All the listed software are free to use with similar features to the ones in Microsoft Office Suite and even documents that are compatible with the same.
FreeOffice is the free version of SoftMaker Office 2020. However, an official upgrade to 2021 for FreeOffice is awaited.
FreeOffice ships with only 3 apps, FreeOffice TextMaker, FreeOffice PlanMaker, and FreeOffice Presentations. There is no Extended Thunderbird or Basic Maker. Despite this, it is able to use several CPU cores, rendering graphics faster than its predecessor, work with touch-screens and 4K (UHG) monitors, and is compatible with all modern Linux distros and Windows XP up to Windows 10.
Apps in FreeOffice
FreeOffice features a word processor, spreadsheet application, and a presentation program. These produce documents that are fully compatible with their counterparts in Microsoft Office. FreeOffice has gained immense popularity amongst millions of people who have called it the “best free alternative to Microsoft Office”, “One of the best free productivity suites around”, and the “best Microsoft Office alternative overall”.
TextMaker, for word processing.
FreeOffice TextMaker helps in creating all types of documents like design flyers, brochures, business letters or complete scientific papers in no time.
Several design options are available in TextMaker. Using its unique object mode, pictures, drawings and text frames can be placed in the documents. The advanced positioning and text wrapping options allow creation of any layout one can think of.
With the use of master pages, each page can be watermarked and repeating objects can be placed in the document. The character and paragraph styles give the documents a consistent and professional look.
FreeOffice TextMaker supports spell-checking in dozens of languages using Hunspell dictionaries.
All Microsoft Word DOC and DOCX files can be opened and saved seamlessly in TextMaker. Also, PDF files and EPUB e-books can be created directly from within the application.
PlanMaker, for data spreadsheets
FreeOffice PlanMaker makes working with complex calculations, worksheets and charts easy. With this powerful spreadsheet application, complex things like complete financial planning of your company can be done as conveniently as creating simple timetables.
On account of the numerous design features available, FreeOffice PlanMaker helps in creating presentation-quality worksheets: It not only allows insertion of pictures, drawings, text frames, or impressive charts in 2D and 3D but also allows to choose from a large catalog of attractive cell styles that are compatible with Microsoft Excel 2019.
More than 430 calculation functions and a wide variety of analysis features help in managing data. Since FreeOffice PlanMaker supports huge worksheets with up to 1 million rows and 16,384 columns, pivot tables come as a handy tool to summarize and analyze data quickly.
FreeOffice PlanMaker enables the opening and saving of all Microsoft Excel XLS and XLSX files seamlessly. Worksheets can be exported to PDF or printed exactly as required, fitting on a specified number of pages, with a specific print range, or with repeating headers.
Presentations, for presentations
FreeOffice Presentations enables the creation of impressive presentations with breathtaking animations and slide transitions as well as the sophisticated master-page concept.
A wide variety of design and drawing functions are offered on FreeOffice Presentations. It allows inserting images, drawings and text frames into the presentations, applying attractive type effects by using the TextArt feature or letting one of the numerous attractive design templates do the design work.
FreeOffice Presentations not only lets the insertion of static objects but also movies and sound effects in the presentations. Besides, beautiful animations and slide transitions using OpenGL graphics acceleration can make the presentations very attractive.
FreeOffice Presentations opens and saves all Microsoft PowerPoint PPT and PPTX files seamlessly. It also allows the creation of PDF files directly from within the application.
Features in FreeOffice
- Free for both personal and commercial use.
- Available for GNU/Linux and Windows PCs and Android.
- FreeOffice is a Closed-Source.
- Available for 32 and 64-bit architectures.
- Available for Microsoft Windows Server 2012, 2008, 2003.
- Use OpenGL-based 2D and 3D animations and transitions.
- Compatible with DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX.
- Has a beautiful UI with customizable layout.
- Uses a modern ribbon theme.
- Support for several languages including French, Spanish, Romanian, Russian, etc.
To download FreeOffice, you will need to register as a new user with a valid email address so that a product key can be sent to your inbox and you can be added to the newsletter list. Of course, you can always cancel your subscription.
A flexible and fairly lightweight suite
LibreOffice is the offspring of The Document Foundation and had split from OpenOffice in 2010. The suite is free and open-source and is made up of a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software. It is available in 110 languages.
Although LibreOffice uses the ODF (OpenDocument) format, it still supports a range of other format types used in Microsoft Office. LibreOffice is the default suite for most Linux distros and is also available for use on Windows and macOS. There is a LibreOffice viewer for Android also.
As this is an open-source software, all technical support comes from online. However, support will rarely be needed since this is quite easy to. The platform also offers the option to export your files into PDF format.
Extra features can be added to LibreOffice via extensions from its website. These include extra templates for documents.
With a smaller download size than Microsoft Office, LibreOffice weighs in at 298MB, which is still a fairly large suite to install.
Has an excellent free tier and advanced features for subscribers
WPS Office, released in 2016 by Chinese software developer Kingsoft, is an office suite that is available for Windows, Linux, Android and iOS. The suite is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Russian.
It offers a free and a premium tier. The free tier allows you to use Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheets, which are similar to and alternatives to the Microsoft Office suite. WPS offers a fast and easy to use PDF to Word converter. It supports bulk exportation and can also split-merge PDF files if needed.
While the suite offers 1GB of free cloud storage for iOS and PC users, this service is not yet available for Android.
The ‘Premium’ tier is available at $29.99 per year and allows the user to connect up to 9 devices at once. It also blocks all the annoying ads that are common to the free tier.
WPS has been criticized for not allowing collaboration beyond those that track changes and allow users to insert comments. As per the feedback of users, the interface can be quite slow at times, especially when it comes to loading documents. Linux users have mentioned that all fonts are not automatically included and have to be installed separately.
For Android users, installation is quite large. There has been criticism about this asking the developer to make it more lightweight.