MacHow2 uses affiliate links. Please check our Advertising Disclosure for more info.

If you want a cheaper or even a free alternative to Microsoft Office For Mac, here we’ve looked at the best Microsoft Office For Mac alternatives in 2023 including for Apple Silicon M1 and M2 Macs.

Limited Offer: You can currently get 85% off a Microsoft Office For Mac Home & Business Lifetime License for $49.99 (normally $349.99) or 89% off 2 Lifetime Licenses for $74.99 (normally $698.00) for a limited period.

Although there are ways to get Microsoft Office For Mac free, they all have limitations of some kind and don’t give you all the benefits of the full version.

Nowadays, Microsoft Office For Mac has been replaced by a Microsoft 365 subscription although you can still buy Microsoft Office For Mac as a one time purchase.

If you work with colleagues that use Microsoft Office apps such as Microsoft Word and Excel regularly, you may have no choice but to get a Microsoft 365 subscription.

In fact, if you deal with Microsoft Office files regularly then we strongly recommend biting the bullet and either purchasing a subscription to Microsoft 365 or buy Microsoft Office For Mac.

Although many of these alternatives can open and edit Microsoft Office files, you’ll end-up spending a lot of time fixing glitches and cleaning-up formatting issues that inevitably happen when you try to use MS Office files in another app.

However, if you only need to open and edit Office documents occasionally or just want a free alternative Microsoft office suite, there are plenty of excellent alternatives for Mac users including many free options.

What’s The Catch With Free Office For Mac Alternatives?

Many of the following replacements for Microsoft Office for Mac are free but as always, there are a few things to be aware of with free software.

The most important thing to consider is that most MS Office alternatives are cloud based or in some cases, desktop based with a cloud syncing option, and this will inevitably involve storage and sometimes tracking of your data.

All online office suites have different privacy policies and they all use different kinds of secure encryption to ensure your data is safe.

However, in some cases the software developer may reserve the right to sell your data such as email address and other data to third parties so if this is a concern for you, be sure to check the privacy policy of the office app.

You May Also Like:

With this in mind, here then are the best alternatives to Microsoft Office For Mac in order of ranking.

1. Google Workspace

best office for mac alternative - google workspace

The closest thing to a free version of Microsoft Office For Mac is Google Workspace (formerly Google Suite or “G-Suite”).

Google Workspace includes Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides which are the equivalents of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

There’s also Meet as an alternative to Microsoft Teams, Gmail as a replacement for Microsoft Outlook and of course there’s Google Calendar.

Over the years Google has improved compatibility with Microsoft Office to the extent where you can now easily open and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents for free in Google Workspace.

You can also export them back into Microsoft Office file formats so that you can easily send and receive documents to colleagues or friends using MS Office or Microsoft 365.

Google Docs is a particularly good free alternative to Word for Mac with generous free storage of up to 15GB, lots of sharing options and many different document templates.

If you collaborate with other users in a team or office environment, Google Suite also allows you to see edits made by others, chat and leave comments on documents.

There’s no desktop app for Google Suite although you can use it offline in Google Chrome and it will sync when you next go online again.

You can start using Google Workspace for free now.

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Imports and exports in Microsoft Office formats
  • Works on both Intel and Apple Silicon M1/M2 Macs
  • Excellent collaboration features
  • Useful mobile apps for editing on the move

Cons:

  • No desktop app
  • Not as powerful as Microsoft Office

2. LibreOffice

free microsoft office for mac alternative - libreoffice

LibreOffice is a free open source office suite and easily one of the best desktop alternatives to Microsoft Office For Mac.

LibreOffice began as a spin-off of the open source OpenOffice project although OpenOffice is not updated much nowadays but LibreOffice is.

LibreOffice can import and export Microsoft Office documents and does it surprisingly well with few formatting issues compared to some Office alternatives.

LibreOffice used to only work offline but has no added online syncing via online storage sites such as Google Drive and DropBox.

However, unlike Microsoft Office and tools like Google Workspace, there’s no online collaboration features so it’s not suitable for real-time collaboration with other users.

LibreOffice also offers a formula editor to edit macros in Excel documents and Google Sheets.

You can start using LibreOffice for free here.

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Works on Mac desktops
  • Works on both Intel and Apple Silicon M1/M2 Macs
  • Widely used and tested
  • Frequently updated

Cons:

  • No online collaboration
  • Interface is quite dated
  • Some features such as templates need to be downloaded separately

3. iWork

iwork

iWork is Apple’s free answer to Microsoft Office and includes a professional array of tools including Apple Pages, Numbers and Keynote as alternatives to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

As you’d expect from an Apple product, the iWork suite looks great and is fully integrated with the look and funtionality of macOS.

