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List of 5 free open source alternatives to Microsoft Office

List of 5 free open source alternatives to Microsoft Office

While Microsoft Office is the industry standard in terms of , integrated applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, database management, email and desktop publishing. However, it’s important for small business owners to know that these types of office applications are also available in free and open source office productivity applications.

Open source office software has come a long way in recent years, so choosing free software over expensive proprietary software doesn’t mean you’ll lose features and support. Today’s open source office productivity software is feature-rich and provides ample access to online documentation and large communities of users and developers.

You’ll also find that open source products support the common document file types-including Microsoft file formats. Best of all, when you choose open source office software, you can forget about the hefty purchase price and per-user licensing fees that can eat up a small office’s budget in no time.

Most free or open source alternatives to Microsoft Office have the basics applications for office productivity: word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. Several of the alternatives provide more, including drawing applications, database tools and storage options.

If you’re looking to retire Microsoft Office, here are the details on five full-featured alternatives worth a try.

Apache OpenOffice: The free, open productivity suite

Apache OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice is one of the better-known open source office software suites available. It provides tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and databases. Apache OpenOffice lets you save documents in the OpenDocument format, read Microsoft Word documents and save your work in Microsoft Word format.

The full Apache OpenOffice suite includes six tools for managing office tasks:

  • Writer, the word processor, can handle anything from writing a quick letter to producing a book. Features include design wizards, autocorrect, formatting, styles, HTML and MediaWiki export, tables and desktop publishing tasks.
  • Calc, the spreadsheet application, will calculate, analyze and present data in numerical reports or graphics. Features include options to pull in raw data from databases, natural language formulas, a quick sum button, wizards, styles and a Scenario Manager for “what if” analysis.
  • When creating multimedia presentations, Impress supports multiple monitors and a complete range of views. including draw, outline, slides and notes. Drawing and diagramming tools, slideshow animation and effects are also available.
  • Draw is an image application that can produce everything from simple diagrams to 3D illustrations.
  • The database tool,Base, can create and modify tables, forms, queries and reports within Apache OpenOffice.
  • Finally, Math can create mathematical equations through either a graphic user interface or by directly typing formulas into the equation editor.

Apache OpenOffice is released under the Apache License, Version 2.0 and can be downloaded and used entirely free of any license fees. The current version, Apache OpenOffice 3.4.1 supports the Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X operating systems. Third-party extensions and frameworks for OpenOffice are available.

LibreOffice: A powerful open source productivity suite

LibreOffice

Developed by The Document Foundation, the LibreOffice suite is a fork of OpenOffice, meaning the underlying source code is the same, but the software has gone in a different development direction. (LibreOffice was created in 2010 by OpenOffice developers worried about what Oracle, which had acquired Sun Microsystems, the original developers of OpenOffice.org, would do with the code base.)

LibreOffice boasts the same six applications as Apache OpenOffice-Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base and Math-but the two suites differ in terms of applications features, usability and community support. Specifically, LibreOffice is often considered to be more actively developed than OpenOffice; the standard package, for example, offers PDF import, a presentation minimizer and a Wiki publisher. Users can expand functionality with extensions and templates as well.

LibreOffice is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 3.0. The current version of LibreOffice, v3.5.6, supports Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux systems.

NeoOffice: Office applications for Mac OS X

NeoOffice

The NeoOffice suite is an OpenOffice fork that was created before OpenOffice and LibreOffice supported Mac OS.

NeoOffice has nearly all of the features found in OpenOffice.org but, in focusing on the unique needs of Mac users, offers a Mac-like installation process and better support for Mac features, including integration into the OS X interface and use of Mac OS X fonts and printing services.

The newest version of NeoOffice, v3.3, supports high-resolution text drawing on Retina displays, compatibility with Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and Gatekeeper, and native Mac OS X text highlighting. It also lets NeoOffice Mobile users securely share NeoOffice files with other users, computers and devices.

NeoOffice is distributed under the GNU General Public License. Support is available from the suite’s developers for a fee.

Google Docs

Google Docs: Create, share and collaborate online

Google Docs is an office productivity suite that lets anyone with a Google account create, share and collaborate on the Web. Google offers tools for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and forms, all centrally stored and accessed via the cloud-based storage service Google Drive.

