The best alternatives to Microsoft Office allow users the freedom to create and edit, and many are even compatible with files made in Word, Excel, and other Microsoft programs. Microsoft's free online version of Word is not too shabby. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET But for years many of us have been spoiled by Google Docs, OpenOffice and other free alternatives, to the. Google Docs, which is easily the most popular Microsoft Word alternative on this list, is free to everyone with a Google account. If you want the basic features of Microsoft Word, you don't need to.
While many people believe that they are 'locked' into using Microsoft Word for all their document creation needs, it simply isn't true. Over the past few years, there have been many Microsoft Word and Office alternatives that were released and that have gained traction. Now, there are alternatives to the costly application from Microsoft, many of which are free.
Today we're going to explore ten alternatives to Microsoft Word that you can quickly and easily start using today. Some will be online and some will be downloadable applications that can be installed on your local computer, but all will enable you to wean yourself off of Microsoft Word and still be productive.
Free Word Processor Windows 10
This is because they can all work in conjunction with the applications you already use with MS Word. Take your everyday PDF converter tool, for instance. Working with PDF documents is difficult and you may think it even harder if you swap out an application in your usual software lineup. This simply isn't true, though. Able2Extract Professional, for instance, lets you work easily with any MS Word alternative there is. Simply convert your PDF to Word and then import or upload your converted results into any one of the Word processors in this list. You won't miss a single beat!
So if you need a good list of free alternatives to MS Word, look no further. Let's get started on our tour of ten free alternatives to Microsoft Word.
Online Microsoft Word Alternatives
Sometimes it's easier to create and collaborate online in real-time than by editing and managing multiple versions on your local hard drive and sending the files via email. The web-based word processing applications below will not only let you create the documents online but also quickly and easily share them with others.
Dropbox Paper is a free online word processor offered by the online cloud storage provider. To start using it, you will need a Dropbox account. Once logged in, you get full access to the online suite. The minimalist interface is very intuitive and its simplicity allows you to focus on your content. You can also do a number of things that go beyond creating a textual document. You can add rich media, such as audio, video and images. Dropbox Paper also allows you to access apps that let you embed Trello cards, Youtube videos or SlideShare decks. Other collaborative features include document link-sharing, creating and assigning checklist items to members or embedding one of your Dropbox documents. Dropbox Paper, overall, does an excellent job at creating dynamic documents you can share and access online.
For Microsoft Word and Office aficionados, the best possible free online alternative for their document editing needs is definitely Word online, which comes as part of the Office Online suite. Although free MS Word web app is not a full-fledged version of its paid counterpart, it allows you to open, create and edit Word documents online. Also, it offers some additional benefits of online software tools. For example, the ability to access and see updates from co-authors to your docs literally from anywhere in real time with only an Internet connection and the latest 2016 version. You can share and collaborate on documents. An equally alluring feature of Office Online is its cross-platform compatibility. So, if you're a Chromebook or Linux OS user, MS Word web app is the most elegant way to get access to Microsoft's document editing features - for free!
Google Docs allows you to create, collaborate and share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and even forms. Google Docs is packed with features, which can be further extended with various add-ons. While it will automatically save the file online and store it there, you can also have the documents published as a web page, downloaded or emailed as an attachment in Word, ODT, PDF, plain text or RTF formats. You can invite collaborators to work on the document with you or only allow others to view it without the ability to edit. And if you are apprehensive of having to depend on the Internet connection for document processing, don't worry. You can enable Google Docs offline access and keep editing your documents even when you are disconnected from Internet. All it takes is a free Google account.
Etherpad is an online document editor primarily intended for collaborative editing in, as the site claims, 'really real time'. It's an open source, highly customizable tool for online document collaboration with friends, fellow students and classmates, or colleagues at work. One of its advantages, especially appealing to users who are reluctant to use services which require email registration, is that there is no sign up with Etherpad. All you need to do is start a new pad and share the link to it with your collaborators. You can also invite them by email if you prefer. After that, you can start working on the planned writing project together, in real-time, even if you are miles apart.
