Office 365 for Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Microsoft Office Alternatives For Surface Pro.
Microsoft Office Alternatives for Surface Pro: Which one should I use?
My advice is to try them both and pick your favorite. It won’t really cost you anything but a little bit of time. After you play with them both, pick one and uninstall the other.
As I said before, neither option will be a 100% copy of the equivalent Microsoft Office program but they will all give you what you need to produce your document, spreadsheet, or presentation.
Since they’re very similar, either one will probably work for you if you can’t or don’t want to spend $$$ on Microsoft Office.
Also, don’t forget that Microsoft offers Office.com, which is an online, scaled-down option to MS Office apps. In a pinch, that will also do the job in producing a document or a spreadsheet.
Did You Know Office Online Works Just Like Google Docs?
I know that you’re already aware that Surface 2/RT comes with Office RT included but did you know that you can also use all of your favorite Office applications online?
You may be wondering why you should care about that. The reasons are two-fold: (1) Your Surface Pro/2 does not come with the Office applications – so you could save quite a bit of money by going with Office Online – and (2) Office Online allows several people to simultaneously access Office Online documents. This means that you can work on your documents with other people at the same time and see each other’s edits instantly (exactly like Google Docs).
So, here is what Office Online includes:
- Word Online
- Excel Online
- PowerPoint Online
- OneNote Online
- Calendar Online
- Contacts Online (People)
Other features of Office Online:
- Sign-in with your Microsoft account – the same one you signed into your Surface with.
- Once signed in, your documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and notebooks will be stored in OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive).
- Ability to open online documents with Office programs installed on your local computer or Surface tablet. This feature still stores the files in OneDrive – nice!
- Hundreds of free templates included with Office.com.
If they really wanted to sell Surface Pro tablets (1, 2 and 3′s), they would have included a free copy of Microsoft Office just like they did with the Surface RT/2 tablets.
It seems a bit silly to buy a Surface Pro 3 for $1,000 then have to drop another $70 to $220 to have essential apps like Word and Excel.
So, if you got a Surface Pro but don’t want to spend more money to get an Office Productivity Suite, this is the post for you.
I found a pair of free alternatives to Microsoft Office that will do 95% of what you can do with it and even a few things you can’t do with Microsoft Office.
Sounds good, right? Well read on…
Note: If you are a college student, you may be able to purchase Microsoft Office with a major discount. Check with your school for details.
Microsoft Office Alternatives for Surface Pro: Equivalents
So, now that you understand that OpenOffice and LibreOffice are really just two sides of the same coin, I’ll touch on which programs in these two suites correspond to the familiar Microsoft Office programs.
The links below will take you to the description on the LibreOffice site but the information is pretty much the same for the OpenOffice version.
- Writer is the equivalent to Microsoft Word
- Calc is the equivalent to Microsoft Excel
- Impress Is the equivalent to Microsoft PowerPoint
- Draw is the equivalent to Microsoft Visio
- Base is the equivalent to Microsoft Access
You might notice that there is no equivalent to Microsoft Outlook. This is unfortunate but unless you’re using a Microsoft Exchange server for your email there are many email clients that can fill the gap.
One of the more popular e-mail clients out there is Mozilla Thunderbird or simply use the built-in Windows 8 Mail App.
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