  • The Google Documents online word processor lets you create and format text documents and collaborate with people who have been given edit, comment or view access. Google Documents converts most file types to Google Docs format, includes revision history and provides margin, spacing and font options. Files can be downloaded as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or zip files.
  • Google Spreadsheets can create and format spreadsheets, charts and gadgets. Google Spreadsheets supports .xls, .csv, .txt and .ods data, and the application features formatting and formula editing. You can embed a spreadsheet in your blog or website.
  • Google Presentations lets you create, share and edit visual presentations; convert existing presentations into .pptx and .pps file types, and download presentations as a PDF, a Microsoft PowerPoint or .txt file. There are also options to insert images and videos, format slides and offer real-time viewing of presentations online.
  • Google Docs also includes Google Drawings, an image editor for creating drawings, images, shapes and lines that can be used in any Google Doc, and Google Forms, which creates online forms that can be shared from a link, in an email or embedded on your website.

Google Docs integrates with a number of other Google services, including Gmail, GChat, Google+, Google Calendar and Google Drive, and can be accessed from any device with a browser and Internet connection. (It should not be confused with Google Apps for Business, a service that costs $50 per user account per year.)

KOffice

KOffice: The integrated office suite

KOffice offers the three main tools of any office suite: a word processor, a spreadsheet and a presentation application.

  • KWord is the word processing and desktop publishing application. You can include images, charts and shapes within your documents and resize and rotate this content easily. KWord features styles, word count, page count, easy zooming and print preview.
  • The KCells calculation and spreadsheet tool can be used to create business-related spreadsheets listing, for example, income and expenditure or employee working hours. The application features automatic economic or scientific formula creation.
  • Showcase is a presentation application that supports elements such as graphics, text, charts and images. Features include support for layouts, transitions and notes. A plug-in makes all KOffice content elements available in the Showcase application.

KOffice is open source and licensed under the LGPL 2.0. It is available for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X systems. The latest release is KOffice 2.3.3.

Based in Nova Scotia, Canada, Vangie Beal has been covering small business, electronic commerce and Internet technology for more than a decade. You can tweet with her online @AuroraGG. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.

List of 5 free open source alternatives to Microsoft Office

Categories
Online Software Listings

Best Free online Email Software listings 2015

Best Free online Email Software listings 2015

Here is a full list of email marketing software providers, and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This alphabetical list also includes our best picks.

ActiveCampaign – ActiveCampaign offers email marketing, marketing automation and CRM and sales automation services. The email marketing features a drag-and-drop interface, free templates, free image hosting, contact management tools, A/B testing and real-time analytics. activecampaign.com

Admail – Admail.net is an all-in-one email marketing and social media solution. Admail allows businesses to create and send professional email marketing campaigns. The platform’s email builder features more than 300 responsive design templates. You can also connect email marketing and social media efforts together with AdSocial, which allows you to share your email marketing campaigns through social media. The service also offers a variety of contact management and reporting tools. admail.net

Arial Software – Arial Software’s Campaign Enterprise is a mass email system you install on your own computer or server. It uses your own database and is accessible using a Web browser. The software features unlimited email sending, unlimited email lists, trackable click thru links and an image library. arialsoftware.com

AWeber – AWeber develops and runs an opt-in email marketing service used by small businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs. The software’s features include more than 700 free templates, a drag-and-drop email editor, list segmentation, contact management tools, email marketing tracking and autoresponders. aweber.com

*Benchmark – Benchmark is an email marketing service that features list management, storage and segmentation tools, hundreds of pro-designed email templates, campaign reports, customizable email surveys and Web polls, social network integrations and Google analytics customer tracking. benchmarkemail.com

Bluecore – Bluecore is a triggered email marketing service for e-commerce businesses. The system automatically tracks each customer’s interactions with e-commerce sites. Each time they browse a product category, search for a specific keyword, or check out a sale item, the software knows and then automatically builds and sends them the best email to earn the sale. Popular customer triggers include: search abandonment, window shopping, wish list, cart abandonment and post purchase. The service also automatically keeps track of every single product and prices, so businesses can build dynamic trigger programs without ever uploading or integrating product data. bluecore.com

CakeMail – CakeMail is a Web-based email marketing application that allows companies to create, send and track email campaigns. The application features free templates, contact management tools, sign-up forms and reports on how many people opened your emails. cakemail.com

