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Microsoft Word Review & Alternatives
Hailey Friedman
Hailey Friedman
Freelance Writer
min read

Microsoft Word is a popular software package for word processing and document creation. This word processing program has a range of features and a long history of development from its first release in 1983

Microsoft Word is a commonly used word processor and editor, but it may not be the best fit for every business. There are a number of Microsoft Word alternatives that provide the same functionality–but with more options included. More modern document creators may be looking for a document editor that allows for even more customization and integration with other services.

What if you could have asynchronous collaboration on documents, or update a document easily without changing the live document until you’re ready? Almanac allows you to do all this and more, while still being easy to use and offering useful tools that extend far beyond word processing.

About Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a downloadable graphical word processing software program for document creation, editing, and collaboration. The purpose is to allow users to type and create documents, as well as provide tools for editing documents.

Within Microsoft Word, users can create a range of documents, add images and graphics, track changes, set page layouts, and edit, proof, and review documents.

Microsoft Word Features

Using Microsoft Word as a document creating and editing tool works for individuals as well as small and large businesses. The app features documentation creation with tools like embedded images, page breaks, column splits, themes, a table of contents, and a format editor. 

New tools for the 2016 version include an Ask Me bar, which is similar to a search bar but allows the user to ask a question or type in what they are trying to accomplish. This makes Microsoft Word a more simple tool for users who may not be familiar with the program to use it more thoroughly.

Documents within Microsoft Word can be password-protected. As part of the Microsoft Office collection, Word offers compatibility with Microsoft’s other programs and uses local cloud storage for files. Presentation is simple and straightforward, and there is an application for smartphones. 

Microsoft Word Pros:

  • Integration capabilities
  • Mail merge
  • Online collaboration 
  • Established and well known

Microsoft Word Cons:

  • Complex to learn and use
  • Cost
  • Integration can be difficult
  • Some useful features are not available in all versions

How much does Microsoft Word cost?

Microsoft Word is part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs, and users are encouraged to purchase the product that way instead of as a standalone program. However, Microsoft Word can be used as a standalone program, but it will require a subscription to Microsoft 365. 

For personal users, this costs $69.99 a year for one person or $99.99 a year for up to six people. For business use, Microsoft Word is priced monthly, from $5 per user per month for a basic package to $20 per user per month for a business premium package which includes upgraded features.

What is Microsoft Word best for?

Microsoft Word has its highest functionality as a document creation and editing program. Creating any types of documents as well as easy document collaboration can be handled in companies of all sizes. As a standalone product, the program does not require a lot of tech involvement.

What platform can you use besides Microsoft Word?

For document creation, editing, and collaboration, there are a number of different programs that can be used. Below we’ll explore some of the many Microsoft Word alternatives available that may be a better choice for your needs.

Microsoft Word Alternatives


Almanac is a robust async collaboration tool with features that go far beyond simple document creation, editing, and collaboration. Designed with the goal of cutting down emails and meetings, Almanac’s collaborative properties bring the simplicity of a document editor together with powerful sharing and proofing tools that allow for working anytime and anywhere.

Many programs put the main focus on document creation on an individual level without thinking of the big picture necessities of things like productivity and presentation company-wide. 

Almanac’s easy cloud storage and integrated applications can turn documents into handbooks to gather your company’s knowledge into one useful tool, while allowing you to track, record, and approve changes without busywork.


  • Document analytics
  • Custom fonts
  • Real-time editing and character-by-character change tracking
  • Request reviews and formal approval, and get read receipts
  • Inbox notifications
  • Custom workspaces
  • Bulk import


  • Easily track changes, request review and approval, and collaborate in real-time from any location
  • Get notifications digested to your inbox, so you can stay on top of what’s going on without constant interruption
  • Document analytics allow a big picture view of time spent
  • Handbook creation helps keep a company’s knowledge in one location and as public or private as desired


  • The features are so robust that it may take some time for users to become familiar with all of them


  • Basic: Free to use
  • Team: $49 per month for small teams (up to 10 seats) and unlimited storage
  • Pro: $129 per month for growing teams (up to 30 seats)


LibreOffice is an open-source office suite that includes a document editing tool called Writer. While the project page talks about the fun and excitement of working on an open-source program, free software of this type is never going to be robust with features or clean of bugs. 

LibreOffice Writer offers no collaboration tools, but instead is meant to be used as a simple document creation and editing tool. There is a document wizard that may help with some more difficult tasks like mail merges, and there are included tools that make document creation slightly easier, like autocorrect and a language translator. They also offer cloud storage, as well as Microsoft Office compatibility.

