Tech Tools: Common Software Alternatives

For this Tech Tools spotlight, I’ll be highlighting free alternatives to popular software such as Microsoft Word.

While program suites like Microsoft Office and Adobe are some of the most popular software for making documents, slideshows, images, and more, these programs are not accessible to many people due to their subscription costs. This can lead many to great frustration when trying to make even simple documents compatible. I’ve compiled a list below of free programs.

Word Processing

  • Microsoft Word app – While it may cost money to have Microsoft Office installed on a computer, Microsoft’s web-based apps are free to use. The main difference between the web apps and the software is that the files on the app are saved to Microsoft OneDrive, a cloud based service, but can be downloaded. Some advanced features, like Mail Merge or complex formatting, may not be available.
  • Google Docs – Google’s apps are also web-based. Google Docs is inclusive of most Word features, and files can be saved as .doc and .docx files (and more).
  • Apache Writer – Part of Apache’s free OpenOffice suite (comparable to Microsoft Office), with similar features to Word and compatibility.
  • Libre Writer – Another open source word processing program. LibreOffice also has an entire program suite. LibreOffice is actually an expansion of OpenOffice, with more features and templates. The only downside in comparing the two is that LibreOffice takes up more space on the computer.

Spreadsheets

Slideshows

Publishing

Databases

Photo Editing

Audio Editing

Video Editing

Antivirus / Computer Protection