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Top Microsoft Office Alternatives for Linux in 2021
  • Last Updated : 29 Apr, 2021

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular sets of productivity software for managing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. Microsoft Office is available as a software package that can be downloaded as well as an online software that comes as Microsoft 365 Suite. The apps that it provides include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, and more. However, a range of alternatives of Microsoft Office has emerged in the market that you can use on various Linux distributions. These alternatives are either free or paid. Some are more expensive while others are available at affordable prices.

This article highlights the top alternatives to Microsoft Office for Linux that are available in the market. Let’s get started:

1. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is very popularly known and believed to be the best alternative to Microsoft Office or Linux. It comes pre-installed on many Linux distributions. LibreOffice is open-source and free to use. As you get accustomed to using LibreOffice, you might find it to be as feature-rich as Microsoft Office. When Oracle had made its mind to not continue the development of OpenOffice, the Document Foundation forked it and created LibreOffice. LibreOffice consists of a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software. It is available in 110 languages. LibreOffice uses the Open Document Format (ODF). The file formats used by Microsoft Office are also supported by LibreOffice.

2. Apache OpenOffice

Oracle Corporation acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010. Soon after that, many employees working on OpenOffice.org resigned from the company. One year later, Oracle halted the development of OpenOffice.org and laid off the remaining team of developers. At the same time, Oracle contributed the source code and relevant trademarks to Apache Software Foundation. As a result, it led to the development of Apache OpenOffice. The latest version of Apache OpenOffice is version 4, and it is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS in 41 languages. Apache OpenOffice offers many features similar to LibreOffice.

3. Calligra Office

As a part of KOffice initially, Calligra Office Suite was released in October 2020. Developed by KDE, it is suitable for graphic art design. Linux, macOS, Windows, and Android, have it available. It is a free and open-source software suite and can be downloaded from its Calligra official website or KDE’s downloads page. It has no similarities with LibreOffice. LibreOffice looks and feels similar to Microsoft Office but Calligra doesn’t. It has an extra feature that sets it apart, a mind mapping and project management tool is also offered by it. You can read DOCX and DOC format in Calligra, but they can’t be edited. So, for compatibility, ODT(Open Document Text) format can be preferred over Microsoft Office Documents.



4. FreeOffice

FreeOffice can be believed to be a free and obvious alternative to Microsoft Office. A company named SoftMaker has been working on developing office software since 1987 and their flagship product is their office suite. Free to use at home and also at the workplace, FreeOffice is a complete office suite. Developed for both Windows and Linux, a basic version for Android is also available. Its compatibility with all Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats makes it a suitable alternative. This means that a Word File or a PowerPoint Presentation, or an Excel Sheet belonging to a format of the older version of Microsoft Office can also be supported by FreeOffice. A new interface that was launched in 2020, gives the users an option to choose between modern and classic menus and toolbars. Because this interface is very similar to Microsoft Office, it makes switching from Microsoft Office very similar. A touch mode that provides a large icon view is also available for users who use a touchscreen PC. Both the newer and older versions or interfaces support this mode.

5. Office Suite

Available for Android, iOS, and windows, the Office Suite is an application whose creator is MobiSystems. Office Suite is pre-installed in devices that are manufactured by Amazon, Toshiba, Sony, and Alcatel. One of the top apps for business is the office suite Android app. Only one license per device is required for you to synchronize between devices using your Open Office Suite account. Amongst several tiers to choose from, the free tier is the ‘Basic’ tier, and it allows viewing and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. It works with most formats such as ODT, RTF, CSV, DOC, etc. Cloud support via services like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive is also offered by the free tier apart from enabling the users to view PDF documents. One Suite is enabled on a desktop, tablet, and phone, one each. It has everything that comes with the free tier including the ability to track changes, and export PDF to other editable formats. It also has advanced PDF features such as digital signatures and passwords. Permission to use across five desktops, five tablets, and five phones is given by the ‘Group’ tier. As a one-time free download, a home and business version is also available.