Zoho offers around 20 free online applications including Writer for word processing. You can link your Zoho account to your Google and Yahoo accounts, as well. The Writer's interface shouldn't cause anyone problems as it is comfortably familiar. When working online there's always the risk of losing data due to a lost network connection, accidentally closing your browser or having your browser crash. Luckily Zoho automatically saves your documents for you, as you finish typing. Zoho Writer is well-equipped with features that allow you to work easily online: two-way desktop sync, large file transfer, encryption, file recovery, two-step authentication, in-app chat, and more. You can import and work with MS Word documents, allowing you to insert images, and edit content as needed. Zoho Writer offers all the standard text formatting and document creation features and can export to DOCX, ODF, PDF, Latex, RTF, TXT and even HTML. It can plug into Echosign for digital signatures, publish the document to a blog or make it public for all to see. Zoho Docs is completely free to use.
Downloadable Microsoft Word Alternatives
Some people are reluctant to cut the ties to their local computer and put all their work and business documents online. If you're one of them and don't want to rely on an Internet connection, here are several free word processing applications to round out our list. These you can download and install on your local computer. Take advantage of all the desktop features of MS Word without the hefty price tag!
The Apache OpenOffice package actually includes six programs that all use the same engine making them inherently the same and extremely easy to learn and use. The 6 applications included in the Apache OpenOffice suite are: Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (diagrams and illustrations) and Base (database manipulation) and Math (mathematical equations). Writer can even natively do some things that Word cannot, like open PDF files without the addition of a plug-in or commercial add-on. As the software is open source it is maintained by a large community meaning help and bug fixes are freely available and quickly created. The downside to Writer is that it can only open DOCX files without the ability to edit and save them. You can install this suite on Windows XP to Windows 10, macOS and Linux.
Free Microsoft Word Alternative
LibreOffice is another open source Microsoft Office alternative and a successor of the OpenOffice.org project (in 2010, Oracle/Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice projects went separate ways). LibreOffice is distributed as a “monolithic software” consisting of seven components: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, Math, and Charts. LibreOffice Writer is a free and powerful word processor available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. This Microsoft Word alternative can edit and save DOCX file format meaning that if you often collaborate on documents with Microsoft Office users, LibreOffice Writer is your best choice. It offers multi-language support, a spelling and grammar checker, ability to export in PDF and EPUB ebook format, AutoCorrect and AutoComplete features, a lot of extensions and document templates, and more regular updates and major and minor releases than Apache OpenOffice.
Jarte is based on Microsoft WordPad Engine, but is still free. There is a paid version of the software that adds on some extra functionality, but the free version is more than adequate and fully compatible with Word and WordPad documents. Features include an ergonomic tabbed interface, small resource requirements, portability, support for touchscreens, and quick loading time. It also has built-in spell checking and can export to HTML and PDF files. Jarte allows you to insert images, tables, hyperlinks and everything else that you have come to expect from Word. Jarte contains no ads, trial periods or crippled features and is funded through user purchases of the Jarte Plus version.
WPS Office is a free document processing suite whose WPS Writer app will serve you well as a Microsoft Word alternative. WPS Office 2016 Free can open and save to a long list of popular file formats native to those applications like docx, doc, and more. You can get the application in languages other than English: French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Russian. The suite has the same familiar look and feel of MS Office with one exception--it has a tabbed viewing window, so you can open more than one document at a time. And also worth mentioning is WPS Cloud, the company's cloud document storage service that offers up to 1GB of free storage that you can use. This is perfect if you're trying to find a free Word alternative that's not only scalable for teams, but can also be as collaborative and seamless as its Microsoft counterpart.
