Best Free Office Suite

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Introduction

An office suite is a collection of programs, mainly consisting of a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation application bundled together.

With the pricey tag put onto the all popular Microsoft Office, it leaves no surprise that the average home user or small business would be looking for an alternative. Below we have reviewed and rated all the popular freeware office suites and split them into three sections making it easier to find the best solution:

  1. Proprietary, privately owned software being offered up for free.
  2. Open Source, an open-source office suite and various mods based on the same programming code making them similar to use.
  3. Online, a cloud or web based suite that can be used on the move; some contain a mobile app for easy updating.

 

Proprietary Office Suite

WPS Office Free  

Most similar to Microsoft Office


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Limited features)
Familiar office interface, easy to pick up, tabbing within each application, direct PDF output.
Opens a browser link when application starts, switch UI popup annoying.
Read full review...

SSuite Office  

A huge collection of products designed to make any office task easier


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free
Very fast start-up speeds, Simple and not distracting, nice spreadsheet editor.
Word processor is lacking in many areas, many programs are loaded that you may never use, some may find the "old fashioned" look not to their liking.
Read full review...

Softmaker FreeOffice  

A lite version of the commercial application Softmaker Office


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Limited features)
Small, fast & simple. Easy to pick up and use.
No macro/scripting, intrusive tips bar, very limited features.
Read full review...

Open-Source Office Suite

Apache OpenOffice  

A leading open-source office suite offering free productivity applications


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Long standing support, includes Database application.
Java dependency requiring Java installation.
Read full review...

LibreOffice  

A fork from OpenOffice and an actively developed free and open-source office suite


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Very easy to use and learn, very extensive file support.
Java dependency requiring Java installation.
Read full review...

Online Office Suite

Google Drive  

A reliable online office suite for storing, sharing and collaborative editing of documents


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Limited features)
Pages load faster then other office suites, very easy to use. Gmail integration.
Must convert all file types to google doc file type in order to edit them online.
Read full review...

Zoho  

An online office suite includes Writer, Sheet and Show


Our Rating: 
3.5
License: Free (Limited features)
Very easy to use, tabbed document editing allows for multiple documents at once, compatible with all file types, and many collaboration features.
Can be intimidating for people who first see it, kinda cluttered.
Read full review...

ThinkFree  

An online office suite with Java dependency


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Limited features)
Excellent interface, easy to find & use features.
Very slow, tends to lag when clicking any options.
Read full review...

Related Products and Links

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Comments

SoftMaker FreeOffice has been updated to version 2016 Rev 755.0417 (2016.04.19).

I am surprised WPS (Kingsoft) was rated high, much less 31. While a neat program, it fails miserably in one of the most important tasks office suites must do- import and export multiple file types. This is a killer.
I am biased.
For years i used Open Office (OOG) ad loved it. Having started on Wordperfect/Dos then Microsmurf Office OOG was a God-send. Great, versatile and free. Early versions were a horror to load into windows. After getting it up and running it was fantastic. I still keep it as a backup.
Libre office is similar to OOG. I use Libre 90% of the time. Sometimes i have to use a tex editor for obscure things. I have written hundreds of legal documents with every foreseeable and many unforeseeable formatting requirements with Libre- it rocks.

I loved WPS Office, but with the new changes for the worse, I'm quite disappointed.

I downgraded down to Kingsoft Suite instead. It seems to have everything that I need.

My vote goes to Softmaker FreeOffice. Sure it may not have all the bells and whistles of the other office listed in this article but. It's easy to use and have enough features for the adverage office user to use. There are many features hidden within it and for selecting colors there's a simple basic Microsoft basic color tool instead of complicated palettes.
WPS is full of crap! Kingsoft so called Antivirus was a backdoor for an virus to get into my computer I don't use their WPS office either because it keeps trying to make one install software from another company that user doesn't need. SSuite office software wants to add an entire "operation system" to your computer loaded with crap you don't need like yet another web browser. Wordgraph is slow and buggy and the features are hard to find.
LibreOffice, Sun (Lotus) Office and Apache Open Office and a lot of others are software clones with different names! These guys are slow and I kept getting freezes and bugs when trying to type a document.

I see mumbling (in reply to your post) that FreeOffice can open docx but cannot save as docx.
"It is an ill wind that blows nobody no good"
I have no love for docx.
Can it open docx and save as doc without any loss ?
If someone answers yes, I will be downloading this immediately

While I cannot confirm that there will be no loss, I have opened a few docx and saved them as doc and I couldn't tell the difference after. FreeOffice does have a few annoyances (e.g. no tabbed documents view and the inability to permanently hide the sidebar), however, it is more light weight than, say LibreOffice, and it should be more than sufficient for the most users.

I use to like WPS office until I tried to save a file on docx and it said I needed to have the pay version. I'm downloading Freeoffice. After hearing LibreOffice still uses Java I still refuse to use it.

FreeOffice can open and read docx but cannot save in it.

I see that. That sucks. :(

WPS now has a restriction with the free version with regards to printing. It now adds a watermark to your document. It adds the same watermark to pdf files too. Sad really as I really rated this office application.

Regarding WPS,
Can businesses use the free version ?
I have a friend with a small business who is 'renting' the latest MS Office
Is there anyone out there that knows of a business that is using WPS free, instead of Office ?
Is it truly 100% compatible (considering they would be exchanging docs and spreadsheets regularly with other businesses that are using MS Office) ?

