5 Alternatives to Microsoft Word

5 Alternatives to Microsoft Word

When replacing a computer there’s few expenses that come close – outside of the physical hardware – to that of updating the Office application if you were using an OEM Office product (or if the version you have is too old to bring across)

If you want to avoid the costs there are a few options (mostly free to boot) for your Word Processing Needs

1. Google Docs Documents

Pro:

  • Links seamlessly with your gmail
  • Fantastic for collaboration with others on your team
  • Constant Save – System Crashes don’t loose everything since the last save!
  • Cross Platform – your Mac user can talk to your PC user and even the Linux guy in the dungeon.

Con:

  • You need internet connectivity – no internet no document editing
  • Not up to the functionality of Word – it’ll do the basics and intermediates but don’t expect the same level of functionality
  • Not everything Docx will resolve correctly, and vice versa. You may resort to sending documents as PDF to ensure it renders correctly.
2. Open Office Writer

Pro:

  • Very like MS Office interface, doesn’t require the same level of training to get up to speed
  • Can open and resolve most Document types that are out there

Con:

  • Support is community based so no support desk to ring or contact
  • Is not as robust as Word
  • Does not open or export to Docx reliably.
3. FreeOffice TextMaker

Pro:

  • Very like MS Office interface
  • Can open and resolve most Document types that are out there
  • Probably the best for compatibility across document types

Con:

  • No Mac version
  • Is not as robust as Word
4. Mac Pages

Pro:

  • Simple intuitive menu system
  • Can open and resolve most document types
  • Probably the best for Docx on the Mac

Con:

  • Fonts – most word documents you open it’ll need to substitute the fonts until you go and install them.
  • Very basic in comparison to most offerings
5. Office 365

Pro:

  • It is Word
  • The 12 euro a month package has full version of word for offline use
  • If you have an application that links with Office for generating sales letters or quotes you should be able to plug it in.

Con:

  • It is still Word
  • It does still cost Money and eventually it’s more expensive in the long run than an OEM version

On a totally transparent note these days I use a Mac, for 15+ years I used MS Office and I still have a laptop with Win7 but I use Pages for all word processing these days. I’ll touch on other Office products at a later date (*cough* excel) where I will always go back to do the big stuff but Word can be replaced for most every need…

Unless you have another program that requires Word for integration, then you’re looking at Office 365 with local copy included otherwise your sales / accounts person is going to get very irate when they find out the system no longer outputs their precious letters!

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