10 Best Microsoft Word Alternatives (Free & Paid)

All of us use MS Office and it is probably one software that you can’t live without. But not everyone wants to buy it – especially when there are so many cheaper or free alternatives. Microsoft Office is the best when it comes to applications integrated for word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, management of database and desktop and e-mail publishing.

For small businesses, this application can cost a lot of money and it is important for them to know that there are many other office applications that are free or open source that they can use instead of MS Office.

Choosing a free office application does not mean that users will not get great features and customer support. These alternative applications are able to support all MS Office file formats among many others.  If you are looking for an alternative to MS Word, here are the top 10 ones that have got great reviews:

Update: Google Docs – Google Docs is a great alternative for Microsft word. They have added lot of features over the last few years that today, it can take care of a lot of features just like Microsoft Word. There are limitations but if you just want most of the basic stuff you do on Microsoft Word done, then Google Docs is a good Word Alternative.

Also read: Best Microsoft Excel spreadsheet alternatives

1. OpenOffice

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

There are 5 programs included in this package and since, they all make use of one engine, they are easy to learn and use. The 5 programs are:

Writer – word processor
Calc – spreadsheets
Impress – presentations
Draw – graphics
Base – database manipulation

Opening PDF files without add-ons or plug-ins is possible with this software. Since it is open source software, users can depend on speedy bug fixes and help. This is one of the best alternative softwares to MS Word.

2. IBM Lotus Symphony

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

This package includes a spreadsheet program, word processor and presentation software. Lotus Symphony Documents is able to support format for open documents, Lotus SmartSuite and MS Office files. Files can also be exported to PDF. Standard text formatting options as well as charts, shapes, tables and graphics are available.

3. Jarte

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

This is a package that is based on the WordPad Engine. This is free software but you can also get a paid version that has extra features and functions. However, the free version is adequate and is completely compatible with Word and WordPad documents.

4. AbiWord

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

This is an application suite that is compatible with MS Word, Palm OS, Word Perfect and OpenOffice. The document layout capabilities of this package are advanced and can perform mail merge which means that specific form fields can be filled automatically with information from databases and text files that are tabbed or separated by commas.

5. Neo Office

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

This is a package that is for MAC users.  Presentation, spreadsheet, word processing, database and drawing programs are included in this software. It is also compatible with MS Office files. Since 2003, the software has been constantly upgraded which makes it stable. Images from cameras and scanners can be imported as well.

6. Zoho

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

This is an online application that offers a host of features like Writer for word processing. There is always a threat of data loss when you use online applications as there could be loss of network connection, etc. However, with Zoho, you do not have to worry as it automatically saves your documents as soon as you are done typing. Images can also be inserted from the Internet or your PC. All the standard features are included and files can be exported to ODF, PDF, DOCX, RTF, TXT and HTML.

7. AjaxWrite

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

This is an online application suite that includes ajaxWrite, ajaxXLS, ajaxSketch, ajaxTunes and ajaxPresent. The interface is familiar as it is designed to look like Microsoft Word. This software only supports Firefox at the moment.

8. Peepel

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

This is a word processor that is browser-based. Files can be stored online and you can also open multiple applications simultaneously in the same window. WebWriter, WebSheet, Calculator and Browser are the applications that are available and you also get file managers and features for file manipulation.

9. KOffice

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

This office suite offers three tools that are necessary: word processor, presentation application as well as spreadsheet. KWord is the word processor that allows you to add images, shapes and charts in documents. KCells is an application for calculations and spreadsheet. Showcase is a presentation application that supports text, charts, graphics and images.

10. LibreOffice

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

This tool has all the features that you will expect from a desktop publishing or word processing tool. It is simple for quick memos and has enough power that allows you to complete books with diagrams, indexes, contents, etc.

Which is your favorite Microsft Word altnernative? Have you used any of the above mentioned apps?

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Entrepreneur, Mentor & Blogger.
I help business grow & scale. Have helped 15+ companies scale in US, Middle East and India.
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One response to “10 Best Microsoft Word Alternatives (Free & Paid)”
  1. Akshay

    Thanks for this comprehensive list of alternatives! We too are working on a Word alternative called Bit.ai. Bit allows users to create rich, dynamic, and awesome looking documents, with built-in tracking and collaboration capabilities! Do check us out 🙂

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