Open-source software can be attractive to certain organizations for security reasons, but for many organizations, it can be the opposite. With LibreOffice Writer, what you see is what you get. For extremely simple document creation, formatting, and editing, LibreOffice Writer can be trusted as a potential alternative to Microsoft Office.


  • Create and edit any type of document
  • Customize fonts and styles
  • Autocorrect and foreign language dictionaries


  • Free and open source
  • Desktop application
  • Can work with almost any legacy documents


  • Not very stable
  • No collaboration features
  • User interface may be confusing and cluttered
  • Outdated look and feel 


LibreOffice is open source and therefore free.

Google Docs

As part of the Google Workspace, Google Docs is a commonly used tool for word processing and collaboration, but much of that could be because of the familiarity of Google. There are a number of features available with Google Docs and the Google Workspace that are similar to Microsoft Office, with Docs focusing primarily on simple document editing and creation.

Google Docs does offer cloud storage and thorough document editing with online collaboration, and files are auto-saved and can be recovered, so losing a document is very difficult to do. 

Still, if you are used to a robust toolbar full of editing tools you will not get that with this program. Commenting and making notes on documents is easy, but there are no notifications that updates have been made without going in and viewing the document. 


  • Full-screen view may help cut down distractions while writing
  • Voice to text typing available
  • Table of contents tool can help organize your document


  • Can add fonts
  • Revision history
  • Widely used, so there is a lot of knowledge about it


  • Needs Internet connection to update and sync documents
  • Not all document formats will transfer easily
  • Complex formatting is very difficult 


Google Docs can be used personally for free with any Gmail account. Combining Google Docs with the whole Google Workspace package ranges from $6 per user per month to $18 per user per month depending on the features chosen, and enterprise pricing is available by business.


Notion touts itself as being one workspace for every team, with customization available to “work the way you do.” Notion is a resource creation and editing software program that is used for content creation and management.

One feature of Notion is that it has a drag and drop dashboard, meaning that individuals can pull in what they want to see and customize their view the way they want it. However, for users new to the product or to document management software in general, this level of customization may be overwhelming and time-consuming.

Notion adds to document creation and control by allowing businesses to put tags to content, store documents in organized and accessible ways, and share content across users. It is possible with Notion to create an internal company wiki, giving visible access to all company information.

Read a full Notion review here.


  • Drag and drop customization
  • Large community of resources
  • Build databases and to-do lists


  • Easy access management
  • Searchable content and documentation
  • Formatting options


  • Steep learning curve
  • Formulas are limited
  • Search function is not thorough


Confluence is the document editor in the Atlassian suite of products. Similar to Microsoft Office, Confluence comes equipped with templates they have determined are best practice. The structure of the program stays open and connected for helpful large communications. However, this can be a detriment to getting specific people the information that they need.

This document editing software is cloud-based and offers applications on all major platforms to support remote working. It also claim to be able to encourage company culture by pushing for all departments to get involved with teams and chats and meetings.


  • Organization in “pages,” which are documents, and “spaces” which are dashboards with multiple pages
  • Knowledge base building
  • Creation, collaboration, and tag and task notification


  • Integration with other collaboration tools
  • Create polls, calendars, and more on top of standard documents
  • Linking documentation is easy


  • Limited mobile functionality
  • Not always user friendly or intuitive
  • Formatting options can be difficult to use without specific knowledge


Confluence is free for teams of up to ten users. Prices then jump to $55 per user per month or $105 per user per month depending on the services required, with enterprise pricing available by business.

So, what’s better than Microsoft Word?

While Word may be the name that pops into many people’s heads first when they think of document editing software, it is far from the only choice. When it comes to investing in a program that may help your business and your employees grow and thrive, doing comparisons with the competitor is important to find what will work best.

Know your requirements and your limitations, and use those to determine a feature set you must have in your document creation and collaboration software. This Microsoft Word review & alternatives list should help you do just that, and we’re confident Almanac will always land at the top of the list for any business, big or small.

For software that is rich in features and has continuous updates and developments, Almanac has all of your needs covered. Almanac allows you to commission automated commands to cut down on your necessary tasks. Make the productivity connection with the best and most powerful async collaboration software available, and bring ease to your life with fair pricing subscriptions.

To learn more about how Almanac can serve all of your word processing needs, contact their friendly sales team today!

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