The top office buildings in 2022

When the word “office suite” was first used, it referred to a collection of rooms in a physical building where workers convened throughout the workweek to type letters, have meetings, determine salaries, and pass the time at the water cooler. The majority of people today think of an office suite as a collection of programs you use on your computer or mobile device to complete all of those duties, either by yourself or with others, and not only during the workweek. The water cooler hasn’t been replaced with office suites, but your company’s business messaging software may have.

The Goliath of office suites and the one that most of the world uses by default is Microsoft 365, the new moniker for what was previously known as Office 365 and, before that, Microsoft Office. That doesn’t necessarily mean Microsoft 365 is the best suite for your particular needs, though. To assist you in choosing the finest one, we reviewed work-alike and work-almost-alike suites from Apple, Google, SoftMaker, Corel, and The Document Foundation. A writing program specifically designed for longer-form writing, such as books and scripts, would be a better option.

Our evaluations are reliable. MICROSOFT Office Professional 2021 is the Best for Integrated Office Productivity. LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PICKS SHORT VERDICT: For serious office work, Microsoft Office is the best suite of productivity tools. There isn’t a significant learning curve for those upgrading because the new version is merely an incremental improvement that boosts speed and includes a few clever convenience features, but otherwise functions practically exactly like older versions.

PROS The most potent office suite is Microsoft Office, which you may purchase once and use forever. access to the online and mobile versions No additional learning curve and a cleaner interface CONS The automated functions of Microsoft Word are bothersome and challenging to manage. Outlook may appear clumsy and cumbersome. Some features are buried in difficult-to-find menus. The Best for Continuous Office Updates is Microsoft 365 Personal. In conclusion, Microsoft 365 is the only office suite that is as effective both online and on a desktop. It is the industry standard. Despite a few flaws, nothing else compares in terms of power, adaptability, or use.

PROS Strongest office applications available from any rival accessible across a wide range of platforms feature-rich collaboration Elegant, user-friendly layout with a wealth of assistance options Calendar, contacts, and mail all in one app CONS issues while testing with viewing documents through web browsers Word’s automated features sometimes give unexpected outcomes. Accessing certain advanced functions can be challenging. Features of Google Workspace That Are Best for Businesses SHORT VERDICT: Despite just delivering online tools, Google’s superb Workspace office suite is almost as strong and adaptable as Microsoft 365. Because of this browser-based methodology, its apps are accessible and function identically across all platforms.

PROS Beautiful office supplies the same across all browsers Collaboration and revision tracking elements that have been improved favorable to business user management Online-only applications less potent than equivalent desktop applications Chrome and preparation are required for offline editing.

Available

IWORK FOR MAC for Apple users only SHORT VERDICT: The iWork apps from Apple are feature-rich, cost-free, and tightly linked into its ecosystem. However, their default file formats don’t encourage sharing.

PROS An easy-to-use interface unique worksheet format in the form of a canvas connection with Apple’s mobile platforms on a close level strong graphic capabilities No cost CONS No other programs will open native file formats. Pages does not allow mail-merge or multiple chapters. Wordperfect Office by Corel For Precise Formatting, the best SHORT VERDICT: Only WordPerfect’s Windows-compatible word processor offers precise, predictable formatting control and differs from Microsoft Office. It’s a worthwhile enhancement, but the outdated user interface and dearth of collaboration options may deter new users.

PROS unique ability to modify characteristics like formatting Strong backing for lengthy documents constructs intricate documents using a wizard interface Publishing ebooks and specialized legal features exporting and importing Microsoft and old file types CONS ineffective interface No versions for mobile devices or Macs; only Windows unable to quickly replace italic and underlined formats Apps for presentations and spreadsheets fall behind the competition. No support for real-time cooperation DOCS, SHEETS, AND SLIDES ON GOOGLE For Online Collaboration, the best SHORT VERDICT: Although Google’s free office products are basic, they include great collaboration options and are sturdy enough for the majority of users. Although working offline isn’t completely easy, the well-designed online and mobile versions provide a solid base for creating documents.

PROS An easy-to-use interface advanced features for collaboration and revision history No cost CONS simply viewing and editing online (without advance preparation) comparatively less features compared to desktop suites Large document performance issues DEVELOPER OFFICE highest value VERDICT: SoftMaker Office 2021 is the Microsoft 365 alternative you can obtain at a reduced cost. It delivers a sophisticated user interface together with all the features small-business and home office users want.

PROS Powerful, stylish substitute for Microsoft 365 fast, dependable performance for the majority of tasks interface with a ribbon or menu that is highly customisable opens legacy files that are incompatible with Microsoft Office applications Optional version backup Plus, fully functional mobile apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux. CONS lacks collaborative tools and online apps limited options for document viewing sluggish performance and many workbooks No recorded macros and only Windows-compatible programmed macros are provided. LIBREOFFICE Best for Editing Open-Source Documents SHORT VERDICT: On all popular operating systems, LibreOffice is a free and open-source document suite, although it still lacks online access and collaborative tools. Additionally, it doesn’t operate as smoothly as its rivals.

