Looking for alternatives to Microsoft Office? The flagship software of the Redmond firm is the undisputed queen among the office suites. It is the most sold in the market and there is a broad consensus to qualify it as the most complete and highest quality of the productivity and collaboration IT solutions segment. This does not mean that there are no alternatives.
Become a de facto standard (not always with the best arts although that is part of another story), it is impossible not to meet her since it is available in multiple versions for use in companies and homes and for almost all platforms. Of course, the main one is the oldest one, for Windows, in addition to the one for macOS. It also has a web version and the latest to arrive, free mobile phones for Android and iOS, devastate downloads.
However, the true star of the Microsoft productivity suite is the Office 365 cloud version. It not only leads its segment but also professional cloud services and in a few years has achieved tens of millions of subscribers especially in companies, but also consumer users.
Disadvantages Microsoft Office
Not everything in the Microsoft suite is as positive as its software quality, the abundance of applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher …), the large number of functions of each of them and its perfect connection. There are other less prominent aspects such as:
- Office is developed under proprietary code.
- Although it can handle others, its preferred use is with the document formats of Microsoft itself.
- The versions that truly make a difference are paid.
- Office 365 is the future, but it requires being connected to the Internet.
- This is a problem for those who prefer to work with a suite installed locally. In fact, it is believed that Office 2019, limited to Windows 10, will be the last of its kind.
- Office 365 data collection is worrying. Much broader than Windows 10 telemetry, up to 25,000 types of Office event data are collected that can be accessed by at least 30 engineering teams, according to the official Dutch regulator.
- Microsoft will install (by force) Bing in Chrome for Office 365 users. It is not the first time that the company takes advantage of the adoption of the suite to boost its own services such as the search in arbitrary movements that occur without the user's consent .
- Not all users need so many applications or so many functions for basic office use.
Alternatives to Microsoft Office (free)
Surely the most popular among the alternatives to Microsoft Office, is the suite that Google offers free for the consumer market and personal use. It does not reach the number of applications and functions to MS Office, but its benefits they are more than enough for the office needs of the vast majority of users.
How online suiteIt does not need any type of local installation, it has a simple and intuitive interface and is very easy to use. It is able to import DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files but cannot export them directly. Includes 15 Gbytes of free cloud storage for document archiving; real-time online collaboration with up to 50 simultaneous users; integration with other Google services, including Gmail and Calendar; Simple permission management and offline editing that syncs automatically as soon as the user connects to the Internet. It can be used on any platform and has its professional payment equivalent with G Suite.
The best alternative to Microsoft Office in productivity suites for install and use locally. Technically compatible with Microsoft Office files, the process is not perfect and some files may have errors when opening them. It has integrated tools to create complex documents, books and web pages and hundreds of templates and extensions available to extend its functionality.
In addition to Writer, Calc and Impress, for text documents, spreadsheets and presentations, LibreOffice includes other office applications such as Draw (diagrams), Base (databases) and Math (advanced formulas). Not only is free, but open source and cross platform with Windows, Mac and Linux versions. Like Google Docs, left over for 95% of users.
Lightweight, but quite complete, it has the essential features that a user would need and expect from a modern office suite. It was the first of the Microsoft Office alternative suites that offered compatibility with their formats, being able to read and write without problems.
Its interface is attractive; offers the user the choice between a classic look (with toolbars and menus) or a modern look (with a ribbon type from Microsoft), in addition to the use of tabs to edit multiple documents. It includes export capacity for EPUB (conversion of documents into electronic books) and has a portable USB installation for use anywhere. It has versions for Windows, macOS and Linux.
iWork for iCloud
It is Apple's response to Google Docs and Microsoft Office Online. While Apple's iWork suite typically costs $ 10 per application, users can use Pages, Number and Keynote for free on the web using this iWork for iCloud. It is the obvious option if you already use iWork on Mac, since it integrates well and allows you to work on documents anywhere. The only drawback is that it is based on iCloud for storage, which is one of the least popular cloud solutions.
How could it be otherwise, it looks a lot like the desktop version for Mac and in general what you expect from Apple: simple and attractive interface (although not very customizable), integration with the paid iWork; 5 GB of free cloud storage and export-import fairly clean from Microsoft Office.
Less known, but interesting with a slogan that says: «Powerful as Microsoft Office, free as LibreOffice». It uses the Microsoft Office formats natively and its interface is clean and professional, halfway between the inflated Microsoft Office and the less attractive of LibreOffice.
Another alternative to Microsoft Office is developed under open source and is completely free for personal use. It allows real-time collaborative editing and file sharing, with the ability to self-host for internal web access to private companies. In addition to the version for free consumption has other Cloud and Enterprise payment.
With a fluid and professional interface, it offers real-time collaboration with editing and chat; digital signatures, rapid exchange of documents and other special features such as the ability to publish documents directly in WordPress CMS for web publications.
Cleanly import and export Microsoft Office files; It has two-factor authentication for greater security; extensive customization of documents, configurations and workspaces and up to 5 GB of free storage through Zoho Docs.
Very powerful and complete, you may know her by her previous name, Kingsoft Office. It includes everything an office suite needs, in addition to some unique features such as PDF conversion, PDF merging and division, document signatures, document encryption, hundreds of fonts and templates, tabbed document editing and much more.
It offers 1 GB of free storage with WPS Office Cloud and file sharing with others through WPS Office Cloud. It has Premium (economic 30 dollars per year) and Professional versions. A couple of aspects that we like less is that the free version is financed with advertising and that it works slow on less powerful machines.
You have to participate Do you use other alternatives to Microsoft Office? Are those indicated effective? Do you use Microsoft Office?