8 Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

microsoft word alternatives

I use a lot of software, and as a programmer myself, I totally understand the need for programmers to make a living from their work. But, I don't like the new trend toward subscription-based software. I prefer to purchase software and use it until it no longer works (due to operating system upgrades usually) or there is some new feature that I need or want. At that time, I will willingly pay for an upgrade. Some people obviously disagree with me. I like it when software companies offer both options - outright purchase and subscriptions.

When my copy of Microsoft Word 2007 continually crashed in Windows 10, I began looking for alternatives. I've listed eight programs below that I looked at, in my order of preference. The first three: LibreOffice Writer, Zoho Docs, and Atomic Scribbler are programs I personally use on nearly a daily basis.

LibreOffice Writer


My Video Course on LibreOffice Writer

  • Totally Free
  • Full-featured word processor
  • Fully compatible with Word formats - can read and write both .doc and .docx files
  • Provides for collaboration using the Track Changes and Comments features
  • You must download the entire suite of products, Writer is not available separately
  • Works on: Windows, Mac, Linux

Zoho Docs



  • I use Zoho Invoices for my web design business. Zoho offers many other applications, including Zoho Docs, an online word processor similar to Google Docs.
  • The free version is very generous with its features.
  • Some free features: up to 25 invited collaborators, desktop synchronization, 5GB storage space with 1GB file upload limit, and more...
  • Zoho Docs is primarily an online service, however it is possible to work offline as well. Changes made while offline, sync automatically the next time you connect to the internet
  • Works on: All OS - through web interface

Atomic Scribbler


My Video Course on Atomic Scribbler

This isn't your typical word processing software. It's kind of a cross between a word processor and notes application. Aimed primarily at authors and creative writers, I use it for a variety of purposes myself and believe it has a wider range of users, including: bloggers, students taking class notes or researching and writing reports or other written assignments, teachers organizing material for courses, etc.



  • Another free, open source application suite
  • LibreOffice branched off from OpenOffice
  • The interface of LO and OO are so similar, that if you know one, you shouldn't have any trouble using the other
  • Currently, LibreOffice is more actively developed. As of this writing, the last OpenOffice update was 8 months ago, while LibreOffice had an update 2 weeks ago.
  • Works on: Windows, Mac, Linux

SoftMaker FreeOffice


  • I had to register on their website in order to download the program. A software key was sent to the registration email address. An internet connection was required to unlock the software using that key.
  • TextMaker is the word processing component of this suite. There are limitations on the free version as listed on their website, but it's suitable for basic needs.
  • Has subscription-based upgrades
  • Free version can open and save .docx files, but can only open .doc files
  • TextMaker does not use document tabs in the free version, the documents open in separate windows. A tabbed interface is available in the paid versions.
  • Developed in Germany
  • Works on: Windows, Linux, Mac (however no free version for the Mac)



  • OnlyOffice primarily offers online software, however they do have a free desktop version. It has a nice, modern interface. I tried using it for a while. Once, for no apparent reason, the entire white editing window turned black, and the program froze on me. The file I was editing wasn't damaged, although unsaved changes were lost. I don't know if that was just a fluke or what.
  • OnlyOffice also includes spreadsheet and presentations
  • U.S. and Latvia offices
  • Works on: Windows, Linux, Mac

WPS Office 2016 Free


  • Like LibreOffice, this is also a suite. The Word Processor, also called Writer, is one component. Others include Presentations and Spreadsheet.
  • The free version displays small ads
  • Two additional levels (which remove the ads and offer more features) are paid upgrades
  • WPS has a nice, sleek interface and allows multiple documents to be opened in tabs rather than separate windows
  • * WPS Office Software is based in California, however the product was initially developed in China. WPS is still a subsidiary of Kingsoft Corp with headquarters in China. In an age of concern about internet privacy, spying, etc. I wanted to include that info. Some users have complained of suspicious activity after installing the software. It's enough to make me not want to use it. It's a shame, because it does appear to be nice software.
  • Works on: Windows, Linux, IOS, Android

Google Docs


  • Google Docs is certainly a capable, widely-used option. I'm just not personally a Google fan, so I prefer to use the similar product, Zoho Docs.
  • You must be online and have a Google account to use
  • It works with Google Drive cloud storage
  • You may invite others to view, comment, or collaborate on a document
  • Integrates with Google Slides and Sheets
  • Full integration with other Google products is only available through G Suite, a monthly subscription
  • Works on: All OS - through web interface

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