SoftMaker FreeOffice is another great free suite that offers a full featured Microsoft Word alternative. The suite's TextMaker application allows you to focus on creating documents just as you would in MS Word. This suite offers up essential editing features and even a handful of basic templates for creating and editing documents. Tables, charts, shapes and graphics are available along with standard text formatting options. This application provides you with everything you need. The entire suite is available for Windows, Linux, and Android, so you can keep your document processing tasks going even while away from your desktop.
Whether you are looking for a free locally installed Microsoft Word alternative or an online one for easier collaboration and online file storage, there are many available. The ten that are covered in this article are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but should give you a good starting point. The obvious giants in the arena are Google Docs and Openoffice.org which are probably also the most popular, though Zoho does offer a wider selection of applications. In the end, the one that best suits you will be the one that offers the features you need the most.
No matter which one you pick, you're guaranteed a fully functional, robust word processor at zero cost. If you also want a completely free PDF viewer with powerful features for Windows, Mac, or Linux, give Slim PDF Reader 2 a chance today!
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Microsoft Word or MS Word is a word processor software, which is developed by Microsoft. It is very popular software for creating all types of documents. If you locked on single word processor software, then there are many alternatives of Microsoft Word; some of them are free and others are paid. Here, I want to discuss the ten free alternatives of MS Word. Five of them are online, that means you can use them online. In addition, another five of them are in downloadable forms that are like MS Word, you have to install them on your computer or laptop.
There are many alternatives to Microsoft Word and Office for the past few years. But the freely downloadable options are less, and the best free downloadable Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word is OpenOffice. If we see the alternative of Microsoft word in a modern way, Google Docs is the best alternative in online form of Microsoft Word.
In many aspects, it is better and easier to go online form rather than offline or downloadable form. You can think of the condition in which you are far from your hometown or computer in which document is stored, and you need that document at present. If you are using offline downloadable software for word processing, then your document is stored in your computer’s hard disk, and it is tougher or impossible to get that document which is far from that computer or hard disk. On the other hand, if you are using online word processing applications, then your file or document is stored in the online cloud and you can easily download that document or file from anywhere, any time and any device. Therefore, it is better to go online versions rather than offline applications nowadays.
Top five online Microsoft Word alternatives that are free to use currently given below:
1. Google Docs
Google Docs is a word processor online application, and it is one of the best alternatives of the Microsoft Word. It is a web-based office suite software offered by Google. It is mainly used for create, edit and share documents. It is well designed with lots of features. It also has various add-ons. The best part of the Google Docs is that you can save documents online in Google Drive. It is easier in Google Docs to download or email documents as an attachment in the formats like Word, ODT, PDF, RTF or plain text. For using Google Docs, you just need a free Google Account. If you want to use Google Docs offline, enable Google Docs offline and then you can edit the document even if you are disconnected from the Internet connection.
2. Office Online
Office Online is a lightweight, web browser-based version of Microsoft Office Suite offered by Microsoft. It was officially released on September 2009 as Office Web Apps. On June 2010, the Office Web Apps re-branded as Office Online. Word Online is a part of Office Online like MS Word is a part of MS Office Suite. It is one of the best possible online alternative to Microsoft Word with free of cost. As it is free of cost, you just need an internet connection and a Microsoft account; therefore, it does not have the full features like in MS Office. But it has added benefits of online software tool. Some features are similar to Google Docs, as you can save documents online in Microsoft OneDrive. Microsoft OneDrive works same as of Google Drive in Google Docs.
Zoho has around 20 free online applications, which are required for business needs. Zoho Writer is one of the free online application which are offered by Zoho Corporation. In the month of October, 2005 Zoho launched its first cloud based business application called Zoho Writer. It is an online word processing application packed with lots of features. If you see the user interface of the Zoho Writer, you will find it comfortably familiar. As we know that working online has lots of advantages over offline. On the other hand, it also has some disadvantages, sometimes working online can be problematic as it has threats of losing data due to lost in network connection and accidental closing or crash of browser. But fortunately, Zoho Writer automatically saves the document when you finish typing.
