Word Precessing Software Feature Image

10 Best Free Word Processing Software 2023

When you sit in on a virtual conference or when your boss starts firing off their favorite productivity tips, what do you do? You open a digital document and take notes. đź“ť

…probably with the same word processing software you’ve used since the ninth grade. đź‘€

Word processing software isn’t what it used to be—it’s better.

These tools have evolved beyond the boring blank screens we felt forced to use. Now, word processing can actually be fun!

Rich text editing, dynamic formatting, intuitive writing assistance, and collaboration features are some of the greatest benefits to using top word processing software. But the best part? It’s also incredibly affordable.

Follow along as we dive into every must-have word-processing feature and the 10 best word-processing software for every team, writing style, and use case! Complete with detailed feature comparisons, pros and cons, pricing, ratings, and more!

What is a Word Processing Software?

Word processing software is an application used to capture, format, and edit any form of writing—whether it be your general thoughts, meeting notes, SOPs, or email drafts. Your mind may immediately go to typewriters, but the benefits of word-processing software extend much further than that.

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Thanks to the modern development of project management software, collaboration tools, and intuitive design, word processing software can do more than you ever thought possible! You can edit one document alongside your peers, arrange documents by category, share them via simple links, and flex your creativity with rich formatting. And these days, that’s just the bare minimum!

The thing is, there are a ton of word processing software to choose from these days.

In fact, we’d bet our bottom dollar that you can think of a few off the top of your head as we speak! You might even have a top three!

But with the number of new, flexible, and exciting features being added to word processing tools each day, it’s important to know what to look for in your go-to software in order to best serve your use case and to get the most bang for your buck.

What Should You Look for in Word Processing Software?

All this talk about advanced features makes you wonder—what does this functionality actually look like?

You don’t have to settle for the basic features we grew up struggling with. You also don’t have to fork over an arm and a leg to access powerful software that can take your documents so much further!

Team editing documents in ClickUp Docs
Multiple team members editing a document at once in ClickUp Docs

Here is a list of our favorite, must-have features to look for in your next word-processing software:

  • Ease of use: Make sure your software is easy to learn, share with others, and efficiently supports your most-used functions
  • Cloud-based and a reliable offline mode: Things happen! You might lose your wifi connection, need to switch devices, or be asked to share your documents on the spot. Cloud-based software and offline functionality ensure these hurdles won’t pose any real problem
  • Collaboration features: These features make it possible for you to edit and develop documents in real-time with the team! With clarity and without overlap. And consider it a bonus if you can also tag your team or comment on your text
  • Custom permissions and sharing: Especially if you often work with stakeholders, clients, or other departments, it’s important to have the ability to choose who can edit, view, or give access to your work
  • Version history: This is your way of keeping a digital paper trail. Plus, if you make a mistake, you’ll have the power to go back and restore your text
  • Integrations: The more integrations, the more information you can pull into your documents! Plus, it goes both ways, multiple integrations with your chosen word processing software means you can also access your documents from virtually anywhere and from any other tool
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Create detailed wikis, manage workflows, and collaborate with the team, all from your ClickUp Workspace

The 10 Best Word-Processing Software

There’s no reason why your word-processing software can’t be exciting, dynamic, or collaborative.

Digital editors and document sharing have come a long way in the past decade and we have tons of software to show for that growth! The challenge then becomes finding a tool that’s tailored to your unique needs and aligns with your work style.

So what do you do? You refer back to this list!

We’ve researched and tested the best word-processing software to bring you 10 of our favorites based on their best features, limitations, pricing, ratings, and more!

1. ClickUp

rich formatting and slash commands in clickup docs
ClickUp Docs allows rich formatting and slash commands to work more efficiently

ClickUp is the ultimate all-in-one productivity tool for teams across industries to centralize their work into one collaborative platform. ClickUp is known for its rich set of fully customizable features, including a built-in document editor to create everything from simple to-do lists to detailed wikis, then connect them directly to your workflow.

With the ability to convert text into actionable tasks, embed data from virtually any other work tool, and collaborate on documents in real-time, ClickUp Docs is the ideal word processing tool for teams, students, and enterprise companies alike.

ClickUp best features

  • Advanced word processing and work management features across every pricing plan, even Free Forever
  • Embed media, tables, bookmarks, and even other documents into ClickUp Docs to bring more context and value into your roadmaps and knowledge bases
  • Live detection in ClickUp Docs lets teams edit, contribute, and comment on the same document in real-time
  • Link Docs to tasks and add widgets to automatically update workflows from your document editor
  • Turn highlighted text into action items and delegate them to the team with threaded comments and @mentions
  • Hundreds of templates for any use case, including several created specifically for ClickUp Docs
  • Easy and secure sharing via URL for any guest, collaborator, or even public access
  • Over 1,000 integrations to embed work into ClickUp Docs from virtually anywhere
  • Nested pages and styling options to create visual hierarchies within every Doc

ClickUp cons

  • There can be a bit of an adjustment period learning all of ClickUp’s advanced features
  • Some views are not yet offered on the mobile app

ClickUp pricing

  • Free Forever
  • Unlimited: $5 per user, per month
  • Business: $12 per user, per month
  • Business Plus: $19 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: Contact ClickUp for custom pricing

ClickUp ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.7/5 (5,680+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (3,540+ reviews)

2. Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a powerful word processor for anyone to create Word documents, spreadsheets, emails, and more. It’s part of the Microsoft Office Suite, which makes it easy to integrate with other Microsoft products like Excel and PowerPoint.

