Everybody wants an awesome phrase processor, and Microsoft Phrase is without doubt one of the finest because of its large format assist, integration with different Workplace apps and big vary of high-quality templates.

Nevertheless, that energy and comfort doesn’t come low cost, even with the Microsoft Workplace 365 subscription mannequin, which spreads the fee all year long. Fortunately, free phrase processing software program has come a great distance lately, and there are some nice alternate options to Phrase that don’t value a penny.

Light-weight distraction-free writing software program has its place, however right here we’re in search of fully-featured phrase processors with assist for templates, superior formatting, and compatibility with Microsoft file codecs. You could possibly swap to any of those applications right now and start working instantly. 

We replace this information usually, so you realize you are all the time getting probably the most correct details about the very best software program out there proper now.

WPS Office Free

1. WPS Office Free

The most effective free various to Phrase, with built-in cloud backup

Appears to be like practically similar to Phrase

Contains 1GB cloud storage

Wonderful file format assist

WPS Office Free‘s phrase processing element, Author, has a slick design similar to the present model of Microsoft Phrase. It contains a ribbon interface and virtually similar icons. When you like utilizing Workplace 2007 or later, the transfer shall be just about seamless.

There’s tabbed looking for a number of paperwork (a function not present in Phrase, however one we love), and WPS Workplace Author can open just about any textual content doc format you possibly can throw at it. It has its personal proprietary file format (WPS), however new paperwork default to Microsoft’s DOCX format for handy sharing with Phrase customers.

WPS Author consists of built-in cloud assist with 1GB free storage (similar to Microsoft OneDrive) for straightforward backup and syncing. There are additionally free cell apps for Android and iOS which can be totally suitable with Microsoft file codecs, and allow you to edit and sync paperwork on the transfer.

WPS Workplace Author comes with a very good vary of templates pre-installed, with extra out there to obtain. 

In contrast to LibreOffice and OpenOffice (beneath), WPS Workplace isn’t open supply. As an alternative, it’s supported by advertisements, however these are unobtrusive and will not cease you getting on with some critical work.

There’s a premium version of WPS Office that removes the advertisements and throws in bonus PDF instruments, however the free version is excellent. Give it a attempt – we’re fairly certain you may be impressed.


2. LibreOffice

An open supply Phrase various with a buzzing neighborhood

A part of an awesome workplace suite

Trendy interface

Wonderful file format assist

When you really feel most comfy utilizing the older, pre-ribbon variations of Microsoft Phrase, you’ll love LibreOffice Author. Its interface is similar to Phrase previous to the controversial introduction of the Ribbon in 2007, so for those who’re aware of the older interface, you’ll be up and working in seconds.

It will take a bit of longer for those who’re solely used to newer variations of Microsoft Workplace, however the menus and icons are easy and intuitive, so do not be postpone.

LibreOffice Author is totally suitable with Microsoft Phrase paperwork (together with DOC and DOCX) in addition to different widespread textual content file codecs, so that you’ll haven’t any bother sharing recordsdata with mates or colleagues utilizing completely different software program, or opening your previous recordsdata.

Author additionally integrates seamlessly with the opposite instruments within the LibreOffice suite, so you possibly can simply import a spreadsheet from Calc, or a graph from Charts – similar to you possibly can in Phrase.

What units LibreOffice Author other than different free Microsoft Phrase alternate options is its full of life neighborhood of customers and builders, who’ve created hundreds of free plugins and templates so that you can obtain and use. LibreOffice itself receives common updates too, including options and safety that assist it hold tempo with Microsoft Phrase.

The one factor missing is built-in cloud assist, however you possibly can simply sync your recordsdata utilizing Dropbox or OneDrive, so this can be a minor disadvantage.


Apache OpenOffice

three. Apache OpenOffice

Not as recent as LibreOffice, however nonetheless an awesome open supply choice

A part of an awesome workplace suite

Microsoft Phrase type interface

Comparatively rare updates

LibreOffice is a fork of Apache OpenOffice and the 2 share the identical code base, so it’s no shock that there’s little to decide on between the 2. Each provide glorious compatibility with Microsoft Phrase paperwork, and work seamlessly with their linked spreadsheet, database, and presentation purposes.

There’s virtually no distinction between the applications’ options or interfaces, both – each use a basic Microsoft Workplace type system, with a useful sidebar for formatting choices.

OpenOffice gives fewer templates than LibreOffice by default, however there are thousands available to download, so this is not a priority.

The principle distinction is that OpenOffice solely receives one or two updates a yr, whereas LibreOffice is up to date each couple of months because of its bigger crew of volunteer builders. Because of this reported bugs and vulnerabilities are more likely to be fastened sooner in LibreOffice, and new options are added sooner.


four. SoftMaker FreeOffice

Superb, however can be excellent if it may save in DOCX format

Engaging and customizable

Handsome templates

Cannot save in DOCX format

SoftMaker FreeOffice TextMaker’s interface is much less cluttered than most free Microsoft Phrase alternate options, but it surely does not skimp on instruments and settings. Some options are tucked away in sub-menus, however you possibly can customise the toolbars by including, eradicating and rearranging the icons (you will discover extra by clicking the small arrow buttons on the precise).

All of the necessities are there, and FreeOffice TextMaker makes it significantly simple to create interactive paperwork with fields and bookmarks, which you’ll be able to then save as PDFs. The number of templates isn’t big, however they appear good and can fulfill most of your wants.

The downside of TextMaker is its incapability to save lots of your work in Microsoft’s DOCX format. This can be a disgrace, as a result of this newer format has a number of benefits over DOC, together with extra constant look in numerous phrase processing applications and superior file compression.

You’ll be able to open recordsdata in DOCX format utilizing FreeOffice TextMaker, so you will not be locked out of your present paperwork, but when your family and friends use Phrase, you may want one of many alternate options listed above.

The premium edition of SoftMaker Office provides DOCX assist for a one-off charge of £48.20 (about US$60, AU$75).


Google Docs

5. Google Docs

Collaborate on paperwork and entry them wherever

Sensible collaboration options

Integrates with Google Drive

Importing paperwork is difficult

When you’ve plunged into the Google ecosystem, you are in all probability already aware of its Microsoft Phrase analog, Google Docs

Opening present paperwork generally is a little bit of a problem – it’s essential add them to Google Drive earlier than you can begin modifying them in Docs. Though there’s good file format assist, imported Phrase paperwork may look very completely different in the event that they use formatting and options not supported by Docs, or depend on domestically saved fonts.

That stated, formatting is not the principle objective of Google Docs – collaboration is. Offered they’ve a Google account, it is easy to ask colleagues, family and friends to work collectively on the identical doc concurrently. If a number of persons are engaged on the doc without delay, completely different coloured cursors will seem on the web page to point the place they’re working.

If that seems like chaos, you can too prohibit modifying and simply permit collaborators to make feedback, which you’ll be able to implement or ignore.

When you’re not a fan of Google merchandise, you can too check out Microsoft Office Online, which works in a lot the identical means, however with higher assist for DOC and DOCX recordsdata – all synced to OneDrive.