When doing office work for both personal and work use, we resort to office suites that contain all kinds of programs for proper office use. These programs typically include spreadsheets, word processors, email, and databases. In general, the most popular and used package is Microsoft Office, but we can also find other equally valid alternatives, both paid and free.
Microsoft Office, the most popular office suite
Microsoft Office is the most popular and used office suite, owned by Microsoft. It has a very complete application package to work with an office use or for a private or academic use. It has fundamental applications such as:
- Word : it is your word processor that has its own format (DOC) that has become an industry standard. With it, we can create and modify texts to share or print them later.
- Excel : it is a spreadsheet tool with which we can carry out all kinds of mathematical and logical formulas, edit all kinds of graphs, and perform accounting and financial tasks.
- PowerPoint : it is a slide show program with multimedia support compatible with all kinds of elements of image, sound, text and video. This application is widely used in different fields of education and business, among others.
- Outlook : is the Microsoft email manager through which it is possible to send all kinds of emails with texts and attachments. It allows you to send files of up to 300 MB and manage multiple accounts at the same time, being able to divide into several mailboxes. It also incorporates other utilities such as calendar, tasks, notes and web search.
- Access : is a database manager adapted to collect data from other applications such as Excel or SharePoint, among others. This tool allows you to collect all kinds of information related to a matter or purpose such as tracking customer orders or maintaining and updating a movie collection, etc.
- OneNote : is a notes application that will allow us to collect all kinds of information, as well as add drawings, photos and multimedia elements such as images, audio or video. It also allows us to create a virtual printer, so that we can send all kinds of files or documents from other programs.
- Publisher : is an application created to help us easily create, personalize and share a wide variety of publications and marketing material, including all kinds of installed templates, as well as downloadable from their website.
Free alternatives to Microsoft Office
It is true that Microsoft Office is a very careful and complete suite , but, for many it has a great drawback, and that is that it is paid. So, if we need to use tools such as a word processor or a spreadsheet, we can choose some of the free alternatives that we can find from Microsoft Office.
OnlyOffice is a free , open source, cross-platform office suite , so it can be used on Windows, Mac OS or Linux. It is also compatible with mobile devices with Android and iOS. The package includes a text editor (Document), a spreadsheet editor (Spreadsheet) and a presentation editor (Presentation). All these applications offer compatibility with the Office Open XML formats , so we can easily open and use any Word, Excel or Powerpoint file. Both OnlyOffice download and updates are completely free, making it a great alternative to Microsoft’s Office suite without going through the checkout.
LibreOffice is a powerful free and open source office suite , with enough tools to be able to develop and unleash both our creativity and our productivity. It incorporates very useful applications such as a word processor (Writer), a spreadsheet (Calc), a presentation editor (Impress), as well as a drawing application (Draw), a database application (Base), as well as a mathematical formula editing tool (Math). This suite supports Microsoft’s Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher formats. LibreOffice also has numerous extensions with more features and document templates that can also be downloaded for free.
SoftMaker FreeOffice is a free computing suite for both home and business use, making it one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Office. This suite consists of a word processor (TextMaker), a spreadsheet (PlanMaker) as well as a tool for making presentations (Presentations). All of these applications are compatible with their equivalent Microsoft Office applications. In this way, we can open and save documents in format such as DOCX, XLSX and PPTX, being able to be shared without having to export them first.
SoftMaker FreeOffice is cross-platform so we can use it on computers such as Windows, Linux or Mac OS. If we want to use it, we can download it for free from its website .
WPS Office is an office suite that offers wide system compatibility since it can be used both on Windows, Mac OS and Linux computers, and on Android and iOS mobiles. It includes a package of tools formed by a word processor (Writer), an application for making spreadsheets (Spreadsheet) and a presentation editor (Presentation). It also has the possibility to open and edit PDF and even store data in your cloud (WPS Cloud), where we will have 1 GB of space. In addition, it has full compatibility with the standards and formats used by Microsoft Office, making WPS Office a great alternative to use.
If you want to start using WPS Office you can download it directly from this link for your preferred platform. It also has a paid Business version for professionals that is priced at $ 79.95.
Zoho Office is a complete cloud-based office suite, developed for both personal and commercial use. In its package, it has a word processor (Zoho Writer), a professional spreadsheet application (Zoho Sheet), a tool for making presentations (Zoho Show), as well as a useful notes application (Zoho Notebook). It also gives us the possibility to store up to 5 GB of free space to store all our documents in the cloud. To round off its features, Zoho Office offers full compatibility with original Microsoft Office files.
