Are you searching for a free Microsoft Office alternative for Mac? Check out these excellent substitutes you can use at no cost.
It’s easy enough to leave Windows behind. Just buy a Mac, take a few days to set it up, and never look back. But for Microsoft Office users, the desire to buy back Office for Mac can be a problem.
If you operate in a traditional office environment that works in Excel and Word, you might have to bite the bullet. But if you’ve gotten through this world and still need to edit and send Office documents now and then, you have other options.
If you’re not ready to purchase Microsoft Office, here are your best free Microsoft Office alternative for Mac.
Table of Contents
- Google Suite
- iWork Suite
- Office Online
- Edit Office Documents in Dropbox
- Ditch PowerPoint for Better Online Tools
- Embrace Markdown
If you plan to move into Microsoft’s world, it is best to join the Google Alliance. Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Slides are three options for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Outlook has no other alternative than Gmail, and you can get OneNote on Mac for free.
The Google package is perfect and integrates well with your Google account. At the pressure of a button, you’ll be able to open the Excel file you received via Gmail in Google Spreadsheets.
You can easily import Microsoft Office files for work and then export them to Microsoft Office distribution formats. And if what you’re doing is basic enough, you can get by with standard fonts and formatting. The other party will never know that you are not using Microsoft Office properly.
In a way, Google Docs is more powerful than Microsoft Word. There is a massive gallery of add-ons, great templates, built-in cutting edge search tools, and Google’s search capabilities for starters.
Also, there is the benefit of Google’s competence in the cloud. Collaborating with several users simultaneously on a document is a pleasure. This is a small advantage, but it works wonders for productivity.
The whole package is free, and you get 15GB of storage. The sole problem is that none of them has the right desktop app (although you can work offline on Chrome documents, using offline mode). The companion apps for the iPad and iPhone are also great.
LibreOffice is widely recognized as the best open-source alternative to the Microsoft Office suite. This means that it is entirely free and available on a large number of platforms. It is the best Microsoft Office alternative for Mac.
If you are used to the Microsoft Office user interface (before the ribbon era), you won’t need a lot of experience to adapt to LibreOffice. Unlike Google Apps, LibreOffice Suite comes with great offline computing apps with all the professional features you expect.
To make work even more enjoyable, LibreOffice recently added an inline component. So you can sync files from OneDrive or Google Drive and edit them directly in LibreOffice (although there is no collaboration feature).
LibreOffice also does its job well when it comes to formatting while importing Microsoft Office documents. Furthermore, complex Excel spreadsheets imported into LibreOffice Calc work as they should.
LibreOffice originated from OpenOffice, which was a de facto alternative to Microsoft Office. But OpenOffice hasn’t seen any significant updates lately, and its management is considering withdrawing the project. That is why we urge that you stay away from OpenOffice.
In contrast, LibreOffice’s results so far have been excellent.
Download: LibreOffice (Free)
iWork Suite is included with your Mac: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. These are Apple’s alternatives to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. For example, pages are the best alternative to Word for Mac.
Since these are Mac oriented applications, the user interface is entirely different. Instead of being very difficult, the options are displayed in the context menu on the side. And it doesn’t have as numerous features as the Microsoft Office suite. Since all three apps are now mature, all the bases are covered.
Once you get used to them, it is amusing to use them (which we can’t necessarily say about Microsoft Office). While the customization options are limited, everything that is available is quite stylish.
When you give a presentation in Keynote, you’ll probably end up creating something beautiful. The same goes for pages – scrolling through text, images, and graphics is a seamless experience that makes you want not to tear your hair out.
iWork Suite allows you to import and export Microsoft Office documents (although they are saved in the iWork format by default). And even if you’re not using a Mac-specific font, sharing Office documents shouldn’t be a big deal.
iWork also has networking capabilities, but honestly, I wouldn’t recommend using them. They are not as reliable as Google’s offer.
When all else fails, open Office.com. It gives you access to free Office for Mac. Office Online is a free, basic Microsoft Office service that runs in any browser.
Although the feature set is restricted, the basics of editing documents, worksheet formulas, and presentation features are covered. You will have access to OneNote, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
Visit: Office Online
Edit Office Documents in Dropbox
A Dropbox partnership with Microsoft means you can open an Excel, Word, or PowerPoint document shared with you on Dropbox. You don’t necessitate an Office 365 license, but you will need a free Microsoft account. Using this option opens a document in Office Online.
Ditch PowerPoint for Better Online Tools
PowerPoint is powerful, but it’s also quite old. If you want to be unique with your presentations, try more modern tools for online presentations:
- Slides: This is my favourite for quickly creating beautiful presentations. A free account allows you to create and send documents online. To export, you will need to switch to a paid account.
- Prezi: While this service is more startup-focused, Prezi’s visual tools go beyond anything you can get with PowerPoint.
- Canva: is an online image editor; however, it has a massive library of presentation templates. Plus, Canva gives you all the essential tools to create a personalized presentation.
Here is an idea purely off the field. If you’ve ditched Windows and embraced the Mac platform, you’ve probably already started to appreciate the simplicity of macOS. If you want more than that for creating and editing plain text documents, try using Markdown.
Markup is a syntax like HTML, but much more straightforward. When using the Markdown app to write, don’t get lost in the dozens of menu options. All formatting is done using shortcodes.
For example, to mark a word in italics, surround it with asterisks. You can create a complex format document without lifting your fingers from the keyboard. Additionally, Markdown exports to pure HTML and you can generate stunning PDFs using apps like Ulysses.
If needed, use Microsoft Office for free.
Buying the latest Microsoft Office version will cost you several hundred dollars (or Office 365 subscription). Most of the time, the options above will be enough for you. Google Docs works as an exceptional alternative to Word, and so do Sheets and Excel.
If you are looking for offline Microsoft Office alternative for Mac, LibreOffice should be more than enough. But sometimes you have to use Office for a specific task or a limited period.
There are various ways to do this without paying, including using Office Online or some mobile apps. In our guide, we’ve outlined all of your options for using Microsoft Office for free, as well as getting a cheap Office license.