8 Fantastic Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office

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Microsoft Office has a fantastic range of office products including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Whilst I do find their products useful, it is difficult for me to justify paying a premium to use them. Firstly, because I only need to create invoices for clients every few months and I use spreadsheets sporadically. Secondly, because there are so many fantastic free alternatives to Microsoft Office out there that offer the same functionality.

In this article I would like to share with you eight of the best free alternatives to Microsoft Office. All of these products and services can be used free of charge.

1. Google Docs

Google Docs has proved to be incredibly popular since its release in 2006. I have been active user of the service since it launched.

The service includes Google Docs (word processor), Google Sheets (spreadsheet), Google Slides (presentations), and Google Forms (surveys, forms, quizzes, and more). Google Docs is quite limited in many ways, though it is easy to use and syncs beautifully between all your computers and devices.

Google Docs
Google’s web-based office solution transformed the way many worked online.

2. Microsoft Office Online

The best free alternative to Microsoft Office may actually be Microsoft Office. In response to the popularity of Google Docs, Microsoft launched an online version of Microsoft Office in 2010. The service is free to use and includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

As you would expect, Microsoft does not offer all the features that are included in the premium version of their products, though you may be surprised at what features and tools are available.

Microsoft Office Online
Microsoft Office Online uses the same interface as its premium equivalent.

3. WPS Office Free

The free version of WPS Office offers a word processor, spreadsheet application, and presentation app. It is available on Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.

WPS provide up to 1GB for PC and iOS users and have a large collection of templates to help you get started.

WPS Office Free
WPS Office has a user-friendly interface.

4. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is one of the most powerful free office suites available online. Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, it offers word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, vector graphics and flowcharts, databases, and formula editing.

It was originally developed as a fork of OpenOffice and since its launch in 2011 it has been downloaded hundreds of millions of times.

LibreOffice is available in 110 languages.

5. Apache OpenOffice

Released way back in 2002, OpenOffice is a popular free office suite that was later re-branded as Apache OpenOffice. It offers word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, illustrations and diagrams, databases, and mathematical equations. The office suite is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

If you are looking for a self-hosted office solution, LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice should be at the top of your list.

Many office applications were forked from OpenOffice.

6. Free Office

Free Office is a free office application that is available for Windows, Linux and Android. It includes a word processor, spreadsheet application, and presentation application.

It has great support for Microsoft file formats and a user-friendly interface.

Free Office
The mobile version of Free Office is quality.

7. Apple iWork

If you’re an Apple user, you should consider using iWork. It offers three applications: Pages (word processing), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Keynote (presentations).

Unlike many other free alternatives to Microsoft Office, iWork does not try to imitate Microsoft’s user interface. Instead, it has the same look and feel you would expect from an official Apple product.

Apple iWork
iWork is a good choice for Apple users.

8. Calligra Suite

Available on Windows, Linux, and Mac, Calligra Suite comes with a whopping seven different office applications.

The apps are the diagram application Calligra Flow, the visual database creator Kexi, the vector drawing application Karbon, the project management application Calligra Plan, the spreadsheet and calculation tool Calligra Sheets, the presentation application Calligra Stage, and the word processor Calligra Words.

Calligra Suite
Calligra Suite provides a lot of functionality.

Another Service to Consider

Whilst not a fully functional office suite, I also recommend checking out Dropbox Paper. It’s a cool free service from Dropbox that allows you to create documents collaboratively. You can integrate text, code snippets, images, and more.

Dropbox Paper
Dropbox Paper is a useful document collaboration tool.

Final Thoughts

I hope you have enjoyed this list of free Microsoft Office alternatives.

As you have seen, there are a lot of free office applications and hosted services that will allow you to be productive without spending a penny.

As a big Google user, I love how versatile Google Docs is, though I highly recommend trying Microsoft Office Online if you are used to the Microsoft Office user interface.

For fully functional office suites, I recommend trying LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice.

Good luck.


Featured image by Devanath from Pixabay

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