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15 Best MS Office Alternatives For Windows 2021

MS (Microsoft) Office is the world’s most popular client software for document editing programs. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher make up the core programs of the suite. In most recent versions, you have other programs like OneNote, SharePoint, and Teams.

Microsoft recommends MS Office for all Windows users. However, you may have to settle for alternatives in some instances. MS Office requires high CPU resources, has a lot of license agreements, and the cost of ownership is considerably high.

Fortunately, MS Office is not the only Office suite compatible with Windows. Here are the 15 best MS Office alternatives for Windows:

Best MS Office Alternatives For Windows

1. Apache OpenOffice

The first MS Office alternative for Windows OS on our list is Apache OpenOffice. It is both a free and open source alternative to MS Office. It was released in 2012 making it one of the modern office suite software.

Notably, Apache OpenOffice contains essential office programs such as Writer, Impress, Calc, Draw, Math, and Base. Just like the Microsoft Office programs, OpenOffice Writer is a word processor program that works like the Microsoft Word application.

OpenOffice Impress is a presentation program that is similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. On the other hand, OpenOffice Calc is a spreadsheet program like the Microsoft Excel software, while other Apache OpenOffice programs like Draw, Math, and Base function as vector graphics editor, mathematics formula editor, and database management program respectively.

Apache OpenOffice Suite is compatible with Windows OS although it requires the installation of Java in 32-bit for extended functionalities. The major difference between MS Office and Apache OpenOffice is that MS Office is premium, unlike Apache OpenOffice which is free.

Also, MS Office is released in different versions e.g. Student, Home, and Professional whereas Open Office is available as a single version.

2. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a popular Office suite among Windows users. The suite was launched in 2010 and unlike MS Office, it’s free and open source. Different programmers continue to contribute to the development of LibreOffice.

MS Office supports 102 languages. LibreOffice exceeds it with support of 119 languages. However, LibreOffice’s main advantage is its simple interface. MS Office isn’t difficult to use but anyone will find LibreOffice a lot easier to work with.

LibreOffice programs include Writer for word processing, Calc for spreadsheets, Impress for presentations, Draw for vector graphics and flowcharts, Base for databases, and Math for formula editing. You get more specialized programs with Math and Draw than on MS Office.

Furthermore, LibreOffice allows you to save files in MS Office formats. For example, as an open source program, the standard document file is in ODF format. However, you can save the document in DOC or DOCX format amongst others.

LibreOffice doesn’t have mobile apps for Android and iOS like MS Office. However, you can install their based product – Collabora Office.

Although LibreOffice is free, there are premium options for businesses. The premium options include technical support and other value-added services.

3. SoftMaker FreeOffice

The description says it all; SoftMaker FreeOffice is a free alternative to MS Office. It’s compatible with Windows and also Linux and Mac OS computers.

The office suite is 100 percent for both private and business use. Top publishers like TechRadar, TechRepublic, and PC World recommend this software. You can install SoftMaker FreeOffice on the most recent Windows 11.

Like MS Office, FreeOffice features word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation programs. This includes TextMaker, PlanMaker, and Presentations. All are compatible with Microsoft Office programs.

SoftMaker FreeOffice supports Ribbons and Classic menus which is similar to MS Office. The programs’ layout is simple and you’ll have no problem switching if you already use MS Office. It also comes with some most recent features like dark mode.

You can use this MS Office alternative on Android mobile devices only; there’s no app for iOS. Also, the programs aren’t contained in a single Office app. You have to install each one separately.

Notably, this alternative is the SoftMaker FreeOffice which is different from the standard SoftMaker Office. SoftMaker Office is a premium suite.

4. WPS Office

WPS Office is most popular as an office suite for mobile users; especially Android. However, it’s very compatible with Windows. This software was launched in 1988 as Super-WPS.

WPS Office is sold as an alternative to MS Office and it is very lightweight which is its main advantage. It’s so light that the installation file for Windows is just 4.5 MB. WPS Office is also feature-rich.