6. Polaris Office

Initially released in March 2014, Polaris Office is developed by Infraware. It is free and is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. It is a very popular suite amongst businesses. It is also used by Amazon and Samsung. You can upgrade to the business version, but there is a free version that is also feature-rich. A ‘Purchase Query Form’ is needed to be submitted to Polaris to inquire about the cost. This is a powerful suite that helps you edit many file formats like PPT, XLS, DOCX, AND HWP. You will be able to edit and create from wherever you are and as your account synchronizes amongst your devices. Your entire data is secured by Amazon Web Services. You can now convert and edit PDF documents with the latest edition of Polaris. It also helps in converting voice and image files to documents if required. Languages like French, German, Korean, English, and Russian are supported by this suite. 

7. OnlyOffice

Developed by Ascensio Systems SIA, OnlyOffice is an open-source office suite available in over 22 languages. Oracle is one of their leading clients. The ‘Community Edition’ is the completely free version, very suitable for small businesses, and allows up to 20 connections at once. It not only offers the usual features but also is very useful in order fulfillment and documenting sales. There’s a handy calendar that helps keep up to date with daily tasks, both personal and work-related. Integration of third-party software is also possible. There is a mail tool that helps you to create your mailboxes. There are a few more features similar to other office suites.

8. Word Perfect

There have been several owners for WordPerfect over the years. It was developed in the late 1970s. In 1996, Corel purchased it and wanted to build a business that could compete with Microsoft and Adobe. In the ’80s WordPerfect was most popular as it was then known for its DOS and Microsoft Windows versions. WordPerfect being an all-in-one office suite, offers its word processor, spreadsheet program, and a slideshow creator. Improved photo editing and management are included in the latest version. There is a free trial for Word Perfect available for download from the main site. It supports many formats like DOCX, PDF, and HTML. The file extension for WordPerfect files is WPD. It allows for ebook publishing and macro-management. It supports opening multiple docs simultaneously. There’s a PDF feature that allows users to edit and fill forms via PDF and also change their color or font.

9. Zoho Workplace

Although Google Docs is more widely used, Zoho Workplace is also too good enough to have attracted the BBC and Nike as regular users. Zoho’s word processor has a new look and is very well presented. It is also capable of producing professional-looking documents. It contains a sterling spreadsheet and also a reasonable presentation package. It also includes a powerful site creation tool and a file management tool that help people work collaboratively. Zoho is a good option for people starting small businesses.

10. Siag Office

Siag is a very light office suite that is even able to run on a 16MB system. It is very lightweight, and so, it lacks most of the features found in regular office suites. It has all the necessary functions that could run on a small Linux system. It comes pre-installed in Damn Small Linux.

11. Feng Office

Previously known as OpenGoo, Feng is not your regular Office Suite. Its entire focus is on becoming an online office suite just like Google Docs. It is an open-source collaboration platform. It is suitable for small businesses but if you are looking forward to using it on a Linux desktop, you are not lucky.

12. Google Docs

The approach taken by Google’s G Suite of web apps is different from the approach followed by Microsoft Office. It’s one of the most popular alternatives to Microsoft Office across all platforms. A few advantages in terms of document collaboration and sharing are given by it because it is web-based. So even if your computer crashes while working, you don’t have to worry. It is widely used in schools and educational institutes. Even though it is an online tool, it supports offline saving and editing. App list includes Google Docs (Word Processor), Sheets (Spreadsheets), Drawing (Diagrams and Flowcharts), forms (Surveys), Slides (Presentations).

Some other office suites like the WPS office suite and Office 365 are also available in the market. If you wish to know more about them, you can find the details on their website. Office 365 is Microsoft’s product which is a competitor of Google Docs. There are tools in the Office 365 package, which replace certain or all tools in Google Docs. There is a substitute available for almost all tools that come with Google Docs.

So, in this article, we saw all the different Office Suites which can serve as an alternative to Microsoft Office on Linux. We hope you find this information useful and also that it would help you in deciding which alternative is the best for you. To get the most out of this article, try to compare the features of different products along with their pricing, and depending on at what level you want to use the product, you can decide which one is the best for you. You can also try visiting their corresponding websites, which might provide you detailed and in-depth knowledge of the product’s features and pricing.

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