7 Best and Free Alternatives to Microsoft 365

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an image that shows the best Alternatives to Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a powerful cloud-based suite that packed with a number of office applications and services, but its paid subscription model may not suit everyone’s needs or budget. Fortunately, there are several excellent alternatives available that you can use for free lifetime, both offline on your PC and online through websites or apps.

These alternatives provide a wide variety of features and capabilities, allowing you to build professional documents, presentations, excel sheets, and more without the need for a monthly subscription. Many of them are compatible with Microsoft Office file formats, allowing for seamless collaboration and sharing with others.

Before to continue, let’s first have a look at what is Microsoft 365 then move on to see the best and similar Microsoft office freeware alternatives that you can use for free and create .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx files.

What is Microsoft 365

The Microsoft 365 earlier known as Office 365 is a cloud based application that you can either use offline or online via the apps with internet. Unlike a traditional application, you don’t have to deploy each and every Office application on every PC. That issue is now resolved by Microsoft, and they have provided the full Office application in a bundled form with 365 that are available as desktop, website and mobile apps .

To use Microsoft 365, users create an account on https://www.office.com/ and buy a monthly or yearly subscription based on their need that includes applications and services like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SharePoint, and so on.

As the Microsoft 365 application comes with different plans and prices, and some apps are useless, many people look for alternatives so they can use office applications for free. If you are among those who cannot afford the monthly or yearly payment to get a Microsoft 365 product key for the basic applications, we have 7 best alternatives that are very similar to the Microsoft 365 suite.

Top 7 Alternatives of Microsoft 365

1. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite that includes a wide range of tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, and more. It supports a broad variety of file types, including those used by Microsoft Office, making it simple to work with others and view existing documents.

Pros:

  • Completely free and open-source
  • Supports a wide range of file formats
  • Includes Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheet), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics), and Base (database)
  • Available for Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Regular updates and active community support
  • Use different language too.

Cons:

  • User interface may take some time to get used to
  • Fewer advanced features compared to Microsoft Office
  • Limited compatibility with complex Office documents or macros

2. Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)

G Suite which is now rebranded as Google Workspace is a cloud-based productivity suite from Google that contains programs such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and more. It integrates seamlessly with other Google services, allowing for real-time collaboration and document sharing.

Being a gmail user, you know the importance of Google workspace. You can open browser and start using the services like Google doc, sheets and slides online for free without subscribing any plan.

Pros:

  • Free for personal use (paid plans available for businesses)
  • Seamless integration with other Google services (Gmail, Drive, Calendar, etc.)
  • Excellent collaboration and real-time editing capabilities
  • Cloud-based, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • With Gemini AI you can boost the productivity.

Cons:

  • Limited offline capabilities compared to desktop apps
  • Fewer advanced features than Microsoft Office for power users
  • Privacy concerns (data stored on Google’s servers)

3. Apache OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice is another free and open-source office suite with a user-friendly interface and a diverse set of capabilities for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases, and more. It is a long-running project with a sizable user base and very similar to LibreOffice.

Pros:

  • Completely free and open-source like LibreOffice
  • User interface similar to older versions of Microsoft Office
  • Includes Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, and Base components
  • Supports a wide range of file formats
  • Available for Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Download additional language patches as plugins

Cons:

  • Slower development and updates compared to LibreOffice as mentioned here.
  • Fewer advanced features than Microsoft Office or LibreOffice
  • Limited compatibility with complex Office documents or macros

4. WPS Office

WPS Office is a free productivity suite that includes Writer, Presentations, Spreadsheets, and a PDF reader. It has a clean and modern user interface and is compatible with a variety of file formats, including those used by Microsoft Office.

Its recently released OCR PDF capabilities are a revolutionary feature that allows you to read text from images. This converts scanned PDFs into editable PDFs, which you can edit too using WPS office.

Pros:

  • Free for personal and non-commercial use
  • User-friendly interface with a familiar ribbon-style layout
  • Compatible with Microsoft Office file formats
  • Includes a built-in PDF reader and converter
  • Support Optical Character Recognition.
  • Available for Windows, Linux, and mobile devices
  • Cloud storage integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive,

Cons:

  • Limited features compared to Microsoft Office or LibreOffice
  • Some advanced features require a paid subscription
  • Occasional advertisements or prompts to upgrade to the premium version

5. OnlyOffice

OnlyOffice is a free, open-source office suite with both online and desktop editions. It is one of best and lightweight alternative that features word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software, as well as collaborative tools for real-time editing and commenting.

Pros:

  • Free and open-source
  • Online and desktop versions available
  • Real-time collaboration and commenting features
  • Compatible with Microsoft Office file formats
  • Includes mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • Powerful add-ons from known sources like Zotero, DeepL, and ChatGPT

Cons:

  • User interface may take some time to get used to
  • Fewer advanced features compared to Microsoft Office or LibreOffice
  • Limited integration with other productivity tools or services

6. FreeOffice

FreeOffice is a lightweight and simple office suite that contains TextMaker (a word processor), PlanMaker (a spreadsheet), and Presentations. It’s intended to be quick and efficient while yet offering critical functions.

Pros:

  • Completely free for personal and commercial use
  • Lightweight and efficient
  • User-friendly interface
  • Compatible with Microsoft Office file formats
  • Available for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Cons:

  • Limited features compared to more comprehensive office suites
  • No built-in support for advanced features like macros or plugins
  • Limited compatibility with complex Office documents

7. Calligra Suite

Calligra Suite is a free and open-source office and graphic art suite that contains office based applications (like word, sheets, stage, Gemini), vector graphics applications (like KEXI), and editing databases application (like Karbon). It is part of the KDE environment and available for desktop PCs, tablet computers, and smartphones.

Pros:

  • Free and open-source
  • Includes a wide range of apps for different tasks
  • Supports advanced features like OpenDocument format and vector graphics
  • Available for Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Integrated with the KDE desktop environment (for Linux users)

Cons:

  • User interface may take some time to get used to
  • Limited compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats
  • Fewer advanced features than Microsoft Office or LibreOffice
  • Limited community support and development compared to other open-source alternatives

Final Words

There are a number of fantastic free alternatives to Microsoft 365 that meet a variety of demands and budgets, despite the fact that Microsoft 365 is a strong and feature-rich productivity suite.

Whether you prefer a full-featured office suite like LibreOffice or a cloud-based solution like Google Workspace, these alternatives offer a practical and affordable way to create, edit, and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

If you think the monthly subscription is a bit expensive and are looking for a paid one but at slightly cheaper rates, then you can also look for Zoho Workplace, which gives mail benefits, drive benefits, and office suite benefits with applications like Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheets, and Zoho Presentations.

Last, it is important to assess your specific needs and select the option that best meets your goals, process, and level of compatibility with existing documents.

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