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WPS Office Review: A Great Microsoft Office Alternative You Can Use for Free

By the time you are reading this post, Microsoft Office still on the top list of the most popular office suite apps. Like it or not, we have to admit it. Frankly, I have no idea what actually makes it becomes so popular. Whereas, there many other alternatives available out there.

Speaking of Microsoft Office alternatives, WPS Office is probably the best one. This office suite comes with a very similar interface to Microsoft’s. As you know, since the version of 2007, Microsoft Office comes with an extremely different look. The interface is more attractive, modern, intuitive and interactive. Probably, this is one of the reasons why Microsoft Office become more and more popular.

If you think so, then you need to take a look at WPS Office. This office suite has an extremely similar interface to Microsoft Office. And it’s free to use.

WPS Office is an office suite developed by Kingsoft, a Chinese software company. Previously, WPS Office is known as Kingsoft Office. In terms of age, WPS Office is basically older than Microsoft Office. The office suite was firstly released in 1988, two years before the first version of Microsoft Office was released in 1990. If you haven’t heard about it before, read on because we are going to have an in-deep discussion about it.

Components

The biggest difference between WPS Office and Microsoft Office is the components they both have. When you buy Microsoft Office, you will get Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Access, OneNote and so on. Conversely, WPS Office has only three components. You will only get three applications. They are WPS Writer, WPS Presentation and WPS Spreadsheets. The name of WPS Office itself is taken from these three components.

User interface

As I mentioned above, WPS Office is one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Office since it as a very similar interface to Microsoft Office 2007 and the newer versions.

If you have used the old version of Microsoft Office (2003 and the older versions), you will see a big enough difference. Since the version 2007, Microsoft Office comes with a more intuitive as well as interactive interface. The layout is more modern. WPS Office comes with an extremely similar interface to Microsoft Office. As a comparison, below are the screen captures of the interface of WPS Office 10 and Microsoft Word Online.

At this point, you may think that WPS Office has brutally copied Microsoft Office. Whatever your opinion about this, WPS Office has done a brilliant enough job in providing a modern interface. Besides, the Microsoft Office-like interface will makes it easy for you if you want to make a switch from Microsoft Office to WPS Office.

If you get bored with the current theme, WPS Office also allows you to change its look. You can do it by clicking the shirt icon at the top bar of WPS Office window (or by clicking the Tools menu and select Switch UI). There are four other themes you can apply to, including the classic theme of the old version of Microsoft Office.

Other interesting thing of WPS Office interface is that it supports multiple tabs. This concept is similar to modern web browser. This means, you can work on multiple documents with WPS Office without needing to open multiple windows. This feature is definitely useful especially if you frequently have to work on multiple documents at once. Not all office suite apps have this kind of feature.

Document formats support

The biggest problem about WPS Office is probably the document format it supports. Well, not a big problem if you are a former Microsoft Office user who switched to WPS Office since it also has a very good compatibility with Microsoft Office document format. If you are a Linux user who are looking for a LibreOffice alternative, I will never suggest WPS Office since this office suite has no support to OpenDocument format. You won’t be able to open the documents you created with LibreOffice, which typically available with the extensions of .ODT (for documents), .ODS (for spreadsheets) and .ODP (for presentations).

When I tried to open a document with the format of OpenDocument (ODT) using WPS Office, there is no output I got. It’s unfortunate enough since WPS Office is basically a cross-platform office suite. WPS Office itself has its own document format. Your files will saved with the extension of .WPS if you work with WPS Writer. While if you work with WPS Spreadsheets, your files will saved in an .ET extension and .DPS extension for WPS Presentation.

Platforms support

WPS Office is a cross-platform office suite. Despite Windows remains the platform that becomes a WPS Office priority, the office suite is also available for Linux. In addition, WPS Office is also available for mobile platforms. You can install this office suite on Android as well as iOS. At the time of writing, there is no Mac version is available yet.

Business model

WPS Office uses the freemium business model. You can use it for free as long as you want. The free version of WPS Office is also great enough. Nearly all features of paid version are available as well on the free version. So, what makes free version different to paid version?

Some benefits you get if you use the paid version of WPS Office amongst other you can connect it up to up to 9 devices which is great if you frequently work with different devices. You will also get access to more online templates. The paid version of WPS Office is available in two packages: Premium and Professional.

Conclusion

For Windows users who are looking for a free alternative to Microsoft Office, WPS Office is probably the best option among other options like LibreOffice, Apache OpenOffice and ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors. Its interface is the reason. Plus, it also has a very good compatibility with Microsoft Office document format. Linux users who want to try a different taste of office suite other than LibreOffice can also give WPS Office a try although you won’t be able to open the existing documents you saved in an OpenDocument format. Overall, WPS Office is a great enough office suite.

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