It’s a pleasure using a sleek and fast computer which has enough memory and processing speed to handle most day to day tasks - multiple tabs on a browser, a word processor, and a couple of other tasks running in the background. However, disaster strikes when you realize that your machine is getting old, and worse, it’s getting painfully slow.
You can no longer keep up to the efficiency which you were once used to. Besides, software gets more resource demanding with constant updates over time, so low-key hardware doesn’t do much justice.
The traditional favorite MS Office is good and so is its subscription-based version Office 365. It is aesthetically pleasing, has great features and sync options, as well as handy mobile versions. However, it is memory hogging. You shall realize that when you are using it along with multiple tabs running on Google Chrome. New documents open slow, saving takes time, and inserting media in your documents can even lead to the software crashing. I realized it when my ASUS EeeBook X205TA (2GB RAM, Intel Atom) began to show signs of degeneration, as new software updates started getting heavier and my laptop’s specs remained the same.
Office 365 needs a recommended 4GB of RAM and 6GB of storage space. That may not work for users on a low-end machine. Even if they try to switch to the online version of Office, operating it on a browser along with multiple windows running can be quite tedious.
That was when I came to an alternative, which I believe almost saved my writing career as it increased my efficiency manifolds. So, I ditched the good ol’ MS Office and routed for WPS Office - an office suite that works on Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.
To put things into perspective, here are seven features of WPS Office's Writer that make it a worthy alternative to MS Word.
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1. Familiar Layout so That You Don’t Get Lost
The most challenging part while moving on to an alternative is to get adjust to the new interface and layout. There may be features and buttons lying around, and you may have no clue on which is which, and what functions do each of these little buttons serve.
However, this is not the case with WPS Office. If you are used to the interface of any MS Office app, then WPS Office's Writer will be a walk in the park for you. It looks strikingly similar to MS Word, and the navigation is clean and straightforward. The icons in the toolbar are identical as well. The convenient, user-friendly interface of WPS Office's Writer lets you make sure that you waste no time trying to figure it out, but can straight get to work.
Moving to WPS Office would not make you feel like you are missing out on everything familiar and convenient.
2. WPS Office Is Free
MS Office’s subscription expires after a set period, and then it continually bugs you to pay a hefty price to buy the full version. Well, most of us have been there, and it is a bit annoying. It goes on to a point where you can no longer use it because your license has expired. To use the sister app Office 365, you have to purchase it.
Office Home and Business 2019 sit at about $250 which is a one-time purchase.
This is when WPS Office gets swoops in. It’s free forever with gently performing, minimal ads (not those annoying, degenerating pop-ups). However, if you want a version without ads, you have to pay about $45 a year, or about $85 for a lifetime license. That also unlocks their premium templates for you.
3. A Bunch of Special Features
WPS Office' Writer gives you a handful of unique features that can enhance your productivity, such as efficient cloud integration, ability to convert PDF to Word, exporting the document to a picture, picture to text, making backups, inserting watermarks, and more. Features such as Picture to Text run missing on MS Word, and it is only when you start using it that you will realize how handy it is.
WPS Office is fully compatible with MS Office and Google Docs as well, so you can use its files across platforms and vice versa. There’s also full support for OOXML formats including DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX, besides having the ability to use its internal reader to open PDF files.
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4. It’s Kind to Your Computer’s Resources
Coming to what I believe is the main point of this software: providing an excellent office suite which consumes less memory and system resources. The free version of WPS Office has a download size of less than 80 MB. So if you have a with limited storage, this comes as a boon. While more memory is always welcome, it just needs 128 MB of RAM and about 200 MB of free space. Now, those are some minimum specs requirement that we don’t hear often. Here’s a screenshot of WPS running on my computer. Just notice how little memory it uses.
5. Go Mobile
If you think that you will miss this office suite on the go, then rest assured, you will not. WPS Office is available for free on Android and iOS. Most of the features that are available on the desktop version of this app are readily available for the mobile version as well. So if you don’t like ads, you can pay to remove them. If you have already bought the product, then you can sign in with your registered email address and get access to the premium, ad-free version.
Almost all MS Office mobile apps are free to use provided the user has Office 365 subscription. If not, then working on the go becomes a problem, unlike WPS apps that don’t require any subscription.
6. Skins and Design Customization
Brightness can be sometimes overwhelming, especially when you are working in the night. WPS Office Writer comes with a bunch of pre-installed skins that you can switch to anytime. There is also a classic skin to embrace the retro style, and a dark mode to get rid of that extra shade of bright theme light on your screen.
The skins come integrated into the software, so you don't have to install any external plugin. Likewise, switching themes do not add up to your memory usage.
7. A Great Customer and Online Support
What’s lovely about any software is the support you get. The team over at WPS are quite quick answering your queries, much like the ones over at Office. If you are a novice with software in general, there are tons of online guides made by users of the software that can help you get going, including several WPS official guides. Have a query or feel lost? Just search for it, and you will be overwhelmed with the number of responses you get.
If you need instant support, then WPS Office has a WhatsApp group as well, something which MS Office doesn’t have.
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A Well Crafted and Free Office Experience
The WPS Office Writer does look like an incredible and free alternative to the traditional MS Word. Even perhaps over-hyped MS Office suite and the heavy billing Office 365. Briefly, it saves you much money, computer resources, and has everything which MS Office provides, and even more.