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This article lists alternatives to common proprietary and operating system exclusive software. Most, if not all, of these alternatives are free and open source, meaning anyone can look at how the program works and there are few, if any, proprietary elements.

Microsoft Office

LibreOffice – Windows and Mac – Free office suite that can edit and create Microsoft Office documents, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Similar layout to Microsoft Office, but not as feature rich.

OpenOffice – Windows and Mac – Free office suite that can edit and create Microsoft Office documents, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Similar layout to Microsoft Office, but not as feature rich.

Google Docs – Web-based – Free cloud-based office suite tied into Google accounts. Can edit and create Microsoft Office documents, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Less feature-rich than both LibreOffice and OpenOffice, but simple to use.

iWork – Mac only – Apple’s answer to Microsoft Office. Can edit and create Microsoft Office documents, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Different layout from Microsoft Office, so may not be the best answer for users used to Office.

LaTeX – Windows and Mac – Very powerful markup language commonly used in academia. Feature-rich and highly customizable. Tradeoffs include no compatibility with Microsoft Office, no spreadsheet capabilities, and learning curve. Ideal for advanced/”power” users and those needing to manage complex mathematical equations.

 Microsoft Outlook

Apple Mail – Mac only – Standard desktop mail client for Apple devices. Less feature rich than Outlook and lacks things such as read receipts but handles multiple email accounts well.