Microsoft Office was introduced by Microsoft in the year 1989.Since then,it is providing the users with various desktop applications and serving many other purposes.It is the industry standard in terms of integrated applications and is known for its user-friendly nature i.e.,it is very easy to use.
Though,Microsoft Office is one of the most popular productivity suites available,it is not the only option.Most of the small business owners are unaware that these types of office applications are also available in free and open source office productivity applications.
These open source office productivity software consists of many features and provide wide access to online documentation and large communities of users and developers.
With this type of softwares,you can stop worrying about the high purchase prices and licensing fees that can cross the budget of your small organization.Most free or open source alternatives to Microsoft Office have the basic applications for office productivity.
Here are the five alternatives to Microsoft Office that you can consider using.
1. Google docs :
Google Docs is a cloud based office suite offered by search giant Google within its Google Drive service.It allows users to create,edit documents online and is free of cost.You need not install anything on your computer to use its services.Its interface is very easy to understand and is originated from two separate products, Google Spreadsheets and Writely.
Google Docs combines with other Google services like Gmail, GChat, Google+, and can be accessed from any device with a Internet connection.The documents in it can be shared,opened and also can be manipulated by multiple users simultaneously.The application can notify users when there is a comment or discussion is made in the document.
The documents are converted to Google Docs format and the files can be downloaded as Word,PDF,HTML or zip files etc.Also,Google spreadsheets can create and format spreadsheets which can be embedded into a blog or website.Besides,Google Docs support a wide variety of file types which can be downloaded for offline use.
These are some of the attractive features of Google Docs,it is surely the best alternative for MS office.And for the Smartphone addicts out there,if you want to access your files on your mobile phones,you might need to download the Google Drive app for your Android and Apple devices.
2. Apache OpenOffice :
It is one of the best open source software for the people who like MS office as its interface looks much similar to Microsoft Office.It contains tools for word processing,graphics,presentations,word processing,spreadsheets and others.Besides all these features,it is capable of opening and saving Microsoft Office documents and other commonly used file formats.
The software is absolutely free which can be downloaded and used without any licensing fees.It can store the data in an international open standard format.It supports all the operating systems including Windows,GNU/Linux and Mac OS X.With its frequent updates adding latest features,it is likely to grab the attention of the user.
Apache OpenOffice consists of variety of tools like presentation-making software,data illustration tool,a database management software and a mathematical formulas and functions tool which are very much helpful for all type of users.
The current updated version,Apache OpenOffice 3.4.1,can be downloaded for free from the official website of Apache OpenOffice.So what are you waiting for? Download Apache OpenOffice and experience the Microsoft Office features for free.
3. SoftMaker’s FreeOffice :
Softmaker’s FreeOffice is yet another office suite that resembles Microsoft Office in its look and feel.It is the office suit developed by the German company SoftMaker Software.Though,commercial versions of SoftMaker Office were released as a freeware,later on,they were replaced by SoftMaker FreeOffice.
Along with the features of MS office,it also has additional features such as its ability to run off USB flash drives and integrated reference works.It uses its native formats and at the same time it can read and write Microsoft Office file formats as well as OpenDocument format.It supports Multi-language spell checking,hyphenation and thesaurus integrating five-language translation dictionary.
FreeOffice supports almost all the operating systems including Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 as well as all PC-based Linux systems using glibc 2.2.5 or higher.Developers are working for a mobile app for Android and Apple devices.
One need to obtain a serial key to use the product and you can get one completely free of charge,empowering you to access the flagship software TextMaker, PlanMaker and Presentations.It can be also be installed on a flash drive for greater portability and ease.
4.Zoho Docs :
Following the footsteps of Google Docs,the Zoho Office Suite was launched in 2005 with a web-based word processor by ZOHO Corporation, a US-based company.This online office suite contains word processing, presentations,, databases,spreadsheets, note-taking, customer relationship and project management, invoicing, and various other applications.These applications are distributed as software as a service (SaaS).
It is very beneficial to the users which offers a package of 1GB of free online storage and different tools.Sharing can be done between the users and the users can edit the data in real-time.
Though,it is not as user-friendly as other alternatives,it is surely a best suite for experts and serves as a good cloud-based storage opportunity.It works on any operating system and the Zoho Docs can be accessed from any common browser including Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
All you need is to sign up for the software.There is also a mobile app for both Android and Apple devices to access your documents.
5.Kingsoft Office Suite :
Yet another office suite that is alike Microsoft Office,Kingsoft Office contains three basic Microsoft Office counterparts for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. There are very few differences that separates this suite from the MS Office.The customization options for it are unique and standard.
Apart from all the basic features,it has a PDF converter and tools for adding watermarks to documents.It is fast,compact and very compatible with all the file formats.But the current version of it is supported by few operating systems viz Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and 8. The mobile version of it is available and can be downloaded on Android and Apple devices.
This software office suite is absolutely free and the free version includes word processor, a spreadsheet, and a presentation applications.