In the world of technology where Microsoft’s products dominate the market, it’s extremely hard to find suitable software to edit text or write compelling papers you can later use for personal and commercial purposes. Many people don’t like the idea behind a monthly subscription to software they might use only to write a couple of lines of text and little to no editing. Fortunately, we searched, found and tested the best free alternatives to Microsoft Office Word you can use today. Make sure to check them out and tell us what you think.
As more features emerge on Microsoft’s text and spreadsheet management tools, many companies want to compete with it by releasing free software available to everyone. People can now write and read documents, manage spreadsheets, email and much more to oppose Microsoft’s premium tools.
While most good tools do come with a price, there are plenty of free options to meet your requirements. Keep in mind that some options come with limitations as a result of being free. It’s up to you to match the right combination of features and use them for your needs. If some of the features do seem attractive to you, you may find yourself subscribing to their, more affordable service for unlimited bells and whistles.
There is another drawback of working with third-party software. Most documents simply accept Microsoft as the throne-holder, making compatibility trickier. Some of the free Microsoft Office Word alternatives don’t support cross-platform features and are often losing to stronger competition. Standardization is tricky, so make sure that the platform you’ll use can also be opened in Microsoft Word.
With all of this in mind, here’s a list of the best free Microsoft Office Word alternatives currently available on the market. Read on!
Top 10 Free Microsoft Office Word Alternatives
There are two types of people online. Those who use Microsoft Office Word, and those who use Google Docs. Many say that Google Docs are more flexible because they’re hosted on cloud and allow cross-platform integration. They were the first to offer this functionality, which is why Google dominates the online market. Nevertheless, Microsoft soon followed with Office 365 packages.
Unlike Office 365, Google Docs is entirely free to use. You can manage your documents on Google Drive, as well as photos, videos, spreadsheet and more. You can even download the files, which will be optimized with Microsoft Office packages.
Those who are already using Chrome OS and Android ecosystem may find this tool to be particularly useful to users. It’s worth noting that not all devices are completely free. There are features you might need to upgrade before you can use them. There is no database tool, such as Microsoft Access, in the package. Additionally, sometimes it’s extremely difficult to open older files because the formatting standards changed through the time. Nevertheless, it’s a great tool. If you need additional, advanced features, upgrading might not be so painful.
- The best Microsoft Office Word alternative in terms of design
- Easy to use and access
- Supports cross-platform
- It boasts mobile apps.
- Full features are locked.
- It’s hard to open older files.
Libre Office is a completely free and fully-compatible Microsoft Office Word alternative. It’s equipped with so many free features that you’ll wonder why you ever used Microsoft Office products. It has nearly every feature available in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
The Libre Office package is equipped with six software that will help you handle documents and spreadsheets: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, and Base. It’s worth notice that the last three software isn’t commonly found in other office suites that are free, but they can be used for advanced mathematics and analysis like vector diagrams, mathematical functions, and database management. If you’re into database management, Libre Office Base feature will help you benefit, as there are not many free Microsoft Office Access alternatives on the market. Nevertheless, it’s not often used anymore anyway.
Libre Office is open-sourced by its huge community that works on bringing useful updates and assets daily. That means that its source-code editable and can be changed for free. Its large community consistently works on improving it, making it stabler and more secure.
The good news is that LibreOffice is not only available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users can enjoy its free features. Unfortunately, unlike Google Docs, and Office Word, there is no free Android or iOS app to accompany you. There is only a document viewer available for Android, with minor editing functionality that is still in the testing phase.
- Completely free and open-sourced
- Fully-compatible with Office Suite
- Available on different operating systems.
- No Android or iOS app.
WPS Office Free
WPS Office Free is a little lesser known text editing software that comes in both premium and free options. While paid option features much grander features and functionalities, it’s worth noting that the free version boasts everything necessary to be one of the best free Microsoft Office Word alternatives. It has all the features average Word, Excel and Powerpoint would have.
The good news is that it supports the same file format as Microsoft Office Word, so you don’t have to worry about file, text, and table formation. Moreover, users can save their work in the native Microsoft formats in case they need to forward file to another computer and share it with other Office users. Unfortunately, there’s no database software, but there’s a quite efficient PDF reader which helps users quickly access their files.
WPS Office Free is run by ads that occasionally display themselves at the end of a document, although that will rarely interrupt your work. The software also comes compatible with all Linux distributions, while also being available for Android users, usually found built-into Huawei software. Unfortunately, iOS users will need to pick another app from this list.
- A great variety of file formats
- It can be saved in Microsoft Word format.
- Efficient PDF reader
- Available on Linux and Android
- No Apple support
- No database management software.
