About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

May 23, 2017

Free Alternatives to MS Office and More!

Filed under: Columns — Ron @ 6:53 am

I get emails fairly often with this question, "I cannot afford to purchase Microsoft Office for the big dollars they charge.  What else is available?" 

Well that is an easy question to answer.  There are free alternatives out there and some are just as good as MS Office.  I also tell them that MS 2016 is available at a monthly charge of $6.99 to $9.99 per month.  It is also offered at $99.00 per year (at least when I wrote about this).  Those are the prices directly from the Microsoft store but you may be able to find other prices out there.  

Back to the particular question; the answer is LibreOffice (  It is a quality Office replacement with all of the functionality a regular person needs.  It may not have all of the utilities required by a very advanced user.  However, it is excellent and that is hard for a MS fan boy like me to say.   

There are other free alternatives out there too, not just for Office but for most every other program that you may use as well.  If you are looking for a free alternative software that is close to the quality, or in some cases surpasses the quality of the original program visit


AlternativeTo has free substitute applications for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android and other operating systems. 

If you go to the site and search for the software you are looking to replace it will give you a list of alternates.  They will be listed, however not in any logical way that I have figured out, i.e. not alphabetically or by number of votes, etc.  So scroll down the list and look at the ones with the higher votes. 

For an example when I searched for "Microsoft Office Suite" it resulted in a list of 36 alternative applications.  The most popular were LibreOffice and Google Drive, 1762 and 1820 votes respectively.  I guess the cloud lovers or collaborative editors out there like Google Drive for those two features but I have always found LO to be much more cooperative for me.  The next closest vote was for "Apache OpenOffice" with 694 votes/recommendations, which in my opinion is another good alternative. 

Say you are looking for a new browser; (although I would only choose Google Chrome) search for Google Chrome and get 129 alternatives.  Even though Chrome is free you can search for any replacement software.

Think of the ones you pay for now and use to save some money.  If you try one alternative software application and do not like it, uninstall it, go back find another and test that one.  Say you are not happy with Dropbox and want to try an alternative.  I searched for Dropbox and found there are 235 alternatives listed at this time. 

Here are a few apps that I have replaced with their free alternatives.  Visio with, Windows Live Writer to Open Live Writer, WinZip replaced by 7-Zip, Adobe Photoshop has been replaced by GIMP and many more. 

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