Most users looking for a Mac office suite will likely have one option in mind: Microsoft Office. It’s still one of the best office suites around, regardless of platform, but there are other options available that you may not have considered (or aren’t aware of) for macOS.
Choosing the best office suite for Mac will depend on your budget, but there are many free office suites for Mac that you can install at no cost. To help you out, here are eight of the best free Mac office suites available for you to install or use today.
Also, feel free to check out our YouTube channel from our sister site which reviews all the office suite options mentioned below in a short video.
After Microsoft Office, the next and best office suite that Mac users can start using right away is the Apple iWork suite. Originally a paid product, Apple’s three office apps iWork have been available for free for Mac devices since 2013.
Pages is a word processor, with ready-made templates for common documents such as letters available, plus the ability to insert tables, graphics, images, and other objects. Apple also has a basic spreadsheet app called Numbers that supports multiple sheets and, like Pages, comes with pre-built templates.
Finally, Keynote works as a PowerPoint replacement, with similar features like transitions and animations included. You can download all three iWork apps from the App Store.
Although iCloud offers iWork apps online, it’s not the best office suite for Mac. If you want Microsoft Office features online without paying for Office 365, you’ll need to try the Google Docs suite.
Available free to Google Account users, the Google Docs suite comes in a pack of three (four if you also count the Google Forms). Docs is a word processor, Sheets is a spreadsheet tool, while Slides is a presentation tool to rival PowerPoint and Apple Keynote.
Google Docs is well-equipped with many of the features you’d expect to see in a true Office alternative, along with extensive collaboration features that let you share and edit documents in real time with others.
Few open source projects have the scale and sophistication to compete with the billion dollar Microsoft Office suite like LibreOffice. Thanks to a community of volunteers who help build it, LibreOffice has become one of the best office suites available for Mac.
This fork of the once popular OpenOffice has products that match the typical Microsoft Office collection, with a word processor, spreadsheet tool, presentation designer, and database manager. It also goes two steps further, with a vector graphics design tool and a formula designer for mathematicians.
Above all, LibreOffice perfectly supports Office file formats like DOC and DOCX. LibreOffice is a full-fledged replacement with a lot of similar features to Microsoft Office, plus a few extras to sink your teeth into.
As the name suggests, FreeOffice is a free Office suite available for Mac, Linux, and Windows users. Like other free Office alternatives, it focuses on the big three Office products, with products in the style of Excel (PlanMaker), PowerPoint (Presentations), and Word (TextMaker).
If you want an Office-like experience, FreeOffice offers it. It looks a lot like its Microsoft counterpart, with a ribbon interface, basic functionality, and support for common Office file formats like DOCX.
Some features, such as high-quality mail merge and spell checking, require a paid upgrade to the SoftMaker Office suite. If this is a headache, look elsewhere.
Another free and open source replacement for Office is the Calligra suite created by KDE. Originally designed for Linux users, Calligra is a cross-platform office suite for macOS, Linux, and Windows PCs. To install it on Mac, you need to install the Homebrew package manager first.
There are no fewer than ten Calligra apps to try, from a standard word processor (Words) and a spreadsheet tool (Sheets) to more specialized apps, including a mind mapping tool (Braindump).
We won’t claim Calligra to be the finest Mac office suite, it’s not. What it is, however, is functional, comprehensive, and free, with more built-in tools than some of its more attractive (and expensive) competitors.
Apache OpenOffice is the spiritual successor to the previously popular (but now discontinued) OpenOffice.org suite. It shares a common code base with LibreOffice, with similar characteristics, although there are some important differences between them.
Unfortunately, the biggest difference is active development. LibreOffice has a vibrant community behind it, while things are a bit slower for Apache OpenOffice, with releases occurring roughly once a year. In recent years, these have largely focused on bug fixes, rather than significant new features or updates.
There are better office suites for Mac out there, but if you want a solid, old-school Mac experience, Apache OpenOffice might be the option for you.
As a paid free version of WPS Office, WPS Office Free serves as an ad-supported free trial for Mac users. That’s not a criticism – WPS Office Free is still a good Mac office suite in its own right.
WPS Office appears to have been created with the Mac in mind with an attractive, modern interface that blows up some of its older competitors like LibreOffice. Like iWork and FreeOffice, WPS Office Free targets the Microsoft Office market with presentation, word processing and spreadsheet creation tools.
It supports Office file formats as well as support for PDF editing and creation. You can download WPS Office Free from the App Store or WPS Office website.
Dropbox Paper is a quick document editing and collaboration tool built into Dropbox’s cloud storage interface. It’s also the only app on this list that’s not a full-fledged Office replacement, but Dropbox Paper is still a worthy and honorable mention.
You can use Paper to create more unusual types of documents for planning projects, creating notes, creating portfolios, and more. Like Google Docs, you can also collaborate in real time with other Dropbox Paper users.
It may not be the Word replacement you’re looking for, but if you already have a Dropbox account, give it a try.
Choose the best office suite for Mac
If you want the best Office suite for Mac, you don’t have to pay. Microsoft Office is still a great office suite for Mac, but it’s not essential – you can create documents on macOS for free without using Apple iWork or one of the other free or open source alternatives we mentioned.
Whether it’s Google Docs or Microsoft Office itself, let us know your favorite Mac office suite in the comments below.