4 free office suites alternatives to Microsoft Office

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Microsoft Office is the office suite with a great margin of difference in the usage quota with the next option on Windows systems. It is very complete and includes more features that most users know but it is also a more expensive option than other alternatives that are free without having anything to envy for most users and use cases.

In the first article of this 2016 I commented that Windows and Office are still easy to use without a license. License that costs nothing more and nothing less than about 125 € for home and students and about 250 € for home and companies, by team. And if the equipment is renewed or damaged requiring the change of some components, a new license must be acquired. Given the not inconsiderable cost of the license, it is not surprising that both Windows and Office are one of the most used products without a license or pirated.

Given how easy it is to use Windows and Office without a license together with the Windows tax they have a market share in practically monopoly numbers and there are no signs that it will change in the short term. Sometimes I think that Microsoft doesn’t care if you use unlicensed Windows or Office for personal use. However, there are alternatives for both Windows and Office that have little to envy, much cheaper or even free and free software even with better support than Microsoft offers for their own software. What is not recommended to use activators because it is a source of computer viruses or trojans is better buy a cheap license for Windows 10 and Microsoft Office.

The alternatives to Windows are the expensive products of Apple very oriented to high ranges especially for the price or one of the many distributions GNU/Linux that are practically in their entirety free and free software, although free software does not have to be without cost in most cases it is.

In this article I will focus more on the alternatives to Office which are also several. Leaving aside the issue of free software, Office is a good and complete office suite with more options than many users will need.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office includes Word as a word processor, Powerpoint for presentations, Excel for spreadsheets, Access for databases, Outlook as an email client, OneNote for taking notes, or Publisher for publications. It is only available for Windows and Mac for the desktop, and the web versions for these and other systems. Office 365 has a cost of around 8.80 € per user and month depending on the plan that includes more or fewer applications.

Microsoft Office

LibreOffice

The equivalent free and free alternative to Office is LibreOffice. It includes a text editor with Writer, spreadsheets with Calc, presentations with Impress, Draw to create graphics and Base for simple databases. However, the interface is similar to that of Office in previous editions to the incorporation of ribbon with an aesthetic without the feeling of being cared for. The menus are long and finding an option among the many available is not easy, when opening a menu option one can feel intimidated by its length and it is somewhat more difficult to quickly find the option you are looking for among all those displayed. There will be users who prefer the interface of menus and toolbars, I am one of those who like ribbon the most. It is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

LibreOffice

WPS Office

If we like the ribbon interface more without menus with a multitude of options and that it is more careful in terms of design than LibreOffice, similar to the one used in Microsoft Office, WPS Office is an option to take into account, it can also be activated in classic mode with menus and toolbars supporting the editing of several documents in tabs. It only offers the basic programs of an office suite: text editor, spreadsheets and presentations. For personal use it is free with some limitations when printing and exporting documents to PDF format but more than enough even without all the options only available in the payment option.

For the business environment or with all its options, its license has a much more reasonable cost than Microsoft Office, 45 € for a one-year license and 80 € for a lifetime license per user.

It is available for Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10) even in versions for which not even Microsoft Office already offers support, Linux, Android and iOS. Its installer occupies only about 80 MiB against the more than 3 GiB of Office.

WPS Office

Google Docs

Another alternative to Office is Google Docs, it does not have all the options that Office has but for most users it is enough. Simply have a Google account to use that includes a text editor, spreadsheets, presentations and the ability to make forms. It runs in the browser and although it is possible to work without internet connection at specific times is required. The documents are stored in the cloud so we will not lose them in case of spoiling our computer, we can access the documents from any of our devices as a smartphone o tablet, edit the same document by two or more persons simultaneously or share the documents with other people. Being based on the cloud we do not need to perform software updates except the browser.

For companies, it is offered at a price of 4 € per user per month that includes the Gmail email client, calendars, video calls and 30 GB of storage. It will be 8 € with more storage and retention options for messages.

Google Docs

OnlyOffice

OnlyOffice also offers a basic office suite consisting of documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It has a desktop application for the main operating systems and it can also be run in its own cloud hosted with Nextcloud preserving document ownership and without the inconvenience of Google Docs loss of privacy. They are applications without all the options offered by Microsoft Office or LibreOffice but for sufficient basic use.

OnlyOffice

Other alternatives

Some other option that deserves to be discussed is Calligra the suite of the KDE desktop environment, Abiword, Lyx or Gnumeric.

The next time they ask me to reinstall Windows or Office instead of installing Microsoft’s office suite without a license, I think I will install the option for personal use of WPS Office, I will recommend using Google Docs, OnlyOffice or LibreOffice, which I hope will improve and update to modern times your interface when you need to install it.


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