For decades, the MS Office has been synonymous with work applications for handling documentation, numbers and presentations. But the office suite comes with a premium subscription attached, paving the way for free solutions. There are plenty of options in the market, but not many come close to the Microsoft product in terms of efficiency. However, China-based software developer Kingsoft's WPS Office, a freemium offering, may turn out to be a game changer.
This all-in-one office software suite is available for Android, macOS, Windows and Linux platforms. It features Writer, Spreadsheet and Presentation, alternatives for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, respectively. Plus, there are massive libraries of pre-built templates for all three. WPS Office has a tab-like user interface and I was able to switch between multiple word docs and spreadsheets from the top. This means people used to Microsoft Office Suite will instantly feel at home as the layout and user interface of WPS Office closely resemble the former. It also features the most commonly used fonts and supports the former's file formats. The Writer saved my work in Docx format by default, and I could also choose between doc and txt formats. Spreadsheet's default format was xlxs, but there was an xls option. My presentation was saved in pptx, but you can also save it in ppt. Unlike Apple's Pages and Sheets, where I have to change the format before sharing it with colleagues using MS Office, I was able to share my work straight away as WPS supports MS Office formats. You can edit and write files here while you get read-only files if you have not subscribed to MS Office. This suite also includes a PDF Reader.
After I created a free account, all my documents were auto-uploaded in the cloud (1 GB of storage) and I could access them from different devices. The free version has embedded advertisements, but these will not hamper your work. The premium version is ad-free, has a few more editing features, offers 20 GB of cloud storage, uploads a file as big as 1 GB and exports pictures without watermarks. I was able to scan documents using WPS Office, but extracting text from image failed to work.