Polaris is a great free Microsoft Office Word alternative, and similarly to how WPS Office comes with a Huawei phone, Polaris is available on all newer Samsung smart devices. Polaris Office is available on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and is cross-platform. Its users are also given 1GB of free cloud storage, and if it appears too little to you, remember that Word-like documents are quite little in size.
The software is compatible with all Microsoft document formats, featuring a ribbon-like interface that lets users customize it for their needs. Keep in mind that when you install the Windows option, it’ll come with a lot of bloatware, and browser extensions of software like McAfee, WebAdvisor, PremierOpinion and more. Fortunately, you can easily uncheck for their installation.
You can also sign with Facebook or Google account to access Google storage. The free account comes with 60MB monthly data transfer and 1GB of storage that can be used on three devices, two mobile and one PC. If you’ll be too satisfied with service Polaris Office has to offer, you can also upgrade to a premium account and access PDF editor, no ads, and search within document.
- Comes with 1GB free cloud storage
- Available on three devices
- Compatible with Microsoft Office Word
- Force's bloatware on users.
- Requires premium subscription for search within document and PDF reader.
If you’re looking for a similar design and functionality to WPS Office, SoftMaker FreeOffice will make you look no further. It similarly offers three apps in the package, analog to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It enables support for Microsoft Office Word files from 1997 to today. There is also a free PDF and Epub format conversion that helps users manage for free.
Given there is also a premium option, some features are exclusive to it, making it a huge turn-off. Tabbed browsing, for example, as well as the lack of thesaurus-like synonym browsing is a turn-off for people who need these strong text editors to write. Other than that SoftMaker FreeOffice makes a welcome addition and Microsoft Office Word alternative for those who don’t need advanced text editing.
- Support for Microsoft formats.
- PDF reader and converter
- Few ads.
- No thesaurus option
- Not suitable for writers.
Opting for Open 365 means opting for one of the best Microsoft Office Word alternatives. It functions as a cloud-supported desktop app that also deploys a lot of other open-sourced desktop-based software that works together with your browser.
There is even a desktop client that can easily handle file transfers and mirroring cloud storage to the hard-drive. However, because it runs on both desktop and cloud, it puts a huge strain on your performance. Nevertheless, it comes with a set of essential collaborative tools to make writing and organizing files and documents extremely easy.
- It’s an open-source tool
- There are a lot of features from suites like Libre Office
- Available in wide range of platforms.
- Too technical and DIY approach.
Zoho Workplace is much more than just document-editing and writing software. It’s an entire online office solution for people who need to easily organize their data, spreadsheet, and documents. Its interface is well-presented, encouraging people to use it easily for basic tasks. However, for more detailed use, Zoho may terrify less tech-savvy users.
There’s also a file-management solution, website creation tool, and feature for collaborating. It’s perfect for small businesses who are starting to work online and want to organize their online office.
- Good for businesses
- Nice presentation
- Support for Word files
- Difficult to use.
We all know that Dropbox is a great alternative to Google Drive, thanks to its wide-structured functionality and innovative way to save files. However, did you know you can use it to edit your documents and create new ones? Dropbox Paper is one of the lesser know Microsoft Office Word alternatives, but it’s still worth showcasing.
Just like the Drive, it’s cloud-based, so all you need to do is make an account. It has a minimalist and simple interface that helps you easily get around. You can add media, like audio, video, and photos, as well as embed Trello cards for task management. There is also document-link sharing, checklist creation and much more.
- Compatible with a great variety of apps.
- Easy to use and manage
- Not so rich in features like other alternatives.
If you’re particularly looking for a collaborative app, Etherpad is the right app for you. It allows users to change text and documents easily, using an open-source cloud. It is equipped with many advanced tools for customizing content online. It’s extremely easy to use; all you need to do is start a pad and begin collaborating.
The drawback is that it’s too focused on collaboration, and doesn’t offer all proper features that Office Word provides. On top of that, it’s not compatible with its documents as a result.
- Great collaborative-tool
- Incompatibility with Word documents.
- Too collaboration-oriented.
If you’re restricted to Linux, then AbiWord is the right Microsoft Office Word alternative for you. It’s available on all Linux distribution and is equipped with various features to help you write, format, and distribute documents compatible with Word.
Aside from advanced text customization, AbiWord also lets users merge documents and emails and fill the table from data from databases. There are also many plugins that ensure flawless experience.
- Fast and reliable
- Great variety of plugins
- Available only on the Linux system.
When choosing the right Microsoft Office Word alternative, it’s worth to keep in mind all the features you’ll need. While it’s difficult choosing the right candidate, which of these do you find most useful, do you have a Word alternative that we haven’t mentioned? Please let us know!