LibreOffice is one of the best free and open source alternatives to Microsoft Office.
LibreOffice 7.0 is now the latest version which replaces the previous 6.4 version. It comes with some major changes. Now this office suite offers better support for the main document formats used.
Why buy Office when LibreOffice offers the same service?
First of all, the main drawback of LibreOffice was the compatibility with MS Office files. Opening a.docx file was problematic and conversely, a file created in LibreOffice could lose some layout elements.
Fortunately, with this new version 7.0, it will be possible to open documents with the formats used by Office 2013/2016/2019.
Finally, with this much better interoperability, there is no longer any hesitation in downloading LibreOffice. It's still available for free on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Note that a version of LibreOffice is also available on Android and iOS as the Collaborate Office.
Why use LibreOffice?
If you are looking for a Microsoft Word alternative, here are some good reasons why LibreOffice might be the right choice for you.
- LibreOffice works with all Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, and offers its users an interface translated into French.
- If you are one of those people who does not trust any software whose source code they cannot see, then LibreOffice is your obvious choice.
- LibreOffice gives you access to all the tools you need to create all types of documents, from an ergonomic interface that is accessible to users of all levels.
- If you're someone like me who jumps between macOS, Windows, and Linux, LibreOffice is your only choice.
The different software of the LibreOffice suite
LibreOffice integrates several applications that make it the most advanced Libre & Open Source office suite on the market:
Writer is a word processing program which allows editing of documents. It embeds a spell checker and allows you to insert images, tables and files. It's a Microsoft Word alternative.
Calc is a spreadsheet manager, with many functions: work by several users on the same spreadsheet, macro processing, data processing and analysis and graph generation.
LibreOffice Calc is thealternative to Microsoft Excel.
Base is a database management program which offers the possibility of structuring table elements and performing queries. In particular, it supports multi-user database engines such as MySQL / MariaDB, Adabas D, MS Access and PostgreSQL.
Although Base competes with Microsoft Access software, its functionalities are different: Base has an ODBC interface, allowing you to link tables (Calc or Excel) and different databases.
Impress is a slide show creation program which is used to make presentations in the form of a series of slides. You can obviously add text boxes, images, shapes, objects, transition effects and animations, but you also have the possibility to insert all kinds of video and diagrams.
It natively uses the format OpenDocument (ODF), but it is also compatible with the software format Microsoft PowerPoint of which it is an alternative.
In short, in my opinion, LibreOffice is the best alternative to Microsoft Office. It is true that it takes a little time to adapt even if these 2 suites are very similar but it is worth opting for LibreOffice or at least for a free and open office suite.