Software can get expensive, especially software designed for office productivity. Depending on the type of software you need, it could cost hundreds of dollars. That’s not the case anymore.
Thankfully, trends towards online offices have skyrocketed which has made room for plenty of free office software that you can get from the web. What makes it even better, is most of the time you’re not losing out on necessary features because the free versions come with everything needed.
There are other benefits to using free software that goes beyond your pocketbook, too. You might not realize it, but some advantages come with using online software. You get features like upgraded collaboration, ease of mobility, and security. Your computer could crash, and your document would still be online. While a lot of the free software is in beta testing, take a look at some of the options available to you if you’re looking to save some money on business expenses.
The most commonly used piece of software in an office suite is the Word Processor. Due to the high demand, free word processors have popped up everywhere, and they’re some of the best online applications that you can find on the web. Most of the free versions online can be found with the same functions as their desktop counterparts.
- BuzzWord: The application is an online word processor operated by flash and introduced by Adobe. The look and feel of it rival desktop applications, and it’s said to be the most user-friendly. Currently, there are less than ten fonts supported by BuzzWord in its beta stages. Another downfall is you can export to Word or RTF, but you can’t save it in PDF or HTML format. However, there is a full revision history.
- Zoho Writer: Zoho is an online word processor that comes loaded with features. It can do anything that a desktop word processor can do, and can even export documents.
Like processors, online spreadsheets have become very popular, and Microsoft Excel and Office 365 have some fierce competition. The online worksheets are rich with features and have the added benefit of being free. The online versions of the workbooks are cloud-based and are very reliable and full of features that could make you forget about your desktop spreadsheet.
- Google Sheets: Though it is compatible with other online Google software, Google Sheets is a stand-alone product that’s part of Google Drive. It’s a powerful spreadsheet that gets accessed within the web browser. There is also an app that’s available for iOS and Android, and you can edit and open Excel files with the app or Chrome extension.
- Zoho Sheet: The online spreadsheet comes with many features that rival other free online worksheets. It can import from and export to, and it’s part of the Zoho Office Suite. The easy-to-use online application has fantastic support and includes cloud storage along with full audit tracking.
- Numbers: Anyone with an Apple ID can download Apple’s Numbers for free from icloud.com. In addition to that, it comes along with newly purchased Macs and can get downloaded from the Mac App Store. It has a variety of templates for personal and business use, threaded comments, and a shape library. User-friendly features make it easy to customize.
When it comes to online presentation software, you usually don’t get full-featured applications like you would with desktop versions. However, in a pinch, the alternatives do more than enough justice. One of the main benefits is the mobility factor. You don’t need to lug your laptop with you when you’re using online presentation software. You just need to have a computer with an internet connection.
- Zoho Show: As the third from the Zoho Office Suite, Zoho Show has drawing capabilities and offers a lot of the same features as desktop software. It’s a strong competitor when considering replacing your conventional desktop methods.
- ThinkFree Presentations: The Presentations version of the ThinkFree suite lets you go into the presentation and make quick edits for minor changes. It also enables you to use the power editor for substantial changes.
Unfortunately for online database software, the strides that have been made in other online software far outweigh what has been made for online databases. Desktop applications such as Microsoft Access continue to rule the market, but the online equivalents do have uses.
- Zoho Creator: The Zoho Creator uses a simple form and script builder that assists with adding logic to the application.
- LazyBase: As a very simple database, there is no support for any advanced reporting or queries. However, it is a useful learning tool.
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to be able to get the same application features as other businesses. You can use the free versions and have just as many capabilities as those who use the desktop counterparts. As long as you have the software that meets the needs of your business, you can use it freely, and save some money in the process.
What free software have you used for your business? Have you noticed the difference?