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

Hmm, you haven't got the box in the bottom left corner? I don't see the box either in 2013 Free and i dont get the browser link, but I upgraded from 2012 Free. I remember the box disappeared in 2012 Free after I made a tick in the box.
What you can do is to install Kingsoft Office 2012 Free (maybe you have to un-install 2013 Free first), tick the box in all 3 programs and then install 2013 Free on top of 2012 Free.
It seems like I just kept the settings in 2013 Free after I installed it on top of 2012 Free.

No box bottom left or right corners.
I might try uninstall 2013, install 2012 and install 2013 over it.
I'll let you know how I get on.

Cheers.

Hey Stefan555,
selecting that start blank doc box in 2012 and installing 2013 over it, works.

Thanks heaps!

Great, I am happy I could help you.

Maybe you could also update the supported operating systems. SoftMaker's Free Office is also available for Linux and KingSoft also offers a Linux version. Though it is in alpha stage now and you should download the newest version 2013 / 9.x, which also supports the new M$ Office 2007 formats, as that version also got the English language. It is available at their website [removed].

We do not permit posting of non-English sites. Alpha software won't be considered. Also, for Linux, there is a different section on the site anyways, so the software for Linux will be considered there. Of course, the supported OS can be updated here, in the Quick Selection Guide.

Kingsoft Office Free 2013 has been released:
http://www.kingsoftstore.com/index
It's not obvious where to find the download link, it's on the page I linked to. Then there is a slide show of 3 products. The first product in the slide show is Kingsoft Office Free 2013, and thats where you find the download link.
The download page still links to Kingsoft Office Free 2012.

The page for the software is here, and the download link can be found there too: http://www.kingsoftstore.com/software/kingsoft-office-freeware Unfortunately, both the official download links on the page lead to CNET, which use their wrapped downloader around the program. Not recommended. There is however a direct link below, which can be used. FileHippo has the download too... much better download site than CNET: http://www.filehippo.com/download_kingsoft_office_suite_free/

The link I posted does not lead to CNET. It links to Kingsoft. I am aware of the CNET download links on the site, thats why I explained how to find the download link to the unbundled exe.

OK, I got it now. The download link on the slide show leads to this page: http://www.ksosoft.com/product/office-free.html and there you can find the download directly from Kingsoft. So, this is the link you should have shared :). Edit: I just noticed, it leads to a different site. Strange. Didn't know about this site before. Seems like it's just for the free office suite.

Yes sorry, I noticed I was too fast to copy and paste, so I got the wrong link. Good you got it anyway.
I havnt seen the Ksosoft site before either.
I noticed one issue Kingsoft got fixed. I use a Swedish keyboard and I couldn't use the Alt Gr + another key before in Kingsoft Office, so for example @ and \ was impossible to type. I know some other European keyboards had the same issue. Its fixed in this new version.

In my post (about 6 posts down this page) I mentioned that I tried the 2012 version and the rendering of an excel file was not 'true', and the general look of the program was not nice.
I purchased another fairly well known one, and it rendered that excel file properly ('true'), and the program itself looked tons better.
Have you tried the spreadsheet program in Kingsoft Office Free 2013 ?
Does it look better than the 2012 one ?

I have not tried it yet, I will do it in the weekend. I noticed you can change interface style. So if you don't like the old traditional MS-Office 2003 style, you can get something more like a MS-office 2007-2010 style in the interface. So it looks a lot better than 2012

Hello,

I am setting up an old laptop (Pentium m) with Windows 7

It runs fine even with only 1Gb of memory which it has.

However, Office (the Microsoft Variety) is quite slow.

All the person needs is to be able to open word, excel and powerpoint formats e.g. .doc and .docx

Which of these reviewed office suites would use the least memory, cpu etc in your opinion?

Regards,

Paul

Hi 'West Swan',

I had a similar experience like your: my old PC with OS Win XP had Office 2003 installed and to open a office document was too slow.

I uninstalled it with my ZSoft Uninstaller log (after doing the standart uninstall) and then installed 'SoftMaker FreeOffice'. Now I open a Office file very quick and using it it's very reliable for what I want in my old XP machine.

'SoftMaker FreeOffice' is able to open all Office file formats like .doc and .docx (the free version doesn't save in .docx or .xlsx, but I don't need that feature in my XP machine: when needed I use my Seven PC with Office 2010).

Hoping you stay satisfied with your alternative choosed!

