Microsoft Word Alternative: Best free writing software

  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:August 5, 2022
  • Reading time:21 mins read

Microsoft Office is an excellent office suite without question – but it also has its price. If you’re looking for a good writing program, you should turn to one of the numerous alternatives instead. In this article, we will show you the best free writing software and free Microsoft Word alternative.

Microsoft Word Alternative

Creative minds don’t have to spend money on a writing software under Windows. There are many different free writing software that take different approaches and put your thoughts on paper for free. We offer you the best freeware alternatives to Microsoft Word. With these free writing software, you’ll get your money’s worth – without investing a penny.

Writing software: Which type are you?

We have compiled eight different and completely free writing software that we can recommend for different types of users. A fully-featured word processor with many options for formatting and designing text you can find in OpenOffice.

It can run independently and does not come in an installation package with other tools, like the similarly functional “Writer” in OpenOffice. A writer is a better choice for you if you also often work out spreadsheets or presentations and use the full range of the Office suite.

Best Microsoft Word Alternative at a glance

In addition to classic office suites and open source offerings, free online writing programs are gaining popularity. In this list, you will find a selection of free word processors and tools that do not have to hide behind Microsoft Word.

Apache Open Office Writer – The Open Source Giant

Apache OpenOffice (formerly: OpenOffice.org) is the most popular free office suite for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations and is most similar to Microsoft Office in operation and functionality. The software has been on the market for a long time and is correspondingly mature.

Apache Open Office Writer

Although the development progresses relatively slowly, updates for OpenOffice do appear from time to time. It is based on the StarOffice source code and was further developed by both Sun and Oracle until Apache acquired it.

For example, you can write short texts or serial letters, design business cards and labels, or create more extensive documents with table elements, diagrams, and content details.

Just like Word, Apache OpenOffice Writer also has common functions, such as

  • Style sheets
  • Spell checkers
  • Auto-correction
  • Text modules
  • Version management

OpenOffice has the advantage that it requires less memory than LibreOffice in random tests by the editors. In addition, the software contains an integrated HTML editor with real-time display (WYSIWYG) for creating web pages.

Tip: Apache OpenOffice Writer can be linked to MS Word files so that it starts automatically when a DOC file is opened.

LibreOffice Writer – The Microsoft Word Alternative

Probably the most versatile free office software is LibreOffice, which is based on the source code of OpenOffice. It gets more frequent updates than its sibling program and, unlike the latter, is available in a modern 64-bit version.

LibreOffice Writer

On board are modules for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. The interface is more modern compared to OpenOffice, and the software imports and exports PDF files. Furthermore, saving in the eBook format, EPUB works.

The open source suite LibreOffice is the little brother of OpenOffice, independently developed since Oracle’s spin-off in 2010. Due to its higher update frequency, LibreOffice is now considered the modern alternative. However, the functionalities of LibreOffice Writer are largely identical to those of OpenOffice Writer due to its history.

LibreOffice is also available in an online version in the form of a web app. This can be used via any web browser and offers basic document editing functions.

Good to know: NeoOffice is an open-source software that you can use to integrate LibreOffice into the Mac desktop.

Google Docs – writing without installation

If you don’t want to install a software, Microsoft Office Online is recommended. You can use it to access documents, spreadsheets, presentations, notes and appointments in the browser. Even Skype is integrated and can run in the browser.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a well-known representative of the so-called SaaS programs (“Software as a Service”), which do not need to be installed on the PC. In addition to a Google account, you only need an Internet connection and a browser to use it.

Google Docs offers something similar. Registered users have access to e-mails and the cloud office and benefit from artificial intelligence in mail management. Google Docs can open text documents of all formats and runs on all common operating systems due to its browser operation.

Tip: Google Docs is also available as an add-on for Chrome, which you can use offline.

SoftMaker TextMaker – Microsoft Word clone

TextMaker is part of the FreeOffice package from the Nuremberg-based software company SoftMaker. And is the only word processing software compatible with Windows 10, macOS, Linux, and Android. TextMaker’s feature set is largely identical to Microsoft Word and has some handy features, such as master pages that let you place repeating objects within your documents.

SoftMaker TextMaker

The special object mode in FreeOffice TextMaker allows you to insert text frames, images, or drawings and offers maximum freedom in terms of design options thanks to advanced options for positioning. Spell checking in TextMaker is based on an integrated English dictionary and various other languages, which you can easily debunk typos.

You determine the preferred operating mode when you start the software for the first time – or later. A touchscreen function called “finger input mode” provides larger icons and menu entries – which works with menu bars as well as with ribbons. This is one of the best Microsoft Word alternative free writing software.

Tip: TextMaker lets you create PDF files and e-books (EPUB) directly from the software.

WPS Office Free Writer – Kingsoft word processor

WPS Office Free is the successor to the Kingsoft Office Suite from the same name Chinese software company. The software visually has a lot of similarities with the current versions of Microsoft Office.

WPS microsoft word alternative

It is also compatible with all old and new formats, making it easier for former Microsoft users to make the switch. The suite’s writing software is called Free Writer and is free, just like the rest. In addition to numerous formatting functions for text and paragraphs, the program also offers a spell checker and allows multiple users to edit a document.

