Free Microsoft Office Alternatives

Don't buy MS Office just yet until you try a free option

A man working at a laptop on a lunch table.

 © Nick David / Taxi / Getty Images

There are so many free Microsoft Office alternatives out there that you won't even miss having the real thing. Plus, with the more than $200 price tag of Microsoft Office, your pocketbook won't miss it either.

These Microsoft Office free alternatives will let you download similar versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access.

It's important to note that these free Office alternatives won't give you all the features of the originals but in many cases they'll get you awful close. I recommend starting from the top of the list and making your way down to try out each replacement. This will make it easy to find the best alternative that will work for your needs.

Many of these MS Office free alternatives will let you not only open Office documents but also edit and create them. Check out each program to find out exactly what you can and can't do with them.

If you're looking for a free and convenient alternative to Word, check out these and that will get you a nice free option quickly. There are also some great and .

Microsoft Office Free Download: There's a that will let you download and use it for a month absolutely free of charge.

The LibreOffice logo.

What We Like

  • Robust word processor for documents, books, diagrams and indexes.

  • Fully compatible with DOCX files.

  • Forms menu makes it easy to create forms.

What We Don't Like

  • Must install entire suite of apps – not just Writer.

  • No integrated cloud storage.

  • No real-time collaboration feature.

LibreOffice can be used as a replacement of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.

There are six separate programs that are installed with LibreOffice to make up the suite: Writer (Word), Impress (PowerPoint), Calc (Excel), Base (Access), Math, and Draw.

Each of the Microsoft Office alternatives can open, edit, and save to the Office 2016/2013/2010/2007 file formats.

Picture of the OpenOffice.org logo
© The Apache Software Foundation

What We Like

  • No learning curve for anyone accustomed to using Word.

  • Software looks and feels familiar.

  • Mature product that has been in development for 20+ years.

What We Don't Like

  • No online collaboration.

  • Default file format is ODF. Must be changed to DOC for best Word compatibility.

  • No built-in grammar checker.

OpenOffice has a word processor, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, and database program as part of its Microsoft Office alternative suite.

Writer (Word), Calc (Excel), Base (Access), and Impress (PowerPoint) are the Microsoft Office free alternatives offered by OpenOffice that can be used in full at absolutely no cost.

Many popular file formats can be opened with OpenOffice, such as DOC, DOCX, XML, XLS, XLW, DBF, PPT, PPS, and POTX.

During installation, you can selectively decide to install some or all of the OpenOffice programs to avoid adding a program you won't use.

Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP are supported as well as Linux and Mac operating systems. There's even a portable version of OpenOffice so you don't have to install anything, though the download is almost 40 MB larger than the regular installer.

The Kingsoft Logo.

What We Like

  • Excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats.

  • Multiple document tabs good for quick-switching.

  • Eye Protection Mode and Night Mode.

What We Don't Like

  • Annual fee to suppress ads in the ad-supported free version.

  • Advanced features require a paid version.

  • No real-time co-authoring.

WPS Office Free, formerly Kingsoft Office Suite Free, installs three programs that work as Microsoft Office alternatives: Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets.

can be used as a replacement for Microsoft Word. It can open common files like WPS, DOC, and DOCX files as well as Microsoft Word template files like DOT and DOTM files.

The Microsoft PowerPoint alternative, , can open and save files in formats that can be used between Microsoft Office installs or with the free Kingsoft Office Suite Free. File types such as PPT and PPS are supported.

The Microsoft Excel alternative is called Kingsoft Spreadsheets and works with the Microsoft Excel 2010 files like XLSX and XLSM. Functions like SUM, COUNT, SUMIF, and AVERAGE are supported when building formulas.

Though there are lots of features in Kingsoft Office Suite Free, the installer size is surprisingly only 45 MB.

The Google Drive logo.

What We Like

  • Lots of free cloud storage space.

  • Excellent collaboration capabilities.

  • Syncs files across computers and mobile devices.

What We Don't Like

  • Shared files can't be password protected.

  • No Linux desktop client.

  • Not as sophisticated as Microsoft Office.

Google Drive is a offered by Google that also lets you create online documents without downloading any software, making it a perfect Microsoft Office replacement.