WPS has a keyboard shortcut for screengrabs that is identical to several keyboard shortcuts for diacritic signs in my language (Polish)., There is no way to disable it. So people who want to write in languages other than English and who use right Alt key for diacritic signs should beware.

Went over to WPS.com and noticed that the Windows version doesn't appear any longer - just the iOS, Android and Linux versions. My guess is they've pulled the Windows version from the site (not sure if it's coming back or not...) You might be able to find it somewhere else (FileHippo still carries the Kingsoft Office version from 2013 and MajorGeeks still has the Beta version of WPS Office Free 2014) but we probably need to take another look at the recommendation.

A major upgrade, LibreOffice 5 was released a few weeks ago. The latest version, 5.0.1.2, was released on 2015.08.27 (release notes are at https://www.libreoffice.org/download/release-notes/).

Unfortunately LibreOffice 5 still suffers from Bug 37967 - no "normal" view in Writer. Which is a really old bug inherited from OpenOffice. (Bug 4914 from 2002, making it 13 years old now.) And while the LibreOffice people consider it a mere enhancement to be gotten to someday, many (non)users consider it an absolute deal-killer; a bug of severity "causes the program to be automatically shut down and deleted from the user's hard drive, when encountered."

Another alternative that I haven't noticed anyone mention yet is that Microsoft has a free online version of Office at https://onedrive.live.com/

I know it's not the same as using the full MS Office version, but for receiving/uploading/editing/saving/sending MS Office files (such as DOCX), it's hard to beat since it doesn't lose any formatting that some of your free office suites may do when handling MS Office files (such as LibreOffice). But that's just my two cents. ;-)

To stop WPS from opening their templates link on startup, go to File>Tools>Options. Under the General and Save section, there is a selection to "Start With" (either the Home Page or a New Document) at the bottom. Select New Document and their Home Page won't open any more.

Thanks for the tip RCHamilt it works Great ..

Hi, I've been a user of Kingsoft Office for a few years and agree it's the closest to MS office but reading some comments here about the new upgrade, "WPS Office 2014" being a paid only is not so. I upgraded but theres still a free version called 'WPS Office 2014' and a paid one. I have 2014 and it's free.

What you say is true but the free version is now restricted, or a some users see it, crippled. See details about these restrictions in our forum thread. MC - Site Manager. http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/home-office-and-productiv...

What sells FreeOffice on me is its ability to both read and write .odt files, which makes it almost singularly universal as a replacement for Open/LibreOffice and Word. If WPS only included just this one ability they'd a officeful of customers here for life.

Greetings All!

From a an academic point of view - if you use OUTLINING on a regular basis there appears to be NO BETTER CHOICE than WPS aka Kingsoft.

Why? Because it works the SAME as Microsoft Office.

ALL other suite choices are not very intuitive when outlining. In fact they are annoying to use.

I have NOT SEEN this mentioned in any review or comments.

Hopefully, this helps in choosing your "go to" office suite.

To all, happy, safe and healthy New Year 2015!

It might be time to change the recommendation back to LibreOffice instead of WPS Office - the move by Kingsoft to change to a subscription basis in order to have access to all of the features of WPS Office makes it a less practical choice for small businesses or individuals who are looking for a FREE office suite. Yes, WPS Office can be used as a "trial" for 30 days, but after that time you need to subscribe in order to continue using the "Premium" features - including the ability to save files in the newer docx, xlsx or pptx formats compatible with the newer versions of Microsoft Office.

Also, like Microsoft, Kingsoft is trying to switch consumers to a subscription model - you pay for the software on a monthly (or yearly) basis instead of paying for it once. While the pricing may look attractive initially, you end up paying for your software like a cable tv or smartphone bill. Is this what we really want as a "free" alternative to Microsoft Office?

For me, I'm uninstalling the latest release of WPS Office and sticking with LibreOffice. I don't want to subscribe for my software, even at a lower cost than the Microsoft name brand.

I agree with gravedigger. I foolishly installed this latest version without anticipating that the unsubscribed version would put watermarks on print outs and restrict saving functions. Uninstalling. Wondering if the previous version can be installed? Is LibreOffice the next viable option?

You can still download Kingsoft Free Office 2013. Just search for it on Google.
Kingsoft Free Office 2013 is still the best choice, totally free and saves to MS Office 2007/2010 document formats. None of the others save/export to docx, xlsx.
Agree with your comments on WPS Office 2014 - Stay well away!
NB: Significant amount of functionality is removed once trial is expired.

While the free version of Kingsoft Office (2013) is a great choice, I would be reluctant to advise people to stay with it since it's already been replaced with WPS Office 2014 and will probably not be that well supported going forward. The subscription only version will continue to be supported and Kingsoft will probably make it harder to get the older version.

I would recommend going with LibreOffice as it's well supported, continues to be a FREE alternative to Microsoft Office and has been a good choice for a number of years now...

Sorry but the smart money is on Softmaker FreeOffice 2014. By far the best compatibilty with MS Office docs. Similar small footprint and broad functionality to Kingsoft and has regular updates.

Just got done downloading WPS Kingsoft, and it appears as is the free version has been modified to a trail period and then a monthly rental.

Yes, it now includes a trial of home premium version for 30 days. The suite remains free though.

Significant amount of functionality is now removed once trial is expired. Falls well short of Kingsoft Office Free 2013 (which you can still download and use totally free)

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