We review the fully-featured Microsoft Office-compatible productivity suite for Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.
Previously known as Kingsoft Office, WPS is a lightweight yet very practical and powerful office suite, which includes full word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation functionality.
You may expect an office suite that’s completely free to somehow be lacking something that Microsoft Office provides, and yes, graphically at least it can sometimes look a little rough around the edges, and there are ads that can become annoying, but it’s a small price to pay when you consider the fact you’re not paying anything for the product.
You may expect an office suite that’s completely free to somehow be lacking something that MS Office provides, and yes, graphically at least it can sometimes look a little rough around the edges, and there are ads that can become annoying, but it’s a small price to pay when you consider the fact you’re not paying anything for the product.
And don’t let that fool you into thinking that WPS Office 2016 isn’t fully formed or that it’s some half functional basic suite. There’s some real depth behind the interface and it works.
It comes bundled with three applications:
- WPS Writer (more than capable word processor)
- WPS Spreadsheets (a very good spreadsheet feature)
- WPS Presentations (which is pretty much PowerPoint)
All three work very well, and if you’ve used any recent version of MS Office, or indeed any other Office suite, you should find yourself instantly at home. All three of the above also use the same style of interface as MS Office and all the usual tools and options are placed in a similar fashion and have intuitive positioning.
Works with MS Office files
Compatibility with MS Office document formats comes as standard, and WPS does a good job opening and converting them without formatting errors such as suddenly finding paragraphs with five lines between them or spreadsheet calculations with formulas that have stopped working.
Each program opens and saves all Microsoft Office document formats (doc, docx, xls, xlsx etc), as well as HTML, RTF, XML, even PDF.
WPS Office 2016 Personal Edition currently supports English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Polish, and has all the standard features you could hope and want for from your office suite, including spell check and word-count feature.
WPS is also incredibly easy on systems and its low requirements mean it can be installed on even old PCs running Windows.
What’s the catch?
There isn’t one, not really. I’ve written this piece using the WPS Writer, and I’ve found no downsides or drawbacks. The same is true of WPS Presentations and WPS Spreadsheets.
There is however, no database application included but I don’t think that’s something most people will get too worked up about it.
Nice touches, additional selling points
WPS also comes with 1 GB of free cloud storage. It isn’t huge admittedly, but it’s there, it’s free, and it’s designed to store your documents and spreadsheets rather than 10 years’ worth of photos and videos.
There are also iOS and Android versions of the software available which is a really nice touch. As well as this, there’s also a Linux version available.
Overall, WPS Office 2016 Personal Edition is a good and versatile alternative to Microsoft’s that’s well worth considering. The Writer program is a versatile word processor; the Presentation program is an easy to use and effective slide show maker that helps you to create impressive multimedia presentations; and the Spreadsheets program is both a flexible and a powerful spreadsheet application.