All of us need to do some office work every once in a while. With a computer, that is as simple as opening a program and starting your work, or is it? Once upon a time, Microsoft provided us with the only viable and good office suite, abruptly called Microsoft Office. It was available for purchase and featured many programs such as an advanced text editor, called Microsoft Word, a presentation tool called PowerPoint, a database editor called Access, a spreadsheet editor called Excel, and many, many more. Since this software is not free, people have started to look for alternatives, especially since today, there are so many of them.
If you are in need of a functional and free office suite, here are the best choices.
LibreOffice is maintained and developed by The Document Foundation. They have made this software suite, available on Windows, Linux, macOS and Android, the best free choice for an office suite. It has everything you need to edit all sorts of documents, from textual ones to databases, and then some. It is fully compatible with Microsoft’s files and extensions so you can migrate your work to this suite whenever you want.
It also supports extensions, meaning that whatever it is that you are lacking, you can surely find online and add it to the suite. Likewise, it is open source, so if you are a programmer, you might want to chip in and add your own two cents.
Google – Sheets, Docs, Slides, Forms
Given how everyone has an internet connection, Google decided to turn it into a smart business decision. Offering everyone a free office suite they can access from anywhere and any device is simply genius. You do not store any of the files locally unless you download them, therefore, provided that you have internet access, you can use them at any time. This is very smart and very handy for people who are constantly moving and are frequently online. Having your files stored online is also great, if your laptop happens to take damage, for instance. The suite has a free and business version, the latter not being free, of course. It is tricky when it comes to fonts, as it loads fonts from its own database, meaning some of your local fonts might not be read or translated correctly.
Microsoft Office Online
If Google can do it, so can Microsoft, especially if you like the looks and feels of their own Office suite. Microsoft made their own watered down version of Office, available online, for free. Watered down is the right term, as it doesn’t have all the features of the paid version, not to mention all the tools. But, compared to Google, it has the same features, with some added extras, such as no file conversion and ease of use when it comes to sharing files on your OneDrive. You can also download this on Android and iOS, just like with Google’s version.
WPS Office Free
Now, we come into the territory of office suites which come with advertisements. While this is negligible and doesn’t interfere with your work, they still exist. The suite is available for Windows and Linux users, as well as Android users. Users of Apple systems will have to find another solution.
WPS Office Free has three main applications for text, spreadsheets and presentations, but it comes with seamless file extension support.
These are the best free alternatives for Microsoft Office. Some of them you need to download, some are available online. Whichever you choose from, should cover your basic office needs, while some might even take care of the more advanced ones.