You get MS Office compatible programs including Writer, Spreadsheet, Presentation, and a PDF Converter. Furthermore, you don’t pay to use WPS Office.

Just like MS Office, WPS Office features a vast catalog of professionally designed document templates. In total, there are more than 100,000 templates in different categories and they are all free.

WPS Office supports team collaboration in real-time. This feature works not just on Windows but also on other devices. MS Office supports this but it only works on the Web Platform and if you’re a Microsoft 365 subscriber.

So far, over 200,000 leading businesses trust WPS Office and there are more than 170 million users across the globe.

5. Google Workspace

Google Workspace is Google’s replacement for G-Suite. Comparingly, it’s different from MS Office for Windows because it’s 100 percent web-based. This means, you can’t install Google Workspace on your computer; you can only use it from your browser.

Google Workspace contains a long list of Google applications. However, the only applications that relate to MS Office include Docs for word processing, Sheets for spreadsheets, and Slides for presentation.

Although you can only use these Google Workspace apps via the web, you don’t always need an internet connection. You can sync the Docs or Sheets web platform with your desktop storage and create and edit files offline.

Your edits will be stored locally and will sync anytime you connect to the internet. Google Workspace’s main advantage over MS Office is security. Since it’s web-based, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to compromise Google Workspace Programs.

Google Workspace programs store files in different formats than MS Office but you can easily convert them to MS Office formats. You can also even directly edit DOCX or DOC files with Google Docs and XLS or XLSX files with Google Sheets.

6. SoftMaker Office

This is the premium version of the SoftMaker FreeOffice mentioned earlier. SoftMaker Office is far more affordable than MS Office and is recommended if you need a cheap alternative.

Microsoft 365 plans for family and personal use cost $99.99 and $69.99 per year respectively. However, you only pay $15 and $39.98 for SoftMaker Office NX and SoftMaker Standard Office respectively. With multi-user licenses, the price is cheaper.

SoftMaker Office is seamlessly compatible with MS Office. DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX are the standard file formats just like in MS Office. You can share and edit documents to and from MS Office users without needing to convert.

SoftMaker Office supports over 20 languages. However, unlike MS Office, SoftMaker Office is most optimized for German grammar. The available programs are still the same as the FreeOffice which includes TextMaker, PlanMaker, and Presentations.

You also get an additional program, BasicMaker, which works for small programs and scripts to execute in the TextMaker and PlanMaker apps. BasicMaker is an advantage if you need an MS Office alternative for macro writing.

7. Zoho Office Suite

Zoho Office is an office suite with online productivity tools. It’s not like MS Office Suite that you can download and install on your Windows PC. You can only use Zoho Office Suite via a browser.

This gives Zoho Office more simplicity, mobility, security, and collaboration than MS Word. All documents you create are stored in clouds and synched in real-time.

The main programs you get from the Zoho Office Suite include Writer, Sheet, and Show. Writer rivals MS Word, Sheet rivals MS Excel, while Show rivals MS PowerPoint. In addition, you also get a Notebook app for documenting.

Zoho Office was designed to work well with MS Office. You can import, edit, and export files in MS Office traditional files. Zoho also works with several other apps and web platforms.

For example, you can import documents to edit from Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Zoho has its native cloud storage too – the Zoho WorkDrive.

Just as Microsoft features an AI-powered assistant, Cortana, Zoho also features Zia. This is a very helpful feature you won’t find in most other MS Office alternatives.

8. OnlyOffice

OnlyOffice has all the tools you need for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. It’s a feature-rich MS Office alternative for Windows.

OnlyOffice is a complete office suite. However, like some other alternatives already mentioned, OnlyOffice is only web-based. You can use the OnlyOffice cloud server to store your documents or you deploy it to your server.

The standard file formats on OnlyOffice are the Open Office formats. However, the software still supports all of MS Office standard formats – DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX.

