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A Viable Alternative

9 out of 10
January 31, 2019
I have used LibreOffice (and its code predecessors, StarOffice and OpenOffice) since 2000. Compatibility with MS Office has improved over …
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What is LibreOffice?

LibreOffice is a free and open-source Office Suite from The Document Foundation, presented as the successor to The suite includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula…

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What is Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application available as part of Microsoft 365 (Office 365), or standalone, in cloud-based and on-premise editions.

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is a Microsoft Cloud subscription service that includes Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access). The software can be installed across multiple devices and ensures that users always have the most up-to-date…

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Product Details

What is LibreOffice?

LibreOffice is a free and open-source Office Productivity Suite from The Document Foundation, presented as the successor to LibreOffice is compatible with a wide range of document formats such as Microsoft® Word (.doc, .docx), Excel (.xls, .xlsx), PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx) and Publisher. LibreOffice also provides native support for the open standard, the Open Document Format (ODF). Work can also be exported in many different formats, including PDF.

The suite includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing). It is available in an installed edition (available in Windows, Mac OS, and Linux versions), through mobile apps for Android and iOS.

LibreOffice Applications

LibreOffice Writer - Word Processor
Writer's features are aimed at presenting an open source alternative to Microsoft Word of the Microsoft 365 Office Suite. It is a word processor and desktop publishing solution. It is described by its developers and power users as able to support the creation of a book with diagrams, indexes, and illustrated content. Writer also includes typical word processor features such as various fonts, page layout and editing tools, and an autocorrect library. Writer also can be extended with templates, and comes with Wizards to help the user through more advanced workflows (e.g. mail merges). Common complex documents are supported with templates by default, and more niche forms may have templates available through extensions created by the supporter community.

LibreOffice Calc - Spreadsheet
A free spreadsheet program designed to be easy to use but able to support more advanced calculations , with wizards to guide the user through some commonly needed advanced number crunching and report generation. Calc includes a Scenario Manager to perform "what if..." analyses, and a solver component that enables the user to find optimum value of a particular spreadsheet given constraints appearing in other cells. Also, its "DataPilot" features lets Calc pull raw data from exogenous data sources, and also integrate real-time data streams.

LibreOffice Impress - Presentations
Impress lets users create slides, similar to PowerPoint, presenting a free alternative to the popular presentation tool. Impress can also be used for diagramming, or for creating and displaying drawings. Its Fontworks tool also lets users create and insert 2D and 3D images into presentations. Impress supports working with multiple monitors, and users can share slide notes, operate a presentation slider, etc.

LibreOffice Draw - Graphics
The LibreOffice suite also includes a graphics and diagramming tool. Draw also is designed to be relatively simple to use for quick sketches but also is able to support more advanced technical drawings, or brochures and the like that might be used to support marketing activities. Users can also work with existing graphical objects, using LibreOffice Draw as an editing tool with cropping, grouping, etc.

LibreOffice Base - Database
Base is designed to meet a range of enterprise DB requirements, and natively includes drivers for popular used database engines, such as MySQL, MS Access, and PostgreSQL. It includes JDBC- and ODBC- built-in support, to extend its versatility and enable Base to be connected to virtually any database. Wizards are present for help with database design, and it includes pre-defined tables for common use cases (e.g. sales orders, asset tracking, etc.).

LibreOffice Math - Formula Editor
Math is a standalone formula editor that can be used to generate formulae for presentations, spreadsheets, and word processors. Users can work with a range of elements with a pure focus on the math.

LibreOffice Charts - Charts & Visualizations
Similar to Math, LibreOffice also allows the user to work with charts in a freeform way, focusing on style, color, size, etc. across a variety of pie charts, bar charts, trend graphs, or 3D charts, so that the user can focus on perfecting its style before putting the chart on display in whatever presentation, drawing, or document its destined for.

LibreOffice is supported by an active community, FAQ, and documentation from The Document Foundation. Also, LibreOffice tutorials are plentiful and found online in video format. While The Document Foundation does not provide commercial support directly for enterprises, they do maintain a certification program for trainers, developers, and professional consultancies that do wish to provide premium support for LibreOffice implementations and on-going supports. Also, while LibreOffice is an installed option, a cloud-based service based on LibreOffice is available through Collabora Online, a SaaS based on the LibreOffice Office Suite that is available in a browser.

