Why pay for something when you can get it for free?
Microsoft Office is a popular office program, but it comes with a large price tag. Microsoft Office 365 for the home user can cost anywhere from $70 to $120 a year.
Free Office Alternatives
There are many free programs available that offer functions similar to those you’ll find with Microsoft Office. Some are software packages you download and install, while others are cloud-based. Since every option below is free, you can try each of these programs and find the one that’s best for you.
LibreOffice saves the files you create in the ODF format, but you can save in a host of other formats as well. Like most similar productivity programs, it has a built-in PDF export feature. And you can find a wide range of extensions and templates on the LibreOffice website.
I found the program quite easy to use. The website has a number of user guides and other documentation available. Since it is open-source software, it’s in constant development with new features and improvements released regularly. All updates and new versions of the program are free.
LibreOffice is available for Windows, Linux and MacOS. There is also a portable app and a viewer for Android.
WPS Office is another free office suite.
I found it to be a very intuitive program that looks and feels much like Microsoft Office. Even long-time Microsoft Office users will have no trouble finding their way around the program. Every new version and update is free.
WPS Office also offers cloud storage. You register for an account and then you can access your files online from any computer.
WPS Office lets you save files in many different file formats. You can set the default to save as a Microsoft Office document or another file type.
There is a built-in PDF viewer and also an option to export files to PDF.
WPS Office is available for Windows, Linux and iOS. There are also mobile versions for Android and iOS.
Microsoft Office Online
Microsoft Office Online is a free cloud-based version of Microsoft Office. Although not as robust and feature-rich as the paid versions of Microsoft Office, it works quite well for the everyday user. Microsoft Office Online gives you access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Sway, Mail, Calendar and 5 GB of free storage using OneDrive.
You can create documents and work online. You can also save files locally to your computer, share files and collaborate with other users online.
Google offers a free online office suite including Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides and more. All you need is a free Google account to use it. You can access your documents from any computer.
With your free Google account, you also have access to many of the other useful services such as Gmail, Calendar, Photos, Keep, Maps, Blogger, YouTube and much more. Google Drive includes 15 GB of free online storage
You can download and save your files locally and share and collaborate with other users online.
It is available as a web application, but you can also use the mobile app for Android or iOS to create and access documents when you’re not at your computer.