Best Free Alternative Office Software
Microsoft Office is the most well-known software suite when it comes to word processing, putting together presentations and so on. It’s also the most widely used by businesses. But when it comes to your home PC and laptop, the relatively large price tag attached to this software might be a bit much.
If you work from home or have kids that bring home heaps of homework, then it may be worth investing in the Microsoft Office suite, but then some imitation or alternative software packages can do pretty much the same job. Sure, they may not be quite as shiny and refined, but your basic functionality is there and your wallet isn’t left empty.
Open Office is one of the most well-known software packages of the ‘alternative office software’ world. With this suite, you’re not just limited to a word processor; the package contains imitations of other well-known Microsoft Office products, like Excel and PowerPoint, as well as some more advanced programs.
For those of you who haven’t dipped your toes in the water of the Office suite world before, this is a good starting point. The design mirrors older versions of Microsoft Office, so when you’re using the word processor for example, you won’t be distracted by a mountain of distracting or confusing buttons and toolbars.
This software is also Open Source, which means that other computer developers can take and modify the programming code, which is made freely available, for their own use. Because of this, you won’t find any distracting adverts subsiding the free price tag.
Unlike Libre Office, the WPS Office suite mirrors itself on newer versions of the Microsoft product package, with sleeker design and a little more functionality packed in. This might be the preferred option for those of you who are looking to run a small business or know your way around a word processor.
The only drawback to this package that some of you might not agree with is the ads. Unlike Libre Office, this software isn't open source; instead, it's funded by advertisements. They're not all that obtrusive though, and the fact that it is indeed a free software package outweighs them.
SoftMaker brings some functionality that isn't built into Microsoft Word, or some of the other free offerings. For one, it's a writer's best friend, with the ability to convert documents directly into ePub and eBook format; perfect for indie writers aspiring to publish on Kindle.
The drawback to this package is the fact that it only sports the three most popular office products: a spreadsheet program similar to Excel, a word processor, and a slideshow tool for creating presentations.
Are There any Limitations?
In some cases, the software won’t be as developed as the Microsoft product range, simply because there isn’t a huge team of employees constantly developing and updating the product. However, these products are still regularly updated and do the job fine.
In some cases, there can be some conflicts between file types. For example, if you save a document under the newest file extension offered by Microsoft Word, then certain free office products may not be able to open the file.
That said, these are only minor issues and shouldn’t put you off from the one major advantage of using a free office software product, which is just that – they’re free. With today’s pricing on top office products, this can easily be a saving of several hundred pounds.
Download and Installation
Getting hold of these programs and using them on your computer is fairly straight forward, and you should be able to find some instructions on the respective website for each product. However, if you need a helping hand to get set up, or you’d like any guidance about using the many different functions that these software products have, then don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0808 123 2820 we will always be more than happy to help.