Etherpad is an online collaborative real-time editor. It is a highly customizable Open Source web-based editor providing collaborative editing in really real-time. The main advantage of the Etherpad is that it does not required email registration. Just start a new pad and then for inviting collaborators you can share the link or you can email them the invitation. The best part of the Etherpad is that you can work on the planned writing project together, even if you are mile apart from friends, colleagues or collaborators. It also has chat box in the sidebar for meta communication. Etherpad has the ability to display each writer’s text in their choice of colour.
ThinkFree Online is the first web-based online office in the world. It is primarily an online editor program. As it is web-based application therefore, you do not need to install it to your desktop, you can use this application online. For using ThinkFree Online, you need to register as a member. Once you have registered, you will be given an online storage of 1GB space called My Office. ThinkFree Online can read and write documents, spreadsheets, and presentations like Microsoft Office. It has a look and feel similar to the Microsoft Office’s MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint. You can also view or save the document in Mobile devices from your My Office storage in ThinkFree Mobile.
Some people do not have internet connection or do not like to work or save documents online or to keep things private in their personal computer storage. If you are one of them then downloadable Microsoft Word alternatives are best for you. You can download and install these downloadable free Microsoft Word Alternatives as per your choice. The offline word processors have complete features, which online word processors do not have.
OpenOffice is an open-source office suite. It is a best alternative to the Microsoft Office suite. Here, we are talking about MS Word alternatives, but OpenOffice is not just the alternative to the Microsoft Word. It comprises with applications that are alternatives to Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Access etc. OpenOffice is a suite of six applications, which are Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, and Base. Writer is a word processor application similar to MS Word. Calc is a spreadsheet application like MS Excel. Impression is a presentation application analogous to MS PowerPoint. Base is a database management application similar to MS Access. All applications of OpenOffice are free of cost. Writer has some advantages over Microsoft Word like it can open PDF files, which can’t open by MS Word.
AbiWord is a free and open-source word processor software, which is very similar to the Microsoft Word. It can be run on Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, and other operating systems. Therefore, we can say that AbiWord is a full cross-platform program. It is one of the best free alternative to Microsoft Word. If we talk about the working and user interface of the AbiWord, you will find it similar to the Microsoft Word 2007. AbiWord is the first open-source word processor which has grammar checking. After that, the grammar checking is added to the OpenOffice. AbiWord can be enhanced and expanded with free available plug-ins that will make it more functional.
Jarte is a free word processor software for users of Microsoft Windows. It is based on the WordPad engine. It is a lighter alternative to the Microsoft Word. Jarte also has paid version, which adds some more functions and features. The paid version of Jarte named as Jarte Plus. Jarte is the best alternative to the WordPad. The standard version of Jarte that is free of cost also has spell checker. If we talk about the look or user interface of the Jarte, it has resemblance to TextEdit. It has three selectable layouts, which are mini, compact, and full. One of the layouts is very similar to the WordPad.
4. IBM Lotus Symphony
IBM Lotus Symphony is a registerware software suite for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It is a free software but you have to register on its website before downloading. It cannot be downloaded without registration. If we talk about its resemblance, it is similar to the older version of OpenOffice. It supports the Microsoft office files, open document format, and Lotus SmartSuite files. It contains standard text formatting options, tables, charts, shapes, and graphics. Lotus Symphony also has inline spell checking and correction. It works offline after downloading and installing. It also has an online or web-based version, which is known as LotusLive Symphony.
NeoOffice is an office suite that is made for Mac OS X operating system. It is a free software developed by Planasema Inc. NeoOffice has two editions, one is free and another one is paid. NeoOffice Viewer is the free edition of NeoOffice. It cannot save documents but it can view, export as PDF, and print documents. NeoOffice Classic Edition is the paid version of NeoOffice. It can view, save, edit, and print documents. The free edition of the NeoOffice is not a good choice. NeoOffice is not a best alternative to Microsoft Word. This software is used only for viewing, exporting as PDF and printing documents.