16 Most Used Microsoft Office Alternatives for Linux

Productivity on any operating system is without doubt one of the most important things that can make or break a platform however, execution is the key – if done right, enterprise adaptation would be shortly underway.

Linux today is most certainly an ultimate viable alternative to Windows – both in the general consumer and business market.

Read Also: Most Commonly Used Windows Applications for Linux

If you’re quite familiar with the fact that the ecosystem of any platform (i.e, the apps available to it) determines its success then you will know by now that Firefox OS and Sailfish likewise (which are alternative mobile platforms to Android and iOS) aren’t where they ought to be particularly because they lacked the extensive array of apps to attract users like their counterparts.

Productivity on Linux had terribly lacked in the past and adaptation was rather hard and impossible for most during it’s earlier days – fast forward two decades later and we have an abundant of apps tailored to the specific needs for Linuxers and extremely user-friendly operating systems for newcomers in the Linux world.

When we talk about productivity the first thing that comes to mind mostly is an office suite before anything else – and more specifically, Microsoft office or it’s immediate competitor, LibreOffice.

While we may have these two as the most popular, they are not necessarily the best and the former is not native to Linux.

We’ve made a comprehensive list of Office suites available for the Linux platform in this article totaling 16 – most of which are cross platform too – essentially making them alternatives to the Microsoft Office suite available on competing desktop platforms (Windows and OSX) out there and even the mobile ones.

1. LibreOffice

This office suite is essentially a fork of the used-to-be well-known Openoffice. It features support for most formats native to MS Office suite including doc, docs, xlsx etc., alongside many other open document standards.

Libreoffice is cross-platform and features a word processor – Writer, spreadsheets – Calc, Presentation – Impress and many others.

Asides its feature set, LibreOffice is also customizable with a varying number of icon sets available on its website and added functionalities as plugins.

Libreoffice for Linux

Libreoffice for Linux

For installation instructions visit: Install LibreOffice in Linux Systems

2. Apache OpenOffice

OpenOffice has quite a lot in common with LibreOffice given that they share the same underlying code. Development on OpenOffice has somewhat lagged behind LibreOffice particularly because of its slow development cycle which was one of the main reasons LibreOffice broke off from them back in the day, however, OpenOffice remains a viable alternative with many of the functions available in LibreOffice and many years of development work.

Also, OpenOffice is cross-platform with availability on Windows, OSX, and Linux.

Openoffice for Linux

Openoffice for Linux

For installation instructions visit: Install Apache OpenOffice in Linux Systems

3. Calligra Suite

Calligra is one of the oldest open-sourse Office suites that has been in active development for the well part of 15 years and was formally known as KOffice.

It’s a Qt-based office solution built around the the KDE desktop environment but still available for other platforms.

Under Calligra is a host of suites for almost all forms of productivity work including the popular image manipulation software known as Krita.

  1. Calligra Words – word processor
  2. Calligra Sheets – spreadsheet
  3. Calligra Stage – presentation
  4. Calligra Author – used to make Epubs
  5. Calligra Plan – project planner
  6. Krita – paint
  7. Calligra Flow (formerly Kivio) – flowchart designer
  8. Karbon (formerly Karbon14) – vector graphics
  9. Braindump – mind-mapping and notes application
  10. Kexi – database manager
Caligra Office Suite for Linux

Caligra Office Suite for Linux

Visit Homepage: https://www.calligra.org/

4. WPS Office

WPS otherwise (writer presentation and spreadsheets), has quickly grown to become of the most-used productivity suites especially due to its modernized look and availability on the most used desktop platforms and mobile alike.

WPS used to be Kingsoft Office and was born in June 2013. The program’s code is proprietary and has the free and premium side of things with premium offerings that include, over 230 fonts, documents collaboration, advanced spreadsheets, documents encryption et ‘al.

However, the free versions of the mobile and desktop apps alike offer quite a lot for free including online templates and a modernized UI which is not something most of the office suites in this article can exactly boast of.

