When we talk about Office in software, we, most, think we are talking about Microsoft Office. Well, I’m here to tell you there are alternatives to the most popular Office Suite. We all know there are different office suites for android and iOs, but did you know there are for your PC too.
Some are free some are not you can choose from WordPerfect Office X6 witch for different prices you get different versions. They can be pricey. But don’t cry just yet there are other Office alternatives that are free. Yes, I typed it. Free!
After entering my name, country, and email, I could download SoftMaker’s FreeOffice. It has TextMaker, PlanMaker, and Presentations. Once downloaded and installed when you want to use it, it opens up to ask your name, email, and serial number. I thought it was free? Before you download it does say to check your email. When you are logged in, you see a screen that reminds you of Microsoft Office 2003 or earlier.
Free Office features
Then changing their name just a bit is OpenOffice now Apache OpenOffice. This was the go to suite for Linux a few years back. It was one of the first Office software that was free. This Office suite has:
Writer a word processor you can use for anything from writing a quick letter to producing an entire book.
Calc a powerful spreadsheet with all the tools you need to calculate, analyze, and present your data in numerical reports or sizzling graphics.
Impress the fastest, most powerful way to create effective multimedia presentations.
Draw lets you produce everything from simple diagrams to dynamic 3D illustrations.
Base lets you manipulate databases seamlessly. Create and modify tables, forms, queries, and reports, all from within Apache OpenOffice.
Math lets you create mathematical equations with a graphic user interface or by directly typing your formulas into the equation editor.
This I have used within Linux as well as Windows. It is easy to use, but if you want something to help you with grammar (that would be me). You can add additional extensions on your own to help you with grammar, but you can also add extensions for finding a word and replacing it. It comes preloaded in Microsoft’s Office Suite. OpenOffice has templates that you can add to help with structure of a certain document type. I have other programs I use for screenwriting, but if you don’t want to pay or use “another” software you can download the Screenwright template.
Some of these extensions and templates can be used in another open sourced Office Suite. LibreOffice this office suite is in most Linux builds such as Ubuntu, and Mint.
What does LibreOffice give you?
Writer is the word processor inside LibreOffice. Use it for everything, from dashing off a quick letter to producing an entire book with tables of contents, embedded illustrations, bibliographies and diagrams. The while-you-type auto-completion, auto-formatting and automatic spelling checking make difficult tasks easy (but are easy to disable if you prefer). Writer is powerful enough to tackle desktop publishing tasks such as creating multi-column newsletters and brochures. The only limit is your imagination.
Calc tames your numbers and helps with difficult decisions when you’re weighing the alternatives. Analyze your data with Calc and then use it to present your final output. Charts and analysis tools help bring transparency to your conclusions. A fully-integrated help system makes easier work of entering complex formulas. Add data from external databases such as SQL or Oracle, then sort and filter them to produce statistical analyses. Use the graphing functions to display large number of 2D and 3D graphics from 13 categories, including line, area, bar, pie, X-Y, and net – with the dozens of variations available, you’re sure to find one that suits your project.
Impress is the fastest and easiest way to create effective multimedia presentations. Stunning animation and sensational special effects help you convince your audience. Create presentations that look even more professional than the standard presentations you commonly see at work. Get your collegues’ and bosses’ attention by creating something a little bit different.
Draw lets you build diagrams and sketches from scratch. A picture is worth a thousand words, so why not try something simple with box and line diagrams? Or else go further and easily build dynamic 3D illustrations and special effects. It’s as simple or as powerful as you want it to be.
Base is the database front-end of the LibreOffice suite. With Base, you can seamlessly integrate your existing database structures into the other components of LibreOffice, or create an interface to use and administer your data as a stand-alone application. You can use imported and linked tables and queries from MySQL, PostgreSQL or Microsoft Access and many other data sources, or design your own with Base, to build powerful front-ends with sophisticated forms, reports and views. Support is built-in or easily addable for a very wide range of database products, notably the standardly-provided HSQL, MySQL, Adabas D, Microsoft Access and PostgreSQL.
Math is a simple equation editor that lets you lay-out and display your mathematical, chemical, electrical or scientific equations quickly in standard written notation. Even the most-complex calculations can be understandable when displayed correctly. E=mc2.
LibreOffice also comes configured with a PDF file creator, meaning you can distribute documents that you’re sure can be opened and read by users of almost any computing device or operating system.
There is the online Zoho Docs.
This allows you to do writing, spreadsheets, and presentations. Zoho for personal use you get 1 Workspace and 1GB, but when you go into collaborating there the standard is $3 per user per month for up to 10 Workspaces and 2GB of storage. But if you need more it will be $5 per user up to 50 for 5GB of space. You can share files to those if they have a link to your file. This is cool if many people are working on a file. There is no need to email it a million times as it’s being updated. But this can be accomplished via Dropbox and other cloud software and apps.
There is Kingsoft Office Free 2013.
To be able to write about it, I had to try it out first. I’m not much of a Spreadsheeter or Presentationer. Therefore, I will mainly focus on the Writer. Now with Kingsoft they do offer an Android (iOS soon) app. I wanted to check both out. With the desktop software, they have an internal browser within the writer portion to help you to all available templates that they offer. There is no need to search and go out to a browser and then their website like Microsoft office. But if you’re going to search, then why not? I liked the look and feel. You can select a file location when you click on open document it comes up with that folder. I selected my Dropbox. I then I created a document then saved it to my Dropbox. I ran to my tablet to check it out on Kingsoft app for Android. I connected my Dropbox opened it up and bam it was there. I edited it and then saved it. It uploaded it, and I went back to my desktop and bam my edits where there.
This does seem a bit odd when you now have cloud drives that you can edit and re-upload your files or use Evernote to sync all your notes. If you’re looking for more space, then Evernote, then connecting this to the cloud is a good thing. I sync my writing with screenwriting software because I don’t do much writing in Windows other when I’m writing articles.
If I had to choose out of these free options for my PC (Windows) I would choose Kingsoft the look is great, the feel is like 2010/2013 Office and well man/mam it’s free!
If you want the Macro Function, Section Tab, Cover Page in Writer, Export to xlsx, or xlsm. You will have to pay $69.95.
Now with Microsoft Office 2010 (that I’m using now) it helps you by underlining grammar and punctuation mistakes. It’s not perfect like me. I then also to help with my punctuation and grammar, I use WhiteSmoke. It’s not free, but useful. Again, (stop with the agains) nothing is perfect even an editor can miss something.