There’s no denying that iWork takes some getting used to compared to Microsoft Office in terms of finding features and tools but once mastered, it’s an incredibly powerful office suite.

Anything you create in iWork from brochures in Pages to presentations in Keynote look slick thanks to some great templates and the apps have intuitive interfaces that are easy to work out.

You can import and export Microsoft Office documents although if you use a Mac specific font, you’ll find that exporting leaves a mess of the formatting.

You can also collaborate online in iWork via iCloud although this is one of the weakest aspects of the suite and not as complete as Microsoft Office or Google Workspace.

You can start using iWork for free to see for yourself.

Pros:

  • Made by Apple
  • Looks amazing on a Mac
  • Works on both Intel and Apple Silicon M1/M2 Macs
  • Apps create attractive, professional looking results
  • Fully integrated with macOS
  • Instantly updated for new releases of macOS

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have replacements for all MS Office tools
  • Exporting to Office format can result in formatting issues

4. FreeOffice

freeoffice

SoftMaker FreeOffice is a free desktop office suite for Mac, Windows and Linux that provides a surprisingly good free alternative to Office for Mac.

FreeOffice looks very similar to Microsoft Office and allows you to use the familiar ribbon office or standard interface.

FreeOffice can also import and export to Microsoft Office formats with TextMaker, PlanMaker and Presentations replacements for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

All the FreeOffice apps have plenty of attractive templates with support for formulas in PlanMaker and impressive animations in Presentations.

FreeOffice also has an attractive range of fonts compared to other Microsoft Office alternatives although these can cause issues when exporting to Microsoft Office.

One of the benefits of FreeOffice compared to other office suites is the inclusion of PDF editing software FlexiPDF which allows you to edit PDF files on a Mac.

FreeOffice can also export files in a range of formats other than Microsoft Office including PDF and PUB format.

There are also free FreeOffice apps for iOS and Android with basic editing functionality.

You can start using FreeOffice for free now.

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Interface is very similar to Microsoft Office
  • Imports and exports MS Office format
  • Optimized for touch screens

Cons:

  • Only includes alternatives to Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • No online collaboration features
  • Importing and exporting Office files can result in formatting issues
  • Can be quite slow to use

5. WPS Office

wps office for mac

WPS Office is a slick all in one desktop Office suite that provides a powerful alternative to Microsoft Office for Mac.

WPS Office features Writer, Spreadsheet, Presentation and a PDF toolkit which all look really tasteful on macOS a little bit like Apple’s iWork suite.

Integration with macOS goes further than even Microsoft Office with support for Widgets, Sidecar (which allows you to use an iPad as a second screen with macOS) and Splitscreen mode.

There’s seamless integration with iPad and iPhone making it easy to edit documents anywhere.

WPS Office is also frequently updated for the latest versions of macOS and works on the latest Apple Silicon M1/M2 Macs too.

The standard version of WPS Office is free to use with support for 47 different file formats and 13 languages although it is ad supported.

There are also ad-free premium versions starting at $30 per year which are cheaper than Microsoft Office which include PDF editing, file format conversions and 20GB of online file storage.

You can use WPS Office for Mac for free to test it for yourself.

Pros:

  • Looks great in macOS
  • Lots of slick templates
  • Works on both Intel and Apple Silicon M1/M2 Macs
  • Includes PDF editing tools
  • Useful iOS and Android apps
  • Supports multiple languages

Cons:

  • Some file formats are limited to the paid versions
  • No online storage in the free version
  • No online collaboration in free version
  • Interface can be slow at times

6. Zoho Workplace

zoho workplace

Zoho Workplace is an alternative to Microsoft Office which is similar to Google Workspace.

The main tools in Zoho Workplace are Zoho Writer, Sheet and Show which are replacements for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

However, it also includes its own email and chat tools making it an excellent alternative to Microsoft Office for online collaboration.

Zoho Writer allows you to eaily share documents with your team and allows multiple users to contribute and comment simultaneously.

Zoho Sheet creates attractive charts and graphs out of formulas to create clear visualizations of your data as well as anything Microsoft Excel can do although not with quite the same macro support.

Zoho Show has a diverse fonts, styles, charts, animations, and infographics to create professional standard presentations.

Zoho Workdrive allows you to save and work on documents anywhere and Zoho Meetings connects users via video conferencing with analytics reports afterwards.

Added to this is Zoho Mail suite, Cliq for commenting on documents and Zoho Connect for creating internal channels or forums.

Zoho Workplace is aimed more at corporate environments than home users with pricing starting a t a few dollars per month but like most Zoho products, is incredibly powerful and well put together.

