Microsoft Word is one of the most used word-processing software around the world, but it is definitely not the only one on the market. There are several Word alternatives available that offer unique features and benefits.
Whether you're looking for a free option, a tool with advanced features, or a more specific and personalized program, there is a word-processing app perfect for you waiting to be found. Today, we'll explore five alternatives to Microsoft Word, along with the pros and cons of each.
Google Docs is a free online word-processing program that allows users to create, edit, and share documents online with others for collaboration that can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.
Cloud-based: Google Docs allows real-time seamless collaboration with multiple users. Any user can access the document as long as they have an internet connection. Thanks to it being cloud-based. Every change made by any of the users is automatically saved, so no progress will be lost.
Beginner Friendly: Its interface and functionalities are easy to understand and implement. In no time, you can use Google Docs capabilities as if it were second nature.
Cost: While both offer free options, both companies offer a paid version, but Google’s is cheaper than Microsoft’s.
Diverse tools: Word offers more advanced formatting, design, and editing features, making it suitable for complex document creation. For Google Docs to stay caught up regarding the diversity of features, it has to be enhanced with add-ons.
Advanced Features: Microsoft Word offers more advanced formatting, design, and editing features, making it suitable for complex document creation
Limiting productivity: While it’s true that it is easy to use and that it can provide its user with plenty of tools, we can’t deny that, once you learn to make the most out of Word’s functionalities, it could help you be even more productive than with Google Docs. So, the deal would be facing the learning curve for the prize of doing more and faster. That would be a path each user would decide to take or not.
Less Templates and Outlines: Microsoft Word takes the lead regarding template library size. It can offer templates for academic papers, resumes, and business letters, among many others, easing the writing process.
If you don’t need complicated tools and prioritize real-time collaboration with an intuitive interface, then Google Docs might be the right fit for you.
LibreOffice Writer is the word processor component of LibreOffice, a freely available, fully-featured office productivity suite. It is a feature-rich tool for creating letters, books, reports, newsletters, brochures, and more. LibreOffice Writer is a powerful and versatile tool for all your word-processing needs.
Open Source: If you know about coding, LibreOffice being open-source could mean many possibilities for usage and modification to meet specific needs.
Cost: Because it is open-source, Libre Writer is free for anyone to download and use. Its full functionalities are available without having to spend a penny for them.
File Formats: LibreOffice is compatible with the OpenDocument Format (ODF), an open standard format for office documents. It also can edit and save DOCX file format, making it an excellent app if you’re transitioning from one app to another with an existing document.
Limited Cloud Integration: Despite having the option for real-time collaboration and cloud integration, LibreOffice Writer may not be the greatest of the list in this. On the other hand, Word offers co-authoring features and integration with OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams, just to name a few.
Graphics: The Microsoft Word collection of graphics and templates is richer than Writer’s. LibreOffice can offer even drawing tools with its component LibreOffice Draw, but the variety and richness of Word’s graphic collection undeniably outperforms it.
Lack of advanced features: LibreOffice Writer might not be the best option for those working on large and complex texts since it doesn’t stand out for its intuitiveness to work with tables of contents and other front matter.
LibreOffice would be recommended for those looking for an alternative that is easy to transition to from Word and lets them customize specific app features thanks to it being open-source.
Scrivener is a powerful tool for writers. It offers a range of features to assist with structuring, organizing, and writing, making the process less daunting and more manageable. Offering excellent tools for non-linear writing.
Organization for complex projects: Since Scrivener focuses on long-form writing projects, it offers a project organization system that allows users to manage and structure their work more effectively according to their needs and writing style.
Non-linear writing: If you’re the kind of writer who simply can’t write in order. Scrivener has your back. Unlike Word, Scrivener allows you to work on different sections of your document separately and then compile them into a single document later.
Research and reference management: Scrivener provides features for managing research materials and references, such as its research folder, in which you can add any type of file you may need for your text. From classic PDFs to videos and even .zip files, you can add anything you need to this folder to ensure you can always access the extra content related to your project.
Not free version: Sadly, the only free version of this Microsoft Word alternative offers 30 days of trial. This means that if you use it only two times a week, your trial period will last 15 weeks, but it doesn’t have a permanent free version.
