When we use one thing or process again and again then we get habitual of it. And, when that particular thing not work properly, we think that we are stuck. This is also happen with Microsoft Word as well. So, many people believe that they are “locked” into using Microsoft Word for all their document creation needs.
Over the past few years, there have been many Microsoft Word and Office alternatives. Now, there are alternatives to the costly application from Microsoft. And, the point is many of them are free.
From redesigns that hide familiar menu items to overly complicated features. There is a lot to be desired in a simple word processor that MS Word does not provide. All we know this is due to its complex nature. In addition, MS Word and the rest of Office is expensive.
If you do not need all the features that MS offers. Then it is wastage of money. Especially in a small business environment where you just need a word processor. Today we are going to explore ten alternatives to MS Word that you can quickly and easily start using today.
We stuck with MS word because it can all work in conjunction with the applications you already use with MS Word. For example, working with the PDF is quite difficult. But, using word you can convert PDF into Word. And, that is easy to work. There are some other applications also other than Word that provide the same feature. Simply convert your PDF to Word and then import or upload your converted results into any one of the Word processors in this list.
Best Alternatives for Microsoft Word
Some will be online and some will be downloadable applications that can be installed on your local computer, but all will enable you to wean yourself off of MS Word and still be productive. So, if you need a good list of free alternatives to MS Word, look no further. Let us get started on our tour of ten free alternatives to Word.
I like the online applications. These are easy to use. But, if you are looking for desktop application then can also go for the below list. As some of them are desktop applications that you can easily download.
List of Alternatives of Microsoft Word:
- Google Docs
- LibreOffice Writer
- WPS Office Writer
- Microsoft Word Online
- DropBox Paper
- Apache Open Office Writer
- Soft Office Free Maker
1. Google Docs
It is the most popular Word alternative. If you have a Google account then it is free. In fact almost everyone has a Google account. If you want the basic features of Microsoft Word, you do not need to look any further than Google Docs. It does all your basic word processing needs, and it is tightly integrated with Google Drive and other products.
Since everything is saved in Google cloud, you do not need to worry about losing your work. Docs autosaves after every single keystroke. So in the event of a crash you should be able to pick up right where you left off, down to the letter.
Google Docs also supports some applications of the Word like .doc and .docx formats. So, if you want to edit in these formats you will not face any issue.
One of its best features for business users is real-time collaboration. If you share a document with another Google user, both of you can be in the document at the same time. You are able to see the other user’s cursor position, watch what they are typing. And can chat to each other as well. It is a great collaboration tool that stands out among word processors.
Advanced users may find the features lacking—it really is a bare-bones word processor. Google Docs allows you to create, collaborate and share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and even forms.
And if you are apprehensive of having to depend on the Internet connection for document processing, then no worries. You can enable Google Docs offline access and keep editing your documents even when you are disconnected from Internet. All it takes is a free Google account.
It is completely free and open-source application. It offers word processing and support .doc and .docx file formats. And, have all the tools the average MS Word user will need in a word processor.
LibreOffice Writer and OpenOffice Writer are similar in a lot of ways:
- Interface style,
- File format support,
- Lack of cloud integration and real-time collaboration
- General word processing features.
- Both are solid choices for those looking for a free alternative to Microsoft Word, and selecting one over the other largely comes down to preference.
It has the community-driven nature of the platform. Collaborating with users and developers to improve the product is front and center on LibreOffice website. Writer has all the features you need from a modern, full-featured word processing and desktop publishing tool.
It is simple enough for a quick memo, but powerful enough to create complete books with contents, diagrams, indexes, and more. You are free to concentrate on your message, while Writer makes it look great.
If you do not want to pay premium for the MS office. But, still want an application just as feature packed as word. Then you can go for WPS Office Writer. It is a full-featured application suite that feels premium.
WPS Office Writer does most of the same things as Microsoft Word. It includes native cloud support to make storing documents online a snap. However, it does lack real-time collaboration.
It is much like Word and supports so many formats. In fact almost patterns that Word supports. With its inclusion of more features than other free suites like OpenOffice, this might be the one to go for—especially considering you do not have to pay for it.
As in almost all the free Apps or applications Ads are the main concern. In fact they contain so many Ads. But, we talk about WPS then you hardly find an ad.
There is no banner across the top of the app—ads only appear when you want to use select features like printing or exporting to PDF. If you need to do one of those things, you will have to sit through a roughly 10-second ad. This ad unlocks the feature for 30 minutes.
You can opt to eliminates ads by paying a yearly subscription fee of $29.99, or you can fork over $79.99 for a lifetime license. Either option is cheap compared to an Office 365 subscription.
