Tuesday, July 07, 2015

The best office suite for Windows, Android, Linux, Mac, iOS

Hi! We all use MS Office on all our PCs and laptops, and some use iWork on Mac. The job of the tools that the suite contains is dead simple: write using Word, make presentations using PowerPoint and make spreadsheets using Excel. Other suites have different but similar names to say the least.

I personally find MS Office to be the best as it is the origin of the DOC/DOCX, PPT/PPTX and XLS/XLSX formats. Open source suites use an open standard of the same format which is equally compatible but is lacking due to obvious reasons. The highest compatibility and decent compression which leaves us nothing to worry about while opening the document created on Windows to be opened using LibreOffice on Android or edited on iWork on any Apple device. The reverse is not true, hence the common notion of MS Office being the best. But there are near-ditto copies of MS Office and similar alternatives that work well, and the biggest reason I am writing this document: TO GET RID OF BLOATED OFFICE SUITES.

So what were my factors for deciding the best of the best? Here is the prioritised list:

  • Compatibility + Performance
  • Cross-platform availability of the software
  • Cost
  • Features

See? I have combined two factors Compatibility and Performance. This is because I will focus on performance and the cost of the office suites I am considering. You will know later why I am not uttering Compatibility anywhere here.

These are the office suites I make notice of largely based on my factors:

MS Office, MS Office 365, iWork, LibreOffice, LibreOffice from Collabora and Kingsoft Office (now WPS)


best-office-suite


So here we begin digging into the depths:

MS Office 2013 (ONE-TIME PAID VERSION)

Need not say anything. But anyways, here we go. Compatibility? Check. Aesthetics? Check. Cloud sync? Check. Features? Check. Cross-platform? Check. Bloat? Check. WAIT WHAT? BLOAT? CHECK!!! No way. I have a PC that I like to keep fast and so I would not use this.


MS Office 365 (MONTHLY OR YEARLY RENTAL)

Same MS Office based on a subscription model. There are various subscription models which you must go and check on the official Microsoft website for your country.


MS Office Web (FREE WEB-BASED)

If you have an Windows Live or Outlook email account, you can use Office Web for free and also have 7 GB of free lifetime storage for some on-the-go quick work. Snappy and bloat-less, built for Internet connections. Same MS Office. Cut on features, cut on price.


iWork (PAID)

Okay. This is for all Apple device owners. works only on Apple-derived OSes (iOS and Mac). Not better than MS Office, which is why Apple device owners use MS Office instead of iWork.


LibreOffice (FREE and OPEN SOURCE)

This is the holy grail, built with less bloat and cost effectiveness in mind. It is important to know its story (in short!). There used to be Apache OpenOffice which had various owners from time to time. But since Oracle owned OpenOffice, the restrictions due to it entirely being Java-based annoyed a lot of the developers of OpenOffice. Thus a large section broke off and developed what we now call LibreOffice. OpenOffice exists even today but has snail-speed development and much lesser features as it failed to catch up with LibreOffice's development speed. And soon, LibreOffice won't require Java runtime package to function. It will be completely standalone. But as of now it requires Java SE 6.0 (or later) to function. Nothing else. You would have probably already installed it since web browsers partly require Java (for Java web applets and JavaScript).

This has support for all the OSes (except Chrome OS which you might not be touching even with a 10-foot pole!) and compatibility for any document type.


LibreOffice from Collabora (PAID and FOR ENTERPRISE ONLY)

This is the same LibreOffice but with enterprise features we don’t bother with. 3-year subscription kinda.



Kingsoft Office (now WPS) (FREE)

Okay, here you see something that is by far the best replica of MS Office which is free, aesthetic wise a copy and bloat-less (60 MB installer compared to MS’s 600 MB, program files 260 MB compared to MS’s 1.8 GB). It has everything that you would require from MS Office except PPTX save ability. Now you might search “kingsoft office pc free download” and download that WPS Office. Sorry! You have downloaded junk! You are the victim of WPS’s monopoly. The last version that was free and had DOCX and XLSX saving feature is somewhere lost and finding this version (9.1.0.4759 and not 2014 beta 3; it will show 4758 version!) today is as difficult as doing 30 push-ups for a lazy human. (Well your analogy might be different.) This is the only link that offers the download: http://download.komputerswiat.pl/biuro-i-praca/pakiety-biurowe/wps-office-free

Go to this link. This page will refuse to convert from Polish to English using any web translator. So follow my instructions.

Click on the “pobierz” button. Now click on the big blue “Rozpocznij pobieranie” button. A small EXE will start to download. Open this EXE. This is the website’s downloader in Polish language. Remember. “dalej” means “Next”, “nie zgadzam sie” means “reject” and “zgadzam sie” means “accept”. REJECT ALL TOOLBARS AND ADWARE INTELLIGENTLY and get this setup. This is probably the only place you would find solution to this problem.

If you have tried hard to follow me, you won’t face any problem. If the download is not present there at all, contact me on ‘harshch@outlook.com’ . I will upload and give you the installer through a cloud/file sharing site.




CONCLUSION

The old free Kingsoft version 4759 specifically completes any requirement we have unless one requires PPTX saving feature. It is not a big feature for most people (can save it in PPT), and if so, you can have LibreOffice by the side as it is constantly developing and is complete but slightly bloated due to.. well, you know (Java, features etc.).



Waiting for any response from you, my dear readers and followers.