Alternatives for Microsoft Office

06 Apr. 2011 General

Not far are those days when the dependence on Microsoft Office and its monopoly will be outranged. Why spend thousands of dollars on MS Office these days, when other software tools for the same quality are available free of charge?

Using applications developed with Open Source, will not only help save money now, but in the future as well since they are free of any licensing cost.

Open-source software’s, Web-based applications and many other free Alternatives for Microsoft Office are now abundant.

Below are few you might want to try and will eventually compel you to say goodbye to Microsoft Office for your own good.

1| Open Office

OpenOffice is one of the most popular open source software packages for the office. It is available in several languages (110 and growing). It can even work on a system of minimum requirements, making it ideal for books or older computers. Given that all information is stored in an international open standard format, it is able to read and write files from other office software suites making it a common replacement for many Office users.

The main features of OpenOffice 3 are the Write word processor, Calc spreadsheet, Impress presentation creator, Base database and graphics application.

There are designs, pre-formatted designs for different files, offering templates very similar to Microsoft Office. New templates can be downloaded from the site: for free.

At first glance, most of Open Office 3 applications, look and feel like their corresponding models in Microsoft Office 2003. Layout of the menu options, the toolbar, and overall functionality are virtually identical. But to go further, users begin to notice that there are small differences like lack of familiar keyboard shortcuts. Having said that, Open Office still comes across as a good path to tread!

2| Google Docs

Google Docs is another simple Alternative for Microsoft Office. It has a very basic version and has minimum prerequisites of Microsoft Office. It features a word document based on the Web, spreadsheet, presentation, shape, and service of data storage offered by Google.

Tight integration with Gmail is what makes Google Docs the choice of many heavy users of Gmail. When multiple users are connected, it becomes possible for each user to edit the same document through the Web.

Since all documents are available online, you can work from any computer provided you have access to the internet. The landing page of Google Docs is pretty easy to use too. All you need to do is open a new document which gives you an option to select between a Word document, spreadsheet or presentation.

3| Zoho Docs

Zoho is a web-based service that allows you to do virtually anything online that you would want to do on your desktop computer – right from the creation of documents to building a spreadsheet to managing a database, as well as conferences, project management, chat, and a dozen other features.

Their standard office suite consists of word processor Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet spreadsheets, and Zoho Show presentations program.

Zoho Writer can handle almost all formats including new documents like .docx for Microsoft word. The MS Word tools normally available are arranged in a familiar format.

The above alternatives have swamped the markets in recent times and with the easy and benefits they bring to a user, it is time we consider them.

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