I have a license for Microsoft Office 2013, which has been a great product. It also allows me use MS Office documents types on Android or other Windows systems in my home. I also have Microsoft Office365 and 2016 through my work account, which has minor improvements over Office 2013, some added added features, and better collaboration with co-workers.
But…honestly…I find MS Office to be slow to load documents and a resource hog on my sub-notebook. I wanted something faster to load and when dealing with a sub-notebook that has very limited drive space I needed something with a more manageable footprint. Thus I read about two dozen reviews and articles on MS Office alternatives. On nearly every article’s top 3 would be WPS Office, which markets itself as the “most compatible alternative” to MS Office.
I’ve been using WPS Office Free for a few months now on my sub-notebook and have been very happy with it. I can still save my documents in docx and xlsx format. Also, I have one file that took 35 seconds to load in MS Word, but takes less than 10 seconds (even with ad pop-up) to load in WPS Writer.
There are also Android, Linux and iOS versions of WPS Office.
- MS Office system requirements: https://products.office.com/en-us/office-system-requirements
- WPS Office system requirements: https://help.wps.com/articles/wps-office-2016-system-requirements
I’m finding as a writer, I can open and edit all my MS Word documents in the WPS Writer and perform tasks such as, adding table of contents, header styles, tracking changes, word count, etc. Yes, there are the typical ads for five seconds on startup before they can be skipped or the occasional taskbar/Windows 10 notification pop-up ad. In the end, I do not find the ads to be overwhelming and an easy trade-off for having access to a quality FREE product.
Not free, but discounted, is WPS Office Premium, which provides added features and cloud storage AND is one-third the price for a yearly subscription than what MS Office 365 is currently running.
I’m appreciating the fact that there are more and more products coming out to compete with the “big boys” (Microsoft and Google) and they are quality products. Hopefully this type of information will help folks get their writing tools in order, so they can write instead of stress over cost or functionality of the tools they are using.
Keep on writing!