free for students microsoft office
Get almost all the features of Microsoft Word for little to no cost. Source: Benson Ibeabuchi/AFP

We all need Microsoft Word for notes and assignments. The problem is it’s pretty expensive — a Microsoft 365 Personal plan costs US$69.99/year or US$6.99 per month. Don’t have this money to spend? Good news: there are free for students Microsoft office alternatives.

5 free for students Microsoft office alternatives

1. Google Docs

You can create, collaborate, and share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and forms on Google Docs. What users love the most are its seamless use across all Google tools and its cool features — which you can extend with various add-ons. (some are not free though, sorry!)

Google Docs saves your file online automatically so you don’t have to worry about losing your drafts. You can also save the file in various formats such as Microsoft Word (.docx), plain text (.txt), among others. No internet? Work on your doc offline — it’s entirely possible. 

All you need to do is create a Google account to get started if you don’t have one already. It’s easy, free, and convenient — it’s one of the best free for students Microsoft office alternatives out there.

2. Dropbox Paper

Offered by our favourite online storage tool Dropbox, Dropbox Paper is a free online word processor that is simple and intuitive. It lets you focus on creating the content that you desire.

You can add text, as well as other media like audio, video and images. You can embed Trello cards, YouTube videos, or SlideShare decks too. Other features include: document link-sharing, creating and assigning checklist items to members, and embedding one of your Dropbox documents.

To use Dropbox Paper, you must create a Dropbox account.

free for students microsoft office

Microsoft Word online is the free counterpart of Microsoft Word, which you can use if you have a OneDrive account. Source: Tim Heitman/Getty Images North America/Getty Images/AFP

3. Microsoft Word online

Committed to Microsoft Word still? Microsoft Word online is an option to consider, even for Chromebook and Linux OS users.

You won’t get the full features of the paid Microsoft Word version but it’s still one of the best free for students Microsoft office alternatives. You get to open, create, and edit Word documents. Plus, you can  access and check for updates from co-authors to your Microsoft Word documents in real time as well.

To access Microsoft Word online, start with your Microsoft OneDrive account.

4. Zoho Docs

One of the lesser-known free for students Microsoft office alternatives is Zoho Docs. You get free 5GB of storage space, a straightforward and friendly interface, but not too many fonts. Still, you’ll have enough to play around with. 

Like Google Docs, you can import and export documents in a .docx format, while collaborating on a document and reviewing changes is intuitive and seamless. Zoho Docs also automatically saves your document as you type, just like Google Docs. 

Click here to sign up for a free account.

5. LibreOffice

Despite a slightly old-fashioned appearance, LibreOffice is one of the best free for students Microsoft Office alternatives for good reasons. You can auto-save, track changes and comment. You can also open and edit Microsoft Word documents and save new files in that format.

Expect a fresh and clean interface with quick access toolbars making it easy to edit and format your documents. If you need to export your documents as PDFs or any of the major tasks you usually do on Microsoft Word, you can too. 

Click here to download the LibreOffice package for free.