Microsoft is a huge, famous company that is first of all associated with excellent quality, success and innovations. This mogul offers OS and software that works based on this system. The tech support team works great and can help you out with any difficulties. The interfaces of the products offered are intuitive and the features are impressive. To cut a long story short, everything about Microsoft software is fantastic and top shelf, even the price. Microsoft Office is a suite that every computer needs – it contains programs to work with text (that is inevitable), spreadsheets, presentations and more. Microsoft Office is a must for any PC, but it requires a monthly fee or a one-time purchase. However, the rule of the Internet about software and online services tells us that if there are popular paid products, there should be free alternatives to it. Today we will speak about free Microsoft Office alternatives that are not any worse than its famous and pricey counterpart.
OpenOffice is one of the biggest and most valuable open source programs that is highly popular among users. Just like Microsoft Office, it has tools for quality work with text (Writer), spreadsheets (Calc), databases (Base) and presentations (Impress). Unlike Office, OpenOffice is a cross-platform utility: it works on Windows, MacOS and Linux. Writer supports a huge variety of formats to work with (unlike Word) including their own versions; Calc offers the same functions as Excel (their arrangement in the menu is slightly different). To top it all off, OpenOffice has a portable version which Microsoft Office doesn’t have.
The first drastic difference between LibreOffice and Microsoft Office is that the first one works on Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android. Since LibreOffice is an affiliate suite of OpenOffice, the titles of the tools of the pack are similar. LibreOffice (and OpenOffice) supports extension, extended settings while saving files to PDF, and importing of Adobe Photoshop images and vector graphics, which Microsoft Office doesn’t have. In general, if you compare detailed features of both these suites, LibreOffice offers much more than Microsoft Word.
Kingsoft Office Free
Kingsoft Office Free is a nice alternative to Microsoft Office with a modern looking interface. It includes only three tools – Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheets. However, for the majority of users these would be sufficient. Initially the company which developed this software released Kingsoft Office Pro and later on they offered a free version with limited functionality. The interface of Kingsoft Office Free is totally identical to the one of Microsoft Office, so Kingsoft suite is recommended for users who use Microsoft software on a regular basis but also want to save money. If we compare the interfaces of OpenOffice and LibreOffice with Kingsoft Office Free, the last one, of course, wins.
The installation of SoftMaker FreeOffice starts with entering your name, country and email. After that, you receive instructions via email on how to download SoftMaker FreeOffice and its license key. We thought the process was a little too long since you can download other office suites simply by clicking the button. After the installation you have PlanMaker (spreadsheets editor), SoftMakerPresentations, and TextMaker (text editor). SoftMaker’s suite also has a portable version. All in all it is a decent office pack that lets you proceed with all the text/spreadsheets/presentations you need and is capable of creating PDF files from any of the latter listed documents.
Zoho Docs is a nice, modern, intuitive, cross-platform (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS) office suite. Obviously, you can easily understand that we loved it a lot. Zoho Docs is different from the other four office suites we described before as it offers cloud storage and files synchronization. It offers such tools as Zoho Writer (text), Zoho Sheet (spreadsheets) and Zoho Show (presentations). Zoho for desktop is a super easy way to upload files to your cloud storage and edit them – all the changes with files in the folder are synchronized with the account. In addition to this, you can also connect your Zoho Docs account to your Google account. In general, Zoho Docs and Google Docs are pretty much alike interface-wise, but the features are slightly different. Zoho Docs offers up to 1GB of free space for free and 15 days trial for premium accounts. You can create files for group work, tasks (Review/Approve), create folders of files and add tags. So, if you are looking for something for general text, spreadsheet or presentation creation, want everything synchronized with cloud storage and don’t want to download anything – go with Zoho Docs.
We can recommend OpenOffice and LibreOffice if you are looking for a powerful office suite regardless of its interface, Kingsoft Office Free if intuitive interface is a must, Zoho Docs if you wish to work on multiple platforms and use cloud storage and SoftMaker FreeOffice if none of the above applies to you.