Learning curve: Since Scrivener was meant for longer and more complex texts, its interface and user experience are not as similar to Word as the interface of other alternatives in this list, which can feel troublesome for some users. But once you watch a few tutorials and practice a little, you should be able to use it pretty quickly.
Availability and compatibility: While Scrivener is available for multiple platforms, such as macOS and Windows, it still has some limitations. Microsoft Word is widely known and compatible with various operating systems, making it a more accessible option for multiplatform working and even real-time collaboration.
Scrivener is the perfect alternative for those who can invest in their word-processing app of interest and work mainly in long-form writing projects such as books, research papers, theses, and articles. Providing its users with many features thought out precisely for them and their necessities. Scrivener includes everything you need to start and keep writing. It is a valuable asset for aspiring and experienced writers, offering a range of useful features to support the writing process.
Apache OpenOffice Writer is a powerful and versatile word processing program that provides everything you expect from a modern, fully equipped word processor. Writer allows you to concentrate on your ideas while it takes care of making them look great.
Free of use: Again, we are faced with an open-source app, which means that it is free to use by anyone with a compatible device.
Versatility: Apache OpenOffice Writer excels at offering importing, exporting, and usability options for its users, making it highly customizable and versatile. It can open and edit a wide range of file formats, including Microsoft Word documents (.docx), and offers a wide range of options for changing the look and feel of the program to suit your needs.
Export options: Apache OpenOffice Writer offers a range of export options, including HTML, PDF, and MediaWiki formats, and support for opening .docx files created with Microsoft Office, making it easy to share your documents with others.
Slower development: Many users have complained about Writer’s development compared to its competition. Making them wonder about the future of the app if it can’t keep up the pace of word processing apps development.
Lack of real-time collaboration: Apache OpenOffice Writer doesn’t offer real-time collaboration, so working with a team on the same document could be time-consuming and draining.
Apache OpenOffice Writer is an excellent tool for those seeking versatility in their word-processing app. Whether you are a student, a professional, or a casual user, this is a valuable tool for all your word processing needs thanks to its wide range of possibilities for any user without spending any money.
WPS Office Writer is a powerful tool developed by Kingsoft that combines the features of WPS Office with AI to enhance the writing process. It is a lightweight, feature-rich office software designed to improve work efficiency, and it is compatible with various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Organization features: WPS offers beneficial features for document organization, such as splitting and merging documents, quick renaming for multiple files at once, and even checkboxes to add to your papers for interactiveness and organization.
AI-Powered Features: WPS Office provides AI-powered writing assistance. Writers can write a prompt to the AI, and it gives back a compelling first draft for the writer to enhance and use as they like, helping users improve their writing skills and create more impactful documents.
Price and size: WPS Office Writer has a free version to the public, and it has a smaller installation file size compared to Microsoft Word, making it a lighter option for devices with limited storage space.
Language Support: Thanks to its time in the business, Microsoft Word has had the time to work and manage to support more than 100 languages, while WPS Office Writer currently can support 46 on mobile devices and only 13 on PC.
Less free cloud storage: While Word offers up to 5 GB with its suite, WPS only provides 1 GB for its free version.
Ads in the free version: One of people’s least loved thing about WPS’s free version is that it is ad-supported, presenting distractions to its users.
This revolutionary tool is handy for content creation. It is excellent for those interested in honing one's creativity and productivity process with seamless integration of AI into the writing process and other advanced tools while having the chance to invest in their desired word-processing app.
These are just a few of the many alternatives to Microsoft Word available today. There is an entire universe of possibilities that could have exactly what you need at the best price for you.
When choosing the right one for your needs, consider cost, features, compatibility, and user interface factors. Whether you're a student, a professional, or a creative writer, there's a word processing software out there that can meet your specific requirements. You just need to give yourself the chance to discover it.
You may want to consider features such as compatibility with Microsoft Word formats, offline access, templates, add-ons compatibility, and collaboration capabilities.
Yes, a free alternative mentioned in this article is Google Docs, which offers excellent support for real-time collaboration. Another option available is Dropbox Paper in case you want to check it out.
Apple has developed its own Word alternative called Pages. Nonetheless, all the word processors mentioned in this list are compatible with Mac.