4 Best Ways to Use Office on Chromebook

Including Alternatives to Microsoft Office on Chromebook

by: - Last updated on: December 6th, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • Microsoft Office on Chromebook has had its fair share of issues for a while.
  • However, Chromebooks have come a long way from just being a browser, and users can use them to create presentations, write documents, and many more.
  • We will have a detailed look at how you can install and run Office on Chromebook.

Microsoft Office on Chromebook has always been hit or miss. The Microsoft Office app in the Play Store has had some scaling and compatibility issues on Chromebooks for some time.

The tech giant ended support for Office apps on Chromebooks in September 2021 due to these issues.

office-on-chromebook

However, Chromebooks are no longer just a browser but can also be used to create presentations, compose documents, and much more.

Let us take a detailed look at the four best ways to download and run Office on Chromebooks to boost your productivity.

1. Using Office Online

office online on chromebook

Perhaps the best way to use and experience Microsoft Office on a Chromebook is Office online. As the name suggests, Office online works over the Internet, and users can easily use it through Google Chrome.

With Office Online, you can access all the popular applications like Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, Excel and many more. However, since it is an online application, you must have an active Internet connection at all times.

However, the overall functionality and features remain mostly the same even though it runs online.

An Office 365 subscription would just be the cherry on top, as it seamlessly syncs all your data and brings other benefits.

Office Online

2. Libre Office – The free Microsoft Office alternative that also works on a Chromebook

Libre Office is one of the most popular Microsoft Office alternatives out there. And you know what the best thing about it is? It’s completely free to download and use.

We tested and used Libre Office on our Chromebook, and for the most part, the experience was pretty smooth and seamless. The app uses the same file extensions as its Microsoft Office sibling.

So opening saved Microsoft Office files with Libre Office should be as easy as drinking a glass of water.

That being said, many of you may be wondering how to install Libre Office on a Chromebook. Do not worry; the process is pretty simple; let us take a look.

Steps to install Libre Office on Chromebook

  1. Enable Linux support on Chromebook (You may refer to this article for enabling Linux)
  2. Launch the terminal app once Linux is enabled, launch the terminal app and input the command “sudo apt update“, and press enter.
    sudo update chromebook
  3. Now, type the “sudo apt install flatpak” command and again press enter.
    install flatpak on chromebook
  4. It will now start installing flatpak on Chromebook. Once the installation is complete, type the following command and hit enter.
    sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
  5. Now type “ sudo flatpak install flathub org.LibreOffice.LibreOffice ” and hit enter one last time.
  6. Boom, it will now start installing the latest version of Libre Office on your Chromebook. You can access these apps from the Linux folder in the app drawer.
If you do not want to go through the hassle of enabling Linux and installing Libre office then you can also try out Collabora office from the Google Play Store once. It is based on Libre office but for Mobile so you might face some scaling issues.

3. Using Crossover

crossover on chromebook

If you want to run many Windows-specific applications on a Chromebook besides Microsoft Office, Crossover is the right choice.

The app lets you run any Windows app on a Chromebook, including a full desktop version of Microsoft Office. However, there is a catch.

Users must purchase an annual subscription to Crossover to run Office and other Windows apps. However, there is a free 30-day trial, so that’s good.

Crossover

4. Downloading WPS Office from the Google Play Store

wps office on chromebook

If the methods described above seem too tedious and complicated for you, then it is best to download WPS Office from the Google Play Store.

First of all, it’s free to download and install and works just like Microsoft Office.

Secondly, unlike Office online, this program can also work offline, which is definitely a trick up your sleeve.

However, there is one minor drawback. WPS Office only offers an alternative for the three main Microsoft Office applications – PowerPoint, Word and Excel.

If you want to use Microsoft Access or any other Office application, this is not possible with WPS Office. That being said, it is a great way to access Office on a Chromebook.

Download WPS Office

Bonus Method: Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

Even though the trio of Google Sheets, Slides, and Docs are not technically part of Office, they are still worth mentioning. Users can download all of these apps directly from the Google Play Store to their Chromebook.

Slides is an alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint, Sheets is an alternative to Microsoft Excel, and Docs replace Microsoft Word. But, of course, you also have offline access to these apps, which is always good.

Get Productive with Office on Chromebook

Using one of the methods described above, you can easily install Office on Chromebooks and increase your productivity.

Be it working on presentations, writing documents in Word, everything can be done right on your Chromebook. Let us know in the comments if you are a Chromebook user and have managed to install Office on Chromebook successfully.

FAQs on Using Microsoft Office on Chromebook

Saly, there are no Microsoft/Windows applications available for Chromebooks. You can use the web versions of Office 365 or the Android version on select Chromebook models.

Instead, you can consider using a third-party extension that lets you use Google Docs offline on Chromebook. Or even better, get Libre Office as we have mentioned in the article above.

tl;dr: No.

Longish answer: The online version and Android app run decently well on Chromebooks but they are 'feature limited' versions of the real MS Office app. They are nowhere comparable to the full version of MS office that you get on Windows laptops. Particularly macros and special features like equations will require a Windows laptop.

If the Online version or Android app version of Microsoft Office is good enough for you, then they are good enough on Chromebooks as well. To be honest, they are feature-limited versions of the actual MS Office app that you find on Windows or Mac, particularly macros and special features like equations won't work great on Chromebooks.

But hey, not everyone wants to dig deep with Office apps. If you are happy with basic Microsoft Word on Chromebook or looking to create basic PPTs, Office on Chromebooks should be good enough for you.

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