5 Best Free Alternatives To MS Office

MS Office is probably the most famous application suite in the world. Its handy applications such as MS Word, MS PowerPoint and MS Excel are the most commonly used software for creating presentations, spreadsheets and to compose official documents. While Microsoft Office is extremely productive, it does come with a heavy price tag. Furthermore, Microsoft Office is not compatible with many operating systems and if you are a Linux user, then you might find it a bit difficult to work with MS Office files. In this post we will explore the best free alternatives for MS office.

1. OpenOffice

OpenOffice is quite widely used by Linux users and has applications that serve as good clones of Microsoft Office apps. With open office you can create spreadsheets, presentations, compose documents and perform a wide range of functions that are usually performed using Office apps. Another good thing about OpenOffice is that it is a cross-platform application suite and therefore you can run it on a number of operating systems, including the ones mentioned below:

  • Windows
  • Mac OS X
  • Linux
  • NetBSD
  • FreeBSD
  • IRIX

Download OpenOffice


2. Libre Office

If you have ever used a Gnome based Linux operating system such as Ubuntu, then you must have used Libre Office. It is used as the default office application for many Linux distributions and even if it does not come by default, it is one of the first options for Linux users. Libre Office is quite similar in functionality to Open Office (in fact, it is the community clone of OpenOffice) and offers many clones of MS Office applications. Libre Office works on the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • Mac OS X
  • Linux

Download Libre Office


3. SoftMaker Free Office

SoftMaker is another free alternative to the MS Office suite and offers all basic applications that can help you create presentations, spreadsheets and generic documents. It also comes with a spell checking dictionary in English and German. You can download additional dictionaries from other languages as well to suit your needs. SoftMaker Free Office is fully capable of creating spreadsheets compatible with Excel, documents compatible with Microsoft Word, as well as PowerPoint compatible presentations. This application suite works with Windows based operating systems, including:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8

Download SoftMaker Free office

SoftMaker Free Office

4. IBM Lotus Symphony

If you are looking for an application suite that can cover basic functionality of Word, Excel and PowerPoint and also provide support for multiple platforms, then you might find IBM Lotus Symphony to be useful. It serves as a good replacement for MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, while providing the utility to avoid incompatibility issues across various operating system platforms. Furthermore, it offers numerous useful tools such as spell checker, calculator, graphics and more. IBM Lotus Symphony works on the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • Mac OS X
  • Linux

Download IBM Lotus Symphony


5. Google Drive (formerly Google Docs)

When it comes to uploading, creating and editing Office files via the cloud, Google Drive comes to mind. Formerly known as Google Docs, Google Drive is one of the most famous services used for creating and editing Microsoft Office compatible documents. Google Drive can not only be accessed online via a browser but also has desktop applications for a variety of operating systems. While Microsoft has its own cloud service similar to Google Drive, known as Office 365, many people preferĀ  Google Drive as it is free to use. You can find out more from our Comprehensive Review of Google Drive.

Google Drive

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