Microsoft Office dominates the productivity app sector for decades. Microsoft Office apps like Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc. have got so many features that it takes weeks of classes to learn the ins and outs of a single product. Whether we talk about MS Office as a whole or take its constituent applications, the sheer number of advanced features offered is amazing. Not surprisingly, it costs quite a lot. But as good as MS Office is, there might be some users whose needs are basic and may be unable to pay that price.
Now these days, there are many flexible alternatives. Office suites are arguably the most commonly used. Their usage might vary, but they are used almost everywhere.
Many free and open source suites support the Open Document Format. Open standards are useful. Some of the tools in this guide also incorporate useful features that not found in Microsoft Office, like converting PDFs to DOC format. All of the sites listed below can both open and save Microsoft Office documents such as DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX.
So, check out these really good Microsoft Office alternatives that you can use.
WPS Office includes the three essential programs - word processor, spreadsheet application and presentation software, and is fully compatible with Microsoft Office file formats. WPS Office comes with a nice collection of templates and fonts too.
Interestingly, LibreOffice is a fork of Apache OpenOffice. It builds upon the existing code base. But it still has some really great features. The UI is quite different and the three basic applications (for handling documents, spreadsheets, and presentations) are included, in addition to some extras. Due to optimized code, it’s a bit faster than OpenOffice. It can be used on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux as well.
Probably the best thing about Apache OpenOffice is that it’s free and open-source. It comes with a standard set of applications including a word processor, spreadsheet application and presentation software, along with a graphics editor and DBMS manager. It’s fully compatible with MS Office’s file formats and supports some extra ones as well, such as .ODT.
SoftMaker FreeOffice is a completely free office suite program for both personal and business usages in your Linux system. It’s the best competitor to MS office suite with the best alternative of a word processor, a spreadsheet application, and a presentation program. It supports all the MS office and OpenDocument files format.
NeoOffice is specifically available for the Mac OS. In addition to having all the standard features, it adds some Mac OS specific extras like text checking and drag and drops functions. But a major downer with NeoOffice is that it’s not compatible with MS Office file formats.
Google Docs is easily the most popular office suite in the world after Microsoft Office. It can be slightly confusing because “Google Docs” is the name of the word processing app itself, but can also refer to the combined suite of apps: Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. It’s just so easy to use it. You don’t need to install anything, you can share files without the recipient installing anything, the interface is dead simple and intuitive.
Zoho Office is best for small teams, with interesting features like real-time chatting on documents, collaborative editing, digital signatures, quick document sharing, and more. One of the cooler niche features in Zoho Writer, in particular, is the ability to post documents straight to WordPress, making it an effective blog writing tool.
Calligra Office suite was initially released in October 2000 as part of KOffice. It is an office suite developed by KDE as well as being suitable to use for graphic art design. It is available on Linux, macOS, Windows, and Android. Calligra is a free and open source software suite and can be downloaded directly from its own website or from KDE's downloads page. It is completely distinct from LibreOffice.
Polaris Office is developed by Intraware and was initially released in March 2014. It is a free office suite that is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. It appears to be a popular suite amongst businesses. With this powerful suite, you can edit many different file formats including PPT, XLS, DOCX, and HWP. As your account synchronizes amongst your devices you will be able to edit and create from wherever you are. All your data is secured by AWS (Amazon Web Services).
All of these office suites exist for a reason: different people like different things, and what works well for me may not work well for you. Let us know what your favorite office productivity suites.