If you do not want to use desktop version of the Word then go for online. It is easy to use and very simple. What you need is just a Login Id. You have to sign up for the application if you do not have any account.
Like Google Docs, Microsoft Word Online is a simplified, cloud-based version of Word. It is lacking in so many features as it have in advance version. But, if you are a beginner then go for it. And, best for the users who want a free version of Word, this is as close as you can get.
Similarities between Google Docs and Word Online are present all the way down to the interface. Documents created in Word Online are saved in Microsoft OneDrive. And, real-time collaboration features like those in Google Docs are available as well.
If you create a document in Word Online and then import it to a local version of Microsoft Word. Then the it will retain the formatting way better than if it is made in Google Docs. Also, it offers some additional benefits of online software tools. For example, the ability to access and see updates from co-authors to your docs literally from anywhere in real time with only an Internet connection.
You can share and collaborate on documents. An equally alluring feature of Office Online is its cross-platform compatibility. So, if you are a Chromebook or Linux OS user. MS Word web app is the most elegant way to get access to Microsoft’s document editing features for free.
It is a free online word processor offered by the online cloud storage provider. For this you will need a Dropbox account. Once logged in, you get full access to the online suite.
The minimalist interface is very intuitive and its simplicity allows you to focus on your content. You can also do a number of things that go beyond creating a textual document. You can add rich media, such as audio, video and images.
Dropbox Paper also allows you to access apps that let you embed Trello cards, Youtube videos or SlideShare decks. Other collaborative features include document link-sharing, creating and assigning checklist items to members or embedding one of your Dropbox documents. Dropbox Paper, overall, does an excellent job at creating dynamic documents you can share and access online.
It is an online document editor primarily intended for collaborative editing in, as the site claims really real time. It is an open source, highly customizable tool for online document collaboration with friends, fellow students and classmates, or colleagues at work.
One of its advantages, especially appealing to users who are reluctant to use services which require email registration, is that there is no sign up with Etherpad.
All you need to do is start a new pad and share the link to it with your collaborators. You can also invite them by email if you prefer. After that, you can start working on the planned writing project together, in real-time, even if you are miles apart.
It offers around 20 free online applications including Writer for word processing. You can link your Zoho account to your Google and Yahoo accounts, as well. The Writer’s interface should not cause anyone problems as it is comfortably familiar.
When working online there is always the risk of losing data due to a lost network connection. Or, accidentally closing your browser or having your browser crash. Luckily Zoho automatically saves your documents for you, as you finish typing.
Zoho Writer is well-equipped with features that allow you to work easily online: two-way desktop sync, large file transfer, encryption, file recovery, two-step authentication, in-app chat, and more. You can import and work with MS Word documents, allowing you to insert images, and edit content as needed.
Zoho Writer offers all the standard text formatting and document creation features and can export to DOCX, ODF, PDF, Latex, RTF, TXT and even HTML. It can plug into Echosign for digital signatures, publish the document to a blog or make it public for all to see. Zoho Docs is completely free to use.
It is the invention of the ribbon, then Apache’s OpenOffice Writer is the 2003 throwback you want.
Open Office has a classic interface that, while it can look a bit cluttered. Menus are somewhat similar to that Microsoft tossed out when Office 2007 was released. It will definitely feel familiar to Office 2003 users, with the added perk of still receiving updates and security patches. That, is important for a business software suite.
OpenOffice Writer has its own document format, but it also supports .doc and .docx files. It does a great job of maintaining formatting when importing those types of files. Many of the advanced features of Microsoft Word are included in OpenOffice Writer as well. So editing complex Word documents would not be an issue.
If online collaboration or native cloud support is a selling point, then you may want to pass on OpenOffice Writer because it includes neither. It is possible to store files in a cloud drive and access them using OpenOffice.
9. Jarte– Alternative of Microsoft Word
It is based on Microsoft WordPad Engine, but is still free. There is a paid version of the software that adds on some extra functionality. But, the free version is more than adequate and fully compatible with Word and WordPad documents.
Features include an ergonomic tabbed interface, small resource requirements, portability, support for touchscreens, and quick loading time. It also has built-in spell checking and can export to HTML and PDF files. Jarte allows you to insert images, tables, hyperlinks and everything else that you have come to expect from Word.
Jarte contains no ads, trial periods or crippled features and is funded through user purchases of the Jarte Plus version.
It is another great free suite that offers a full featured Microsoft Word alternative. The suite’s TextMaker application allows you to focus on creating documents just as you would in MS Word.
This offers up essential editing features and even a handful of basic templates for creating and editing documents. Tables, charts, shapes and graphics are available along with standard text formatting options.
This application provides you with everything you need. The entire suite is available for Windows, Linux, and Android. So you can keep your document processing tasks going even while away from your desktop.