Top 5 Free Microsoft Word Alternatives: Are They Worth Your Attention?
No doubt, Microsoft has numerous features that have become part of everyone and everything. There is practically no one who wouldn’t use at least one product of this company. Microsoft Office is one of the most popular products offered by this tech giant, and almost everyone uses it. No wonder it comes at a high cost. Unfortunately, you cannot use all the features of Microsoft Office, which makes paying for the whole package a rip-off. If all you use there is Microsoft Word, then you don’t have to keep paying for this product because there are five free alternatives that you can start using right now. Let’s check them out!
1. Google Docs
The first on our list of free alternatives to Microsoft Word is Google Docs. This tool is free but you need a Google account to access it, which is also free. If all you want is the simple features of Microsoft Word, Google Docs is the perfect substitute for you. It meets all the basic word processing needs, and most importantly, that it is incorporated into Google Drive. You don’t have to worry about losing any data, because everything you do is saved directly in Google Cloud. In addition to this, it also auto-saves every time you click on a key, which means that in the case of a crash, you won’t lose your data. You can simply pick up from where you left off.
It is also important to mention that Google Docs supports .docx, .doc, and, of course, Microsoft Word formats. This means you can easily import and edit any document in Google Docs. Another great feature of this tool for the business users is real-time collaboration. You can share the file with another user, and both of you can work and review this document simultaneously. The only downside is that it is a purely bare-bones processor, which most likely will not be enough for the experienced individuals.
2. Microsoft Office Word Online
For those who really love working with Microsoft Word, its online version will be a great substitute to the paid one. Just like Google Docs, Microsoft Word Online is a Cloud-based version that has been simplified. Of course, it lacks many advanced features of the locally installed variation of Word. However, for those who want a free version of Microsoft Word, this is a good option. There are quite a number of similarities between Word Online and Google Docs. The interface is almost the same, but with a couple of tweaks, you can have a more Microsoft feel with Word Online. When you create any document there, it will be saved on Microsoft OneDrive. It also has real-time collaboration features just like the ones in Google Docs. Formatting Word Online is also great as you can easily import your work to Microsoft Word and support it.
3. Apache OpenOffice Writer
If you are not a big fan of the ribbon in Microsoft Word, Apache OpenOffice Writer is a great alternative for you. It comes with a classic interface, which looks a little cluttered, but replicates the Microsoft Office 2003 menu. Apart from the features of Office 2003, this substitute also has some added features such as security patches and getting updates. Apache OpenOffice Writer has its own document format and also supports .docx and .doc. Essentially, it retains formatting when you importing it to other file types. Many advanced features inherent in Microsoft Word are incorporated into OpenOffice Writer. You can easily store and access files in Cloud drive through OpenOffice. However, to open Cloud storage, you will need the desktop client of Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud, or Google Drive installed on your system.
4. LibreOffice Writer
Like Apache OpenOffice Writer, LibreOffice Writer is another open source and completely free tool offering word processing. It offers support for .docx and .doc files and also other tools that an average Microsoft Word user needs in his/her word process. Both LibreOffice Writer and OpenOffice Writer are quite similar. Their file format support, interface style, real-time collaboration, basic word processing features, and lack of Cloud integration are some of the things they have in common. Additionally, both are great choices for the users who need a free substitute to Microsoft Word.
5. WPS Office Writer
For those users who are looking for a word processor with high-level features but don’t want to pay the premium price of Microsoft Word, WPS Office Writer is a great alternative. This tool is a full-featured application suite with superior quality. It does almost the same thing as Word and comes with native Cloud support, making it easy to store documents online. The only downside in this regard is that it doesn’t have a real-time collaboration feature. Apart from this disadvantage, WPS Office Writer has a lot going for it. This tool has more features than many other free alternatives such as Apache OpenOffice Writer. There is another tiny hitch with this suite, which is really not a big deal for many people. This is an advertisement. Well, this should be expected because you get all the features for free.
By the way, you don’t have to be deterred by the ads because you may not even see it all through the time you are in the document. You don’t see any banner over the top of the app, and the only place you come across app ads is when you want to use special features such as exporting to PDF or printing. If you need to use one of these functions, you have to wait about ten seconds until the advertisement starts showing, and after this, you can enjoy these features for about thirty minutes. You can also completely remove the app ads by paying an annual subscription fee, which costs $29.99. You can also choose a lifetime license for $79.99. Whatever option you decide to go for, it’s cheaper than the Office 365 subscription.
If you are tired of paying the expensive fee for the Office 365 subscription, the above five free alternatives to Microsoft Word are always available to you.