WPS Office is a popular alternative to Microsoft Office. It’s relatively inexpensive with three different service levels to choose from. Providing you don’t mind running office software with ads popping up or sitting in the sidebar, you can use WPS Office free of charge.
If you dislike the intrusion of the ads, you can choose to pay a flat yearly subscription or buy this software suite outright. While the free version of this office suite has identical features to the premium edition, you won’t be able to access some of those features without first viewing an ad that pops up every time you select the applications or functions. Additionally, the free version does not provide PDF tools like conversion, split and merge.
With this office software, you only get three main programs: Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheet. Even with the outright purchase or the yearly subscription, you don’t get any extra software, like a database management system, drawing program or equations editor. Each of the three programs look like older versions of Word and work very similarly. A notable difference with the word processing program, Writer, is that there is no grammar checking and no bibliographic formatting or citation functions, which can be particularly important features for students writing papers.
Those who prefer to work in more subdued lighting can use the night mode, which switches the background document to a moderately dim gray. Alternatively, you can enter Eye Protection Mode, which turns the document background to a medium-green hue that studies suggest places less strain on your eyes than bright white. There are also plenty of templates to help you along each of the three programs in the office suite.
WPS Office doesn’t offer much in the way of collaboration features, simply providing tracked changes and comment functions. This software suite does include some private cloud storage, but it doesn’t offer any meaningful type of collaboration, including real-time or multi-user collaboration. Because this office suite includes cloud storage, it is suitable for use across multiple devices. To that end, you can find WPS Office apps for iOS and Android as well as Windows and Linux systems. In spite of its collaborative limitations, WPS Office is compatible with a wide variety of file formats, including all Microsoft Office files, even the older ones.
There are no license restrictions for the free version of WPS Office, but with both the annual subscription and lifetime license options, you are restricted to use only one PC with one user. Regardless of the version you choose, however, your license allows use on unlimited mobile devices. Support is limited to email and contact form options, although there is a knowledgebase for common questions, as well as tutorials in the forms of screen grabs and video walk-throughs.