by Anthony 

April 12, 2021

There are a plethora of free Word alternatives available on the internet. Some excellent, some not so good. However, before considering an alternative to Microsoft Word, here’s something that’s not widely known.

Microsoft offers their whole Office suite for free online. So if you are reluctant to try something else then the best free alternative to Microsoft Word is Microsoft Word online.  All you need to get started is a Microsoft Account and navigate to Office.com.

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For more information on using Microsoft online for free. I recommend having a look at this video.

Using Office for free does, however, require you to have a Microsoft account and use OneDrive to store your documents, which might be a hassle if you already have a Gmail or Apple account. What if you don’t want another email address, or have your files spread across multiple cloud providers?

That is why the best free alternative to using Microsoft Word is probably going to be either Google Docs or Apple Pages, depending on who you already have an account with, and whose ecosystem you are most baked into.

Example of Apple Pages application

Both offer excellent alternatives to Word, especially for the majority of us who aren’t doing anything more than the basics, such as writing essays for school or documents for work. Google Docs and Apple Pages will correct your spelling and grammar. They allow for collaboration through file sharing, they include an array of templates for creating different types of documents, and, they both allow you to export to a DocX file format for editing in Word.

Export to docx from Apple Pages

In my opinion, where Pages and Google Docs don’t compete, is on the more powerful and possibly niche features, such as Track Changes and Mail Merge. If they do offer these options, they’re not as well crafted as Microsoft Word but that’s just opinion.

Mail merge feature in Microsoft Word

Personally, I’m a massive fan of Google Docs, and use it almost exclusively outside of my day job, where we use Office. Of Course, the one problem with Google Docs is it’s designed around you being online. So what if you want an offline product and you don’t own a Mac so Apple Pages isn’t an option?

Well, my recommendation for this type of free alternative is WPS Office. WPS office is excellent! Period.

Image of WPS Office home screen

Everything we’ve just discussed - it can do all that for free. It’s an installed product, so works just fine offline or online. The default file format is DocX so you can easily switch between using WPS and Word if you need to. It’s available on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. And, it has a cloud option, offering 1GB of free online storage on the free plan. 

The best free alternative to Microsoft Office?

WPS doesn’t only compete with Microsoft Word.

As the name suggests, WPS Office is a completely free office suite, which you can use to replace Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. If you decide to upgrade to the comparatively cheap Premium option at $29.99 a year, you'll get increased cloud storage, PDF editing, and OCR’ing.

List of WPS Office Premium features

If you are familiar with using Word, the WPS interface and icons are all very similar, so you’ll have no trouble finding your way around. In fact, it really is hard to fault WPS and it’s not just me who thinks so. CNET, Lifewire, and TechRadar all give WPS the thumbs up. 

Assorted positive reviews of WPS Office

Is WPS Office really free?

WPS Office is completely free to use. It makes money through advertising and a paid premium option, which removes the adverts and offers PDF editing and OCRing. However, the ads are so infrequent, it does not hinder using WPS Office for free.

How to start Using WPS Office?

To start using WPS Office, download the installer from WPS.com or search for WPS in your mobile app store. It isn’t necessary to create an account to start using the application but you will need one if you want to make use of the free cloud storage. If you do decide to sign up, it is completely free. 

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