Top 9 Free Microsoft Office Alternatives in 2021

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Microsoft Office once ruled the world of productivity packages and programs. However, the subscription model and high price tag of Office 2019 have spawned many options that don’t fall under Microsoft’s flags.

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The best Microsoft Office alternatives give users the freedom to create and modify; many are even compatible with files created in Word, Excel, and other Microsoft programs. If you’re loyal to a Microsoft product, also try Office web apps, which mimic many of your browser’s basic Office features for free.

Beyond that, there are viable Microsoft Office alternatives available for Windows and macOS, whether you’re looking for a quick way to spell your copy in your resume or create complex formulas before a big company presentation. Here are some of our favourites.

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LibreOffice: Open-Source Desktop Apps

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As the best free software, LibreOffice is an open-source project of The Document Foundation that was initially part of another Microsoft Office alternatives, OpenOffice.

You can download LibreOffice free for personal use on Windows, Linux, and Mac. Just keep in thought that as an open-source app, LibreOffice does not provide its support or help.

Large organizations wishing to use this alternative may want to seek professional support from approved third parties before committing to LibreOffice at the enterprise level. While businesses can conserve money by paying for reliable solutions, many governments worldwide turn to LibreOffice to avoid costly trade deals with Microsoft.

LibreOffice Writer, Impress, Calc are the main offerings in correlation with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

These tools are also available online through online versions called LibreOffice Online. As mentioned above, these tools are primarily for personal use, although businesses can use them with the right medium.

LibreOffice also offers open-source programs for image editing (drawing), formulas (mathematics), and database administration (database). You can start by downloading the LibreOffice package for free from its website.

Google Drive: Web-Based Work Apps From Google

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Google Drive is among the most well-known free Microsoft Office alternatives, as it comes from one of Microsoft’s biggest competitors.

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Google offers entirely free service and support for a wide range of applications that match Microsoft Office applications. Simple and popular apps like Google Docs, slides, spreadsheets, and drawings are available for free.

All of these applications make use of Google’s cloud storage service, Google Drive. In addition to these essential G Suite apps, Google offers apps like Forms and Classrooms that can meet specific needs like teachers’ needs. Many third-party tools like Zoho, LucidChart, Slack, and others provide native integration with many Google apps.

Having your own fully cloud-based productivity package provides additional security as it’s harder to lose track of files. While businesses may have to give Google a decent amount of enterprise-level support, Google’s Productivity Package is a great free option for any personal business.

Get started now by creating a free Google Account. If you want to update your apps or use them professionally, you can explore Google’s G Suite service, which offers more storage space, features, and support.

iWork: Not Just for Mac Users Anymore

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If you own a Mac, you may already be familiar with Apple’s productivity package, iWork. It offers alternatives for the primary Microsoft Office programs: Pages (Word), Numbers (Excel) and Keynote (PowerPoint).

While these apps were previously exclusive to the Mac, now anyone can access them for free through iCloud and iPad and iPhone.

If you are more familiar with Microsoft Office, there may be a learning curve. Nevertheless, frequent Mac users may find the interface more similar to other Apple apps. To begin, go to the iCloud website with any browser and sign up for a free account.

Unlike other free Microsoft Office alternatives that attempt to emulate the experience, iWork won’t be immediately familiar to you if you’re using the Microsoft Productivity Suite. iWork uses iCloud to share documents securely. Finally, all Microsoft file types are also compatible with iWork.

WPS Office: Familiar Interfaces Across All Platforms

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One of the most newly developed free productivity packages competing with Microsoft Office, WPS Office comes from Chinese developer Kingsoft.

It offers software that will be instantly familiar to most Microsoft Office users. WPS stands for Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets, which are the names of the package’s main offerings. The package is fully compatible with all Microsoft programs, file types, and even some extensions.

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WPS Office also offers free versions of its desktop and mobile applications. While not all apps are available on all platforms, the top WPS apps are available on Windows, Linux, Android, and modern Apple devices.

You will find ads when using WPS, but they rarely interfere with productivity. Its features are compatible with a secure cloud with a transfer limit of 200MB and 1GB of free space and available web applications and easy-to-use PDF tools.

FreeOffice: Versatile Productivity Across Most Devices

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Whether you use Windows, Mac, or Linux, SoftMaker’s FreeOffice is precisely what the name suggests – a free alternative to Office.

Its appearance will be immediately familiar to Microsoft Office users, especially with its ability to switch between modern and classic layouts useful to new and old alike. These easily configurable designs include a touch mode for easy use on tablets and mobile devices.

FreeOffice is wholly compatible with Microsoft Office files and has the same tools you would expect from a modern productivity package.

SoftMaker provides TextMaker (Word), Presentations (PowerPoint), and PlanMaker (Excel), as well as a scripting language and programming environment for developers called BasicMaker.

There are also premium variants of these apps, with more features like scripting support, and file management, for a one-time cost of $79.95 or a subscription service that starts at just $2.99 per month. This is an add-on for full productivity apps for Android.

Microsoft Office Online: Less Features, But No Cost

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If none of these options meets your unique needs, or if you want or need to stay with Microsoft products, the basic versions of the ubiquitous productivity apps are available for free through any web browser.

You can sign up for a free Microsoft account from any desktop or mobile device and start using slightly limited Word, Excel, and PowerPoint versions. You can start by browsing any browser on Office.com and signing in or signing up for a free Microsoft account.

There are countless other productivity apps out there, but these top six are the best of the best for being fast, reliable, and most importantly, getting the job done for free.

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Zoho Docs

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Zoho Docs is another online office suite with a presentation program, word processor, and spreadsheet, similar to Microsoft Office.

Transfer various popular file types to Zoho Docs from your computer or Google Drive and create new ones online. There is a huge file size limit for downloads, and downloads can be saved in more unique Microsoft formats such as XLSX.

Once the files are stored in your account, you can edit, share, and download them. All standard text formatting tools are included, and files are automatically saved as you work.

ONLYOFFICE Personal

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Like other free alternatives to Microsoft Office, ONLYOFFICE Personal is an online program suite, which means you can use them from any web browser without downloading a single program. Sign in via your Google Account or create a new one and create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Files can be transferred from a computer and some cloud storage services, such as Dropbox, Yandex Disk, OneDrive, etc.

Sharing, chatting, spelling and sharing with anyone, even if they are not logged into your ONLYOFFICE account, is also supported in this free MS Office-style program.

SSuite Office

SSuite Office offers several alternatives to MS Office, each with a different set of features and each one is free. The main version, called Excalibur, includes a word processing program and a spreadsheet.

Instead of downloading the entire free alternative Microsoft Office suite, you can get a word processing program, for example, or just a spreadsheet.

There is also a portable version called Blade Runner on the download page. There are also a handful of web apps available, including WordGraph Editor, but it’s nowhere near as comprehensive as other Word network alternatives.

Have you been searching for Microsoft Office alternatives before now? We are glad you found us. Please tell us in the comments your review on any of them you tested after now, cheers.

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Fadehan Emmanuel
Moore is an Associate?Editor of TheXplorion. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story ? or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: mooreplug[at]gmail.com. You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.
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