WPS is today featured as the default Office suite in many Linux-based distros such as Deepin OS.

The Kingsoft made office suite supports all MS Office formats and also features some proprietary formats of its own known one of which is .wps.

WPS Office for Linux

WPS Office for Linux

Visit Homepage: https://www.wps.com/

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43 Responses

  1. John Glenn says:

    There are little “got’chas” with LibreOffice Writer. With Word some command functions (e.g. Search & Replace ^p with …) don’t seem to have a Writer equivalent, even with an extension at least on a Windows platform. Writer’s ribbons are crowded, but users can add/delete icons. A minor point but one that always gets my attention is the lack of borders on a Writer page — all it has are corner marks. Disconcerting after working with Word since Ver. 1 (it came on a single 5 1/4″ floppy stuffed into a PC mag).

  2. Angie Miller says:

    For an alternative to Excel, Powerpoint = Google Spreadsheets or Open Office
    Projects = Hitask.com
    Access = MySQL, NoSQL, MongoDB

  3. Microsoft geek says:

    One of the Best Microsoft Excel Alternative Tools which I know are:

    1. Google Sheets
    2. Numbers (For Mac & IOs Only)
    3. Microsoft Excel Online
    4. Zoho Sheets
    5. Smartsheet

  4. ordinatous says:

    To install a deb package, you should use gDebi a gui installer.

    To install the LibreOffice suite you just download, you should unzip The archive, and then use The terminal and go In the folder, then type :

    $ sudo dpkg -i *.deb
    

    And, talking about database is just a joke, to pretend that an open source office suite is not a good choice.

    Most of people didn’t know just that database exist, and how to use, or to create or manage it.

    Efficient, and powerful database are, and everybody know, open-source, most of website In The world run with, postgres, mysql, mariadb, mongodb.

    If sqlServer exist it’s just because people who use it, where to lazy or dumb to learn what Linux/UNIX philosophies is.

    That’s it !

  5. kokpit says:

    SoftMaker does not include emClient it has Thunderbird

  6. Sanousy says:

    OnlyOffice looks great future, i did not try it yet, but it claimed to be fully compatible with ms office and for me, it is important because the only barrier for me to leave windows completely is the office file format.

  7. Les Privat Bandung says:

    Is there any information on installation? Like is that using .deb or install it on terminal? If using terminal is there any info about its repository?

    Thanks for any information, sorry I am still beginner

  8. Peter Andrews says:

    You spelled ‘its’ wrongly several times in this text.

  9. Karavokiris says:

    Still all these look like toys compared to the original.
    Still no respectable Project management alternative to project.
    Still no desktop database like Access.
    I think the open source community should get their act together if they want linux desktop to be a real alternative to professional applications.

    • Tibi says:

      Try RationalPlan as an alternative to MS Project. There several products and Single version is even free for Linux. Details at http://www.rationalplan.com/

    • Ben says:

      ….regards to the Database you got tons of better choice……..

      Standard SQL Database like MySQL, Maria DB
      if you needs NoSQL you get Mongodb…..
      if you want light weight build in db you got SQLite, view/managing operation you got tons of choice as well, like SQLite manager plugin for Firefox, SqliteStudio etc…..

      Seriously I cannot think any reason you need Access (its not like SQLite does not support ODBC or what)….. hell even in C# development i would chose SQLite over Access any day.

      • Gerar says:

        Ben,

        Of course, MySQL is a great database. However, the report creation by MS-Access my reason to remain using it.

        If among the tons of better choices one has the same easy report creation as MS-Access, I will immediately switch to it. What is your advice.

  10. Ove says:

    Linux Mint 17 Sarah…
    Calligra – no way.
    Libre Office, very good writer, disappointing spreadsheet, hopeless draw
    WPS – very good, but is not good at making Table Contents, at least had some examples of that (won’t obey the styles / headings).
    Soft Maker, Free Office is also very good, that is, the spreadsheet lacks : Text to Columns (free version). That is not nice at all.
    Soft Maker has excellent manuals online. These are world class…

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