The entire WPS Office Suite also supports the MDI (Multiple Document Interface) based on tabs, with the help of which you can edit multiple documents in one window.

With text, tables, and presentations modules, you can handle typical office tasks. Some users will certainly welcome the fact that the software includes a download offer for templates in its interface, which you can use to upgrade sample designs for letters, for example.

Enjoying this guide on Microsoft Word Alternative? You might also interested to read in How to create distribution list in Outlook

WriteMonkey – The free writing software for purists

WriteMonkey is the word processor for those who want to work undisturbed on their PC: Namely, the tool hides all control elements that could distract you from your work. The minimalist interface offers a free text field and promotes concentration. Typing is done in full-screen mode on a completely black background.

WriteMonkey free writing software

Apart from that, WriteMonkey does not contain any outstanding features, except for some dictionaries in different languages. Basic functions are available, such as saving and printing TXT documents, copying from the clipboard, or setting the page size.

Apple iWork – The office suite for macOS and iOS

Apple iWork is a free office suite for Apple owners that comes free with every new device. The included writing software iWork Pages has a clear and intuitive interface. This is based on a uniform canvas principle, as found in modern desktop publishing programs.

Elements within the document can be freely placed. The Multimedia Browser also allows direct insertion of images and videos from other Apple apps such as iPhoto or iTunes. You can easily create EBook files and PDFs directly from the software. Since the program’s range of functions is generally very reduced, It can only load Microsoft documents without errors if they are kept as simple as possible.

Tip: On the iPad, you can also add comments and drawings in Pages with the help of the Apple Pencil.

Ashampoo Office – Free Microsoft Word Alternative

Ashampoo Office Free covers a lot of things: The free full version is based on the SoftMaker engine and helps with dealing with texts, tables, presentations. A software tip of the day appears at startup – if you don’t need it, turn off the tips.

For office work away from home, a USB installation is recommended. You can copy the suite to a stick for portable use thanks to this function. To do this, search for “Install Ashampoo Office FREE on a USB stick” in the Start menu. The software uses a classic menu bar user interface.

Editor and WordPad: Microsoft Word Alternative

The integrated Windows writing software Editor and WordPad are sufficient if you don’t care about additional functions. Both require few resources and start quickly via the Run dialog. To do this, press Windows-R and type notepad or Wordpad.

The editor is very simple: Since text formatting is not possible, you write here in uniform font size and type. WordPad is better equipped: Here, you can flexibly change the font color and size if needed and even insert images.

Online notes: free writing software

You can also use Evernote and OneNote as writing software, digital notepads are available for free. Where you can record upcoming tasks, such as shopping. Thanks to online synchronization, what you have entered ends up on other devices where you have configured the applications with the same log-in data. OneNote Free comes from Microsoft – and requires an email address with the provider.

Those who already use Microsoft Office Online get started immediately without a new registration. Evernote allows you to start using the mail address of any provider.


Office free on the smart phones

If you want to use Office programs on the go, you need the appropriate apps for your smartphone or tablet. Classic office tasks such as “writing texts,” “creating tables,” and “designing presentations” can then be done on the mobile device. Apps are available for numerous other tasks.

For example, you can manage emails on the go, enter appointments in the calendar, and write down important information in a notebook app. Thanks to cloud synchronization, the same data is available on both PCs and mobile devices.

LanguageTool: Detect text errors

The corresponding functions in LibreOffice and OpenOffice do not have the best reputation when it comes to checking to spell. LanguageTool is anther Microsoft word alternative. It works as a standalone program – other versions integrate into Firefox/Chrome or named free office packages.

The correction tool reliably finds duplicate characters, misspelled letters and grammatical errors. You should correct the marked places.

Thunderbird as a free Outlook alternative

With Thunderbird, you get a powerful email program that rivals Outlook. Thanks to many functions, you have your daily mail flood well under control. The setup is uncomplicated: You don’t have to enter the POP3/IMAP and SMTP server data needed to receive and send an email; Thunderbird gets the setup data from the Internet.

Other, especially older mail clients, do not offer such convenience – you have to research and enter the info here yourself. Another advantage: Thunderbird’s range of functions can be expanded almost at will; many extension programs are available for download.

Meanwhile, Thunderbird has an integrated appointment management; since version 38, the necessary add-on Lightning is included. Newer Thunderbird versions of the Quantum generation no longer include Lightning as an add-on but have implemented its features natively; uninstalling it via the add-on manager is therefore impossible from now on.

You get a task planner dedicated to the Windows software EssentialPIM Free – including password management and manager.

Save paper, reduce printing costs

Regardless of which Office or Microsoft Word Alternative free writing software you choose: CleverPrint is a possible addition. The free edition helps to use less paper as well as ink (or for laser printers: toner powder). Using the CleverPrint interface, you can put several document pages on one page, remove all graphics or delete individual pages in multi-page documents.

Since CleverPrint integrates itself into the print dialog as a Windows printer driver, you can call it from almost any work application. Select the software and confirm the pseudo-print; your work appears for preparation in the Abelssoft tool. With it, you then put the content on paper – with a good environmental conscience.

You can also read these articles: