Accessible Alternatives to Microsoft Office


 

Hi all. I hope this is the right place to post this. I'm looking for free alternatives to Microsoft Office that work with NVDA and Windows 10. I had access to Microsoft Office for years through my university, but I had to quit school recently because my health wouldn't allow me to continue. I doubt I could afford a subscription to Microsoft 365. My school account hasn't been canceled, so I could still technically use Microsoft Office free through them, but I'm not sure I should do that, and I don't want to continue using, and getting more familiar with, software that I'll eventually have to give up. I know there's LibreOffice. Is that the best free alternative, or are there others I should try? Thanks.


Arlene
 

Hi, You can talk to your college advisor about it. I don’t know if you have a disability resource center at your college. You can talk to any of them who work at your college disability resource advisor about this. If they allow you to use the free Microsoft softwhere. Can you take something online so you can continue to use it? Then in the mean time you can find another alturnitave for something else. I know Microsoft softwhere such as word and outlook are over priced. You can get a back to school deal in the fall if you want to or if there’s such thing. Use what you have and look for another alternative. Good luck.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Lanie Molinar
Sent: March 24, 2021 9:25 PM
To: nvda@groups.io
Subject: [nvda] Accessible Alternatives to Microsoft Office

 

Hi all. I hope this is the right place to post this. I'm looking for

free alternatives to Microsoft Office that work with NVDA and Windows

10. I had access to Microsoft Office for years through my university,

but I had to quit school recently because my health wouldn't allow me to

continue. I doubt I could afford a subscription to Microsoft 365. My

school account hasn't been canceled, so I could still technically use

Microsoft Office free through them, but I'm not sure I should do that,

and I don't want to continue using, and getting more familiar with,

software that I'll eventually have to give up. I know there's

LibreOffice. Is that the best free alternative, or are there others I

should try? Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Hi. Unfortunately, taking a class online isn't an option. My health is bad enough that I couldn't manage even one online class at a time. That's what I was trying to do when I realized it wasn't working. I'm trying LibreOffice now and watching my email to see what else people recommend. Thanks for the suggestion though.

On 3/24/2021 11:35 PM, Arlene wrote:

Hi, You can talk to your college advisor about it. I don’t know if you have a disability resource center at your college. You can talk to any of them who work at your college disability resource advisor about this. If they allow you to use the free Microsoft softwhere. Can you take something online so you can continue to use it? Then in the mean time you can find another alturnitave for something else. I know Microsoft softwhere such as word and outlook are over priced. You can get a back to school deal in the fall if you want to or if there’s such thing. Use what you have and look for another alternative. Good luck.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Lanie Molinar
Sent: March 24, 2021 9:25 PM
To: nvda@groups.io
Subject: [nvda] Accessible Alternatives to Microsoft Office

 

Hi all. I hope this is the right place to post this. I'm looking for

free alternatives to Microsoft Office that work with NVDA and Windows

10. I had access to Microsoft Office for years through my university,

but I had to quit school recently because my health wouldn't allow me to

continue. I doubt I could afford a subscription to Microsoft 365. My

school account hasn't been canceled, so I could still technically use

Microsoft Office free through them, but I'm not sure I should do that,

and I don't want to continue using, and getting more familiar with,

software that I'll eventually have to give up. I know there's

LibreOffice. Is that the best free alternative, or are there others I

should try? Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Lanie,

          Libre Office is definitely a good, and well supported choice.  Some of this really depends on which programs of the Office suite you actually use and want to replace.

          I really like SoftMaker Office (whether their free version or the paid one, which is much less expensive than Microsoft Office) if you're only looking to replace Word, Excel, and/or PowerPoint.  You do have to be certain that you install it using the choice for the Menu driven interface, as so far in the testing I've done it's 100% accessible, while their ribbon interface isn't.  Or at least is isn't in the Free version (which is their 2018 version, they haven't released a more recent one).  I have not needed to purchase anything newer from them, so ribbon accessibility may have improved in their 2021 version, but I would not count on it.

           And, for the record, questions about whether a program is accessible with NVDA, or what programs are accessible with NVDA, are perfectly OK and absolutely on topic for the NVDA Group.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


 

Hi. I'll check this one out. The main programs I used from Microsoft Office were Word and Excel. I played with Outlook a bit but found that I preferred Thunderbird. Once in a while, I used PowerPoint, but those times were rare.

On 3/24/2021 11:56 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
Lanie,

          Libre Office is definitely a good, and well supported choice.  Some of this really depends on which programs of the Office suite you actually use and want to replace.

          I really like SoftMaker Office (whether their free version or the paid one, which is much less expensive than Microsoft Office) if you're only looking to replace Word, Excel, and/or PowerPoint.  You do have to be certain that you install it using the choice for the Menu driven interface, as so far in the testing I've done it's 100% accessible, while their ribbon interface isn't.  Or at least is isn't in the Free version (which is their 2018 version, they haven't released a more recent one).  I have not needed to purchase anything newer from them, so ribbon accessibility may have improved in their 2021 version, but I would not count on it.

           And, for the record, questions about whether a program is accessible with NVDA, or what programs are accessible with NVDA, are perfectly OK and absolutely on topic for the NVDA Group.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


aad leeflang <aad@...>
 

hello
i am using open office, but that is only a text editor, so no outlook or
callendar.
libre officde is more or less the same and works fine.
and it is free
aad

On Wed, 24 Mar 2021 23:25:06 -0500
"Lanie Molinar" <laniemolinar91@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi all. I hope this is the right place to post this. I'm looking for free alternatives to Microsoft Office that work with NVDA and Windows 10. I had access to Microsoft Office for years through my university, but I had to quit school recently because my health wouldn't allow me to continue. I doubt I could afford a subscription to Microsoft 365. My school account hasn't been canceled, so I could still technically use Microsoft Office free through them, but I'm not sure I should do that, and I don't want to continue using, and getting more familiar with, software that I'll eventually have to give up. I know there's LibreOffice. Is that the best free alternative, or are there others I should try? Thanks.






aad leeflang
presenter of soul food, tripledutch, friday on my mind sunday morning comming down and der aad leeflang mix on the global voice, ohrfunk.de and everythingradio.


 

Lanie,

          Here's the link to the main page (which includes a download button) for SoftMaker FreeOffice.  I am fairly certain that I discussed installing it either on the Chat Subgroup or Windows 10 for Screen Reader Users group.  What's truly perversely funny is that everything in the setup is accessible except the screen where you choose menu versus ribbon driven interface.  And the interface is switchable in the programs themselves, but if you initially go with ribbon that makes even the switching a nightmare.  But it's easy enough to work through that screen once you know what it looks like just by tabbing a couple of times then hitting enter.  If you need me to look this up, please send me a private message.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


Wershing, Alice D.
 

I recently assisted someone to set up a free account for Microsoft Office.    This may be the best option for you. 
Alice
 
 
 
Alice D. Wershing, M.Ed., A.T.P., C.P.A.C.C. 
Disability Services, Technology Specialist
TNecampus Accessibility Specialist 
Pellissippi State Technical Community College
865-694-6751


 

On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 10:24 AM, Wershing, Alice D. wrote:
I recently assisted someone to set up a free account for Microsoft Office.    
-
Be aware, though, that this refers to the web-based version of Office.  Not that there's anything wrong with the web-based version of Office, but it's not precisely the same as what you're used to if you've been using one of the installed versions.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


Rui Fontes
 

Sorry...

I have installed the suite.

In first launching I have choosen Menu driven.

Program restarted and no accessibility at all...


I can't access the menus with Alt+F, Alt+E and so on.

I can't access the menus using object navegation...


Rui


Às 13:34 de 25/03/2021, Brian Vogel escreveu:

Lanie,

          Here's the link to the main page (which includes a download button) for SoftMaker FreeOffice.  I am fairly certain that I discussed installing it either on the Chat Subgroup or Windows 10 for Screen Reader Users group.  What's truly perversely funny is that everything in the setup is accessible except the screen where you choose menu versus ribbon driven interface.  And the interface is switchable in the programs themselves, but if you initially go with ribbon that makes even the switching a nightmare.  But it's easy enough to work through that screen once you know what it looks like just by tabbing a couple of times then hitting enter.  If you need me to look this up, please send me a private message.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


Rui Fontes
 

Correction!

Now I have managed to change to menu layout...

The menus are accesible.

Dialogs are not accessible!


Rui Fontes


Às 15:17 de 25/03/2021, Rui Fontes via groups.io escreveu:

Sorry...

I have installed the suite.

In first launching I have choosen Menu driven.

Program restarted and no accessibility at all...


I can't access the menus with Alt+F, Alt+E and so on.

I can't access the menus using object navegation...


Rui


Às 13:34 de 25/03/2021, Brian Vogel escreveu:
Lanie,

          Here's the link to the main page (which includes a download button) for SoftMaker FreeOffice.  I am fairly certain that I discussed installing it either on the Chat Subgroup or Windows 10 for Screen Reader Users group.  What's truly perversely funny is that everything in the setup is accessible except the screen where you choose menu versus ribbon driven interface.  And the interface is switchable in the programs themselves, but if you initially go with ribbon that makes even the switching a nightmare.  But it's easy enough to work through that screen once you know what it looks like just by tabbing a couple of times then hitting enter.  If you need me to look this up, please send me a private message.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


 

On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 11:41 AM, Rui Fontes wrote:
Dialogs are not accessible!
-
Examples?  I'm not doubting you, I just want to play, and trigger what you've triggered as part of it. 
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


Rui Fontes
 

Hello!


Just write something in a document and close the program with Alt+F4...

The dialog asking if you want to save the file is not accessible...


Open the Options dialog and it is not accessible...


Rui Fontes


Às 16:19 de 25/03/2021, Brian Vogel escreveu:

On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 11:41 AM, Rui Fontes wrote:
Dialogs are not accessible!
-
Examples?  I'm not doubting you, I just want to play, and trigger what you've triggered as part of it. 
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


 

On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 12:52 PM, Rui Fontes wrote:

The dialog asking if you want to save the file is not accessible...

 

Open the Options dialog and it is not accessible...

-
I have no issue with either, and can post a link to recordings of NVDA speaking if you'd like to hear them.

I did, however, just encounter another "on first use" accessibility issue with a dialog that opens that asks you whether you'd prefer to use Microsoft Office file formats for the SoftMaker Office equivalents or use their own file formats.  I always choose MS-Office, and have typically done that from each program.  This is the first install I've done using the MSI installer where I get this query on first run.  NVDA read the content of the dialog just fine, but I had an issue (and it could be stupidity on my part) in trying to get to the radio button for using the Microsoft Office file formats.  This is another of those annoying setup issues but, once done once, never recurs again.

I am genuinely curious as to who's hitting what issues with NVDA and SoftMaker Free Office, but I cannot replicate the issues you mention.  I get the standard Windows 10 Save and Open Dialogs, with the TextMaker icon (in this test case) at the upper left corner just like I get in MS-Word, but with the Word icon in the upper left corner in that case.

I'm using NVDA 2020.4 and the version of SoftMaker Free Office that installs with the MSI file named freeoffice2018.msi.  This is on a machine running Windows 10 Home 20H2, Build 19042.804 (I haven't fired this particular machine up for a while, so it's not quite current on the dot level).
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


Rui Fontes
 

When you tab around the save dialog, what NVDA says?

In my case, with NVDA 2020.3 or last Alpha, nothing is echoed by NVDA!


Rui


Às 17:32 de 25/03/2021, Brian Vogel escreveu:

On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 12:52 PM, Rui Fontes wrote:

The dialog asking if you want to save the file is not accessible...

 

Open the Options dialog and it is not accessible...

-
I have no issue with either, and can post a link to recordings of NVDA speaking if you'd like to hear them.

I did, however, just encounter another "on first use" accessibility issue with a dialog that opens that asks you whether you'd prefer to use Microsoft Office file formats for the SoftMaker Office equivalents or use their own file formats.  I always choose MS-Office, and have typically done that from each program.  This is the first install I've done using the MSI installer where I get this query on first run.  NVDA read the content of the dialog just fine, but I had an issue (and it could be stupidity on my part) in trying to get to the radio button for using the Microsoft Office file formats.  This is another of those annoying setup issues but, once done once, never recurs again.

I am genuinely curious as to who's hitting what issues with NVDA and SoftMaker Free Office, but I cannot replicate the issues you mention.  I get the standard Windows 10 Save and Open Dialogs, with the TextMaker icon (in this test case) at the upper left corner just like I get in MS-Word, but with the Word icon in the upper left corner in that case.

I'm using NVDA 2020.4 and the version of SoftMaker Free Office that installs with the MSI file named freeoffice2018.msi.  This is on a machine running Windows 10 Home 20H2, Build 19042.804 (I haven't fired this particular machine up for a while, so it's not quite current on the dot level).
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


 

Rui, listen to:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pJmW23YhVbrhCh1gWkL4TMegVDCxJBfl/view?usp=sharing

I started recording just before I started typing "This is a test."  Even with my fat fingering the entire recording is less than 60 seconds long.  You can hear me tabbing around the Save dialog more than once after I had it open.  It's saying everything for me that I am accustomed to hearing when navigating a Save dialog.

The volume in the Google Media Player is very low for some reason.  When I download the file and listen to it using Windows Media Player it's easier to hear.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


Rui Fontes
 

Here is very different...

When the dialog opens NVDA read the information, but when you press Tab nothing is read.


Rui Fontes


Às 18:23 de 25/03/2021, Brian Vogel escreveu:

Rui, listen to:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pJmW23YhVbrhCh1gWkL4TMegVDCxJBfl/view?usp=sharing

I started recording just before I started typing "This is a test."  Even with my fat fingering the entire recording is less than 60 seconds long.  You can hear me tabbing around the Save dialog more than once after I had it open.  It's saying everything for me that I am accustomed to hearing when navigating a Save dialog.

The volume in the Google Media Player is very low for some reason.  When I download the file and listen to it using Windows Media Player it's easier to hear.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


 

On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 02:49 PM, Rui Fontes wrote:
Here is very different...
-
Which suggests, at first blush, that something is likely amiss with one of the add-ons you use.  If you want to try to determine whether that's the case, try again with add-ons disabled.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov

 


David Goldfield
 

Hi. Both OpenOffice and LibreOffice include a word processor, spreadsheet application, slideshow program and a few others. They are similar but OpenOffice releases updates on a more regular cadence. Writer and Calc, the word processor and spreadsheet application, provide reasonable access with NVDA. I have not worked with the other applications.

David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019
Subscribe to the Tech-VI announcement list to receive emails regarding news and events in the blindness assistive technology field.
Email: tech-vi+subscribe@groups.io

www.DavidGoldfield.org

-----Original Message-----
From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of aad leeflang
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2021 5:43 AM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] Accessible Alternatives to Microsoft Office

hello
i am using open office, but that is only a text editor, so no outlook or callendar.
libre officde is more or less the same and works fine.
and it is free
aad
On Wed, 24 Mar 2021 23:25:06 -0500
"Lanie Molinar" <laniemolinar91@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi all. I hope this is the right place to post this. I'm looking for free alternatives to Microsoft Office that work with NVDA and Windows 10. I had access to Microsoft Office for years through my university, but I had to quit school recently because my health wouldn't allow me to continue. I doubt I could afford a subscription to Microsoft 365. My school account hasn't been canceled, so I could still technically use Microsoft Office free through them, but I'm not sure I should do that, and I don't want to continue using, and getting more familiar with, software that I'll eventually have to give up. I know there's LibreOffice. Is that the best free alternative, or are there others I should try? Thanks.






aad leeflang
presenter of soul food, tripledutch, friday on my mind sunday morning comming down and der aad leeflang mix on the global voice, ohrfunk.de and everythingradio.


 

On Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 07:14 PM, David Goldfield wrote:
They are similar but OpenOffice releases updates on a more regular cadence.
-
Did you mean to type OpenOffice?   I have found the release schedule from OpenOffice to be very spotty and inconsistent compared to that of LibreOffice.  There was a time where it really looked like OpenOffice might actually go belly up.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

      ~ Anton Chekhov