Want to do a little writing, but need something beyond the free version of WordPad already installed on your Windows computer? Not interested in paying for the full version of Microsoft Office or for an Office 365 subscription? Well, I’ve got alternatives and they won’t cost you a single penny. Just click on the title of the suite to go to a download page.
First, let’s check out your cloud-based options:
Office Online offers the ability to read, create and edit Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote documents. Just log onto Outlook.com with a Microsoft account and start working. If you have an Outlook.com, HotMail, MSN or LiveMail address, you already have an account. If not, it only takes a few minutes to create one.
Your account also comes with 15GB of cloud storage in OneDrive. Of course, the downside is that it is cloud-based. So you will need an Internet connection to work. The up side is that since it’s cloud-based, you can open it on any computer. These are fully-functional Office documents that you can save to your computer and that will open in other versions of Office.
Google Drive is free for anyone with a Gmai address and offers the ability to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and also comes with a basic drawing program.
Google Drive also offers 15 GB of free cloud storage. Like Office Online, it is cloud-based. You’ll need an Internet connection to work, but you also have the flexibility to access your documents from other computers or devices.
If you’re more in the market for something to download to your computer, there’s a trio of decent office suites that could suit your needs.
OpenOffice in an open-source software suite that is handles word processing spreadsheets, graphics, databases and presentations. You can install it on as many computers as you like and you don’t need to be tied to a particular e-mail service to download. You are also free to use it for your business or home with no restrictions. It is created and supported by volunteers. Versions of OpenOffice are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX (x86-64 only)
LibreOffice also offers the ability to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations as well as make basic graphics and charts. If is compatible with Microsoft products and is absolutely free.
You can install LibreOffice on as many computers as you wish. It is available in both a “Fresh” version with new features and a “Stable” versoin. You can run LibreOffice on Windows, Mac and Linux systems.
This freeware Office Suite offers a word processor, spreadsheets program and a presentation program and supports saving files in the DOCx and XLSX formats for Windows compatibility. It is available for Windows, Android and Linux systems.