LibreOffice Videos

How to automatically update charts in LibreOffice Calc
HR Tracker in LibreOffice Calc. HR Trends
Grouping in LibreOffice Calc. Group and Outline
How to create a budget in LibreOffice Calc
How to compare two lists in LibreOffice Calc
How to automatically update a time sheet in LibreOffice Calc
How to mail merge in LibreOffice Writer. Mail Merge
How to create a Vlookup and Hlookup formula in Libreoffice Calc

LibreOffice Competitors

LibreOffice Technical Details

Deployment TypesOn-premise
Operating SystemsWindows, Linux, Mac
Mobile ApplicationApple iOS, Android


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is LibreOffice?

LibreOffice is a free and open-source Office Suite from The Document Foundation, presented as the successor to The suite includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing).

How much does LibreOffice cost?

LibreOffice starts at $0.

What is LibreOffice's best feature?

Reviewers rate Support Rating highest, with a score of 7.6.

Who uses LibreOffice?

The most common users of LibreOffice are from Small Businesses (1-50 employees) and the Computer Software industry.


(1-25 of 28)
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Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I used LibreOffice to write my dissertation. I also used it for years to write academic articles and to develop teaching materials for my students. One of the things that is important to me as an academic writer is to be able to use plug-ins that connect my word processor with my bibliography manager.
  • Word Processing.
  • Basic Styles.
  • Compiling chapters into a book-sized project.
  • More advanced Style options.
  • Consistent integration with bibliography management software.
  • Group authoring.
LibreOffice is a great option if you don't have access to a free copy of Microsoft Office. It includes all of the basic functionality of MS Office for the price of free. But if you need some of the more advanced features and if the rest of your colleagues tend to use MS Office, then it's not worth struggling against the tide.
Karambir Singh Khalsa | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I am the only employee at a small nonprofit. I have been using LibreOffice back since it was OpenOffice. I need something that is affordable or ideally free so LibreOffice meets our price point. I mostly need a word processor and occasionally something to make presentations. I use Google Sheets primarily for spreadsheets mostly due to it's programmability and online integration with other tools.
  • It's free.
  • It's a full-featured office productivity suite.
  • The various applications are able to import and export documents in a variety of well-known formats.
  • Name brand office suites vendors such as Microsoft and Google have online portals where documents can be saved and shared for automation/integration. LibreOffice would do well to expand into this space.
  • Memory handling in large spreadsheets (i.e., 60k rows or more) seems a bit quirky on my Macbook Air. It might just be a memory issues, but scrolling with the trackpad behaves strangely (i.e., cell selection jumps around unexpectedly).
The fact that it is free of charge for desktop use sets LibreOffice at the top of my list. Given our low software budget, and its feature set which is for all intents and purposes equivalent to big name brands, it is more than appropriate for our needs. I have noticed in some situations that exporting a spreadsheet in a particular format on my machine and then sharing it with someone who is using say Microsoft Excel results in unexpected behavior (i.e., formatting issues or unreadable data).
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It is used by my whole organization. I use it as my primary source for office applications usage.
  • It's comparable to MS Office suites.
  • MS Office documents are compatible.
  • Better than Google Docs.
  • It doesn't provide all the functions it should with a paid subscription.
  • There are features that are only available with Premium and I have premium and they are still not available.
  • Paying for the premium version doesn't provide additional services than free version
  • Customer service is nonresponsive and has been nonresponsive for years even prior to COVID.
LibreOffice is a good alternative to MS Office. I like it better than Google Docs. It's compatible with MS Office applications.

However, many of the features or functions are difficult to find even when utilizing the help menu. The website isn't too helpful either. My greatest disappointment is that I paid for the premium version a year ago but never received the features that were supposed to be available with a premium subscription. The upper right-hand corner of the app shows the subscription type and date of expiration of the subscription. I have premium yet every time I try to access a premium feature it requests me to pay. I have contacted LibreOffice several times over the year and they never responded or provided a refund. I can only recommend the free version because even with a premium subscription, which mine is supposed to expire on 10/22/21 (the date of this review is 08/04/21), I have yet to be able to utilize the premium features I paid for last year. I would not use this as my primary app for Word processing which is where I am experiencing the majority of the blocked features issues. Even with a paid premium subscription, I am unable to create labels. It's asking me to pay again. I think LibreOffice has greater potential but a user must get the features they paid for. I hesitate to call the company a scam but I can say I have contacted LibreOffice numerous times over the past year about the ongoing issues and have not received a response at least once. Along with the features and subscriptions issues that needed to be addressed, another area of improvement is their website. It is very difficult to locate information. Even when using the search field the instructions often do not match the app. I am not sure how often they update their online guides but I have never found it to be helpful. I have also found it very difficult to impossible to download templates. I usually get weird links with garbled codes and no template when trying to download a template. I'm not sure if it's an issue with their site or not but since they don't respond to inquiries I cannot determine a possible cause for the problem.

