Free Microsoft Office alternatives in the open source plus free category to manage different documents (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) free of cost on Windows, Linux, or macOS computer systems.
The office software package is one of the most important software packages of all for any computer users. If you are an office employee or a student or a businessman there are endless needs for which you are going to use the office software. Even there are many people around who do use the computer very minimally, but the only does it to use the office software to fulfill his/her needs. Office software is necessary disrespect of what type of pc you are using or what OS you are using.
- Normally Microsoft Windows 10 comes with a free trial of Microsoft Office package installed. After the expiry date, you can continue with a paid subscription or you can opt for some equivalent free option.
- Macs PCs comes with Apple-developed office suite, but not everyone is a Mac PC user, so for compatibility along with your colleges and friends you should have a cross-platform office suite installed in your system so that files produced by your pc can also be accessed by some other pc using some other OS.
- We are about to provide details about some of the best free Office suite solutions which can be used as a fully-fledged MS Office suite alternative. We will be listing some installable software packages and also some web-based or internet browser-based online Office solutions.
- While looking for an Office suite keep in mind what are your needs. As per my experience, most of the users do need the Word Processing app, Spreadsheet app, and Presentation application for their office needs. There are very few people who do need a database application or email organizer application for their purposes. So, if you do not need these extra options then choosing for a simple Office suite solution is better for you.
- Remember most of the MS Office users around the world do not even use 50% of its applications, as they do not need to use those. So do not waste your money.
- If you are worried about functionality, more option flexibility or productivity then let me assure you that countless organizations to provide their employees with these below listed Office solutions for their daily jobs. So. there is almost no lack in your productivity.
Best Microsoft Office alternatives for Windows, Linux or macOS
LibreOffice opensource Ms-office alternative
Best free and open-source alternative to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
If you have never used or seen LibreOffice before and have paid for MS Office subscription you are about to morn after the first time using it. It is not only good but it is one of the best Microsoft Office alternatives in the open source category when it comes to ranking as an Office suite solution. After the first time using it, like me you will also wonder why you are not using it from long ago, or why you ever paid for MS office solution. You will have full MS Office compatibility for file formats, and you will find all the packages of MS office like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. with all the latest menu functions and options.
- This office suite comes with a bunch of six applications, Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, and Base.
- The Writer is for word processing, like MS Word
- The Calc is for Spreadsheet calculation, like MS Excel
- Impress is the substitute for MS PowerPoint
- While Draw is for Vector diagram and other drawing purposes
- Math is for all kind of mathematical functions and formulas
- The Base is for Database oriented application like MS Access
- In most of the free alternatives of MS Office, you will find the first three options or similar applications to be the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint substitutes. But, the latter three are special and unique with LibreOffice for sure. Especially the Base which is the MS Access substitute is really uncommon in other open source or free Office application bundles.
- LibreOffice is not just a free option but also it is an Open source project like Linux, which has been developed and is being maintained by a huge no of enthusiast IT pros. In the near future, there is the time coming for Open Source software where all kind of software will have their open-source free counterpart. So, having a taste of this kind of good quality Open source software is a pretty good idea.
- Any organization or any person can use LibreOffice without any subscription for free.
- The community behind LibreOffice is maintaining the package for stability as well as working hard to add new functions to the applications which makes it quite hard opponent for commercial applications like MS Office.
- The LibreOffice is designed on the same platform as of Apache OpenOffice, so most of the functions are similar in these applications. We will be discussing the Apache open Office later in this article but we are putting LibreOffice before the Apache OpenOffice as it has a modern interface and much more frequent updates. In LibreOffice, you will also find many customization options regarding the basic user interface also, which kind of options are very limited with MS Office.
- There is also a separate document viewer such as Acrobat Reader is also available from LibreOffice, which also has an Android edition. The editing option on the Android edition is still in experimental mode.
- LibreOffice is available for MS Windows, Apple Mac, and many Linux distros. It does not have a complete office solution package Android edition. It is also available for Solaris, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, etc.
- Full MS Office compatibility with all kinds of document formats.
- Open Source and Free to use
- Comes with Geometrical Drawing application, Database application, etc.
- No Hidden cost or advertisements included
- Frequent updates
- Ease of use
- Supports most of the OS
- Almost all the functions and options of MS Office are included so existing MS Office users will find it easy to master in no time.
- Extra templates for customization have to downloaded separately and also have to configure manually.
Apache OpenOffice (Also Open365)
An opensource alternative to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
This one is a free and open-source Microsoft Office alternative is a complete Office suite that satisfies all your office utility needs for free. It is a successor project of OpenOffice.org and also a successor of the IBM Lotus Symphony. By looks and UI design, it is very close to LibreOffice. Just like LibreOffice OpenOffice also contains a word processor called Writer, a spreadsheet utility called Calc, a presentation app called Impress, a drawing tool called Draw, a mathematical formula editor called Math, and a database management utility app called Base.
- It saves the file in the .ODF format which is an ISO.IEC format, recognized by almost all the Office applications out there. It can read and edit most of the document formats out there.
- It comes with different versions for Linux, MS Windows, and macOS.
- This application is free of cost, easy to use, and configure.
- This application does not have any Cloud server backup support.
- OpenOffice cannot save any Microsoft’s post-2007 XML formats but can import and convert them.
