Microsoft Word is the world’s most popular word processing program.
Unfortunately, Microsoft Word isn’t free (although you can get a free 30 day trial).
Are you looking for a free long-term replacement to Microsoft Word? We’ve researched the best Word alternatives and come up with the following list. Download any of these software programs to enjoy excellent
Word Online is a stripped down version of Microsoft Word. It doesn’t allow advanced formatting, but it does let you access basic Microsoft Word functionality and compatibility.
Word Online can be used to type up college essays, documents, letters, and most of the other things you do with Microsoft Word.
It does, however, lack many of the features that have made Word popular. You can’t wrap text, crop text, or change image sizing. Page Layout features like margins, orientation, size, and indents are available, although deeper features like columns are not available.
One of the most annoying features about Word Online, however, is that you have to upload files to your OneDrive account before you open them with Word Online. You can’t access local files and documents on your computer without first uploading them to OneDrive.
After you’ve completed typing up a document, you can download that document from your OneDrive account to your local computer files as a .docx file. The .docx file is exactly the same as the .docx file you would get from a full version of Microsoft Word, so people won’t be able to notice you’re using Word Online.
Access Word Online here (you’ll need to sign up for a free Microsoft account or login with your existing account).
Ranking in second place on our list is Google Docs, which is designed to be a direct competitor to Microsoft Office. Google Docs is free and highly-functional.
The early versions of Google Docs – first released in 2007 – were painfully difficult to use and were not viable alternatives to Microsoft Office. Today, things have changed and Google Docs is an excellent option for anyone with a Google account.
The interface is simple and relatively easy-to-use, although there will be a bit of a learning curve if you’ve only used Microsoft Word for years.
Unlike Word Online, Google Docs doesn’t push you into upgrading your subscription or paying for anything. That’s because you can’t pay for Google Docs: Google has made its entire software available for free.
The main restriction to Google Docs is its lack of a desktop client. Other than that, Google Docs is surprisingly full-featured. You can also install “add-ons” for Google Docs which add bibliography functionality, extensive editing features, and so much more.
OpenOffice was one of the first legitimate Microsoft Word competitors. It’s been around for nearly a decade.
In 2011, however, OpenOffice changed forever. Oracle closed down the OpenOffice project and moved all trademarks and coding to Apache, where it became the Apache OpenOffice Writer.
Whatever you call it, OpenOffice is an excellent alternative to Microsoft word and, aside from a dated-looking UI, includes everything you could possibly want in a free word processor.
The software is actively in development and is regularly updated by Apache. If you can get past the strange interface, you’ll find a remarkably powerful word processor that continues getting better and better.
You can download Open Office for free from http://www.openoffice.org/
It’s easy to get confused between LibreOffice and OpenOffice. The two programs have similar names, but they also look remarkably alike.
That’s because LibreOffice is based on the open-source code from the Open Office project. In fact, the only major difference between LibreOffice and OpenOffice is that the first software was created by a unified team of developers while the second software was built by a collaboration of multiple developers.
All of this development results in an excellent word processor that has few faults. The UI is noticeably better than OpenOffice and actually looks like it belongs in 2014 – not 2008.
Some PC users call LibreOffice the best Microsoft Word alternative. If you’re looking for a word processor that has a minimal learning curve and Word-like functionality, then we’d have to agree.
You can download LibreOffice for free from here: http://www.libreoffice.org/