The best free alternatives to Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is a powerful suite of programs which can be used for many different tasks, but is often overkill for an average user.

Office’s wide range of features are impressive, and can be purchased through various channels.

For regular users who are looking for a more cost-effective option, though, there are multiple free alternatives available.

Below is a list of the best free office suites available right now, according to international reviews.

Google Docs

Google’s cloud-based software is ideal for users who need to collaborate on a project.

While it lacks some advanced features in Office, it supports many file formats and is a great option for users who require lightweight software.

No download is needed, and users only require a Google account – and an Internet connection –  to create and share files.

Google Doc


LibreOffice is a free suite which delivers advanced features and includes support for Windows, Linux, and Mac systems.

LibreOffice includes programs like Writer, Calc, Impress, and Base, which offer support for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and database editing respectively.

The software is a good choice for users who require powerful office tools for advanced, offline projects.

It supports most common file extensions and is available from the LibreOffice website.

LibreOffice Logo


SoftMaker’s FreeOffice suite is designed to be lightweight, dropping advanced features for a responsive and friendly interface.

FreeOffice comprises of programs for word processing, spreadsheet editing, and presentation creation – and can be used offline.

FreeOffice is available to download from the SoftMaker FreeOffice website.

Softmaker FreeOffice logo

WPS Office

WPS Office is designed to be similar to Microsoft Office, and includes Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheet programs.

A big advantage of WPS Office is its compatibility with Microsoft programs, and all files created in WPS Office are compatible with Microsoft Office.

This is a good choice for users who are used to the Microsoft Office interface and need a free alternative which functions similarly.

WPS Office is available from the official website.

WPS Office Logo

Apache OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice has been around for a while and offers a feature set which competes against Microsoft Office.

While it has similar capabilities, OpenOffice does lack certain formatting tools and interface elements.

The OpenOffice suite is open source and available from the OpenOffice website for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Apache OpenOffice Logo

Now read: Microsoft’s plans to cut data costs for Windows updates in South Africa

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The best free alternatives to Microsoft Office