Top 5 free desktop alternatives to Microsoft Office

Computers & TechnologyTechnology

  • Author Sergey Zarubin
  • Published February 17, 2021
  • Word count 768

If you are looking for free desktop alternatives to Microsoft Office, which offer almost the same functionality, you have come to the right place. In this article, we have put together top 5 office suites which could replace Microsoft Office. All the options below are available free of charge and have all the necessary features that you might want to see in an office suite.

Let’s go through the list and find the best solution to meet your needs.

Ashampoo Office Free

Ashampoo Office Free combines three powerful and easy-to-use programs in one office suite. The integration of these three programs allows for fast and comfortable working with text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Ashampoo Office Free is highly compatible with Microsoft Office file formats and opens, edits and saves Word, Excel or PowerPoint files. This guarantees a seamless document exchange with Microsoft Office users. This office suite also runs from USB flash drives so that you can create and edit documents on the go.

However, Ashampoo Office Free is not the best option for those who don’t want to share their personal data on the web. To be able to use this office suite, you need to create an account to get a free activation key. Moreover, Ashampoo Office Free is available for Windows only and doesn’t support Linux and macOS.

FreeOffice

FreeOffice is an office suite combining three programs for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. It is seamlessly compatible with Microsoft Office formats and available for Windows, Mac and Linux. FreeOffice offers a completely revised user interface. You can work with either modern ribbons or classic menus and toolbars. This makes switching from the old user interface especially easy. Importantly, if you use a computer with a touchscreen, you can now switch to touch mode with larger icons and increased spacing between user-interface elements.

FreeOffice is fast and easy-to-use. However, some users might find its functionality insufficient. If you need to make use of such features as picture captions, bibliographies, charts, removal of duplicate rows in spreadsheets and presenter view in presentations, you will have to upgrade to a paid version.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is an open-source office suite which is available on all operating systems (Windows, Linux and macOS). It includes several applications that make it versatile: Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing). Compatible with a wide range of document formats, LibreOffice is famous for its native support for a modern and open standard, the Open Document Format (ODF). Apart from plenty of features available by default, LibreOffice is easily extensible through extensions.

Designed for working with the ODF format, LibreOffice is not perfect when dealing with Microsoft Office formats; especially when it comes to editing complex documents. What’s more, the program’s menus are outdated: some tools are buried within dialogues and sub-menus.

ONLYOFFICE

ONLYOFFICE offers a free desktop office suite for document editing and collaboration. It features three editors to create and edit text documents, spreadsheets and presentations on Windows, Linux and macOS. The suite guarantees high compatibility with Microsoft Office and allows users to work with multiple files within one window thanks to its tab-based interface. ONLYOFFICE allows for real-time document collaboration if the desktop app is connected to a cloud platform of your choice: ONLYOFFICE, Nextcloud or ownCloud. The functionality of the suite is extended with a set of third-party plugins (thesaurus, YouTube videos, etc.)

ONLYOFFICE’s native formats are OOXML formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx), so this office suite can’t boast complete compatibility with the Open Document Format (ODF).

WPS Office

WPS Office is a cross-platform office suite, which provides you with three applications for text documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and a powerful PDF tool. It is highly compatible with Microsoft Office formats and can be installed on Windows, Linux and macOS. What makes WPS Office great is that you can customize its interface to make it as comfortable as possible. Moreover, this office suite offers free customized templates to make it easier for you to work with different types of documents.

If you use the free version of WPS Office, the program displays ads that can be removed after updating to a paid version.

Conclusion

That was our list of top 5 free alternatives to Microsoft Office. We aimed to give you a brief overview of each office suite, highlighting their key features so that you can compare them yourself and choose the right solution for your needs. If you liked the alternatives, leave a comment below and let us know which one you prefer and why.

Tech enthusiast and contributor to the ONLYOFFICE open-source project: https://www.onlyoffice.com/

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