A Really Nice Office Suite For Free


WPS OfficeI recently bought a new PC for a colleague. It came, as they normally do, with a trial version of Microsoft Office and a commercial antivirus program. As I always do, I started off by removing the antivirus and security suite and letting Windows Defender take over. While Defender may not be the best security product in the world, it's perfectly good enough for most people. And it's both small and free, which count for a lot with me.

Next, to the office software. We need a word processor, spreadsheet and graphics program. Not just for creating new files, but also so that we can open documents created by other people. So it needs to be relatively capable, and compatible with the standard Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats.

But Microsoft Office costs at least $200 a copy, after the trial version expires. Or you can subscribe to Office 365 for around $10 a month, to get the installable applications as well as lots of OneDrive space. But frankly, I like Dropbox better than OneDrive, and the Office applications are enormous. The installer disk for MS Office 2016 contains more than 3,000 MB of files.

After a bit of research I settled on WPS Office for this new machine. It's small (the installer is 80 MB). It's fast. It looks very much like MS Office and comes with hundreds of document templates. It reads Word, Excel and PowerPoint files just fine. And it's completely free.

Actually, for "completely free" read "sponsored access". This is the WPS (formerly known as Kingsoft) way of saying that it's supported by advertising. Which means that you'll sometimes need to view a quick ad before you can print a document. But in return, you get unrestricted use of a software product that would otherwise cost you at least $100 a year.

It's your choice. Or in this instance it was my choice. And for now, we're sticking with WPS Office on this new machine because it seems very nice indeed. If you want to try it for yourself, head to http://wps.com/ to download it. The aforementioned 80 MB installer is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.

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Thanks Rob.

"subscribe to Office 365 for around $10 a month"
"a software product that would otherwise cost you at least $100 a year."

To correct those, the ~$100/year Home version is for 5 users, so ~$20 each.
For a single user, the Personal version has all the main desktop apps for ~$55-60.

I am using WPS Office on my laptop and android version on tablet. I followed your recommendation on this office some time ago when it was Kingsoft. I like it, only thing I worried about is adverts in android version, but now realize it was the program not spam! Hope they keep this office going forever! Thanks to you you've helped me on lots of the programs

So when Softmaker 2012 offered an update to 2016 version it wasn't trying to sell me the update? I use Textmaker sometimes.

You said "It reads Word, Excel and PowerPoint files just fine"
Does it write them (compatible) as well ?

PS I am a control freak, and W10 is the exact opposite.
I was going to live with Windows Defender, but discovered it is doing Scans (even inside Zip files), even when I have not told it to do a scan.
A new machine may not notice that, but it slows the hades out of my older PC, and I like to control when it does it's scans.
Also there are occasions when one wishes to disable the anti virus. It is 5 times easier to disable Avast Free, and it stays off until I tell it to return. Windows Defender will turn itself on when it feels like it.

It seems to write .xls and .doc but not .xlsx and .docx. Maybe that's a full version 'feature'.

I am a little older and used WordPerfect in DOS while it was still a good program. Then over the years have tried a number of Office Suites. SoftMaker has become the best for me now for a number of years. Every year you can get a free copy and SoftMaker makes a donation to a charity opportunity for each copy downloaded. They are top of the line in Deutschland!

My suggestions are, for a full suite, LibreOffice and for a ligther one, SoftMaker. Both free and ads free.

I prefer softmaker myself. Had used the free WPS for a long time until they said I had pay for it to continue using it. This was about two months ago. Don't know if the policy has changed. Boo

Thanks anyway, but LibreOffice works for me and has been a faithful companion for a long time. And .... No ads!

Ditto here.

Thxs for the heads up on the ads. Sticking with LibreOffice, no ads

For a small (48MB-Installed), yet complete Office Suite, Please check out:

Ashampoo Office 2010 is FREE... Works very well,...
Should cover almost everyone's needs...

Installed it is a little less than 48 MB...

It can be Downloaded from the link below:
From that link:

Thank you for the recommendation but Ashampoo Office 2010 is really SoftMaker Office - they even say so on their site. What puzzles me is why recommend a 2010 office suite when you can get the free 2016 version directly from SoftMaker themselves?


That's what I use and what I would recommend. I am sure it can easily fulfill the needs of almost all private users.

Been using this for a couple of years now it gets the job done well

I still favour Open Office. It can't handle some of the high end macros that Excel uses but in general it's fabulous. I'd not try anything else now.

Open Office doesn't nag me to update every month and I tend to stay loyal to programs that don't make frivolous changes simply to appear "new and improved".

Thanks Rob.
Very good to know about this free option we have!
Ads are a minor nuisance.