Robert Gephart | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
LIbreOffice is our default word processor/spreadsheet/presentation software. It has replaced MS Office and it is more resilient than Google Docs. It is a full-featured product that works.
  • It is free.
  • It works with all MS Office files.
  • It is a full-featured desktop solution. No internet connection required to use.
  • Excel macros are not supported.
  • You need to get used to it. While it operates like Office, some of the icons/locations of items are different.
  • It runs like Office 2003, not Office 365.
It is well suited to someone who is looking for software to replace MS Office without a subscription or fee. As long as you are not a heavy user or someone who constantly interfaces with a large organization that uses Microsoft products, LibreOffice is a great product.
You need to know how to google search for answers. LibreOffice has good documentation, but you can't order a training session.
Jacob Wall | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use LibreOffice to fill in any holes left by the Microsoft Office Suite licenses we purchase. For example:
  • LibreOffice has a Draw program that allows you to make diagrams and flowcharts - a feature missing from the Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Also, for laptops that are used only occasionally, where office applications are seldom used, it's not worth purchasing a license, so we install LibreOffice.
  • Likewise, for hosting servers, where Remote App users do not need to use a word processor, but may need to occasionally open or view an attachment, LibreOffice meets this occasional usage.
  • It also provides an excellent and full office suite while working from home for staff that may not otherwise need to purchase Microsoft Office.
  • Full Featured - Just about everything you can get in a purchased office suite is available - word processor, spreadsheet, slides, drawing, database.
  • The Draw program provides features that you may not find elsewhere (at least not easily) - e.g. flowcharts with arrows that automatically connect to boxes, following smooth lines.
  • Follows industry standards - e.g. the spreadsheet uses the same formulas you'd be used to from Excel.
  • Compatible - Easily open and edit documents from Microsoft suite; save in all the usual file formats, with good formatting. (i.e. It won't look skewed when you send it to others. There are small issues with editing existing slides from PowerPoint, but these are minor.)
  • Editing PDFs - Word will not let you do this. For small-scale edits, LibreOffice Draw works great.
  • Maintained actively with frequent and useful updates.
  • The menus are outdated; while it's full featured, some tools are buried within dialogs that you'd have to find under sub-sub-menus, etc.
  • It's not online. The current way of collaboration is online apps like Google Docs. This makes collaboration less convenient.
  • It can give a poor impression if it becomes visible to clients or other stakeholders; this isn't a flaw with the suite itself, but often impression matters.
For business usage, it is most appropriate to use as I've described - filling holes left by the main/purchased Office suite - e.g. on seldom used laptops, on servers, etc. This is not due to any flaws, but mostly impression.

It's also very useful for working at home if you need to edit documents on your own machine, but not often enough to merit purchasing an Office suite.

It would be less appropriate as a full-time Office suite used often each day in a professional environment, or where online collaboration is needed.
Support is not officially offered. However, you can find answers to any usage questions or trouble-shooting online easily, typically starting with a Google search. (I believe that all forums / tips for OpenOffice apply equally to LibreOffice, and vice versa.) While Microsoft Office, for example, officially includes support, I find that typically you end up going to a Google search in any case. So, this is not really a downside. However, in all these cases, you end up doing a lot of figuring things out for yourself.
November 09, 2019

LibreOffice, the best.

