7 free and cheap alternatives to Microsoft Office

Open Source

by Jimmy Nicholls| 06 May 2014

Whether on Mac, Windows or Linux, productivity products shouldn't be costly.

Office suites are expensive, with a single licence for Microsoft's Office 365 costing £6 per month, and deals for business being £15 a user per month for larger firms. Luckily there are a number of free or cheap alternatives available for those strapped for cash.

Apache OpenOffice

OpenOffice

Tools: Writing, spreadsheets, presentations, illustrator, databases and equations
Platforms: Linux, OS X and Windows
Price: Free

Apache's open-source offering is the most famous of the free office suites, covering a large range of tasks and boasting millions of users. Fully compatible with Microsoft office formats, this was the suite that pioneered the OpenDocument Format that works on most of the applications on this list.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice

Tools: Writing, spreadsheets, presentations, illustrator, databases and equations
Platforms: Linux, OS X and Windows
Price: Free

Derived from OpenOffice.org, the predecessor to Apache OpenOffice, and developed by the Document Foundation, LibreOffice is commonly found on Linux distributions as the native office suite. The OpenOffice.org community split after a disagreement on how the original suite should be managed, with fears that the suite would be discontinued. As these proved unfounded there are now two quality office suites available free of charge.

NeoOffice

NeoOffice

Tools: Writing, spreadsheets and presentations
Platforms: OS X
Price: $9.99

Beginning in 2003 a number of developers began to investigate creating a native version of OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X. Over the years features have been added and the software has been further adapted to each iteration of Apple's OS, making it one of the few bespoke suites for the platform.

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