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While Microsoft Office (as a reference office suite) has it all and a bit more, there’s a problem for some: it’s proprietary and paid. That means, you pay your money and trust the developers with the software you use praying the software won’t get FUBAR with a new update.Read More
Like a modern office suite should, LibreOffice contains separate yet closely interacting apps. There are Writer (text processor), Calc (spreadsheet editor), Impress (presentation manager), Draw (a simple vector editor), Math (a mathematical app), Base (a database manager) and some minor utilities.
Well, the suite does all it’s required from an office suite. It uses OpenDocument file formats that in some ways might be better, but still, you can manage Microsoft Office files, open, edit and save them with responsible LibreOffice applications.
Alignment and thesaurus, formula language and WYSIWYG editing, embedding multimedia content into presentations and many more features are there. To tell the truth, the suite may lack some features commercial analogs offer, but those are not as demanded as the basic ones, and those are all here.
Yes, the suite seems to lack a note-taking application, but let’s be honest: who needs a free alternative to Microsoft OneNote as long as OneNote itself is free?
It looks like some old, even antique version of Microsoft Office left unreleased for some reason. The menus, yet, are quite editable and can be set up the way you like, with elements you use the most on the best places. The default layout is similar to Microsoft Office, so it won’t take long to relearn.
Some elements are made even better than in MS Office. For example, short stats section below the text in Writer is much more informative than its Word analog.
The only thing that may disappoint you is visual styling. Styles of LibreOffice are not like ones in other office suits, so, while formatting, formulas, and text are preserved at the opening in other suites, there’s no guarantee styles are.
As the app’s appearance resembles what MS Office was like in XX century, so is its interface. You may forgive it the lack of ribbon interface, but there are some issues that are not a matter of taste. For example, sometimes you just can’t copy your fragments to the clipboard at all, no matter if you copy only text or metadata, no matter what hotkeys or commands you use. It looks completely intolerable.
In performance, it’s also a bit too greedy than its brother suite, OpenOffice.org. But the difference is unnoticeable if your computer costs at least like Microsoft Office license.
The app may get even more usable without installation process if you select the portable version. Now all new LibreOffice releases offer a portable option as well, with the same functionality except for messing with the registry.
Cross-platform use 5/5
Open source ideology is usually linked to Linux, so LibreOffice is available for Linux, Unix, BSD, and, of course, Windows and OS X. Alas, there are no mobile versions released (but there is a remote for Impress both for Android and iOS, and a simple Libre document viewer for Android). But if you wish, you can join alpha testing of LibreOffice for Android (not available through Google Play yet).
The ideology of LibreOffice is quite explicit: “libre” means “free.” So you don’t have to spend anything at all, no money, no time on watching ads. Yet you can join the developers if you have some time and skill to make the product better.
If you want it working rather than beautiful and free rather than paid, then LibreOffice is the option for you. As testers report, LibreOffice is even better now than its formal predecessor, OpenOffice.org it started as a fork of. It won’t be too much to say that it’s the best free office suite for 2017.Collapse
A good home/school substitute for Microsoft Office if you’re short of money or have a better way to spend it, but in some situations, a free alternative won’t do.
Pros : Free and open-source;
Supports most of Microsoft Office format;
Offers traditional non-ribbon interface;
Portable edition available.
Cons : Lacks some office features;
Frequent issues with the clipboard and more;
No mobile version (a viewer only) and no cloud integration.
Cross-platform use 5.0