Here we give you the five best alternatives to Microsoft Office. We compare them based on features, are easy to use and provide you with a guide to choosing the one you need.
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 few decades.
And obviously, it doesn’t have a Linux native installer and comes with a significant price. The current Microsoft Office 365 subscription pricing is a little higher if you are a business owner or a personal user. 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
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.
Firstly, it comes with a spreadsheet (Calc), word processor (Writer), presentation (Impress), drawing (Draw) and a database program (Base).
Secondly, 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. In addition, a massive set of documentation and communities can help you adopt LibreOffice in no time.
You don’t need to pay for the software if you are a small or large corporation. But paid deployment and support are 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
- Home page
- For Business
- Download for general-purpose personal use
- Help and Documentation
- Official support forum
2. Google Docs
The search engine giant Google provides a complete web-based Office suite (aka Google Docs) with its 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 and access them from anywhere. 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 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 it 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 is a free and open-source complete Office productivity suite with a text editor, spreadsheet program, and 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 other features.
This powerful office suite looks better with its Office 365-type ribbons, which helps to adopt this program quickly. In addition, this product 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 it 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.
Furthermore, the ONLYOFFICE Workspace comes with an Email client, CRM product, Project Management tool and an integrated calendar. Although everything works well, you face 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 on GitHub and get help.
4. Softmaker Free Office
The FreeOffice is another option if you are looking for Microsoft Office alternatives. SoftMaker developed this office suite, and it is arguably one of the choices you may have. Let’s talk a little about its features.
Firstly, the FreeOffice brings TextMaker (like Word), PlanMaker (like Excel), Presentations and a comparison utility. Secondly, the user interfaces as two options. The modern Ribbon option makes it a desirable product due to its popularity. Moreover, it has a traditional Legacy user interface with a menu and toolbar with a considerable fanbase.
Besides these, the SoftMaker FreeOffice provides a specific user interface and features for 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
5. WPS Office
Remember Kingston Office? Well, it’s now renamed and repackaged as WPS Office, 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 release. It is a fully-featured office suite available for all platforms and mobile devices.
Some of the noteworthy features of WPS Office are its real-time collaboration in its core programs which helps you work in a team on 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.
Moreover, 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.
It’s important to mention that this is a closed-source program and may contain Ads. Also, it was developed by a Chinese company.
More details about WPS Office
Here’s a quick comparison of the free Microsoft Office alternatives based on noteworthy features and other details.
|LibreOffice||Free||Open source||Free and cross-platform|
Complete support of ODF files
Best compatibility support of Microsoft Office
Very active development
|No email and project management suite|
The database program depends on Java
|Google Docs||Free||Close source||Free and cross-platform|
Well documented support
Access documents via cloud anywhere
Complete Mobile device support
|Requires internet connection|
Little slow due to the web-based tool
No native desktop executable available
|OnlyOffice||Free (basic product)||Open source||The user interface is almost similar to Microsoft Office|
Better support and compatibility with Microsoft Office files
Cloud integration and plugin support
|It may face problems with some basic features.|
Cloud integrations are not compatible with the EU due to GDPR
The web app version is slow
|FreeOffice||Free (basic product)||Close source||Free and lightweight compared to LibreOffice.|
Good Microsoft Office compatibility
|The free version only has documents, spreadsheets and presentations.|
Additional products need purchase
Open Document Format support is limited
Not open source product
|WPS Office||Free||Close source||Good Microsoft office compatibility|
|Not open source product|
Developed by a Chinese company
May contain ads
Besides all the pros and cons, if you cannot choose which Office suite is best for you, I recommend going ahead with LibreOffice. Because LibreOffice and TDF have a good vision, active development and worldwide community support. LibreOffice has a considerable knowledge base about tips and tutorials on the helpful web. And you can easily automate tasks with Basic or Python Macro.
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 the true sense. Not everyone or every company can pay a hefty monthly subscription fee for Microsoft Office. For those, I believe some of these options can be a good starting point.
Some image credits: Respective product owner