By Anuj Bhatia
Whether you are a student, a writer or a business executive, the chances are you have used Microsoft Office at some point or the other. It is the most important productivity software ever created and is still going strong. But Microsoft Office isn't free and there is a high price to pay in order to use Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
The good news is that there are several free alternatives to Microsoft Office and one of them is WPS Office 2020. Fully compatible with all Microsoft document formats, Kingsoft's WPS Office 2020 is completely free to use. Plus, the productivity suite is available on all leading platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
I have used WPS Office 2020 for a few days, and here's my experience with the free to download office suite. Like last year's version, WPS Office 2020 offers a tab-based UI, which can group your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in a single window. You can create different workspaces if you want to organise your own files.
The user interface is simple to use and resembles Microsoft Office to some extent. One thing I liked about the interface is customisability. There are multiple skins to choose from depending upon your liking. Then there's a great selection of free downloadable templates, which makes it easy to fill out the document. Plus, you also get an option to choose a custom background colour or image.
WPS Office 2020 tries hard to mimic the core essence of Microsoft Word. The free alternative to MS Office comes with Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheet.
So, if you are used to Microsoft Office, you know what to expect from WPS Office 2020. The latest version of WPS Office also comes with full compatibility for DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, and PPT file formats. And yes, there's also a tool for converting PDF files to Word or Excel documents.
One of my favourite features of WPS Office 2020 is the built-in optical character recognition software (OCR) that converts pictures to text. I am not going to say it's 100% accurate, but it does the job. Annoyingly, however, WPS Office 2020 still lacks seamless support for real-time collaborative editing that you get with Google Docs.
Although I did not get the time to try it out, WPS Office 2020 is also available on Mac. Like the Windows version, it is compatible with all Microsoft document formats. Yes, you do get the cross-device synchronisation feature as well as cloud-backup support. The office suite for macOS also takes advantage of a native dark mode. Pretty cool.
As I said at the beginning, WPS Office 2020 is a free to download office suite. However, users could also opt for a premium version which will set you back by $29.99 (or approx Rs 2,149) per year. The add free premium subscription comes with a number of features, including document recovery support, file compressor, 20GB of cloud support and more.
Should you use WPS Office 2020?
In a word: yes. I really liked using WPS Office 2020 and there is nothing wrong with it. It is a fully loaded Office suite for Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac. Think of WPS Office 2020 as the Microsoft Office Clone. The interface is easy on the eyes and file format is great. The suit is also available on Android and iOS, which is excellent. WPS Office 2020 is far from perfect, though. Having said that, it's free to use and that is its biggest advantage.