The 6 Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office 365

When it comes to productivity suites, few can compete with Microsoft 365. Microsoft offers customers a complete online and offline workplace experience with Microsoft 365. It is simultaneously easy to use and packed with features for advanced users.

The only caveat is that users will have to shell out $69.99 a year for a Personal plan if they want to use it. Thankfully, there are a plethora of free offerings available that offer similar functionality as Microsoft 365.

WPS Office interface, shows all the options that come with the free download, such as spreadsheet, writer and presentation tools.

WPS Office has become increasingly popular since its launch in 2016, and not without good reason. The free version of WPS Office comes with Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets that serve as alternatives to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, respectively. Compare the features to see if WPS or Microsoft Office is the right choice for you.

Key Features of WPS Office

  • It is available across multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
  • Provides users with up to 1 GB of cloud storage to store all their documents.
  • Gives you the ability to sync files on multiple devices.
  • Free templates are included for easy use.
  • The PDF editor makes updating documents simple with tools for editing, merging or splitting documents, signing, text extraction, and more. It also allows you to convert PDFs to other formats without causing formatting issues.
  • Comes with a free Online Resume Builder that allows you to create a new professional-looking resume in 3 easy steps, or update your old one by uploading your current CV.

WPS Office Resume Builder page giving options to create a new resume from a template or upload your own

Disadvantages of Using WPS Office

  • WPS Office is not as collaborative as Google’s productivity suite.
  • Not all PDF editing tools and features are available in the free version.
  • The free version can sometimes bombard users with annoying ads.

Download: WPS Office for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

LibreOffice interface with application menu on the left side.

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LibreOffice is an open-source project that comes with a document editor, presentation, and spreadsheet software. In addition to these, users can also create vector graphics and much more using LibreOffice. It supports more than 100 languages, making it feasible for everyone around the globe.

Key Features of LibreOffice

  • LibreOffice supports all popular Microsoft 365 formats, such as .pptx, .docx, .xlsx, and many more. This means that you can import all your existing files to LibreOffice without any hassles.
  • There are tons of extensions and templates available for download to help improve the functionality.
  • Available for Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. There is also a portable version that you can install on a USB drive, and simply plug and play.
  • The use of Master Documents and Subdocuments makes it easy to split large documents down while still having them all together. This feature is great for writers working on books with lots of chapters.

Disadvantages of Using LibreOffice

  • While LibreOffice does come with a document viewer on Android, it has minimal editing capabilities, and even those don’t work as fluidly as they should.
  • It does not offer cloud storage, so it is not as collaborative as other alternatives.
  • Does not offer technical support on the free version.

Download: LibreOffice for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

OnlyOffice document editor

Another open-source project, OnlyOffice, is more than enough for your basic work needs. If you run a small business, it is the perfect productivity suite as it offers great collaborative features.

Key Features of OnlyOffice

  • Users can connect the desktop version of OnlyOffice to various cloud services such as Nextcloud, ownCloud, and Seafile. Once connected, you can see all changes in real-time and add comments for a more cohesive workflow.
  • To add more features, you can download various plugins that allow you to add YouTube videos, ClipArt, and even a text-to-speech converter in your presentations.
  • OnlyOffice is available for Windows and Linux.
  • Supports popular formats such as .pptx, .docx, .xlsx, and many more.

Disadvantages of Using OnlyOffice

  • Files must be smaller than 500MB or online editing is no longer available.
  • Not usable as a Microsoft alternative for Mac users.
  • To use existing files, you must upload them before being able to open them in OnlyOffice.
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Download: OnlyOffice for Windows and Linux.

4. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Image of a Google Drive with the options to create a new document

Google applications are perfect for users who don’t want to download any additional software for their productivity needs. It has a word processor, spreadsheet editor, and a presentation maker referred to as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.

Key Features of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

  • With real-time collaboration and comments, working with a team is a breeze.
  • Documents will save automatically to your Google Drive.
  • Able to upload popular document formats, so your old files do not become obsolete.
  • Has a selection of templates that you can edit to suit your particular needs.
  • The best part is that users only need a web web browser and an internet connection to take advantage of Google’s offerings.

Disadvantages of Using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

  • Google Workspace no longer has a free version, so you have to access the apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides separately through a Google Drive account.
  • The free version only allows 15GB of storage.
  • When uploading files, the formatting may get a little jumbled up.

Alternatively, if you’re having trouble focusing, here are some methods to improve your attention span and get more work done.

Visit: Google Docs | Google Sheets | Google Slides

Polaris Office Interface

Polaris Office is another decent productivity suite. It’s ad-supported with a premium option for people who want extra features. However, if you work alone and don’t require frequent collaboration, the free version is more than enough.

Key Features of Polaris Office

  • The software supports ODT files.
  • The UI is quite similar to Microsoft Office 365, so you’ll feel right at home when switching.
  • With more than 100 million users, Polaris Office has one of the best support teams in the business.
  • Allows you to restore any document saved in Polaris within three days.
  • Connects to external clouds such as Google, OneDrive, and Dropbox.
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Disadvantages of Using Polaris Office

  • You can only use it on one PC and one mobile device using a single account.
  • Free version has ads.
  • Only allows you to edit and save up to 100MB per month, up to a total of 1GB.

Download: Polaris Office for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

FreeOffice Spreadsheet Template for a Class Schedule

The creators of FreeOffice proclaim their product as the best alternative to Microsoft Office. This is because the software does offer all the features of Microsoft 365 minus the price tag.

Key Features of FreeOffice

  • FreeOffice consists of a competent word processor, presentation maker, and spreadsheet software that fully supports all Microsoft Office formats.
  • Free PDF editor is also available on the download page.
  • The formatting stays intact.
  • Documents are viewed just like in Microsoft Word or Excel.
  • Functional and easy to navigate.
  • Available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Disadvantages of Using FreeOffice

  • For users switching from newer versions of Microsoft Office, FreeOffice’s UI can seem a bit dated.

Download: FreeOffice for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

No Dearth of Alternatives to Microsoft Office 365

For most of us, Microsoft Office has been the primary productivity suite for a long time. Its popularity stems primarily from its integration into Windows since it usually comes pre-installed. Now, there are plenty of free and open-source alternatives available for users.

If you still prefer Microsoft Office, consider using Office Online instead. This way, you can still use the applications you love without the price tag.

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