Microsoft Office is the most popular productivity suite in the world. And there is no doubt that no other office suite is able to grab all the features of Microsoft Office under one roof. But if you can live without the bells and whistles of Microsoft Office, you will be able to find a lot of similar alternatives which will make your work done and will do exactly what you require.
1. Zoho Writer
While the whole Zoho Collaboration Suite is a great competitor to Microsoft Office, Zoho Writer is special in the sense that it allows multiple people to work simultaneously on the same document. And that is called the real collaboration where people work together without interrupting each other. Zoho Writer also gives offline access to the documents. If you don’t have an active Internet connection, you are still able to edit your documents offline.
Crocodoc is not just a Word processor, it may be the biggest competitor to other online docs services like Google Docs and Zoho. If we encounter a document file or a PDF file over the Internet, we usually download it and then view it in Microsoft Word or any other Word processor. Crocodoc moves forward to eliminate the downloading step which will save a lot of time and bandwidth.
If you are thinking that Google Docs does the same thing, right? Yes, but more often than not, there is a formatting issue when we open a Word document in Google Docs. If you are using Crocodoc, you’ll see almost the same formatting as in your own local computer. If you haven’t heard of this service before but have documents in LinkedIn and Yammer, then you have already used Crocodoc.
Using the collaborative features of Crocodoc, multiple people will be able to work on the same document, fill out a PDF form, mark up an image or annotate the document in real time.
PrimaryPad is an online Word processor which has quite a simple functionality. Its major purpose and feature is collaboration. PrimaryPad has been created for students and teachers in schools who can work on the same documents simultaneously and that of course without installing anything on their computers.
To invite other people to your document, simply copy the URL from your address bar and give the link to anyone you want to view and edit the document.
Although you can create a document without signing up for an account in PrimaryPad, it is recommended that you create an account because all documents without an account will be deleted within 30 days of creation.
eduPad is an online real-time collaborative word processor. It is unique in the sense that there is no action required in order to start writing along with multiple people. You don’t even need to make an account. Just go to eduPad and start writing and editing documents simultaneously in collaboration with other users.
Please note that the site of eduPad is in German. You may want to use Google Translator or Google Chrome to automatically translate the site into English.
GreenDOC is an online word processor which is not exactly as powerful as the above discussed word processors. But if you only need a very simple word processor with no bells and whistles, GreenDOC is for you. No registration is needed to create a new document. Just click on the “Start Writing” button and start creating your new document. You can also save and share the document online. You will get a link to the document when you click on the share button. You can give that link to anyone for viewing the document.
The only problem with GreenDOC is that its “right click -> copy/paste” functionality does not work in Firefox. You may be better off using GreenDOC in Internet Explorer.
Google Docs/Drive is another online office collaboration suite. It is so popular that everyone should already know about it. That is why I haven’t included it in the above list.
Buzzword was a wonderful collaborative online word processor from Adobe based on Flash but somehow it seems to have been discontinued.
If you are looking for a complete suite like Microsoft Office, you may see some online alternatives to Microsoft Office.
For alternative to other Microsoft Office apps:
Have we missed anything? Please let us know in the comments below.