Just log in with your Google account to instantly have access to build document, presentation, and spreadsheet files to replace Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, respectively.

Files you create with Google Drive are automatically saved to your Google account, accessible from any browser at any time, and can be shared with anyone whether or not they’re also a Google user.

Google Drive also supports simultaneous collaboration with other users in real time and allows add-ons to be used with documents and spreadsheets to extend their functionality.

Existing Microsoft Office documents can be opened in , like DOCX and XLSX files, and then converted to a Google Drive format for easy editing.

The Zoho Docs logo.

What We Like

  • Excellent collaboration features with built-in chat.

  • Advanced analytics track edits to files and who made them.

  • Secure encryption and two-factor authentication.

What We Don't Like

  • Web-based software has no desktop app.

  • Can't edit documents on the net. Must download, edit, and re-upload.

  • Slower than other online office suites.

Zoho Docs is another online office suite that includes a , word processor, and spreadsheet program, much like Microsoft Office.

You can upload several different popular file types to Zoho Docs from your computer or Google Drive as well as create new ones online. You can then edit these files, share them with others, and even download them again in their original format or a different one.

All the common text formatting tools are included and your files are saved automatically as you work. There's even a mobile app for Androids and iOS users.

Picture of the Microsoft Office Online logo
© Microsoft

What We Like

  • No installation necessary.

  • Real-time collaboration with others.

  • Familiar, streamlined Office apps accessible in any browser.

What We Don't Like

  • Lacks many of the advanced features of the desktop apps.

  • Doesn't support some file formats.

  • Not licensed for business use.

If you're looking for a Microsoft Office free edition, this is the closest you'll come.

Though not exactly a Microsoft Office alternative, Microsoft's service, called Microsoft Office Online, lets you use Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Excel online at no cost.

Files can be edited only if they exist in your OneDrive account, which means you must upload files there first if you wish to edit them with Word, PowerPoint, or Excel.

Any file type that works with Microsoft Office products works with Microsoft Office Online, which means you can edit any file and then save a copy back to your computer or in OneDrive.

Picture of the ONLYOFFICE logo
© Ascensio System SIA

What We Like

  • Compatible with Microsoft Office formats.

  • Sharing and collaboration features.

  • Personal version is free.

What We Don't Like

  • Add-ons needed to insert images and for other features.

  • Not as robust as the paid version or its competitors.

Similar to the previous few MS Office free alternatives, ONLYOFFICE Personal is a suite of online programs, which means you can use them from any web browser without having to download a single program.

Just login to ONLYOFFICE Personal with your Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or ONLYOFFICE account and you can start creating Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations in the newest Office file formats.

Files can be uploaded from your computer as well as a few cloud storage services, like . 

Also supported in this free MS Office-like program is chat, co-editing, spell check, and sharing with anyone, even if they aren't logged into their own ONLYOFFICE account.

Softmaker Free Office logo.

What We Like

  • Free for home and business use.

  • Saves documents in native Microsoft file formats.

  • Choice of ribbons or classic menu and toolbars.

  • Optimized for touch screens.

What We Don't Like

  • No cloud support.

  • No auto-save feature.

  • No thesaurus or U.S. English dictionary.

SoftMaker FreeOffice is an Office alternative for Windows and Linux computers.

PlanMaker (Excel), Presentations (PowerPoint), and TextMaker (Word) are included that can open and save files as DOC, DOCX, ODT, XLS, PPT, PPS, PPTX, POTM, DOTM, and DOT, among others.

All three portions of SoftMaker FreeOffice work with the file types supported in the newest version of Microsoft Office as well as older ones like 2010 and 2007.

The SSuite Office logo.

What We Like

  • Small downloads for full-featured apps.

  • Fast startup

What We Don't Like

  • Loads many apps that may never be needed.

  • The GUI is hard to follow.

SSuite Office has seven different Microsoft Office alternatives available, each with a different set of features and each completely free to use.

The two basic versions, Personal and Advanced Edition, don't include the Presentation (PowerPoint) program. However, the other suites do - you can see a comparison table of each of them on the download page.

Instead of downloading the whole Microsoft Office free alternative suite, you can choose to grab the word processor or spreadsheet program, for instance, as a separate download.

There's also a portable version on the download page called Blade Runner.