Campaigner – Campaigner is an email marketing solution to help small, medium and large businesses. Features include email creation tools, A/B split testing, advanced list management and segmentation tools, targeted email autoresponders and workflows, API and CRM integration and detailed campaign reporting. campaigner.com

Campaign Monitor – Campaign Monitor is email marketing software for businesses of all sizes. The software’s features include a drag-and-drop email builder, mobile-ready templates, free image hosting, A/B testing, social sharing, segmentation, triggered messaging, personalized content, inbox previews, spam testing, message analytics and contact management tools. campaignmonitor.com

Cobalt – Cobalt’s Web-based email marketing software allows you to send newsletters, product updates and sales promotions, among other things. The software lets you import email addresses by industry, product line, type or any other category you choose. Cobalt comes with campaign-tracking tools that show exactly who opened your emails and who clicked on the URL links in your message. gocobalt.com

Comm100 – Comm100 is a provider of enterprise-level customer service and communication solutions, including email marketing software. The software, which is fully hosted and managed by Comm100, features professional templates, an HTML editor, email personalization, contact management tools, comprehensive reporting, autoresponders and integration with other applications. emailmarketing.comm100.com/

Constant Contact – Constant Contact features multichannel marketing campaigns (newsletters, announcements, offers, promotions, online listings, event registration and feedback), contact and reporting tools, coaching and integrations with critical business programs. The company works with more than 650,000 customers worldwide. constantcontact.com

Contactology – Contactology’s email platform allows users to create, send and track email campaigns and transactional messages. The software features mobile email templates, triggered messages, email inbox preview, social sharing, multiple users, hosted attachments, list management, segmentation, surveys and campaign analytics. contactology.com

DirectIQ – DirectIQ is an all-in-one email marketing service that includes an easy to use email editor, a variety of free templates, list management tools, campaign segmentation, social media integration, detailed analytics and inbox preview testing. In addition, DirectIQ is completely compatible with smartphones and tablets. The company offers both monthly and pay-as-you go pricing plans. directiq.com

Elastic Email – Elastic Email provides a comprehensive set of tools for handling any size email campaign. With Elastic Email, businesses can create and edit emails using pre-designed templates, drag-and-drop editors and raw HTML editors. Features of the service include email client and spam testing, A/X split testing, contact management tools, segmentation, triggered emails, detailed activity reports, private IP addresses and custom branding. elasticemail.com

Elite Email – The Elite Email cloud-based platform allows organizations of all sizes to build and grow their mailing list, create emails and track results with detailed reports and analytics. The software requires nothing to download or install. With Elite Email, businesses can choose from more than 400 customizable templates to create email newsletters, promotions, announcements andcoupons. eliteemail.com

EmailDirect – EmailDirect provides all the tools needed to execute one-off campaigns, transactional messages and triggered emails. The software manages your feedback loops, white listings, bounce handling, removal requests, tracking and deliverability. Features include segmentation tools, real-time tracking, workflows, templates, an HTML editor and social sharing options. emaildirect.com

Email Brain – Email Brain offers a variety of digital marketing solutions, including email marketing software. The software’s email editor allows you to edit images and create campaigns for mobile devices. Other features include the ability to brand your footer, conduct inbox previews, create autoresponders and track your campaigns. emailbrain.com

Email Marketing Professional – Email Marketing Professional is free email marketing software that lets you send out campaigns with your own outgoing service. The software includes a variety of features, such as contact management tools, and reports on who is opening your emails and who is not. emailmarketingprofessional.com

Emma – Emma provides email marketing software for organizations of all sizes. It offers tailored editions of its platform for businesses, franchises, retailers, universities and agencies. Emma’s professional edition includes a drag-and-drop editor, the ability to send unlimited emails, real-time analytics, audience segmentation, automated emails and integration for various CRM, e-commerce, event, survey and social tools. myemma.com

Express Pigeon – Express Pigeon offers email marketing software and tools. It features a responsive design editor, customer segmentation and personalization, automation, A/B testing, a powerful API, sign-up forms, campaign reporting and RSS-to-email integration. expresspigeon.com

FreshMail – FreshMail offers email marketing software with a variety of features, including an intuitive template editor, mobile-optimized templates, social sharing tools, automation, contact management tools, an inbox inspector, spam checker, A/B testing, Google analytics and integrations with CRM systems, e-commerce platforms and a variety of other programs. freshmail.com