Like other web-based MS Office alternatives, OnlyOffice has a security advantage. Since you can deploy to your own server, you can take 100 percent responsibility for the security of your files.

Another advantage of OnlyOffice is the high support for third-party integrations. The software integrates with NextCloud, ownCloud, Confluence, Alfresco, SharePoint, Liferay, HumHub, Plone, Nuxeo, and Chamilo amongst others.

Furthermore, unlike MS Office, OnlyOffice is an open source software. Hence, it’s more suitable for developers. There’s also an exclusive premium version for developers.

9. Polaris Office

Polaris Office is relatively similar to MS Office with support for cloud and Windows PC. Furthermore, both Polaris and MS Office for Windows are premium although Polaris Office is more affordable.

This MS Office alternative has been around for some years but was significantly improved and re-released as a new Office Suite in 2020.

Polaris Office has high compatibility. You can edit MS Office files seamlessly and also Google Docs files. Polaris Office programs include Word, Sheet, Slide, and HWP for HanWord documents.

The software also supports ODF (Open Document Format) and ZIP archive files – you can access Zip files without extraction. Other Polaris Office noteworthy features include mail merge, improved file browser, and smart scroll support.

One advantage of Polaris Office over MS Office is the small installation package. As a result, the software consumes relatively lower resources and is fast.

Polaris Office not only works for Windows alone. Just like MS Word, it also supports Mac, Android, and iOS devices. In fact, Polaris Office is a lot more popular among mobile users than Windows users.

Also Read: Best Free Note Taking Apps

10. OfficeSuite

At number 10, we have OfficeSuite. This is a simple MS Office alternative with five programs and over 300 million users. The 5 programs include Documents, Sheets, Slides, Mail, and PDF.

OfficeSuite is compatible with all MS Office program files and also Google Workspsce files. In addition, the platform supports other OpenDocument formats including ODT, ODS, ODP, RTF, CSV, and ZIP.

The interface for OfficeSuite programs like Documents and Sheets is very similar to that of MS Word and MS Excel. Just as MS Office works with OneDrive, OfficeSuite works with MobiDrive.

In addition, OfficeSuite still connects to OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon Cloud Drive. Hence, even if you’re not with your Windows PC, you can continue your work on any device you can access.

OfficeSuite supports Android and iOS mobile devices. MS Office and OfficeSuite are both premium software. However, OfficeSuite’s personal plan costs just $29.99 per year which is a lot cheaper than that of MS Office.

Before subscribing to OfficeSuite, you can use the software for free for seven days. MS Office is better here as you can try it for free for a month.

11. Calligra OfficeSuite

Calligra OfficeSuite has been around for more than 20 years now as it was launched in 2000. It’s not just an OfficeSuite but also a graphic art suite.

The two main programs similar to MS Office on Calligra OfficeSuite include Words for word processing and Sheets for spreadsheets. The third program is KEXI which is very similar to MS Access. You can use it to design databases and process data.

For graphic designing, Calligra OfficeSuite features Karbon. Karbon is a vector drawing application which you can’t get with MS Office. Calligra OfficeSuite also features Plan, a program that you can use to manage projects and tasks.

Just like MS Office has PowerPoint, Calligra OfficeSuite features Stage for presentations. The layout is nothing but identical to that of MS PowerPoint. Furthermore, this MS Office alternative features a more advanced word processing software called Gemini.

However, unlike MS Office, Calligra OfficeSuite isn’t primarily targeted at Windows users. It’s more optimized for Linux computers. Nevertheless, you can still install it on your Windows computer and there are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Note that Calligra OfficeSuite is free.

12. SSuite Office

SSuite Office is a relatively simple office suite application. Just like MS Office, you can view SSuite Office online via a browser or install the desktop app. Compared to MS Office, SSuite Office is very lightweight and an ideal low-memory office suite.

SSuite Office comes with nine different applications. This includes SpreadForm One similar to MS Excel, WordFormat 2 similar to MS Word, and The Sorting Machine similar to MS Access.

