Microsoft Office is the most visible office productivity suite in the world. Being the most popular does not necessarily mean that it is the best. MS Office comes with a large price tag and tends to bog down systems with its bloatware. As a result, you might be looking for alternative applications to edit your documents, manage your spreadsheets and create your presentations. If you are disillusioned by the Microsoft Office suite, consider one of these seven open source solutions.
- Open Office (Windows) – OpenOffice is the grandfather of many other open source productivity suites. It was created to be a viable alternative to the bloatware of MS Office, running smoothly and easily on most computers. You can design spreadsheets, text documents, drawings and databases with OpenOffice. The programs are compatible with their Microsoft equivalents. You can save your documents to many formats.
- KOffice (Windows) – When compared with the MS Office suite, this open source package zooms. KOffice has a word processor, presentation and spreadsheet program. It also contains a flow chart, data management and drawing program within its eight package suite. The interface makes it easy to create, insert and rotate text. You have powerful formulas at your disposal in the spreadsheet program. This open source package relies on donations of money, programming, translation and writing.
- OxygenOffice Professional (Windows, Linux) – Oxygen Office takes OpenOffice and enhances its features by adding VBA support, samples, clipart and more. There are over 90 fonts and 3400 pieces of artwork included with the program. Compatibilities include MS Office, WordPerfect, and Lotus Word Pro. You can search Wikipedia through OxygenOffice. It comes with a free copy of Avast Antivirus.
- NeoOffice 3.1.1 (Mac OS X) – An expanded version of OpenOffice, modified strictly for the Mac environment. You have word processing, spreadsheet creation and presentation design at your fingertips. The NeoOffice staff also runs NeoOffice mobile, a word processing program from which you can access your documents anywhere. The staff runs entirely on donations. Extras are offered with donations at the $10, $25 and $100 levels.
- GnomeOffice (Linux, Windows) – Created originally as a Linux-only suite, GnomeOffice has expanded to support the PC. Comes with a word processor, document viewer, spreadsheet application, presentation creator and email application. Other programs include a label designer, diagram creator and financial application. The set of applications has multi language support and is compatible with the OpenDocument format. Gnumeric (spreadsheet program) brings many exclusive features to the table.
- Feng Office (Web Based) – You can use Feng Office on the web or download it to your home machine. Your information is linked and accessible from anywhere through your internet connection. Track your email, manage your documents or create your spreadsheets. Store and share your documents, send email, keep track of your contacts, and perform project management functions. With Feng Office, you are always using the latest and greatest version of the application.
- Lotus Symphony (Windows) – Create spreadsheets, presentations and word processing documents with the Lotus Symphony package. Based on an older version of OpenOffice, Symphony comes into its own with its browser-like windows and easy to use interface. Receive support from users and developers from around the world. Create animation effects for your presentations and export your documents to PDF format.
These open source applications perform many of the same functions as the Microsoft Office Suite. They are fully compatible with Office files. Each software package is free, asking for a donation instead of payment for their services. What have you got to lose? Download one of these MS Office alternatives today.