Word offers various features to help you stay organized, such as template options for different types of formal documents and advanced editing tools. You can add images, tables, charts, hyperlinks, and other media to enhance the look of your MS Word documents. The program also provides many features to help make creating documents more efficient, such as a spellchecker, auto-corrector, and thesaurus. 

Microsoft Word best features

  • OneDrive storage to save and access documents from anywhere
  • Real-time collaboration to share and edit with others
  • Spelling and grammar checker
  • Mobile app

Microsoft Word limitations

  • Functions on the toolbar are different from version to version
  • Many features of Word forms don’t transfer and cause the format to break when printing documents

Microsoft Word pricing

  • Microsoft Word is available as a standalone version for $159.99 or with a Microsoft 365 subscription

Microsoft Word ratings and reviews

  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (1,600+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.7/5 (1,000+ reviews)

3. Google Docs

Google Docs is an online word processor that makes it easy to create and edit professional documents. With real-time collaboration tools, Google Docs provides a platform for groups of people to collaborate on a single project, ensuring that everyone stays up-to-date with the document’s progress. Features like templated and automated formatting are also available to make your document look professional. 

With Google Docs, users can track changes, comments, and suggestions as they make revisions and edits. All of the documents you create in Google Docs are automatically saved in the cloud, so you can access them from any device at any time. So whether you’re on your desktop or mobile device, you can continue working!

Google Docs best features

  • @Mentions to pull relevant people, files, and events
  • Smart Compose helps you write faster with fewer errors
  • Third-party applications with project management tools
  • Comment replies from Gmail 

Google Docs limitations

  • Limitations on document sizes
  • Not suitable as a scalable knowledge base system 

Google Docs pricing

  • Google Docs is free with a Google account

Google Docs ratings and reviews

  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (27,000+ reviews)
  • G2: N/A

4. Grammarly

Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant. It helps you identify and fix grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other writing errors quickly. Grammarly offers suggestions while you’re using desktop apps or websites, including Gmail, ClickUp, LinkedIn, Google Docs, and more!

With Grammarly, you get feedback on your writing in real-time so you can improve it instantly. Plus, with its deep understanding of grammar topics and linguistics, you can trust your next report or project will be polished and professional. Grammarly makes it easy to focus on what’s important—creating strong, compelling content.

Discover the top content collaboration software!

Grammarly best features

  • Style Guide to capture voice and style for consistent documents
  • Text snippets to insert sentences and paragraphs in all workflows
  • Tone Detector for effective communication
  • In-app editor to upload documents

Grammarly limitations

  • Doesn’t work for all apps and websites
  • Expensive monthly subscriptions

Grammarly pricing

  • Free plan
  • Premium: $12/month
  • Business: $15/member per month

Grammarly ratings and reviews

  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (6,000+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.6/5 (1,200+ reviews)

5. WPS Office

WPS Office is a comprehensive office suite that provides you with the tools and features necessary to manage all your documents, files, and presentations efficiently. It supports popular file formats and is compatible with PC and mobile devices. With WPS Office, users can create and edit text documents, spreadsheets, and slide shows in an intuitive and user-friendly interface. 

It also includes powerful document management tools such as colorful themes, annotation, split PDF documents, and file format conversion. The software also has advanced collaboration capabilities that allow multiple users to work on the same file simultaneously. 

WPS Office best features

  • 100,000+ templates organized by categories
  • Multiple language support
  • Text extraction 
  • Watermark creation

WPS Office limitations

  • Limited ability to handle different work styles and preferences
  • A free plan is not available 

WPS Office pricing

  • WPS Premium: $18.99 for 6 months or $29.99 for 1 year
  • WPS Business (WPS Cloud Pro): Starts at $5.99/user per month

WPS Office ratings and reviews

  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (1,200+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.4/5 (200+ reviews)

6. Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper offers a simple way to start a project. The drag–and–drop feature allows users to break down complex tasks into easily manageable chunks. By inviting teammates to collaborate on projects, everyone can contribute to the conversation, comment on each other’s work, and brainstorm in real-time. 

The Master Doc feature allows anyone to create a hub for other docs. For complex or long-term projects, organizing documents from the start will boost productivity. It provides you with an efficient way to access and manage all the related documents by creating links to them. You don’t need to spend extra time searching for files. Search or navigate within the master document!

