In today’s society, everyone is hooked on Microsoft Office. Businesses, corporations, and other organizations now have a great platform for completing a ton of work thanks to the introduction of a comprehensive array of productivity software.
There are now about 200 million active users, and the number seems to increase yearly. Although additional programs have been created for this software, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Powerpoint get the most attention.
However, if you’re a premium customer, you can only use this service on a Chromebook in full flight. If not, you are limited to using the free desktop edition of Microsoft Office, which does not allow for offline document editing.
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In This Article
Best Alternatives to Microsoft Office for Chromebooks
We’ve gathered a list of the top 6 alternatives to MS Office for Chrome OS in this post so you can start using them right now.
1. Google’s Productivity Applications
When discussing the finest Microsoft Office substitutes, Google’s collection of productivity tools that come preloaded on our Launcher cannot be ignored. This is a great method to work while on the move without having to install anything else or go through a laborious payment process.
The fact that Google’s in-house productivity tools are all cloud-based and work well with the rest of the Google ecosystem services is one of their strongest features. To share and keep your work, for instance, use Google Drive together with Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
Should you need them, you can also use other programs like Gmail and Calendar, which are easily accessible. The DOC file format and PDF files are both supported by Google Docs.
Then there is the dedicated Google Workspace (formerly known as G-Suite) solution designed for corporations and organizations to provide complete administrative management and other features. Naturally, there is a cost associated with it as it provides a whole premium variety of services.
The user interface of Google’s productivity tools is straightforward and elementary. We couldn’t think of anything simpler and more essential for Chromebook users.
Since some features need some digging up and users without any previous knowledge could run into some problems at first, it might not be particularly beginner-friendly. In the end, Google’s applications perform the job and being on a Chrome OS, there isn’t a better combination.
LibreOffice is the second choice on the list. If we’re searching for a native program that has installation straight from the quickly integrated Linux Terminal on Chrome OS, which is a terrific alternative.
It features its formats as well as support for Microsoft Office file formats, albeit you must do this manually. LibreOffice is a nice competitor because of its open-source status as well. If directly compared to Microsoft Office, there is a significant difference, which we will explain.
A piece of software called LibreOffice is capable of practically everything that Microsoft Office isn’t. Being open-source, the community behind it makes significant daily contributions, enabling the creation of useful tools that can be used with the many LibreOffice apps.
This all means that the program is quite configurable. Whether you were wondering if MS Office wouldn’t be able to handle your industry-specific file types, the program is more than capable of doing so.
However, getting accustomed to LibreOffice’s interface and becoming comfortable with all its extensions and functions might take some time, so make sure to give it a good, lengthy try before drawing any conclusions.
The biggest feature of this suite is that it is completely free, which is an advantage that MS Office users do not have access to since they must pay a reasonable fee.
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FreeOffice is the creation of the venerable SoftMaker business, which has been active since 1987. FreeOffice has the potential to be your go-to office suite if you’re searching for something cost-free (as the name says) and has a user-friendly interface to meet all of your Office demands.
It is easily accessible for both personal and professional needs, and both Windows and Linux support its installation. We’re going to choose the latter to download FreeOffice on our Chromebook. All of this is made simpler by Linux’s official support.
File formats that are supported by FreeOffice include DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, and PPTX. Also strengthened by several safety precautions, the suite almost eliminates the possibility of data loss while moving files from one program to another.
The similarity between FreeOffice and Microsoft Office is among its finest qualities. To be more exact, the interface of Microsoft Word is quite similar to that of FreeOffice. The toolbar and choices for document creation are made error-free and load quickly.
Microsoft Excel’s replacement in FreeOffice is called PlanMaker, although it still includes some of Excel’s signature functions including pivot tables and conditional formatting. As a result, after using FreeOffice for a while, MS Office users find it much simpler to adjust to it.
When handling tasks of a professional nature, the suite also offers password security. Instead, you also have the option to produce PDF and ePUB files anytime you choose. Overall, FreeOffice is among the finest Microsoft Office substitutes available today for Chromebooks.
4. Calligra Office
KOffice and Calligra were both originally released in 2000, however, the combination didn’t work out so well since the two companies split up around 2010. Calligra Office, which was created by KDE, has a ton of cutting-edge features, is based on the Qt framework, and—best of all—is completely open-source.
But compared to the other four pieces of software, this suite is the least similar to Microsoft Office and has a very unique user interface. For instance, the helpful toolbar is located on the right side of the screen, as opposed to Microsoft Office, where everything is on top. This is the first notable difference that one may notice.
Mind-mapping is a premium function in Calligra that you would typically only find in subscription services. This works hand in hand with the project management application that facilitates collaboration and allows you to keep track of and organize your work.
The package also provides you with a ton of other apps. These include the creation of flowcharts, database administration, visual design, and picture processing.
You can browse and read Microsoft Word files using Calligra office, but because you cannot modify them, we’re sorry that’s about it. Due to this suite’s unfriendly attitude toward supporting MS Office files, compatibility difficulties may arise.
However, if you were to adopt the ODT (Open Document Text) file format instead, it can quickly allay your concern. This is pretty much the only substantial drawback we’ve found. Download Calligra now if the remainder of the program’s features makes sense to you.
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5. WPS Office
The closest thing to finding a duplicate of Microsoft Office is WPS Office. It has a lot of similarities to the well-known suite’s features and also has some unique features. Kingsoft Office, which at one point was highly popular on Android, is where WPS Office got its start.
The MS Office clone is thus now accessible on iOS, Windows, Linux, and, of course, Android as well. The software also boasts support for other tongues, including Polish, Russian, Spanish, and German. The biggest benefit of using WPS Office over Microsoft Office is that it provides nearly the same user experience.
It offers Writer instead of Word, Spreadsheets in place of Excel, and Presentations in place of Powerpoint as the three ideal replacements for the MS Office suite. Since WPS Office also offers a premium, paid subscription, all of the above is related to the free plan. Within its UI, there is a distinct set of PDF-converting tools.
To be more specific, it is a PDF to Word-converter with capabilities like split-merge and bulk exports added to the suite. However, there are restrictions on conversions while using the free WPS Office edition. This is a request for consumers to upgrade to the premium version, which offers several extra features.
The premium edition also removes the annoying adverts for you and lets you connect 9 devices to WPS Office simultaneously. But this suite also offers 1 GB of free storage as part of its cloud-based service, which you can use.
In addition, WPS Office matches MS Office very well, but the suite stands out in its own right thanks to features like various paragraph style choices and document tab management. If you want something that won’t stray too far from Microsoft Office’s capabilities, try out this great program.
6. OpenOffice by Apache
OpenOffice demonstrates why the Apache Software Foundation is a renowned brand in the IT sector. Similar to LibreOffice and Calligra Office, it is free and open-source. Its users are simple to adjust to due to its extensive customizability.
From a specialist extensions marketplace that goes by the name of OpenOffice, you can get a plethora of extensions for this suite. The suite is plenty of functionality, except for an old yet clean UI. It includes a word processor, a spreadsheet builder, a presentation tool, and a vector design service.
Templates are also commonly accessible to help you get started on your task fast. Over time, OpenOffice has developed a solid user base and gained appeal due to its straightforwardness and simplicity.
If you’re looking for something simple to use, packed with features, and free, then definitely give it a go.
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The bottom line
Microsoft Office is without a doubt the greatest productivity program, yet for a variety of reasons, some people may not agree with its package. Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 MS Office alternatives that you can easily use with your Chromebook.
The majority of them are many superior versions of Office 365. To give you all of your choices, we also included Apache OpenOffice as a bonus entry. You should thoroughly test each one to see which best matches your taste.