You can try Zoho Workspace free for 15 days.

Pros:

  • Professional alternative to Microsoft Office
  • Imports and exports Microsoft Office documents
  • Relied on by large corporations worldwide
  • Works on both Intel and Apple Silicon M1/M2 Macs

Cons:

  • Not free to use
  • Takes some learning
  • Not as well integrated with macOS as other products

7. Polaris Office

polaris office mac

Polaris Office is aimed at businesses that want an alternative to Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows.

Polaris Office has been used by corporations such as Amazon and Samsung which gives you an idea of the kind of customer it’s designed for.

Despite this there is a free version of Polaris Office that anyone can use but it does include ads.

The ad free premium plan of the Polaris Office Smart Cloud starts at $39.99 per year with the Pro version a reasonable $59.99 per year. The Mac desktop version however is more expensive at $79.99 but this is for a lifetime license.

Polaris supports importing and exporting PPT, XLS, DOCX and HWP files. You can also convert and edit PDF documents.

For businesses that want to integrate Polaris into their own products, you can also use the Polaris API in the premium versions of the product.

Although it doesn’t support dictating on a Mac, Polaris can even turn voice memos into documents.

You can start using Polaris Office for free to see for yourself.

Pros:

  • Professional business alternative to Microsoft Office
  • Full support for importing and exporting MS Office files
  • Collaboration via Cloud version
  • Works on both Intel and Apple Silicon M1/M2 Macs
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Mac desktop version costs separately
  • Free version is ad supported

8. OnlyOffice

onlyoffice free

OnlyOffice offers a free office alternative to Microsoft’s product and features an alternative to Word, Excel and PowerPoint along with a PDF editor.

OnlyOffice allows you to collaborate for free on documents with comparison tracking, edit highlighting and the ability to leave comments on edits.

There’s a built-in chat feature plus integration with Telegram to talk to colleagues and you can also launch video chats with Jitsi or Rainbow.

The source code for OnlyOffice is freely available for anyone to edit meaning it’s extremely secure with three levels of encryption during editing, when sending and receiving documents.

There’s even a desktop version for Mac for both Apple Silicon and Intel Macs which is integrated with the Cloud version that works in any browser.

You can use the Starter version of OnlyOffice for free with up to 5 users allowed. Business plans start at $5 per user per month which allows unlimited admins, 100GB of storage per user, automatic backup and more.

You can start using OnlyOffice for free now.

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Cloud and desktop version for Intel and M1/M2 Macs
  • Excellent collaboration features
  • High level of encryption

Cons:

  • Not much documentation

How To Choose The Best Microsoft Office For Mac Alternative

The best Microsoft Office For Mac alternative for you will depend on your needs, team size and budget.

Some things you may want to consider are support for importing and exporting Microsoft Office files especially in DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX format as well as the older PPT and XLS format.

Other things worth considering are things like collaboration features for teams, whether it offers a desktop version and of course whether you need to pay to unlock the most important features.

Finally, Mac users should also consider whether the office alternative they want to use works on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs in mixed environments.

About The Author

Author

MacHow2 is devoted to helping you get the most of of your Mac. We're passionate about all things Mac whether it's helping users with software recommendations or solving technical problems. If you've got any comments about this article, get involved by leaving a comment below. You can also contact us directly using the contact form at the top of the site. Please note that in the interests of transparency, MacHow2 may sometimes receive compensation from link clicks or vendors.

4 Responses

  1. Leslie Sacha

    I appreciate your careful reviews. But in your analyses, you have chosen NOT to mention one of the cons of getting anywhere near a Google product…that is you have just signed up for their incredibly intrusive tracking system and permanently given away all your rights to privacy.
    It’s best to remember there is “NO such thing as a free lunch”. Along these lines, it would be great if your reviews also reported on the privacy policies of various apps and software programs. Perhaps everyone who has ever created an app or software program also collects & sells your data to Google or Bytedance…but just maybe there are a few companies that don’t whore out all your private data.

    Reply
    • MacHow2

      This is a valid point and it’s obviously impossible for us to pore through the details of the privacy policy of every app. However, we’ve added something to the reviews to make sure users are aware of this privacy issues with free alternatives to Microsoft Office.

      Reply
  2. rv

    I liked the product reviews and I liked the comment. Keep em coming. I’m always interested in learning more about how to transition successfully to Mac from Windows. I have Mac at home and Windows at work so it continues to be a struggle. Understand about Google privacy and am learning more about it and how to deal with it. That’s why I appreciate MacHow2 and say, keep em coming Thanks.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to MacHow2!

Sign up to get reviews, tutorials and special offers on Mac software!

error: