Microsoft Office once had undisputed dominance in the world of suites and productivity programs. However, its subscription model and the high price stimulate the emergence of applications capable of performing the same work and totally free. The best alternatives to Microsoft Office allow you to create, edit documents and, best of all, are compatible with files created in Word, Excel and other Microsoft programs.
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This last edition of FreeOffice of SoftMaker 2016, is compatible with DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX and PPT formats. You will not find negative surprises when you open files with this software. The compatibility works very well if what you are looking for is to be able to use Word for free and still need to work in some way with files from Word.
If you were a Word user for a long time, the interface is very similar. The bars and creation of documents are similar to those of Office and the latest software updates ensure that it is ultra fast. Even PlanMaker, the alternative spreadsheet of this suite, offers features such as conditional formatting and pivot tables, which Excel users can access without having to review a tutorial beforehand.
FreeOffice is an excellent alternative for your professional projects. Not only does it provide support for password protected files, it also allows you to create PDF or ePUB files, track changes in documents and change languages. The most common features, such as spell checking or predictive writing, are also incorporated.
The best web based option
The online Google package does not need a presentation. Cloud-based software is still ideal if you need to work with other people on a project, particularly if everyone is familiar with Google Drive, where files can be stored and shared. The current version of Docs (documents) supports PDF, DOC and even iWork files, which means that you should not worry about the loss of information.
It also integrates with most other Google services, including Gmail and Calendar. As if that were not enough, the G Suite Productivity for companies is available, which is a strong competitor of Microsoft Office offers in many companies.
The interface is Google's classic: minimalist and often confusing. It is worth noting that certain tools or capabilities may be hidden in the mens or may not be available for unknown reasons, which can make the software difficult to collect without any previous experience. However, if you are accustomed to Chrome or Chrome OS, then you know what to expect and you should not have many problems to navigate the mens.
With the Google G Suite and Google Apps you can work on documents, edit jobs and discuss changes with other people who also work in the same file, all in the same window, and in a really useful and simple way. Without a doubt it is a great option for those who have limited storage (such as Chromebook users) or for those who need to edit remotely.
GOOGLE DOCS G SUITE
The one with the best tools
The creators of LibreOffice made sure to do everything Word cannot do. For now, the differences are so numerous that someone created a useful graph that shows all the additional LibreOffice provides, such as support for a large number of document formats in both MacOS and Windows. If you are using somewhat complicated software in your work and believe that Word cannot handle the specific formats of your industry, LibreOffice is an alternative.
The open source community behind LibreOffice remains active and continues to create extensions to equip your applications with whatever features you need. The latest updates include improvements in interactive document forms, new presentation templates and a version of the cloud-based suite for remote use. Since the Fresh and Nightly beta modes are available, you are also guaranteed to receive regular improvements.
If you like Office, but are looking for a highly customizable alternative, use the tools offered by Microsoft and provide strong compatibility, LibreOffice is your alternative. Anyway, we anticipate that learning to use LibreOffice can take a little work.
The most similar to Word
WPS Office is an almost cloned alternative of Microsoft Office. Everything you believe in WPS, be compatible with Microsoft Office. A PDF conversion suite also exists in case you need to import a document into a more accessible format.
This is a program for those who want to have a program very similar to Word. The options are very similar to those of Word and you will not have to learn anything new. The interface resembles the most recent version of Office, more than the other options in this list.
However, WPS is not content to imitate Microsoft at all. It also offers some very useful tools, such as the possibility of changing the design of paragraphs with the mouse, advanced section navigation and document tabs to quickly manage several documents. This makes WPS Office an excellent choice for laptops or homework.
The best for MacOS
iWork was not originally designed to be compatible with Office Docs, but after a while, Apple added more functionality and you can import Microsoft files and edit them in Pages, Numbers or Keynote. A great advantage is that it makes iWork the perfect choice if you are a Mac user in a sea of Windows users.
Accessibility is determined by your familiarity with iWork. These applications may produce similar documents, but they do not resemble Microsoft Office in terms of interface. The tools are in different places and a little more cocultas, so if it is the first time you use these applications, you should take time to learn them.
In addition, iWork is designed to work with iCloud. If you currently use the Apple cloud file solution, it will be much easier to share and store documents. It allows simultaneous work, although as with Google Docs and G Suite, everyone must be on the same page. For mobile users, the iWork suite is divided into three applications that must be downloaded individually.
* Article updated by Rodrigo Orellana on November 25, 2019.