PROS Free and open source provides desktop applications for Linux, macOS, and Windows. practically any legacy document can be imported and converted CONS not as stable on Macs as competing suites There are no online collaboration tools cluttered and confusing interface PRICE OF AN OFFICE SUITE Office suites from companies like Apple, Google, and LibreOffice are all free to use. Moreover, SoftMaker provides a free version. You must make a one-time payment for some, such Corel WordPerfect. While Microsoft 365 and SoftMaker Office both offer standalone and membership-based versions, Google Workspace is a subscription service (we refer to the free version as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides). The price of a subscription varies according to the number of devices you need to use the program on and the specific apps you require.

Your apps automatically receive the newest features and security upgrades if you use a subscription-based office suite. That’s a significant advantage, but if having the most recent updates isn’t particularly vital to you, you could opt to buy a static standalone version. When you decide it’s time for an upgrade, you might not have to pay full price because many office suites provide the most recent version to current customers at a discount.

AN OFFICE SUITE CONTAINS WHAT? Every office suite still revolves around the same three apps: a word processor, a spreadsheet editor, and a presentation app. You may also receive a mail and calendar app, a database manager, PDF-editing software, a note-taking app, website construction tools, and any of a dozen more unrelated apps and services that range from video conferencing to form-building, depending on the suite you select.

The word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program, which are the three main apps in today’s suites, all share a significant portion of their underlying code. This implies, for instance, that the spreadsheet and word processor apps often have access to the presentation app’s drawing capabilities as well. Additionally, the basic apps frequently have a similar interface, making it simple to switch between them.

LOCAL OR CLOUD APPS Prior to selecting an office suite, you must decide if you want to work online, offline, or both. Both software kinds offer benefits. For instance, internet apps make it possible for you to work with others and can ensure that all of your files are accessible. However, local apps are frequently more robust and dependable.

You can only edit documents on your local computer if you use Corel WordPerfect, LibreOffice, or SoftMaker Office because none of them have web versions. In contrast, Google’s paid and consumer apps are web-first applications. For example, each tool in those suites may be accessed through a web browser, and any documents you work on are saved to cloud storage. Although Google Docs files can be worked on offline, installing full-featured, local-disk versions of programs is a better option.

The best of both worlds may be found with Microsoft 365. Microsoft’s programs by default save files to Microsoft OneDrive, a cloud storage service that enables you to simultaneously store copies of your documents online and in the cloud (though it is simple to modify this setting). Microsoft makes it simple to edit and access your documents either locally with first-rate desktop tools or online through a browser.

Page, Numbers, and Keynote from Apple are also accessible online and on iOS, macOS, and iPadOS devices. Apple does not offer Windows or Android versions of its office programs, in contrast to Microsoft.

CONVENTIONS FOR FILE Microsoft 365 sets the bar for document formats, for better or worse—and we believe it’s generally for the better—while all other suites allow you to save documents in Office’s file formats.

Microsoft’s Word and Excel document formats are the only ones that each of the suites we evaluated can handle. Your non-Microsoft apps can be configured to save in such formats, but you’ll often need to dismiss message boxes and other alerts when you do. This is not a problem if you exclusively transfer papers within a company that uses non-Microsoft file formats. In fact, some individuals or corporations that are concerned with security might want to only save potentially sensitive documents in the open-source formats of LibreOffice. Watch out for compatibility issues if you routinely distribute papers to recipients outside of your organization.

Google’s programs handle different file kinds in a distinctive way. The original Google documents that are stored to the cloud can only be modified in Google’s web and mobile apps, though you can download Google’s documents in common formats like those used by Microsoft 365 or LibreOffice (with some special exceptions). Apple’s iWork program suite uses exclusive formats throughout, making sharing challenging.

EDITORS’ RECOMMENDATION

SHOULD YOU USE A COMPETITION TO MICROSOFT OFFICE OR 365? You should think about whether you’re choosing an office suite for your entire company or just yourself while making your decision. Use whatever seems most comfortable if it’s the former. If you decide to use a program other than Microsoft 365 (the online subscription version of Microsoft’s blockbuster suite) or Office 2021 (the locally installed version you can purchase once and use forever), be ready to configure your program to export files in the common Microsoft Office formats.

Things grow trickier if you’re selecting an office suite for a major corporation or a small business. The most efficient, dependable, and user-friendly of all the suites is Microsoft 365/Microsoft Office 2021, yet it has two drawbacks: It is pricey, to start. Second, there may be compelling arguments against using proprietary software.

The only viable option if you insist on using open-source software is LibreOffice. It does have a clumsy UI with menus that even experienced users can find confusing. Use Apple’s iWork programs if you only use a Mac and want free software. Think about using the free version of SoftMaker Office for free software on any other desktop OS. Google’s apps are strong and simple to use if you’re happy with cloud-only software. The sole option if you work in a sector or line of research that makes use of WordPerfect is Corel’s suite.

Regardless matter the version, Microsoft’s suite unquestionably dominates the market, but it’s not for everyone. Unfortunately, there isn’t an obvious favorite among the alternatives, but you may try out free or trial versions of each one, including Microsoft 365.

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