The Five Best Microsoft Office Alternatives You’ll Ever Find
Posted 3 years ago30 Jul 2018
Microsoft Office has been around for quite some time. In fact, on 1st August 2018, the office suite will be celebrating its thirtieth birthday. The Office software family was first introduced by the man himself, Bill Gates, at the tech industry’s biggest trade show of the time; COMDEX. The very first version included Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Needless to say, all three became huge successes for Microsoft.
Over the years, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have earned numerous new features and adapted to changing needs and trends. This is what makes Microsoft Office the most popular and most commonly used office suite on the planet today. Microsoft has further built on their success by introducing more productivity-enhancing software such as Access, OneNote, Publisher, Project, Teams, etc.
Microsoft Office definitely rules the industry today, but more and more people have started questioning its high price tag. Above that, Google and Microsoft’s other competitors have really upped their game in the recent years in order to dethrone the Office suite.
No doubt that Microsoft Office is the most popular productivity tool today and it’s got fans all over the world, but is that enough to name it the best office suite in the world? Before we can answer that, we need to look at its greatest competitors. So, here are the greatest Office alternatives you’ll ever find;
Ironically, one of the best Office competitors comes from Microsoft itself. Office Online was launched in 2010 and originally, it was known as Office Web Apps. In short, Office Online is Microsoft Office’s lightweight and a little less feature-filled online version. Everything looks and works just like it does in the offline version and even all the tools and options are in the same place.
Office Online offers Words, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. In order to use Office Online, the user must log in through their Outlook account. If the user does not have an Outlook account then they must create one first.
The great thing about Office Online and Outlook is that both of them are completely free. This means anyone can create an account on Outlook and start using this online office suite. Office Online also earned the ability to render PDF files recently, making it one of the newest PDF editing software in the market.
Google Docs is Google’s answer to Microsoft Office. Google Docs is a cloud-based office suite that automatically syncs up with all the devices the user is accessing the software and also allows easy file sharing. Google Docs is actually why Microsoft launched its own cloud-based office suite that we call Office Online today.
But, make no mistake, Google Docs came first. Google Docs was made available to the public in 2006, four years before Office Online. While Google Docs was launched as a competitor to Microsoft Office, the functions, and features that it offers are far from enough to challenge the full version of Office.
Today, Office Online is what everyone considers as Google Docs’ main competitor. Both offer pretty much the same features but Office Online does have a few more in its arsenal. What makes Google Docs great is its extremely simple layout. All the most used tools can be found in a toolbar on top while all other features can be found in other menus.
Other than Docs, which is Google’s direct competitor to Word, Google also offers Sheets, its direct competitor to Excel and Slides, its direct competitor to PowerPoint.
LibreOffice is actually one of the most powerful office suites you can find and the great thing about this software family is that unlike Microsoft Office, it is completely free. LibreOffice includes tools for making word documents, spreadsheet documents, presentations, artwork and mathematical notes.
The interface is really simple and straightforward, which allows the user to get things done really quickly. Moreover, unlike many major productivity tools, this Office competitor can also open and edit files produced in Microsoft Office and many other office suites.
Office Viewer was Microsoft’s own spin on the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Just like how Acrobat Reader only allows the user to view and print the PDF file, Office Viewer only allowed it, users, to view and print a Word file. The great things about this software are that other than being completely free it was also really lightweight and that allowed it to work really fast.
Microsoft hoped that Office Viewer would replicate the success that Adobe Acrobat had seen. But, by the time Office Viewer came around, there were many word processors available online that didn’t charge a single penny and so, Viewer never really took off. After a few years, Microsoft discontinued Viewer, but it’s still available for download on numerous websites.
Classic PDF Editor
All Office alternatives that we have mentioned up till now have been completely free-to-use ones, but if there’s a software that we recommend paying a small, one-time payment for, it’s Classic PDF Editor.
This software can convert more than 500 formats to PDF and it has got all the features that Adobe’s latest Acrobat does. But here’s the real difference; Acrobat can be bought for $350+ or about $25 of lifelong monthly payments, on the other hand, Classic PDF Editor can be bought for just $25. And that’s a onetime payment!
Classic PDF Editor offers all the latest and greatest features you can think of and you can also find some free tools on their website as well. Their free JPG to PDF converter online is one of the most famous tools they offer.
There are many great Microsoft Office alternatives out there and in some cases, what’s the best option for you depends on your needs. But, with that being said, if you want to have a software that can do it all and you won’t have to pay much for, you should definitely go for Classic PDF Editor.