Mauricio E Gleizer | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Here at GISMarxev I use LibreOffice every time I need to edit documents via PC. Those traditional industry documents such as text, spreadsheets, presentations, and PDF formats. Yes, you're right -- it's our substitute champion for the MS Office package, and not only for being completely costless, but also for two other important reasons:
1) It is functionally compatible with the Microsoft package for both opening and exporting files.
2) It maintains a simple and user-friendly interface that wisely hides the most sophisticated features from the average user.
  • It is available for installation on the three major PC platforms: Windows, Linux, and Mac (including official application stores for these systems).
  • It has always been able to open, edit and/or export files (even with specific formatting) in MS Office proprietary formats without piracy, as it is completely costless.
  • It is constantly updated (certainly much more than MS Office), which ensures more security, stability, and new features.
  • Paid, online, fast problem-solving technical support.
  • An online version that is really similar and compatible with LibreOffice for desktop, similar to MSOffice 365.
  • An updated service that works within the LibreOffice itself.
LibreOffice is ideal for organizations and people who don't want and/or can't pay for MS Office. Even in environments where the use of the Microsoft tool is well established, the familiar interface and ease of importing/exporting files from all commonly used applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) efficiently helps a lot during the transition period.
Therefore, it is only in situations where the official MS Office license has already been purchased (purchased or donated) that exclusive use of LibreOffice would not be recommended, but as licenses do not last forever, this situation may change.
Online, through the various forums and lists of experienced users, and also on the LibreOffice website itself.
Anthony Zurica | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
LibreOffice is being used as an alternative to MSOffice. Our whole organization uses it. It simplifies the word processing aspect of our firm.
  • Very user-friendly.
  • Compatible with other programs.
  • Cost of entry.
  • Easier help function.
  • Better PDF integration.
LibreOffice is well suited for any firm/organization that has a background in MS office. It is less appropriate for those starting out in the word processing field.
Haven't used support enough.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use LibreOffice through out the entire organization. It's mostly used for spreadsheets, data tracking, exporting and importing inventory via user-created .csv files and it's occasionally used for word processing and making signs in the retail store. The vast majority of users do very well with the minor differences from office, and not having to use the official licensing is a huge plus, especially when you have a front end that opens a document to merge with other data.
  • Basic spreadsheet functionality
  • Word processing
  • Creating CSVs for importing
  • Some Excel created spreadsheets have formatting issues.
  • Some of the more advanced Excel functions take some extra effort to achieve.
Anyone who needs word processing and basic spreadsheet functionality is much better off with LibreOffice. If you need to create docs that are importable into a database like SQL, Tomcat, etc. there's no issue. If you are tired of the licensing with office 365, this is a great choice. Some areas where it might be less appropriate are with personnel that have used MS Office for a very long time and have difficulty with making that switch, or when you are collaborating with people using MS Office and working with some of the more advanced Excel features.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
LibreOffice is my default tool for document creation in my business and personal life. LibreOffice is a free and Open Source office suite application similar to Microsoft Office, it offers word processing, Spreadsheets, Publishing and presentation tools. As a small business operator, it provides considerable savings on the cost of a document creation software. And in not using a commercial application, I have not missed anything. LibreOffice does everything most commercial office suite software does, and more.
  • LibreOffice can open and save your documents in the most popular file formats, including Microsoft Office doc.
  • You can easily export your document as a PDF document (retaining your content format) from with Libre Office; no additional cost or plugin is required
  • You can extend the functionality of LibreOffice by using free plugins e.g language plugins, dictionary, formatting, and other types of plugins.
  • Some MS Office documents' special formatting in Word and Excel doesn't convert well when you are opening these documents using LibreOffice.
I can't think of any scenario when LibreOffice isn't appropriate. Once it's a case of document creation, LibreOffice will and can help you there. Libre Office is great for any business application or any academic environment.
Md Shahinuzzaman | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
LibreOffice is a useful software for my research as I am using the Linux platform. It seems like the alternative of Microsoft office. I have been using it for writing my manuscript, solving difficult calculations and making high-quality presentations. LibreOffice is being used by our research group. LibreOffice is free of cost where other alternatives cost you money. Overall, we are satisfied with the LibreOffice.
  • Statistical calculation
  • Presentation making
  • Manuscript write-up
  • Low-quality figure
  • Not easy to use for beginners
  • Major functions are missing in Libre presentations
LibreOffice is well suited where you do not need in-depth functionality of the software. As a beginner, If you want to do simple things like making demo presentations and noting down key points, then it is a very good software use. On the other hand, the functionality, ease of use are major problems in LibreOffice. However, by using LibreOffice, you will gain more knowledge and can be an expert in the future.
January 31, 2019

A Viable Alternative

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I have used LibreOffice (and its code predecessors, StarOffice and OpenOffice) since 2000. Compatibility with MS Office has improved over the years. I used to maintain an MS Office license to interact with documents in their native format, but I have not longer found it necessary to do so.