Other programs include My EzMail, My WebBrowser Pro, PDF Memo Creator, Envelope Printer, Address, and Internet Timer. The programs you access with SSuite Online are different from the desktop programs.

The online programs include WordGraph Editor, BasicMath, Carbon HD+ Editor, and CarbonPlus HD+. To use SSuite Office as an MS Office alternative, your best option is the Windows desktop version.

Just like MS Office, SSuite Office features different versions for 32- and 64-bit systems. However, unlike MS Office, SSuite Office is a 100 percent free office suite and you don’t have to pay any annual license fees.

SSuite Office is a safe MS Office alternative. This is mainly because it doesn’t integrate or contain any third-party add-ons or tools.

Check Out: Evernote vs OneNote

13. WordPerfect

WordPerfect is a popular MS Office alternative. However, as the description states, the suite is more focused on word processing. There are still document, spreadsheet, and presentation applications like you get on MS Office.

The programs you get with WordPerfect include WordPerfect word processor, Quattro Pro spreadsheet application, Presentations slideshow creator, WordPerfect Lightning digital notebook, eBook Publisher, and AfterShot 3 photo-editing and management.

The AfterShot photo-editing program is an advantage to WordPerfect as MS Office doesn’t feature such. Similar to MS Office, WordPerfect features templates, up to 300 of them.

If you work more on data and databases, you’ll find WordPerfect interesting to use due to the Reveal Codes. WordPerfect supports all MS Office standard file formats and also TXT, RTF, WPM, OTF, and Ebook formats.

WordPerfect and MS Office are similar when it comes to the resources they consume. To install WordPerfect, you need about 2.75 GB harddisk space. Furthermore, the most recent version of WordPerfect is exclusive for 64-bit Windows systems.

MS Office and WordPerfect are both premium software. However, while MS Office requires annual license subscriptions, you can pay once and buy WordPerfect for a lifetime. Purchasing WordPerfect costs around $570.

14. Ashampoo Office

Ashampoo Office is rated as one of the best MS Office alternatives by many users. The software is 100 percent Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11 compatible. Just like MS Office, Ashampoo Office is a premium office suite.

The Ashampoo Office alternative to MS Word is Write, its MS Excel alternative is Calculate, and its MS PowerPoint alternative is Present. These are the three standard MS Office alternatives you get with Ashampoo Office.

However, Ashampoo has premium alternatives to these programs which include Ashampoo TextMaker for word processing, Ashampoo PlanMaker for spreadsheets, and Ashampoo Presentations for presentations.

Although the main Ashampoo Office is premium, there’s a free version – Ashampoo Office Free. You can only access the standard alternatives – Write, Calculate, and Present – with the Ashampoo Office Free version.

To access all of the Ashampoo Office programs, you have to pay the $39.99 annual subscription. This is cheaper than all MS Office annual subscription plans. Furthermore, with one subscription, you can use Ashampoo Office on five different computers.

15. Hancom Office

Hancom Office is an ideal MS Office alternative for Windows if you need highly collaborative software. The software suite features five programs – Word, Cell, Show, PDF, and Mail.

With Hancom Office, you can create, edit, and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that are compatible with MS Office Suite programs. The software works with Hancom Space so teams can work and collaborate in real-time.

Some interesting features you get from Hancom Office include enhanced clipboards, smart tags, improved slideshows, enhanced smart art visuals, and enhanced animation usability.

With Hancom Office, you enjoy more integrations than with MS Office. The suite integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, AWS, and more.

Hancom Office and MS Office are both paid software suites. You can first use Hancom Office on a free trial after which you must subscribe to a premium plan to continue. Hancom Office plans start at around $54.99. You also have the option to buy the software for life.

Bottom Line

Out of the 15 office suite programs mentioned above, I’ll recommend Apache Office and LibreOffice as the best alternatives to MS Office you can go for.

They are ideal especially if you’re switching from MS Office due to the high cost. Both of them support saving files in MS Office traditional formats.