SOFTWARE SPECIAL 5 best free alternatives to Microsoft Word
A list of powerful word processing software that are completely free
Everyone needs a great word processor. And Microsoft Word is one of the best, thanks to its wide format support and integration with other Office apps. But that power and convenience doesn't come cheap -even with Microsoft's Office 365 subscription model, which spreads the cost throughout the year. Free software has come a long way in recent years, and there are now great alternatives to Microsoft Word that don't cost a rupee.You could switch to any of these programs today and start working immediately.
1 WPS Office Writer
The best free alternative to Microsoft Word, with a smart interface, full Word compatibility, cloud backup, and free mobile apps
WPS Office Writer's slick design is similar to the current version of Microsoft Word, with a ribbon interface and almost identical icons. If you like using Office 2007 or later, the move to WPS Writer will be seamless.
There's tabbed browsing for multiple documents (a feature not found in Word), and WPS Office Writer can open pretty much any text document format you can throw at it. It has its own file format (WPS), but new documents default to Microsoft's DOCX format for convenient sharing with Word users.
2 LibreOffice Writer
The best open source Microsoft Word alternative, with a buzzing developer community and regular updates
If you feel comfortable using the older, pre-ribbon versions of Microsoft Word, you'll love LibreOffice Writer. Its interface is similar to Word prior to the introduction of the Ribbon in 2007. So if you're familiar with the older interface, you'll be up and running in seconds.
It will take a little longer if you're used to the newer versions of Microsoft Office, but the menus and icons are simple and intuitive, so don't be put off. LibreOffice Writer is compatible with Microsoft Word documents (including DOC and DOCX) and other text file formats.
3 Apache OpenOffice Writer
Another open source Word alternative. Not quite as fresh as LibreOffice, but still an excellent option
LibreOffice is a part of Apache OpenOffice and the two share the same code base, so it's no surprise that there's little to choose between the two. Both offer excellent compatibility with Microsoft Word documents, and work seamlessly with their linked database and presentation applications.
There's almost no difference between the programs' features or interfaces -both use a classic Microsoft Office style system, with a handy sidebar for formatting options.
4 SoftMaker FreeOffice TextMaker
TextMaker is good, but would be superb if it could save documents in DOCX format
SoftMaker FreeOffice TextMaker's interface is less cluttered than most free Microsoft Word alternatives, but it doesn't skimp on tools and settings. Some features are tucked away in sub-menus, but you can customise the toolbar by rearranging the icons.
Its drawback is the inability to save your work in Microsoft's DOCX format. However, you can open files in DOCX format using FreeOffice TextMaker, so you won't be locked out of your existing documents.
AbiWord replaces Microsoft Word's key features, but its developers have chosen to focus on Linux rather than Windows
AbiWord is the most pared-back of the options here, but could easily replace Microsoft Word for your writing and editing if you don't rely on Word's advanced features. It's an open source project, and is less demanding than the other Microsoft Word alternatives here.
AbiWord has excellent format support, including DOC and DOCX, making it a good choice for document-sharing. It's also an ex .cellent text editor, but AbiWord has a shortage of volunteer Windows developer