Even though there are many types of productivity software available out there, office suites are arguably the most commonly used. There usage might vary, but they are used almost everywhere. And when it comes to office suites, Microsoft Office is pretty much the gold standard.
Whether we talk about MS Office as a whole, or take its constituent applications (e.g. Word, PowerPoint and Excel), 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 who find its vast expanse of features a bit overkill. If that includes you, check out these really good Microsoft Office alternatives that you can use.
1. Apache OpenOffice
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 (e.g. ODT) as well. What’s more, its functionality can be enhanced by numerous extensions. It’s available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
Interestingly, LibreOffice is a fork (means it builds upon the existing code base) of Apache OpenOffice. 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.
3. WPS Office
For those looking at a lightweight yet functional MS Office alternative, WPS Office is just perfect. It just includes the three essential programs (word processor, spreadsheet application and presentation software) and is fully compatible with Microsoft Office‘s file formats. WPS Office comes with a nice collection of templates and fonts too. However, a downside is that saving a document in Microsoft Office formats requires an upgrade to the paid version.
4. Softmaker FreeOffice
Softmaker FreeOffice’s interface might look a little dated, but it’s still a very good program for those whose productivity needs are not that intensive. It supports all Microsoft Office formats and also has better XML compatibility. The free version works just fine, but those wanting more features can upgrade to a paid version. Oh, and Softmaker FreeOffice is also available on Android.
Another fork of Apache OpenOffice, 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 drop functions. But a major downer with NeoOffice is that it’s not compatible with MS Office file formats.