We bet you'll like more than one
Most users looking for a Mac office suite will probably have one option in mind—Microsoft Office. It’s still one of the best office suites out there, regardless of the platform, but there are other options available that you might not have considered (or even be aware of) for macOS.
Choosing the best office suite for Mac will depend on your budget, but there are plenty of free office suites for Mac that you can install without cost. To help you, here’s a look at eight of the best free Mac office suites available to install or use today.
After Microsoft Office, the next and best office suite for Mac users to immediately start using is the Apple iWork suite. Originally a paid-for product, the three Apple iWork office apps have been freely available for Mac devices since 2013.
Pages is a Word processor, with ready-made templates for common documents like letters available, as well as the ability to insert tables, charts, images, and other objects. Apple also has a basic spreadsheet app called Numbers that supports multiple sheets and, like Pages, comes with pre-made 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.
While iCloud offers iWork apps online, it isn’t the best office suite for Mac. If you want Microsoft Office features online without paying for Office 365, then you’ll need to give try the Google Docs suite.
Freely available for Google account users, the Google Docs suite comes in a package of three (four if you count Google Forms, too). 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 fully-fledged Office alternative, along with extensive collaboration features that allow you to share and edit documents in real-time with others.
Few open-source projects have the size and polish to compete against the billion-dollar Microsoft Office suite like LibreOffice. Thanks to a community of volunteers helping to build it, LibreOffice has grown into one of the best office suites available for Mac.
This fork of the once-popular OpenOffice has products to match the typical Microsoft Office collection, with a word processor, spreadsheet tool, presentation designer, and database manager. It also takes things two steps further, with a vector graphics design tool and formulae designer for mathematicians.
Best of all, LibreOffice supports Office file formats such as DOC and DOCX perfectly. LibreOffice is a fully-fledged replacement with many similar features compared 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 Excel (PlanMaker), PowerPoint (Presentations) and Word (TextMaker) style products.
If you want an Office-like experience, FreeOffice gives it. It looks a lot like its Microsoft counterpart, with a ribbon bar interface, basic features, and support for common Office file formats like DOCX.
Some features, such as mail merge and high-quality spell checking, require a paid-for upgrade to the SoftMaker Office suite. If that’s a deal-breaker, look elsewhere.
Another free and open-source Office replacement is the KDE-created Calligra suite. Originally designed for Linux users, Calligra is a cross-platform office suite for macOS, Linux, and Windows PCs. To install it on Mac, you’ll need the Homebrew package manager installed first.
There are no less than ten Calligra apps for you to try, from a standard word processor (Words) and spreadsheet tool (Sheets) to more specialist apps, including a mind mapping tool (Braindump).
We won’t pretend that Calligra is the most polished Mac office suite—it isn’t. What it is, however, is functional, well-rounded and free, with more built-in tools than some of its more appealing (and costly) competitors.
Apache OpenOffice is the spiritual successor to the previously popular (but now discontinued) OpenOffice.org suite. It shares a common code base to LibreOffice, with similar features, although some important differences exist between them.
Unfortunately, the biggest difference is active development. LibreOffice has a vibrant community behind it, while things are a little slower for Apache OpenOffice, with releases happening roughly once-a-year. In recent years, those have largely focused on bug fixes, rather than significant new features or upgrades.
There are better Mac office suites out there, but if you want a solid, old-school experience on Mac, Apache OpenOffice could be the option for you.
As a free version of the paid-for WPS Office, WPS Office Free acts as a freemium, ad-supported taster for Mac users. That isn’t a criticism—WPS Office Free is still a good Mac office suite in its own right.
WPS Office looks like it was built with Mac in mind with an appealing and modern interface that blows some of its older competitors like LibreOffice out of the water. 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 from the WPS Office website.
Dropbox Paper is a quick document collaboration and editing tool built-in to the Dropbox cloud storage interface. It’s also the only app on this list that isn’t a full-fledged Office replacement, but Dropbox Paper is still a worthy and honourable mention.
You can use Paper to build more unusual types of documents for project planning, note taking, portfolio building, and more. Like Google Docs, you can also collaborate in real-time with other Dropbox Paper users.
It might not be the Word replacement you’re after, but if you have a Dropbox account already, give it a try.
Choosing The Best Office Suite For Mac
If you want the best Office suite for Mac, you don’t need to pay. Microsoft Office is still a great Mac office suite, but it isn’t essential—you can create documents on macOS for free without it using Apple iWork or one of the other free or open-source alternatives we’ve mentioned.
Whether it’s Google Docs or Microsoft Office itself, let us know your favorite Mac office suite in the comments below.