If you need the functionality of Microsoft Office, but don’t have access to or can’t afford it, there are other options!
Option 1 - Google
While not (yet?) offering the depth of functionality you see in Microsoft Office, the tools and features you use most often are available:
- In place of Microsoft Word, use Google Docs
- In place of Microsoft Excel, use Google Sheets
- In place of Microsoft PowerPoint, use Google Slides
Other Google tools include: Google Forms (for surveys and other form-based functionality), Google Draw (for basic drawing/workflows, etc.)
If you need additional functionality, there is a library of extensions you can choose from - some free, others at a nominal cost. These tools are web-based, but there is also an “offline” option for those times when you don’t have an internet connection handy.
You can also upgrade (for a price) to GSuite to get “extras” such as: Business email through Gmail; video and voice conferencing; Smart shared calendars; 24/7 support by phone, email, and online; security and administration controls; and more.
These work on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
Cost: free for the basics/$5 - $10 per user for GSuite
Option 2 - LibraOffice
LibraOffice is a downloadable replacement for Microsoft Office that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
- In place of Microsoft Word, use Writer
- In place of Microsoft Excel, use Calc
- In place of Microsoft PowerPoint, use Impress
Other LibraOffice tools include: Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), Math (formula editing), and Charts (ability to create and embed charts).
Cost: free but you can also make a donation if you wish
Option 3 - Microsoft 365:
But if you need to have access to "the real deal" for a short time you probably still don't want to pay full price. No problem! For $6.99 (at the time this was published) you can get 1 month access to Microsoft Office 365.
This includes access to:
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft OneNote
- Microsoft Publisher (PC only)
- Microsoft Access (PC only)
Just make sure to cancel before they charge you for the next month!
These work on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems (except as noted).