The Best and Freest Microsoft Office Alternatives

Microsoft Office has long been the standard for word processing, presentation making, and spreadsheet building. But when you’re a college student, there are many reasons why it’s not always the most practical of tools. The biggest one is that Microsoft Office doesn’t always come installed on computers, and to purchase it separately or update to the newest version is expensive.

So if you’re a student looking to break the costly marriage with Microsoft Office, check out these economical and effective alternatives to Office’s many applications.

Apache OpenOffice – Probably the most established Microsoft Office alternative, OpenOffice allows you to do all the word-processing basics simply and freely and is available for PC and Mac.

Keynote – For Mac-users, Keynote is Apple’s free version of your basic Microsoft Word application. Use it to easily draft papers and type up small assignments in a format that professors and peers will be able to view.

Google – If you already use Gmail or Google+, you’re only a few clicks away from a word processor that lets you easily edit, collaborate, and save projects online. Be sure to explore the often-overlooked presentation-making tool and spreadsheet generator as well.

Prezi – Bring excitement to your presentation for free with this unique online-based presentation tool that has skyrocketed in popularity over the years. Though there is a slight learning curve, Prezi once mastered will allow you to ditch the slide-based presentation for a more compelling motion-based one.

280 Slides – When simplicity is key for your presentation, 280 Slides allows you to do everything you’ve grown accustomed to with PowerPoint (it can even save your presentation in PowerPoint 2007 format).


OneNote – Originally a part of Microsoft Office, OneNote has just recently this week been made free for PC and Mac users as a standalone application. The student-aimed tool offers a powerful way to take notes and stay organized. For laptop note-takers, once you use this app you’ll never go back to taking notes using basic word-processing applications.

Need help finding more cheap student solutions? We’re here to help! Contact ACI on Twitter at @ACISpecBenefits or on facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or YouTube. Also feel free to contact ACI Specialty Benefits at (800) 932-0034, or email

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About ACI Specialty Benefits

ACI Specialty Benefits ranks in the nation’s Top-Ten providers of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), corporate wellness programs, student assistance, corporate concierge, and work/life services to corporations worldwide. ACI partners with clients to Perk Up employee engagement and performance with benefit programs that improve morale, productivity and the bottom-line. With a 95% customer retention rate and over 7 million lives covered. ACI remains a privately-owned specialty benefits corporation, headquartered in San Diego. For more information, visit or call 800.932.0034.
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