Alternatives to Word, PowerPoint and Excel: Free Office Software

13 mins read

Free office software (Office Software) have come a long way in recent years, and the best free suites can now easily replace premium applications. Believe me, with any of the Office Software options that we will present to you below, you will not miss Microsoft 365.

For most users, Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) is still the original and best office suite in the world, and it goes even further with an online version that offers cloud backup and mobile use as needed. .

However, over the years other companies have released rival office suites to improve your team’s productivity, some of them paid and some free, in some cases the free Office Software options include a premium version that extends the capabilities of your office. functionalities that the free version has.

all these alternatives to Microsoft Office they offer a similar range of software applications, primarily based on creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

However, while most offer the ability to work with traditional Microsoft Office documents, keep in mind that not all of them preserve formatting when exporting to or from Microsoft Office, which can be a problem when sending documents between different programs.

Still, for home users and startups, the idea of ​​being able to create, edit, manage, and organize office documents without incurring the expense can be very welcome.

The best free office software

Microsoft 365 OnlineZoho WorkplacePolaris OfficeLibreOfficeFree WPS OfficeFreeOfficeGoogle Docs

Microsoft 365 online free

Microsoft is being a very strong rival to Google with stripped-down versions of all its regular apps available to use for free online. Something that Google has done from the beginning with its suite, which we will mention later.

Use the free Microsoft Office tool online

Microsoft’s desktop software comes with a subscription fee, but the company has seen the threat posed by Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and has created its own set of free online apps.

Microsoft 365 online looks and works just like its desktop equivalent, and while advanced tools like pivot tables are out of reach for users in its free version, and neither are they offered by Google, it’s still a powerful tool. for the administrative management of a company.

If you generally use Microsoft document formats, Office Online is a brilliant choice. Unlike Google’s free office suite, you don’t need to convert your files before you can work on them, and you can easily share them through your Microsoft OneDrive account. Just sign in with your Microsoft account (the same one you use to sign in to Windows 10) and you’re good to go.

There’s a version of Office Online for Chrome, as well as mobile editions of Office for iOS and Android.

Zoho Workplace

While Google Docs is, thanks to the strength of its brand, probably more widely used, Zoho Workplace is very good on its own. It’s certainly closer to a desktop office suite, and it’s strong enough to have attracted the likes of the BBC and Nike as regular users.

Zoho Workplace - Alternatives to Word, PowerPoint and Excel: Free Office SoftwareZoho Workplace
A genuinely exciting alternative to Google Docs

Zoho’s new word processor – ditching the classic Word-style interface in favor of a formatting sidebar – is beautifully laid out and capable of producing professional-looking documents, and has an excellent spreadsheet and reasonable presentation package by your side.

However, they are just the tip of the iceberg: Zoho Workplace includes a powerful site creation tool, a file management solution, and many collaboration tools. Some of them are simplistic, so they probably won’t replace anything you already have, but if you’re starting out as a small business, Zoho is probably a good place to start.

If you want to sign up for the free version of Zoho Workplace you have to look on the pricing page for the “Free Forever” plan. However, it doesn’t take a single click to set up or log in, instead you have to go through a registration process that starts with providing the details of an existing business domain.

Polaris office

If you have a Samsung phone, you may already be familiar with the mobile version of Polaris Office. This free, cross-platform software is available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and comes pre-installed on select Samsung phones. It supports all Microsoft document formats, and offers a ribbon-based interface with some basic customization options.

Polaris Office - Alternatives to Word, PowerPoint and Excel: Free Office SoftwareA cross-platform office suite that keeps your work in the cloud

The free Polaris account comes with 60MB of monthly data transfer, 1GB of cloud storage, and can be used on three devices (one desktop and two mobile). If there’s not enough space, you can connect Polaris Office to Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Microsoft OneDrive and Amazon Cloud Drive – or save your work to your device.

Upgrading to a Polaris premium account gives you access to additional features, including a PDF editor, removes ads and the ability to search within a document.

