Microsoft Office is the most popular user interface for writing and editing variety of files like documents, presentations, spreadsheets, graphics and databases and out of these the most popular is the Microsoft Word.
Microsoft Word is an industry standard and it is important for small business owners to know there is no point spending money on a software, if the same work can be done for free by an open source alternative software. Unlike Microsoft Word, the alternative softwares can do the writing and editing without crashing. Some of them are web applications and they work online. You just need an internet connection and you are ready to go. No more need of carrying your pen drives or hard drives. If you are looking for one of them, here is a list of our favourite ones.
Apache Open Office
Apache Open Office is the leading among all the Microsoft Word alternatives. Being an open source software, it is available for free. It is also available in many languages and works on almost every computer. It can read and write from other softwares as well. It is extremely easy to understand and learn. Apache Open Office 4.0 is a complete package.
AbiWord is also a free and an open source word processing software. It was originally designed by SourceGear Corporation but after some time they made it an open source software. It is also compatible with almost every operating system. It is considered as the most basic yet very detailed. Abiword 2.8.6 is the latest version.
Zoho Docs has a very comfortable layout. Microsoft Word users will find it familiar and easy to use. It includes everything that a complete office has. It’s interface is similar to Microsoft Office 2003 but it has less font style than Microsoft Word. Zoho Docs team have also integrated it with some Google apps and plugins for Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.
Etherpad allows you to edit and write documents on the go. It is very handy software and yet small in size. Large number of people can work together on the same file, by connecting via internet, making it good for meetings. You don’t even have to upload and email your documents to someone. Just give them the link of the document that you want to share.
LibreOffice is another free and an open source word processing software made by The Document Foundation. It has its own format to save documents but supports all other formats too. If you are looking for a completely changed interface, go for it. Being available in 114 languages, it proves to be more useful for databases in local language.
Note: Choosing a free open source software does not mean that you will not get all the features and support you get in the paid ones. Today’s open source software are loaded with features and are equally as good as the paid ones. Moreover, the open source software also provides you with an online documentation about their software with developer support so that you can also help in improving the software.