Best Free Word Processors
Even if you are not the most computer savvy person in the world, you’ve probably used some kind of word processor before. If you’ve created any kind of document on the computer or your phone, you likely used a word processor to do it. The most well-known word processor is Microsoft Word, but it can be pricey, and it doesn’t belong on a list of the best free word processors. So we’ve put together a list here of the best free word processors on the market.
For more detailed information on what to look for in a word processor, see our article on the “5 Best Word Processors”.
For a rundown of the best free word processors, keep reading.
- Open Source software
- Available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS
- Support for over 100 languages
- Similar Interface to MSWord
- Can handle different document types (.docx and .doc)
- Great document templates built-in
- LibreOffice Viewer available for Android
OpenOffice by Apache
- Open-source software
- Available for Mac, Linux or Windows operating systems
- Interface similar to Microsoft Word
- One of the oldest so bugs are worked out
- Active support community with developers worldwide
- Import and edit PDF files
- Multi-language support
- Document sharing made easy with international open standard format (.rtf, .doc, .docx, etc.)
Pages by Apple
- Part of the Apple iWork software and normally costs $9.99, Pages will be free starting Sept 10th with all new iOS devices.
- For iOS and Mac users; iCloud web version available for Windows
- More than 60 templates available
- Tracks comment
- Save work as Word files and to iCloud
- Viable Free Alternative to MS Word
- Cloud based with 15 GB free storage, with no download or installation
- Saves and tracks all your changes and syncs across all your devices
- Includes all basic formatting tools
- Revolutionary document editing means multiple people can view and edit a document in real-time fairly easily.
- Works with multiple browsers (Chrome, Google, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc.
Textilus-MS Word Edition by Knowtilus
- For iPad users
- Create documents which can be opened in Word, Pages, Scrivener, Notes, and OpenOffice
- Export documents to multiple formats
- Sync with Dropbox, Evernote, Scrivener, or iCloud
- Search from Textilus via Wikipedia, dictionary, or Google
- 25 customizable buttons
- Introduced to the world in 2013, Quip was co-founded by Bret Taylor, former Facebook Chief Technology Officer.
- “Mobile First” word processor designed for those people always connected and collaborating via tablet and smartphone.
- Launched first desktop app for Mac and Windows in 2015 in response to a huge surge in desktop website use.
- Mac App works with Spotlight Search to send notifications when documents are modified or tagged while they are working on them.
- Instead of file approach to documents, Quip uses sections that are separate but easy to integrate. This reduces version conflicts. Any conflicts are always saved and noted in the collaboration notes next to the document.
- A more seamless transition between working offline and online.
- Free version and subscription versions available
- No team calendar or other apps
- No rich markup tools
- Limited API
- Quick and easy to setup and use
- May not be easy to scale to business growth
WPS Writer by Kingsoft
- Part of WPS Office 2016
- Free tools for iOS, Android based mobile devices
- Linux and Windows versions
- Mobile apps have 400 million users registered
- Multi-language (English, German, Polish, French, Russian, Portuguese)
- Choice of new and classic interfaces with click of a mouse
- Drag and Drop paragraph editing
- Must have paid subscription to print or export without a watermark
- Section Navigation Tab for easy document navigation and organization
- Import/Export options include: .doc, .dotx, Docx, RTF, .docm, txt, .wps and .wpt
- Open-source and no cost to use
- Claims to work for Mac OS X, Linus, and Windows users but some users reported difficulties in the 2000’s with it loading Windows 7
- Interface is simple and similar to other popular ones
- Difficult to scroll with mouse; Use arrow keys, not mousepad or wheel
Save and edit in multiple file formats including Rich text, Encoded Text, Text, Open Document, Open Office XML, Open Office Writer, Outlook Express Mail, Open Document
- No quick help option; send email to user community
- Does have easy to install plugins for things like a dictionary, Wikipedia and Google search integration, translator.
- Can open popular file formats like .docx
- Spell checker included
- Can import MS Word 97 and RTF documents
- May not work on Windows 7
- No learning curve if your previous word processor was WordPerfect
- Ability to hide menus is great for writers who need distraction-free screen
- Free and open source
- Works for Linux/Unix, Windows, or Mac OS X
- Export out into HTML, DOC, PDF, RTF, etc.
- “document” processing not “word” processing which means the emphasis is on document structure and content rather than visual display.
- Designed to focus on writing not formatting
- Lots of templates for longer documents (academic journal articles, books, play, film script)
- Great for mathematical equations, includes an equations editor
- Formatting is automated per set rules for consistency
- Because formatting is automated, things like table of contents, footnotes, and references are also automated and “done for you”) Great for folks that want to write longer content but don’t want to learn formatting and structure rules.
- Would be helpful for those writing a book or other long documents who are on a very limited budget
- Multi-language is supported
TextEdit created by NeXT (acquired by Apple)
- Replaced SimpleText
- Feature packed
- Easy to Use
- Modify formatting (bold, underline, italics, font color, etc.)
- Drag & Drop insert of photos and movie or music files
Jarte by Carolina Road
- Compatible with MSWord
- Tab-based word processor
- Reliable and fast, similar to WordPad but with additional features: single click bookmarking, mouse scroll wheel cut-and-paste capability, dictionary, and thesaurus resources. Download or Mobile version
- Paid upgrade available
- Spell check tools for multiple languages available during download
- Simple button-based interface
- Variety of visual interface options: Compact, Minimal, and Classic
There are tons of free word processors out there for writers, many didn’t even make our list but are still valuable. It’s really a matter of researching and then trial and error. There is a free word processor out there that will give you just the right combination of distraction free writing environment and automatic formatting options. Is there a word processor not included that you think deserves a spot on our list of the best free word processors? If so, let us know what it is and what you love about it in the comments below.