Want to buy a brand new download of Microsoft Office? Then you can expect to pay around £100 for the word processing and spreadsheet privilege.
This seems a tad expensive considering the wealth of much cheaper alternatives. Plenty of them offer the same functionality as Word and Excel for absolutely free. From Google Drive to Apache OpenOffice, here’s our pick of the best alternatives.
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1. Google Drive
Google Drive is a free suite of web-based office programs that includes document, spreadsheet and presentation tools. The key to Drive’s appeal is its convenience – mobile and tablet apps mean you can use the service whenever you want. You’ll need to set up offline access to use the service without wi-fi though.
OpenOffice has been around for 10 years now and, as such, is a thoroughly serviceable alternative to Microsoft Office. It matches Office for Excel, Word and Powerpoint equivalents, and even carries a similar design aesthetic to Office 2010. This means you won’t have any trouble abandoning Microsoft for this free equivalent.
Apple fans will already be familiar with the joys of iWork, but now, providing you’ve bought an iPhone 5c, 5s, iPad Air or Mac since November you can be too, and for free. Pages, Numbers and Keynote are all adept at your day-to-day work-related needs. To get the full benefits of this suite of office programs you’ll need to own a Macbook or iMac. Nevertheless, the apps are ideal if you need to draft up a quick mobile missive.
LibreOffice is an OpenOffice spin-off that’s quickly picked up pace to become one of the best free Microsoft Office alternatives. In truth, both suites are markedly similar bar a few tweaks here and there. The ability to check your documents’ word counts in LibreOffice’s status bar is particularly useful.
5. Documents To Go
For just £6.99, Documents To Go allows you to view, edit and create Word and Excel files using your iPhone and iPad. This means you can use it as a mobile alternative to Office, or as a supplement to your existing Microsoft-related activities. Either way, it’s a handy Windows-friendly alternative to Apple’s iWork.