Using the Zoho Office suite is completely free and we can download it from its website . Additionally, it has payment options from 4 euros per month that also have a free trial version.
Apache OpenOffice is a well-known free and open source office suite, being one of the longest-running alternatives to Microsoft Office. Among its tools it has a word processor (Writer), an application to perform spreadsheets (Calc), a presentation editor (Impress), a drawing and graphics application (Draw), a database (Base) and a mathematical formula editing tool (Math). It also allows us to read and write files produced by other office software packages such as those used with Microsoft Office Suite (.doc, .ppt, .xls and others).
Apache OpenOffice is available in multiple languages and works on the most common operating systems like Windows, Mac OS and Linux. It can be downloaded and used free of charge for any purpose whether domestic or commercial.
Polaris Office is a suite of office tools that can be positioned as a clear free alternative to Microsoft Office. Your package consists of a text editor, spreadsheet, and database as the main tools. Supports compatibility with Microsoft Word (doc, docx), Excel (xls, xlsx), PowerPoint (ppt, pptx, ppsx), Adobe PDF and TXT file formats. In addition, it integrates compatibility with cloud storage services (Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive, etc.), as well as access to email attachments and file manager.
Polaris Office has a free version, compatible with Windows and Mac OS computers and mobiles with Android and iOS operating systems. Additionally, it has a paid version that we can acquire its license for $ 79.99.
Google Docs is an online office suite that has a powerful word processor and an application to perform spreadsheets, as well as a presentation editor. This tool performs all its functions online , so we only need to have a browser to be able to use it. With these tools we can create and edit documents to share them on the network with other users. It has great compatibility with Word, Excel, PDF documents … being able to save them in the same format or in different ones.
Google Docs is a completely free tool that you only need to have a Google Gmail email account to use.
OfficeSuite is a fairly complete suite of office tools. It has a word processor (Documents), an application to create spreadsheets (Sheets), a presentation editor (Slides), an email manager (Mail) and a PDF editor and reader (PDF Extra). This suite supports most Office compatible formats as well as other open source formats. It also has its own cloud, which offers us 5 GB of free space to store documents. In addition, it supports the possibility of uploading our files to other clouds (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.).
OfficeSuite has a free version, which is compatible with the Windows operating system on computers and Android and iOS mobiles, which we can download from this link . Additionally, it has more complete payment options for one user (29.99 euros per year), for five users (49.99 euros per year) and a professional edition whose license has a single cost of 99.99 euros.
Paid alternatives to Microsoft Office
If money is not a problem when acquiring a license for an office suite, you can find some payment alternatives to Microsoft Office that are worth considering.
WordPerfect Office X9 is a complete suite of professional office automation owned by Corel, one of the most important software companies in the world. This tool has applications such as a complete word processor (WordPerfect), a spreadsheet (Quattro Pro) and an application to create and edit presentations (Presentations). All of them offer compatibility with their namesakes of Microsoft Office, in addition to other 60 different formats so that we do not have any problem. We can also create, edit and share files in PDF format. Plus, it includes additional tools like over 900 fonts, over 10,000 clip art, over 300 templates, and over 175 digital photos.
WordPerfect Office X9 has a retail price of $ 219.99. We can also download a free trial version from their website .
Ashampoo Office 2018 is a pack of office applications that can be very valid as alternatives to the famous Microsoft Office tools. This suite consists of three tools such as a word processor (TextMaker), a spreadsheet application (PlanMaker) and a presentation editor (Presentations) equivalent to Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the Microsoft suite, with which they are fully compatible . It also has an extensive library of images, models and formats with which to generate any document.
The Ashampoo Office 2018 suite is reasonably priced, at just 21 euros, and can be used on up to 5 devices . In addition, it is possible to install it on a USB flash drive to be able to take it wherever we want. We can also download a free trial from their website.
ThinkFree Office is a suite of online and desktop multiplatform office tools. It includes a word processor (ThinkFree Office), a spreadsheet application (ThinkFree Calc), a presentation creation application (ThinkFree Show), as well as an editor in html format (html document). With these tools they offer compatibility with Microsoft Office’s own formats such as DOC, XLS and PPT, so we can open, edit and save in these formats without any problem. We will also have 1 GB of storage space, so we can access them from anywhere.
ThinkFree is compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux computers, as well as Android and iOs mobile devices. We can purchase your license from $ 49.99. If we want to try it first, we can download a 2-month free trial version from its website .