- Though it is a free project you will not face any problem related to bugs or lags.
- Very minimal hardware support is required to run this application suite which makes it a good choice for low end pcs or older systems.
- You will also receive occasional updates from the developers.
- Though a survey declares that the no of downloads is decreasing day by day for this application, that may due to the lack of Mobile or Android support, if you are looking for an alternative Office suite for pc this is something which you must try.
- Many of the Fonts, templates, and all needed to be downloaded separately after installing the application.
- A complete freeware
- A stable release
- Good for old and low-end pcs
- Easy to use, user-friendly
- Supports most of the format available around the world.
- No advertisements.
- Supports Linux, MS Windows, macOS
- Cannot read post-2000 Microsoft’s XML formats
- No cloud server support
- No Mobile version or Android or iOS support
- If you like this application then you must know that this application also has a co-lab version called Open365 which is actually more than an Office suite. Open365 is developed using the same platform of OpenOffice.org to create a virtual, cloud-based, open-source desktop environment.
- This application (Open365) is completely web-based and cloud-based.
- It also comes with a PDF Viewer, Photoshop equivalent application called GIMP, Linux based email organizer Kontact, and a cloud storage facility called Seafile.
- As it is an OpenOffice.org co-lab program it also offers the same utilities of Apache OpenOffice, but as it is completely a web-based solution, it puts much heavy pressure on the system. So, old hardware or low-end pcs may face lags while running this system.
WPS Office- Free MS-office alternative
Perfect free alternative to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
This application suite is quite old in the market. Though it has the latest release in December 2018, which is considered to be a stable release. This application is really a beast when it comes to compactness as well as utilities. It only does offer application alternatives for MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint but WPS Office consists of almost all the options and functions which MS Office offers you.
- It has an excellent file format support. The formats available are supported by other OS too, which enables you seamless sharing of files. You can also access files from any other OS too very easily.
- It has a built-in PDF application, which comes with the WPS Office suite. The performance is also good for this application.
- Though WPS does not come with a Database application like MS Access. That brings certain limitations.
- This application got some advertisements within it. However, it will not disturb the user by pooping in the middle of the screen, so no need to worried about ads.
- It has separate versions for MS Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- This application is completely free to use and there are no hidden costs or microtransaction after the installation. Though in the latest release they also have released a version which is a commercial and paid version. But I ensure you that the freeware is enough if you are looking for an MS Office alternative for free
- Completely free of cost
- Compact and filled with all the latest functions of latest MS Office package
- Built-in PDF Viewer
- Multiple OS support
- Support almost all the document formats
- Contains occasional advertisements
- Does not come with a Database utility
Google Docs, Slides, Sheets
Best online free Microsoft office word, excel, forms and PowerPoint alternative
If you use multiple types of platform or your job requires you to work on different pcs running different OS every day, then Google Docs, Slides and Sheets may be the best choice for your, for the sake of compatibility.
- If you are an avid user of Android devices then you must have used these applications. These applications come in the form of a mobile app for Android and Apple devices. Also, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides run with any Internet browser firmly. While using an Internet browser, no installation is required.
- Though because these apps are very much portable and compact, so you will not find all the functions in these as you would find in MS Office and LibreOffice. All the options and menu functions are organized logically, so you will have a clean and easy to use UI. There is a unique feature of auto-saving and auto-syncing which makes sure you never lose any data, and no need to create an extra backup copy for an emergency. All the data is saved automatically in the cloud server.
- The applications are partially free for all the users up to a certain amount of access limit. If you wish to use it Beyond the free access then you have to pay as per their plans. Remember the utility of the apps remains almost the same for the paid and non-paid versions. Along with the paid versions, you get some extra features like Document-format Converter Tool, and you will get more access to the cloud server storage according to your plan.
- The plans are £3.30/month for a Basic package which comes with Professional Office Suite version and 30GB Cloud storage. In the Business package, you have to pay £6.60/month and you will get the Enhanced Office Suite and Unlimited Cloud storage and also Cloud archiving facility.
- In the paid packages you will also get Business Email facility of Gmail, Video, and Voice conferencing, Secure team messaging, Shared calendar, etc.
- Cross-platform support
- By default, Google Drive integration
- The flexibility of using Mobile application
- Easy to use, Clean and stylish UI
- Auto-Save, Auto-Sync facility
- Cloud Server integration
- Shared calendar integration
- The free version is also advertisement free
- Partially free, the paid package is free for 14days of trial
- Opening older files may be tricky sometimes
- The file conversion tool is not up to the mark
- Lack of some conventional functions in the applications (like Pivot table)
Microsoft Office alternatives for Linux, Windows, or macOS Conclusion:
If you are looking for a free alternative for Microsoft Office utility then these are the best in class. If you are not willing to buy any commercial Office package like MS Office or you are not able to buy it then you can go for these above-listed applications. Do not think of these applications as a downgraded application as the matter of fact is these applications are the cut above in the industry. So, do not choose to do piracy of the commercial application, instead, choose the official freeware applications for the better result without breaking the law.
While these applications are free, you can try more than one to find out which you like the most, and then choose one to settle with. No matter what type of needs you do have, you may have a need for personal computing, or office related works, educational or research-related works or maybe you are about to open a new business, these above-said applications got you covered for free of cost.
Other Useful Alternatives: