Download this free Microsoft Office alternative, help charity

For a limited time, SoftMaker will donate 10 cents to charity for every FreeOffice download. It's available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Plus: The last good Nintendo Switch bundle before Christmas?

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read

For every download of FreeOffice 2018, SoftMaker's Load and Help campaign contributes to charity.


Unhappy with your current office suite? Need something for a new computer? Lots of folks turn to Microsoft Office out of pure habit, but there are loads of free -- and surprisingly good -- alternatives.

You can try one of them and help a good cause at the same time. Between now and Dec. 24, SoftMaker will donate 0.10 euro (equivalent to 11 cents) for every download of FreeOffice 2018 for Windows, Mac and Linux and FlexiPDF Basic 2017 for Windows.

Where do the donations go? According to SoftMaker: "We give the money to carefully selected charity projects around the world, which are presented by the nonprofit charity platform betterplace.org."

Read more: 6 ways to give to charity without even trying  

SoftMaker has run this admirable campaign a few times in the past, though it's been a couple years since the last one. The big news this year is that FreeOffice is now available for Mac.

The suite includes the "core three" apps you'd expect: word processor, spreadsheet manager and presentation builder. In other words: Word, Excel and PowerPoint equivalents. They're all file-compatible, meaning you can import existing DOCX, XLXS and PPTX documents and save those formats as well.

This being the free version, however, you can't save in the older DOC, XLX and PPT formats -- probably not a big deal for most users. The free version also lacks the tab view for multiple documents, which is one of my favorite features of another free suite, WPS Office.

Watch this: How to save money on nearly everything you buy online

Still, FreeOffice offers pretty much every basic feature most users need, plus your choice of interfaces -- ribbons or classic menus -- and a touchscreen-optimized mode. Without question, it's worth a look.

And the simple act of downloading it comes with the satisfaction of helping charity. So grab a copy and, while you're at it, spread the word! Helping those in need doesn't get much easier than this. 

Bonus deal: With just under two weeks left until Christmas, lots of folks are scrambling to find Nintendo Switch deals. If you hurry, you might just be able snag this one.


All three for $340!


For a limited time, and while supplies last, Walmart has the Nintendo Switch, your choice of Nintendo Labo Kits and an Ematic wired controller for $339.98. That's a savings of $49 -- not a fortune, but still decent.

Not familiar with the Labo or sure which one to choose? (There are three options.) Read CNET's Nintendo Labo review.

Now, obviously there's no game included in this bundle. If you're already a Switch owner, hit the comments and tell newcomers which title you think is the absolute must-have. 


Enter for your chance to win all this!

Tania González/CNET

Giveaway! With the recent arrival of the Avengers 4 trailer, Marvel mania has gripped the planet. And CNET has put together the perfect giveaway to tide you over until the gang returns next year: The winner of the superhero bundle will walk away with the first three Avengers movies (Blu-ray + digital); the Avengers Marvel Legends Series 6-inch Marvel's Black Knight; a Summer 2016 issue of CNET Magazine signed by Zoe Saldana (aka Gamora); and no less than a replica of Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet.

You've got until the end of the year to get your entries in. Good luck!

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