Two free alternatives to MS Office

The Windows Secrets newsletter has an article by Fred Langa dated March 14, 2013, titled Two free, full-blown alternatives to MS Office that features LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

The article mentions several features that particularly appeal to users of older (pre-2007) versions of MS Office who have been reluctant to move to newer versions: unlike Office 2013, LibreOffice and OpenOffice “live and work entirely on your PC’s hard drive — there’s no prodding you toward cloud storage or app rental. Both suites use traditional toolbars (no Ribbon interface) and come with six business apps: word processor, spreadsheet, presentation creator, drawing/desktop-publishing tool, database manager, and mathematics tool…

“Although the two suites are similar, LibreOffice is a bit more evolved… For example, LibreOffice now supports more file formats than Open Office does…” (including opening, but not saving to, Microsoft Publisher files).

Lange says, “Is either of these open-source MS Office substitutes right for you? If your office-suite needs are relatively modest, the answer is most likely yes. On the other hand, if you’re regularly collaborating with businesses that use Office 2010 or 2013 and exact reproduction of spreadsheets, presentations, and text documents is essential, it’s safer to stick with Microsoft’s suite…

“I think LibreOffice is currently the better choice. It nicely does what I need done, quietly and without fanfare. It supports more file formats, including those used by the newest versions of Microsoft Office, and it has more developer momentum behind it. But that’s me; Open Office might work just as well or better for you…

“Bottom line: If you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office that isn’t cloud-oriented, that uses traditional toolbars, and that’s totally free, you probably won’t go wrong with LibreOffice or Open Office!”

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Posted in Features