Break free of Microsoft Office with these great alternatives.

The one thing I absolutely detest is when users approach me with the statement : ” I cannot use anything else but Windows because I use Office” With pain in my heart I have seen scores of sliders try and fail to break free of the Redmond dictatorship because of the simple fact that the thought they needed to use office.

“thought they needed” is the key sentence here. Because, lets face it. The only thing tying you down to Office 2007 (or 2012 or whatever) is YOU ! You THINK you need Office because of some compatibility issues with other non-office applications. But have you ever tried ? The only things dividing Microsoft Office from other applications are a small range of propitiatory functionalities that only used by about 10 percent of Office users out there AND the fact that you are “Used” to using office. Using a lot of Fear Uncertainty and Doubt, Microsoft loves to keep you clustered to their product , only because you “feel” its the right thing to do.

I beg to differ and offer you some great cross platform alternatives for Office applications. 

MS Word to …. Google Docs. I would be lying if I would say that Google Docs has the same functionality as Word when it comes to advanced graphic layouts. But if you need such a level of sophistication when it comes to document layout .. you don’t need Word , you need an application like Illustrator or Pagemaker. You are doing desktop publishing, not Word processing. The fewer bells and whistles your word processor has, the better the CONTENT of your document will be because you don’t need to focus on the layout. Google Docs offers you better forms of sharing and collaboration. Disagree with me if you want, but after you have sent a Word document back and forth 20 times and are lost as to what was the latest version … we shall speak again.

MS Powerpoint to … Google Docs : What I like if the ‘presenter’ part of Google Docs is that its super easy to search for and import pictures straight from the app. 99 percent of what “Powerpoint” can do , is covered by any other presentation software (like for example Google Docs) the fancy animations that are unique to Powerpoint 2012 only have value if you want to amaze your audience with your fancy bling instead of a great story.

Visio to Gliffy : Visio, the great tool for drawing diagrams to get your point across can be replaced by Gliffy. A cool little webtool that lets you make flowcharts, network diagrams and more. The free version of Gliffy is limited but for the average user it will be more then enough. Also take a look at Mindmeister for your online flowcharts should you need to feel the urge for mindmapping.

I know you are going to say : Knightwise you are pointing out the painfully obvious here. But have you every given it an honest try ? The challenge I give you is to try and find out just how much of those “essential MS Windows functionality” you actually need. And how much of it holding you back of becoming a true slider.

 

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