*GetResponse – GetResponse is a complete email marketing platform, offering tools for marketers to build entire marketing programs from start to finish. Features include responsive design, a landing page creator, email analytics, automation and list import tools. The system, available in 12 languages, serves more than 350,000 customers from 193 countries. getresponse.com

GoDaddy – In addition to its domain registration services, GoDaddy also offers a complete email marketing software solution. The software includes a host of features, including a drag-and-drop email composer, automatic removal of bad addresses, duplicates and unsubscribes and integration with Facebook, Google Analytics and Etsy. godaddy.com/business/email-marketing

GraphicMail – GraphicMail allows businesses to connect with customers via email marketing, social media and text messaging. The company’s email marketing software features an email creator tool, free mobile-friendly templates, analytics on who opened, clicked and shared your message, and social sharing tools. graphicmail.com

GroupMail – GroupMail’s self-hosted email software and autoresponders allows businesses to create, send and manage mass email newsletter and bulk email campaigns. There are no monthly costs or per-email fees. With the software you can store unlimited groups with unlimited contacts, automate website subscriptions and opt-outs, and create emails using either pre-designed templates or an HTML editor. group-mail.com

HubSpot – HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that includes email marketing, SEO, marketing automation, blogging, landing pages, social media and website design. The email marketing module, which integrates with lead generation tools, features personalization, list segmentation, an email optimizer, an easy email editor, A/B testing, campaign analytics, automated sending and dedicated IP addresses. hubspot.com/products/email

iContact – IContact’s email marketing platform offers a variety of features, including responsive email templates, landing pages, workflow automation, social posting and monitoring, lead scoring and intuitive reporting. The software is designed to serve the needs of high-volume senders, professional marketers and businesses new to email. icontact.com

Infusionsoft – Infusionsoft is sales and marketing software for small businesses. The marketing aspect of the software features personalized communications based on email sends, opens, clicks, form submissions and payment history. The software’s email statistics shows the number of emails that get delivered, opened, clicked, skipped, etc., while the marketing reports help evaluate web form activity, landing page performance, reach and campaign effectiveness. infusionsoft.com

Interspire – Interspire offers a variety of Web-based software solutions, including email marketing. The all-in-one email marketing software includes everything needed to create, send and track your campaigns. Features include autoresponders, split testing, automated list management, dozens of built-in templates, Google Analytics integration and built-in CRM functionality. interspire.com/emailmarketer

JangoMail – JangoMail is a Web-based email marketing service for business and organizations of all sizes. The software features more than 100 free email templates, email list filters, autoresponders, open tracking, click tracking, HTML/plain text messaging, personalization, unsubscribe/bounce management, email list hygiene and a double opt-in option. jangomail.com

L-Soft – L-Soft’s LISTSERV Maestro is a complete email marketing solution that allows you to engage subscribers with targeted, intelligence-based opt-in campaigns. It offers easy tracking, reporting and list segmentation in a complete opt-in email marketing and analytics package. lsoft.com/products/maestro.asp

MailChimp – MailChimp is an email platform that supports more than 7 million users worldwide. The software integrates with many third-party applications including Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite, Pinterest, Instagram, SurveyMonkey, Eventbrite, Etsy, Salesforce, WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal and Google Analytics. Features of the software include subscriber profiles, automation and personalization tools, advanced analytics and flexible design options. mailchimp.com

Mailify – Mailify allows businesses to create, send, track and optimize email marketing campaigns and newsletters. The software features free templates, an HTML editor, a drag-and-drop editor, contact management tools, cloud synchronization and real-time campaign statistics. mailify.com

Mailigen – Mailigen provides email marketing solutions to business of all sizes. Features of the software include a responsive drag-and-drop email editor, a subject line adviser, A/B split testing, real-time email tracking and reports, online survey capabilities, social media integration and RSS-to-email options. mailigen.com

Mailjet – Mailjet is an all-in-one marketing and transactional email platform. The platform’s features include personalization, a variety of industry-specific templates, SMTP relay, segmentation, dedicated IP addresses, A/X testing, campaign comparisons and real-time reporting. mailjet.com

