Not open source product
WPS OfficeFreeClose sourceGood Microsoft office compatibility
Cross platform product
Tabbed interface
Multi language support
Not open source product
Developed by a Chinese company
May contain ads

Our Recommendation

Leaving aside all the pros and cons, if you cannot choose which of the Office suite is best for you, I would recommend going ahead with LibreOffice always. Because LibreOffice and TDF has a good vision, active development and worldwide community support. LibreOffice has a considerable knowledge base about tips tutorials on the helpful web. And you can easily automate tasks with Basic or Python Macro.

Closing Notes

I hope this guide helps you choose the best alternatives for Microsoft Office for your personal or business usage. Genuinely speaking, none of the above office products come close in comparison to Microsoft Office in true sense. Not everyone or every business is able to pay hefty subscription fee every month for Microsoft Office. For those, I believe some of these options can be a good starting point.

Some image credits: Respective product owner


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Arindam

Creator of debugpoint.com. All time Linux user and open-source supporter. Connect with me via Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or send us an email.
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