Libre Office

LibreOffice is so good, you’ll wonder why you paid for software like Microsoft or any of the ones we’ve already mentioned. It supports all Microsoft document formats, and has almost all the features you’ll find in the latest versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

LibreOffice - Alternatives to Word, PowerPoint and Excel: Free Office SoftwareEverything you could want from an office suite, fully compatible with Microsoft formats and totally free to use – even commercially

The package contains six programs to cover all typical administration, office and school tasks: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base. The last three are tools you won’t find in many other free office suites, and they’re designed for vector diagrams, math functions, and databases, respectively. The latter is particularly useful; free alternatives to Microsoft Access are hard to find.

LibreOffice is an open source project maintained by a huge and enthusiastic community of volunteers who are constantly working to improve stability and add new features. There’s a huge selection of extensions and templates to make it even more flexible, and it’s free for both business and home users.

LibreOffice is a fork of Apache OpenOffice, and the two are very similar, but LibreOffice is the better product overall and adequately supports file conversion that preserves existing formatting, so your Word .doc files should look the same on LibreOffice than in Word, and vice versa.

The latest version of LibreOffice (version 6) adds a host of new features and fixes, including more interface customization options, better file import and export support, and new online help pages.

LibreOffice is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, but there are no official mobile versions except an Android document viewer. It has some editing features, but they are experimental and we do not advise relying on them.

WPS OfficeFree

WPS Office Free is a stripped down version of a premium office suite, but you would hardly know it. Each of its three programs looks as slick as the latest versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and is packed with so many features that you won’t miss any of the features that other paid software offers.

WPS Office Free - Alternatives to Word, PowerPoint and Excel: Free Office SoftwareA free office suite for Windows, Linux and Android.

File format support is excellent, and you can save your work in native Microsoft formats for easy sharing with Office users. There is no database software, but WPS Office comes with a great free PDF reader that is a great replacement for the built-in Windows app.

There are occasional announcements, but these are few and far between. They certainly won’t get in the way of your work, and you’ll easily forget that everything in this suite is completely free.

There are versions of WPS Office Free for Windows and Linux systems, as well as applications for Android devices, but not for Apple users.

Free Office

Just like WPS Office Free, SoftMaker FreeOffice provides analogues for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint (TextMaker, PlanMaker and Presentations respectively).

FreeOffice - Alternatives to Word, PowerPoint and Excel: Free Office SoftwareThe best free alternative to Microsoft Office.
For Windows, Mac and Linux

Like all the free office suites in this roundup, there is support for Microsoft file formats from 1997 onwards. It also offers effortless conversion to PDF and Epub formats, which is a welcome addition.

Unfortunately, some key features are exclusive to the premium version of the software. Some of them (like tabbed browsing) are nice to have but not essential, but the lack of a thesaurus is a real drawback for anyone who writes regularly.

FreeOffice doesn’t seem as smart as WPS Office, but if you don’t like Microsoft’s ribbon and find it unintuitive, then you’ll prefer the slightly older approach to navigation.

Google Docs

If you work collaboratively, or switch between a PC and a Mac, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides should be your first port of call.

For anyone already into the Android/Google ecosystem, this suite will be a natural choice. All three key tools run seamlessly in any web browser and are available as mobile apps for Apple and Android devices.

Google Docs - Alternatives to Word, PowerPoint and Excel: Free Office SoftwareWith Google Docs, you can collaborate with multiple people on documents, or write and edit them, wherever you are. And free.

Google’s free office suite doesn’t offer the advanced tools you’ll find in desktop software like LibreOffice (no pivot tables, for example, and no database tool), but everything is laid out clearly and logically, and all your Files will be automatically saved and synced so you don’t have to worry about transfers and backups.

The main disadvantage of Docs, Sheets, and Slides is that opening files created with other office software is a cumbersome process, and the file format is not always converted correctly. This is partly because Google’s office tools use web fonts instead of those stored locally on the device, and partly because Microsoft documents sometimes contain features that Google doesn’t support.

Also, there are some quirks of Google Docs that make it less user-friendly than other office programs. As free software, it does its job well, but as a paid product it still falls behind in the features and functionality of Microsoft Office.

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