For decades now, Microsoft Word has been the platform of choice for millions of users around the world when it comes to writing. It was transformative when it first came on the scene as writers across the world could now cast pen and paper to one side and type up their work on a computer.
It would be absurd to assume no other platforms have since come on to the scene that offer similar writing functionality, however none have quite reached the same levels in terms of popularity and reputation.
In this article, we are going to look at the best platforms out there at this moment in time which offer users a similar experience to Microsoft Word. Let’s get started.
Apps like Microsoft Word – The top three
The most similar app to Microsoft Word out there is Google Docs. In fact, it is almost a carbon copy of Microsoft Word, with the only real difference being the fact that Google Docs is accessed via the internet (either on a web browser or on the mobile phone app) while Microsoft Word is accessed via a downloadable Windows application.
As mentioned, to access Google Docs all you need is a secure internet connection and a Google account. Once you’re all signed in, you are free to create new documents from, access existing ones or use one of Google’s pre-set templates to create something specific such as CV’s, brochures and letters.
Once selected, you are free to play around with all of the tools available to you including font types, font size, bold/italicised/underlined text and so on.
One great aspect of Google Docs is the fact that your documents save automatically to your Google account with each and every update you make.
This means you will never encounter the dreaded Microsoft Word scenario of an important document that you’ve worked on for hours being lost forever because you forgot to manually save it.
Another cool feature of Google Docs is that it allows users to share their documents with others, at the click of a few buttons. This is really handy if you are working on a group project and want everyone in the group to be able to make edits to a certain document.
To share a document, you need to click on the document you want to share and select the ‘share’ button which can be found on the upper right hand side of the page. From there, you will either enter in the email addresses of each person you want to share the document with or create a unique URL for your document for you to personally share with others.
Google Docs is what we consider to be the best writing app, and it’s a great option if you’re looking for a free alternative to Microsoft Word.
Apache Open Office
If you were a fan of the old school Microsoft Word and wish that none of the numerous updates and changes happened then Apache Open Office is ready and waiting to welcome you with open arms.
Apache Open Office offers users alternatives not only to Microsoft Word (their version is called ‘write), but also to Microsoft Excel (Calc) and Microsoft PowerPoint (Impress). The platform is entirely free to use, with users being able to download the suite from the Open Office website.
Back to the original point of ‘old school’ Microsoft Word. The interface on Open Office is very similar to what Word looked like in the early 2000s, with users not having to open up various different tabs to find the function they want.
Instead, you are greeted by old fashioned looking toolbars and menu items. Old fashioned may seem like a negative phrase, but in this instance it’s actually meant as a compliment with Open Office’s simplicity being its main selling point.
However, just because its interface is straightforward and old fashioned doesn’t mean to say that it is lacking when it comes to functionality. Users are still able to make the same edits as they’d get on Microsoft Word such as font selection, font size, bold/italicised text, table creation, image insertion, coloured text, text boxes etc.
The only downside to Apache Open Office is the fact that it is a pretty worthless task if you are working on a collaborative project. This is because there is no easy way of sharing the document with others for editing purposes. Therefore, we would only recommend this platform if you are looking to get your head down and focus on solo work.
Writemonkey is a unique Microsoft Word alternative in the sense that it is only worth your time if you are looking for a space to get your head down and simply write without distraction.
One issue with Word and the majority of its competitors is the fact that for creative writers, it can sometimes offer us too much. It’s easy to get lost in the plethora of editing tools and forget that the most important part of writing are the words on the page.
This is where Writemonkey comes in. Writemonkey is essentially an online version of a pen and paper which we so rudely dismissed at the top of this piece. However, for creative writers such as authors, this could be the dream app.
All you can do on Writemonkey is write words on a page in one font, with its minimalistic editing tools only being available if you go looking for them. And even then, there isn’t much you can do.
It’s absolutely perfect for just getting words down on a piece of paper, with the app saying that they want to leave you alone with your thoughts. One feature of Writemonkey which plays up to this selling point is the option of a timer.
This timer can be set by users before they start writing, meaning that they have an allocated amount of time to focus solely on their work.
There are many different Microsoft World alternatives out there which we could have spoken about today, but we opted to focus on three that all offer something different from one and other.
While Google Docs is the dream solution for anyone looking for a quicker, slicker, online Microsoft Word, Apache Open Office is perfect for those looking for a stripped down version of the app. Then there is Writemonkey, which is heaven for those of you who just want to get your head down and write. Ultimately, though, we just hope that at least one of these apps can be useful to you.