Dropbox Paper best features

  • Search bar to find  publicly viewable docs associated with a team member’s email address
  • Keyboard shortcuts to highlight specific text
  • Custom templates to standard forms
  • Auto-generated table of contents

Dropbox Paper limitations

  • Limitations on file upload sizes in a Dropbox account
  • Basic users can only be signed into three devices at a time

Dropbox Paper pricing

  • Plus: $9.99/month for 1 user
  • Family: $16.99/family per month for up to 6 users
  • Professional: $16.58/month for 1 user
  • Standard: $15/user per month for 3+ users
  • Advanced: $24/user per month for 3+ users
  • Enterprise: Contact Dropbox for pricing 

Dropbox Paper ratings and reviews

  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (100+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.1/5 (4,400+ reviews)

7. Notion

notion free word processor
via Notion

Notion is a document-based workspace for your notes, tasks, documents, and databases. It’s a versatile tool as a word processor to track any information, from project milestones and task reminders to travel plans and personal ideas. 

Notion’s operating system makes it easy to organize whatever you need to keep track of. With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, you can quickly set up custom workspaces tailored to whatever type of project or goal. Plus, Notion allows you to link between different databases and notes, create checklists, embed media, and more.

Check out the best Notion alternatives!

Notion best features

  • iOS, Windows, web browser, MacOS platforms
  • Calendar, Kanban boards, lists, and gallery views
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Bidirectional linking

Notion limitations

  • Pricey premium plans compared to other word processors on this list
  • Limited project and task management features

Notion pricing

  • Free plan
  • Plus: $8/user per month, billed annually
  • Business: $15/user per month, billed annually
  • Enterprise: Contact Notion for pricing 

Notion ratings and reviews

  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (1,100+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.6/5 (1,000+ reviews)

8. Coda

Coda word processor
via Coda

Coda is a powerful document editor for creating and managing content. With Coda, you can create documents from scratch, edit existing ones, track changes, collaborate with others in real-time, and share them securely. The editor provides a range of tools to help you write fluently and quickly—including text formatting, image editing, tables, and hyperlinks. 

Coda also comes with built-in collaboration features, so you can invite people to join in on projects and discuss changes easily. With its easy-to-use interface and intuitive tools, Coda is a word processor solution for anyone looking to build professional documents!

Coda best features

  • Building blocks to upgrade documents into boards
  • Dashboards to view connected data
  • Google Calendar and Slack integrations
  • Drag-and-drop basic templates

Coda limitations

  • Not scalable as a document database compared to other word processors
  • Limited integrations with other apps 

Coda pricing

  • Free plan
  • Pro: $10/month per Doc Maker, billed annually
  • Team: $30/month per Doc Maker, billed annually
  • Enterprise: Contact Coda for pricing 

Coda ratings and reviews

  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (40+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.7/5 (300+ reviews)

Bonus: Compare Coda Vs. Airtable

9. Evernote

Evernote is an online note-taking application to help you be more productive and organized. With Evernote, you can store anything from text-based notes to images, videos, and audio recordings. You can even add reminders and read web pages offline. Evernote is available for various platforms, including mobile devices. Plus, it has a Web Clipper browser extension!

No matter what type of project you’re working on, Evernote makes managing the details easier. Whether it’s brainstorming new content ideas or planning a business meeting, Evernote gives you the freedom to capture, organize and sync all your information. With features like searchable tags and categories, you’ll have the tools to find what you need, when you need it.

Connect Evernote and ClickUp to manage your notes in one place!

Evernote best features

  • Calendar view to connect schedules and notes
  • Document scanner to go paperless
  • Due dates and reminders functionality
  • Google Calendar integration

Evernote limitations

  • Limited number of saved templates on all plans
  • Evernote Teams account has a shared 30 GB of uploads per month

Evernote pricing

  • Free plan
  • Personal: $6.67/month, billed annually
  • Professional: $9.17/month, billed annually
  • Teams: $14.99/month per user

Evernote ratings and reviews

  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (7,700+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.4/5 (1,900+ reviews)

10. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free open source office suite designed to make completing everyday tasks easier. It’s an open-source product, meaning that it’s free and available to all users. LibreOffice includes programs for word processing, presentation building, spreadsheet editing, database manipulation, formula editing, drawing, and more. 

Together these tools provide an intuitive user experience and help individuals create their best work. With LibreOffice, you can develop financial reports, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. If you want more functionality, extensions are available through the LibreOffice repository. 

LibreOffice best features

  • Formula editor to insert mathematical and scientific formulas
  • LanguageTool APIs for grammar checking
  • OpenDocument Format (ODF) extensions
  • Custom templates 

LibreOffice limitations

  • Outdated interface compared to other free word processing programs
  • Not scalable as a long-term document database 

LibreOffice pricing

  • LibreOffice is free

LibreOffice ratings and reviews

  • Capterra: 4.3/5 (1,600+ reviews)
  • G2: 4.3/5 (200+ reviews)

ClickUp—More Than the Average Word Processor

It’s time to ask for more from your word processing software, ClickUp Docs will show you how. 🙂

Edit with the team, turn your thoughts into actionable tasks, and connect your documents directly to your workflow, all without leaving your editor! No other word processor can enhance the value of your documents like ClickUp can. But the best part? ClickUp does it all for free.

Access ClickUp Docs, unlimited tasks, tons of templates and resources, more than 1,000 integrations, and so much more when you sign up for ClickUp today.

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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