Top 7 Free Microsoft Word Alternatives for Mac

The price of Microsoft Office 365 keeps many potential customers away when they move from Windows to Mac. Whether your friend wants to review a document (.docx) or you want to edit a Microsoft Word file on your Mac, you must have a software compatible. Here are some of the best free Microsoft Word for Mac alternatives that you can use today.

Free Microsoft Word Alternatives – Mac

Choose an online or offline application based on your preferences. Some of these applications have a free trial to check if it suits your needs or not.

1. Apple Pages

Apple Pages is one of the best free Microsoft Word alternatives for Mac and it comes as pre-installed software. This native utility offers many functions similar to Microsoft Word. You can find a collaboration tool to edit a group project with friends, templates, cloud storage, etc. In Microsoft Word, users have the OneDrive feature, while Apple Pages is integrated with iCloud Drive.

apple pages for mac

Apple Pages has some of the essential features, but somehow something seems to be missing. From table, graph to image and video, you can insert anything into your document. Even if your friends are using Microsoft Word, you can export a Pages file to .docx. Although you can open a Microsoft Word file in Apple Pages, the tables and charts may not appear as is. That’s a major drawback you encounter when you opt for this free Microsoft Word alternative.


  • Better compatibility
  • Neat UI
  • Password setting
  • Multiple format support
  • ICloud Drive compatibility
  • Play YouTube video within the document


  • Lack of support for DOCX charts and graphs

Get Apple Pages (free)

2. Drafts

Drafts is more of an alternative to TextEdit than an alternative to Microsoft Word. Although it is available for free and you can use it from the official app store, you cannot open the .docx file with this app. However, creating and editing a native file is more convenient as a file management panel is included in the interface. In other words, it saves files directly to the user interface so that users can open them with a single click.

draft writing window for mac

You can add a tag to categorize all files or notes and filter them to find something specific. The highlight of this app is that you can save the file in almost any format or service supported by various apps like Google Docs, Evernote, OneDrive, etc. The full list expands when you click Behaviour. All these features and options are available in free and paid versions. The paid version of Drafts offers even more useful features such as dark themes, workspaces, and more.


  • Easy to learn features
  • Tags for note management
  • Save in multiple formats


  • Cannot open .docx file
  • No dark theme in the free version
  • Lack of free features

Get Drafts (free in-app purchase)

3. Ulysses

The main and most important feature of Ulysses is the multi tab. Sometimes you may need to open multiple notes or documents. Instead of editing them one at a time, you can use multiple tabs or open windows to continue working simultaneously. The user interface is similar to drafts, but it is more fluid.

ulysses writing pad for mac

Like most current apps, Ulysses allows you to set the dark theme. The next notable feature is the Editor mode. In simple words, you can hide all other columns and show only the writing pad to focus on writing. Although it seems useful, you must learn a few markup to design your document. For example, #heading 1 will make the word Heading 1.


  • Multiple tabs and multiple windows
  • Fluent UI
  • Focus mode


Get Ulises (free trial, in-app purchase)

4. Writer

Scrivener is probably the best free Microsoft Word alternative for macOS, thanks to the user interface and features. Most of the Microsoft Word functions are available in Scrivener, including saving files in different formats, creating / using a template, setting up the page, etc. Apart from these, it is possible to insert an image, link, comment, footnote and a mathematical equation, etc.

scrivener for mac writing app

Unlike other apps, you can choose your favorite font type and size, paragraph / line spacing, etc. Although it shows two additional columns on both sides, you will not have any problem due to the tree view settings. An important option is the Provision which allows you to change the overall layout of Scrivener.


  • Rich in features
  • Save the file in multiple formats
  • Footnote, compatibility with mathematical equations
  • Tree view settings


  • Lack of compatibility with Word graphics

Get Amanuensis (Free Trial)

5. Dropbox paper

Dropbox paper It is a comparatively new online tool that opens and helps you create a Microsoft Word document. It’s probably the simplest solution you can have to work peacefully without looking at tons of options here and there. The user interface is uncluttered, making it easy for everyday writers to focus on the writing part first.

dropbox paper online microsoft word alternative for mac

Paper is fine as long as you want to create a simple document that contains tables, bullets, number lists, images, comments, etc. However, it lacks several features such as not allowing you to insert a pie chart, header, etc. It has template support, but the list ends very quickly.


  • Neat UI
  • Typing-centric features
  • Online collaboration
  • Cloud storage support


6. Word online

What’s the best free Microsoft Word workaround to open a .docx file when you don’t have Office 365? Word online, Safely. As it says, it is a Microsoft proprietary online version of the Word desktop software. After evolving over the past few years, it has reached a point where you can trust it to a degree.

online word writing pad

If you are moving from the desktop version of Microsoft Word, you won’t have to go through the features as most of the options are located in the same location in the web version. Being an online editing tool, it saves all files to OneDrive so users can easily access and share them. Collaborating with other users in Microsoft Word Online is straightforward and is quite similar to Google Docs.


  • Word’s desktop-like user interface
  • Multiplatform support
  • Integration of various Microsoft services
  • Editor mode
  • Voice typing support


7. Google documents

When it comes to an online Microsoft Word alternative, Google docs plays a better role than Word Online. You might not see a massive list of features like Microsoft Word for Windows or Apple Pages, but it does feature almost all the essential options for everyday use. Save all documents to Google Drive, allowing you to access them from any device, anywhere.

google docs online for mac

The next big thing about Google Docs is that it has plugin support. It implies that you can enrich the functionalities and productivity by installing the correct plugin required for your work. There is good news for font fans too. As it is a service powered by Google, users can install any font from the Google Fonts repository. Online collaboration is available as long as your friend has a Gmail account. The last but not least option is to save files in various formats, including .docx, .odt, .rtf, .pdf, etc.


  • More file format support
  • Better online collaboration
  • Voice typing
  • Additional support
  • Download file in multiple formats
  • Native support for tables and pie charts


Conclusion: free alternatives to Microsoft Word for macOS

Although there are more other apps, the list of free Microsoft Word alternatives ends here. You may not find all the necessary options in one application, so it is recommended to go through all these utilities.

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