5 Most Efficient Alternatives to MS Office

MS Office is the most widely used open-source software, but with its ever-increasing price tag, users are bound to look for alternatives. We have suggested a few options that you can try.
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Efficient alternatives to MS Office
Did You Know?
In August 1989, Microsoft introduced the earliest version of Office suite of productivity applications.

The Microsoft Office tool has a collection of programs like the word processor, spreadsheet, presentation application, access, publisher tool, etc. For years, MS Office has been reigning in both home and industry markets. However, today new players have come into the open source software market. In this Buzzle article, we have mentioned five alternatives that are handy for both a business as well as home user.

Google docs

Web service or web application
Restricted freeware
Internet connection needed

This office productivity suite lets the users to create, edit, and share their documents online. Due to the integration with Google services like Gmail, Google+, Google Calendar, and Google Drive, all the files created using this application can be accessed from any device over the Internet.
Similar to the MS Office programs, Google docs also has tools for word processing, spreadsheets, drawings, etc. Google Documents is a word processing tool where you can create/edit text documents. The files, thus created, can be downloaded as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML, or Zip files.
Google Spreadsheets can be used to create/edit spreadsheets, graphs, and charts. The app supports .xls, .csv, .txt, and .ods data formats. Google Presentations is the tool to be used to create, edit, and share presentations. These files can be downloaded in .pdf/.ppt/.pps/.pptx, or .txt file formats.
Google Drawings is an image editing tool that can be used to create drawings, images, and shapes that can be embedded into any Google doc.

Apache OpenOffice

Stand-alone program
Open-source freeware
Supports Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/Linux/Mac

One of the most popular open-source office software is OpenOffice. The capabilities of this software are similar to MS Office, except that the file formats are different. It can support Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems.
Writer is the word processing tool that includes features like autocorrect, formatting, styles, HTML, tables, etc. The files created with OpenOffice can be saved in .doc format to overcome any compatibility issues.
Calc is used to create, edit, and analyze data in a spreadsheet format.
Impress is a multimedia presentation application that supports multiple monitor views apart from having regular features like animation, diagramming tools, etc.
Draw is the image editing tool that has the capability of creating 3D illustrations.
Base is the database tool that can be used to create tables, forms, reports, etc. For creating mathematical equations, the Math tool can be used.
Please note that you will need to install Java before installing OpenOffice.

SoftMaker FreeOffice

Stand-alone program
Unrestricted freeware
Supports Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8

The German software developer launched the free version of this application in June 2012. The installation file size is as small as 58.7 MB, which indicates less memory consumption and faster loading. You can import any file format in the software and export the files in PDF format.
TextMaker is the word processing tool that is similar to MS Office and is compatible with MS Word and OO Writer. So, after working in this software, you can save the file in .doc formats. Although there is no separate graphics tool, the TextMaker has plenty of drawing and image editing features.
PlanMaker is the spreadsheet tool that is compatible with MS Excel and also OO Calc.
Presentation, as the name suggests, is an alternative to MS PowerPoint. This tool is also compatible with OO Impress.

LibreOffice

Stand-alone program
Open-source freeware
Supports Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista/7/8/Linux/Mac/Solaris

The developers of OpenOffice created LibreOffice in 2010, with the underlying source code of both the applications remaining the same. The LibreOffice has the same applications like OpenOffice, but the features of both these software differ.
This software offers importing PDF files, a presentation minimizer, and a Wiki publisher.
Users can increase the functionality of the software by using extensions and templates that are on offer.
You can save this software on a SD card and install on any computer.

Kingsoft Office

Stand-alone program
Free for private use only
Supports Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8

After installation of this software, you would be deceived by its appearance. This software looks like a rip-off of MS Office and includes the three basic Office applications: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
The software does support a list of different file format and includes a PDF converter tool. However, the publishing and database management tools are absent.

These alternatives for MS Office clearly showcase additional features over the parent software, and most of them are available free of cost. So, if you are looking for Office-like features, but are tight on your budget, it is advisable to try out the above-listed options.
Which according to you is the best alternative?
Google docs
Apache OpenOffice
SoftMaker FreeOffice
LibreOffice
Kingsoft Office
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Published: March 14, 2014
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