MailUp – MailUp gives businesses the tools to send newsletters, promotional and transactional emails from one platform. The MailUp email and SMS delivery platform combines email marketing tools with SMTP relay for transactional emails and plug-ins for e-commerce, CRM and CMS systems. The service’s pay-per-speed pricing is designed for midsize companies looking to scale their email marketing efforts. mailup.com

Mandrill – Mandrill is a transactional email service from MailChimp. The service is designed for sending data-driven transactional emails, including targeted e-commerce and personalized one-to-one messages. Mandrill comes with flexible template options, custom tagging and advanced analytics. mandrill.com

Maropost – Maropost is a provider of on-demand digital marketing solutions. Its platform transforms the complex process behind successful email marketing into a manageable task, enabling users to segment and target prospects, craft content, optimize message delivery, track customer behavior and create collaborations within a single dashboard. maropost.com

nuevoMailer – nuevoMailer is self-hosted email marketing software for managing mailing lists, sending and tracking email campaigns and following up. With the software you can collect or import subscriber emails, group them into mailing lists, design personalized newsletters, view real-time campaign reports and create follow-up campaigns. www.nuevomailer.com

PinPointe – PinPointe is a cloud-based email marketing software solution for B2B companies. The software’s features include an intuitive user interface, email template library, social sharing tools, spam checkers, behavioral targeting, autoresponders, contact management tools and tracking reports. pinpointe.com

ReachMail – ReachMail’s email marketing software allows businesses to create, schedule and send mass email marketing campaigns. The software includes hundreds of templates, detailed reporting, social media sharing, message testing, autoresponders, transactional messages, surveys and an API. reachmail.net

Remarkety – Remarkety is an email marketing solution for e-commerce businesses. With Remarkety, you can send email follow-ups with coupons, cross sells and upsells; send emails targeted to customers based on items bought, previous orders and how much they’ve spent; automatically send emails when items are left in shopping carts or baskets; and add personalized product recommendations based on what other customers bought. remarkety.com

SalesNexus – SalesNexus is a provider of email marketing, CRM and lead generation software. The email marketing software features free templates, automated campaigns and a variety of campaign analytics. salesnexus.com

SendBlaster – SendBlaster runs on your PC and is not a subscription-based online service. The software offers a newsletter creator, HTML editor, layout editor, free templates, embedded image support, personalization, programmable tags, one-click unsubscribe and mailing list management. sendblaster.com

SendGrid – SendGrid offers both email marketing and transactional messaging services. SendGrid’s cloud-based email delivery infrastructure allows you to send email without having to maintain your own in-house email infrastructure. The software’s transactional service features simple SMTP setup, customized white labeling and advanced analytics. sendgrid.com

*SendinBlue – SendinBlue is a self-service solution for companies to send emails and SMS messages. With the software, businesses can send out email marketing campaigns, transactional emails and SMS campaigns. Features include real-time tracking, subscription forms, spam checkers, order tracking, dedicated IPs and an email builder. sendinblue.com

Silverpop – Silverpop is a cloud-based digital marketing provider that offers email marketing and lead management solutions. Silverpop features a Web-based email editor, campaign automation, advanced segmentation, multichannel messaging, Web forms, landing pages, CRM integrations and campaign performance reports. silverpop.com

StreamSend – StreamSend offers an easy-to-use email marketing service. The service features triggered emails, advanced segmentation, social sharing, video integration, RSS publishing, landing pages, campaign analytics and more than 100 email, social and mobile templates. streamsend.com

VerticalResponse – VerticalResponse, a business unit of Deluxe Corporation, provides a full suite of online marketing tools to help small businesses connect with their customers on email, social media and mobile devices. The software’s features include professionally designed responsive-design email templates, autoresponders, contact management tools, an HTML editor and a variety of tracking reports. verticalresponse.com

What Counts – What Counts’ email marketing software can be run from the cloud or via your own servers. Features of the software include a life cycle workflow builder, behavioral personalization, advanced segmentation, dynamic content, relational database, responsive templates, campaign analytics, A/B testing and social sharing. whatcounts.com

ZoHo Campaigns – ZoHo Campaigns allows businesses to create, send and track email marketing campaigns. With ZoHo you can choose from a list of default newsletter templates or design your own. Among the features offered include mailing list management, A/B testing, autoresponders, email workflows, social media and CRM integration and real-time performance tracking. zoho.com/campaigns

Best Free online Email Software listings 2015