Awesome. Thank you :-)

I am not a cloud man.
In your other two categories, which of the better ones can do this -
Open a docx or xlsx file, and then save it as doc or xls

Thanks,
Rob

Here is an update.
I installed Kingsoft, and it can open xlsx and save as xls.
The bad news is I don't like the looks of Kingsoft, and I did not like the way it displayed my sample xlsx file.

[Commercial reference removed]

LibreOffice has been updated to v4.0.3 Final (2013-05-09), 182 MB main installer (7.9 MB built-in help); release notes at https://www.libreoffice.org/download/release-notes/ .

Unfortunately a lot of documents (especially spreadsheets) were developed in MS Office complete with macros.

As far as I can tell the only free suite menioned that has decent macro support for Excel spreadsheets is LibreOffice.

Thanks for the reviews, but it should be noted that the KingSoft EULA is very strict in disallowing any use other than strictly personal, not even nonprofit. So i did not install it.

As for SSuite Office - Excalibur Release, this has many tools, but as an office type replacement it cannot match OpenOffice/LibreOffice, both of which i believe should be on top.

From what i found SSuite WordFormat2 is very limited, and neither it or WordGraph can even make columns or insert page numbers, make page borders and only the later can insert tables (but little formatting), and save as html, but it cannot serve as WYSIWYG web page editor.

Nor does it offer to mark spelling errors as you type, or toolbar and keyboard customization, or hardly any options at all, while all of these and much much more can be done under one free.o strings attached OOo or LO writer program.

I have over 15 documents open right now under OOo and it serves me well.

Just wondering PBJ, since you have tried both LibreOffice and OpenOffice, which one do you find better?

I find OpenOffice better perhaps due to something about default formatting, and the LO removal of page borders. Perhaps you can get the latter back now, but i use OOo to make web pages, and in fact i will say it is by far the best WYSIWYG program for that, and it found LO was rendering them a little differently, but it may have had to do with the template i saved.

As the old saying goes, "if it ain't broke don't fix it," however, LO seems to be the one to go with though, as it it may be improved more in the near future. And they both seem to have a quirk on paragraph spacing in tables on web pages.

I have both installed, and copied some things over (autocorrect, dictionary, toolbars, backup) and chose the same path for both to save autocorrect words to. I have lots of them.

Thanks for the reply :). Yea, LibreOffice seems to be in continuous development, and they are improving it rapidly. So, that's good. I was curious as to how they fared out.

Please note that your License Type of Unrestricted freeware for Kingsoft Office Suite is false.

Please read their EULA:

the "Product" is a personal edition software, it shall be used only in personal computers, and shall not be used in the computers of legal persons or other organizations (including but not limited to government agencies, companies, enterprises, other organizations, etc.; regardless of the organization is an economic organization or not; regardless of the organization's usage is for profitable purpose or not).

Therefore, if you run a company from home, and are looking for a free office suite, it can't be used. Unfortunately, it can only be used in your personal capacity.

Subsequently, I don't think it deserves your Top Pick award.

LibreOffice 4.0.0 has been released.

Among many other changes, the main installer has been trimmed to 183 MB. An overview of the new version by ghacks.net (published before it became final) may be found at http://www.ghacks.net/2013/02/07/libreoffice-4-0-changes/?_m=3n.0038.787....

Thanks AJ, updated. I'll get an updated copy downloaded and get an 4.0.0 review online asap.

You're most welcome!

I just noticed the SSuite Office and downloaded it - will review. My suite now (thanks to Gizmo's) is Softmaker Office. Softmaker (free) may not include every possible option but, now that I've retired, I don't need every option. My sense of what Softmaker offers is that the program(s) have everything I need for the time being. The main point for me is that everything loads quickly and has the smallest memory footprint of all applications listed. I have an older system and am limited as far as funds. While I hope to expand memory soon, I don't have much to spend on it now. Softmaker products use 1/3 or so memory of all other products I've evaluated and that is not only a plus for me but, at this point, a necessity. If you need that extra memory and don't need absolutely every option, I suggest Softmaker. I'll look at SSuite Office and post back. As far as "cloud" goes, I suppose I'm just too old and set on certain things. I love the idea of online storage but I want my documents written on and stored on my hard drive. I have no doubt that this is now going in another direction. I may do likewise soon but, for now, I love everything that m22rdy has reviewed and, for my system, lean toward Softmaker.

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