Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Don't like Microsoft Office or can't afford?
There are many alternatives present in market which are available free of cost or at minimal cost having almost all features MS OFFICE boast of...

Google Docs
Developed by Internet search giant Google, Web-based Google Docs offers word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and form application. Documents can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users at the same time. Google Docs also allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating real-time with other users.

As for the size limits, each doc can have a maximum size of 500K, plus up to 2MB per embedded image. Each Spreadsheet can be up to 256 columns, 200,000 cells, or 100 sheets. Presentations Files in .ppt and .pps formats can have a maximum size of 10MB or 200 slides; files uploaded from the Web can be up to 2MB; emailed files can be up to 500K.

Google Docs can also be accessed offline with Gears, an open source browser extension that enables web applications to run offline. When a user is not connected to the Internet, Google Docs uses information stored on his computer's hard drive, rather than relying on information sent across the network.


WordPerfect is a word processing application developed by Corel. The office software helps create documents, spreadsheets and presentations, manages email, and share work seamlessly with Microsoft Office compatibility and built-in PDF tools.

It offers support for more than 60 formats, including Microsoft Office 2007 and open standards such as Open Document Format (ODF) and Office Open XML (OOXML).

It lets users create letters, reports, newsletters, budgets, invoices, receipts, slide shows, proposals and interactive reports. It can also turn complex spreadsheets into charts and graphs.

The software packs Pocket Oxford English Dictionary, drawing application, 175 digital photos, 8,000 clipart images, 900 TrueType fonts, WordPerfect XML Project Designer and conversion utility.

What differentiates Word Perfect from other word processors is its streaming code architecture, its Reveal Codes feature, and its user-friendly macro/scripting language, PerfectScript.


Zoho Office is an online office suite which includes tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, CRM, project management and invoicing.

Like Google Docs, Zoho applications are web-based and operating system independent. Its online word processor, Zoho Writer, quite closely apes Microsoft Word features and functionalities. It supports common formats, including Microsoft Word (DOC), Office Open XML (DOCX), OpenDocument text (ODT), OpenOffice text (SXW), HTML, RTF, JPG, GIF & PNG files.

Zoho also lets users edit a document when page breaks are displayed. Writer works even when one is offline, thanks to open source technology. Offline document edits get synchronised when user goes online.

Zoho Writer also provides a choice of footnotes or endnotes, with note numbers in superscript, placed in the text. Zoho is a division of AdventNet, which provides online software services to corporate IT departments and is based in California.


Another Microsoft Office rival that closely resembles its functionality and features is ThinkFree Office by Haansoft ThinkFree Co Ltd. ThinkFree Office supports Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint file formats. It provides identical features for Windows, Mac, or Linux.

ThinkFree Office includes a word processor (Write), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation programme (Show), and a WYSIWYG html and blog editor (Note).

It also has a web-based edition that runs Write, Calc, Show and Note in a browser using a mix of Java applet and Ajax technologies. User gets 1GB of online storage space for saving their documents.

Recently, the company updated its online version, ThinkFree Office Live, introducing a new unified online document viewer called Uni Paper and allows the use of its service without any registration.

Key features of the web version include: No need to attach documents to emails if they need to be shared with business partners or colleagues, support for group document editing and reviewing, Document tagging and creation of Adobe PDF documents for free.


My personal favourite.
OpenOffice is a free open-source office application suite offering support for standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) for data interchange as well as Microsoft Office formats. As of March 2009, OpenOffice supports over 80 languages.

OpenOffice was originally derived from StarOffice, and later acquired by Sun Microsystems in August 1999. The suite offers word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and databases.

Its word processor, called Writer, offers features like AutoCorrect, AutoComplete, AutoFormat, Styles and Formatting, Text Frames and Linking, Tables of Contents, Indexing, Bibliographical References, Illustrations, Tables and other objects.

Adobe Buzzword

Here's a free online word processor from Adobe called Buzzword. It lets users write reports, proposals and share it with others.

Buzzword has two views, Document Organiser and Editor. The Editor provides six sliding toolbars at the top of the window which lets users choose fonts, text styles and format paragraphs. It also lets users add lists, images, tables, and comments to a document.

The Document Organiser shows all Buzzword documents, the one's that are shared and created by the user. There is also a Sort feature to organise how documents are grouped: by author, by date modified, by size, or other options.

Other key features include: users can assign user roles; add comments that include text, tables, and images; maintain history of document versions; and a Collaborator bar showing who is invited to collaborate on a document.

IBM Lotus Symphony

IBM Lotus Symphony Document lets users create documents with predefined document templates, formatting with predefined styles for paragraphs, characters, and headings, contextual toolbars and editing menus. It also offers inline spell checking and correction feature, graphics for creating tables, charts, diagrams, automatic creation of a table of contents, footnotes, indexes and footers and headers.

It also extends support for a variety of file types, including Microsoft Office and Lotus SmartSuite Export documents and Adobe PDF for easy sharing.


Jarte, a light-weight, portable word processor based on the WordPad engine. The standard version is available for free.

Features include the ability to edit Microsoft Word documents, OLE support (the ability to insert pictures and sounds), tabbed document access, spell checker, page breaks, print previewing, visual header and footer designer, clip history, a reference bar, multilevel undo and redo functionality, and single-click bookmarking.

Jarte uses the Windows built-in word processing engine at its core.

1 comment:

Saqib Ali said...

Google Spreadsheets now feature Pivot Tables using Panorama's BI Google Gadget: http://www.panorama.com/google/pivot-table-tutorial/

Is there anything Google can't do in the Office Productivity space using Javascripts?