All of our internal documents, including user manuals with images, tables of contents, and indexes are produced with LibreOffice. We have found it to be as stable, reliable, and versatile as any other office software product.

If we ever move, as an organization, to MS Office, it will be due to other needs beyond just document creation and editing. In the meantime, we will continue to use and donate to LibreOffice.
  • Excellent document features.
  • Stable.
  • Excellent legacy document compatibility.
  • Help documents could be improved. But, there are often online sources that are readily available.
  • UI is not tablet and touch screen friendly.
LibreOffice is well suited to be the main office suite for internal company use and for generating PDF documents from the source docs. The environment is close enough to other office suites that users will find it easy to adopt.

If you interact heavily with outside organizations that rely on MS Office for native documents, you might find LibreOffice ill suited.
Javier Schwersensky | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
LibreOffice is being used selectively in the organization based on licenses we have for proprietary software (Microsoft Office 365) and some computers which are not part of our secure network, used mostly in presentations.

LibreOffice is a good alternative for us because, as a charity, we like to support community-based projects such as LibreOffice and also because it helps keep our IT licensing costs contained.
  • The text word processing (Writer) has come a long way and, if you are able to install your corporate fonts, there is basically nothing LibreOffice cannot handle. It works very well with document reviews and comments, and it can save in a variety of formats, making it compatible with the likes of Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
  • The spreadsheet software (Calc) can also handle most of the common tasks you may need, link various sheets, and perform some automated functions quite well. It is, I must say, somewhat less complete than the word processing side (Writer).
  • The Draw program allows you to do organizational charts and basic publications very well. It was a deficit in the past, but not anymore.
  • One of the areas which are not yet as good as some proprietary software is charts within the Calc spreadsheet program. The graphs are basic, and manipulation is not as intuitive as it could be.
  • LibreOffice Impress Presentation software does not import PowerPoint successfully, especially when converting fonts you may not have.
  • The Draw and Base programs have fewer features than proprietary competitors. But you are relying on a team of mostly volunteers and it gets the job done if you are not a power user.
If you have basic or intermediate use of word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software, LibreOffice is a free alternative to other more expensive programs. The features and documentation are more than adequate and you will be supporting open software, which, depending on your line of work, may also align with corporate and institutional values.

If your organization is more cloud-based or is using online collaboration, then LibreOffice offers fewer features and it is by far a lot less user-friendly than its proprietary competitors such as Office 365 or Google Docs.
Christopher Boyd | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
LibreOffice was reviewed within my company as a possible replacement to Office 365 (namely the desktop applications Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Whereas LibreOffice is an excellent program, ranking well above applications like Google Docs, it still isn't exactly a pop-in replacement for Microsoft Office. My disclaimer here is that I found LibreOffice to be excellent and would very much enjoy using it, if only it had an Outlook and OneNote application, or at least integrated with replacements for those smoothly elsewhere. Alas, the world of open source can be a little too open sometimes.

The aim was to replace Microsoft Office and not have to rely on Google Docs. We initially found LibreOffice to be very easy to use and incredibly user-friendly. The problems came when we needed (see: expected) to be able to just swap out Word or Excel for Writer or Calc. The default font settings, for example, are not the same between Word, Writer, and Google Docs. This led to confusion among users, despite it being configurable. We then had issues with the way Calc works versus Excel, and transitioning our spreadsheets over would have required reworking several of our formulas in large documents.

We ultimately didn't make the switch to LibreOffice due to the learning curve and nuances but are intending to review it again.
  • It's free, which is the biggest difference between Office. It definitely feels like a full-fledged office suite of software for no more than the cost of an optional donation.
  • Lots of templates exist out on the internet for Writer and Impress (the Word and PowerPoint equivalents in LibreOffice). The open source community really likes to support one another in their usage of each other's software.
  • It works smoothly on almost every OS out there, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
  • It's a step up from Google Docs, but it doesn't quite reach the heights of Microsoft Office. This might simply be because if you grew up using Microsoft Office, the nuances add up spread across the multiple pieces of software.
  • There is no Outlook or OneNote equivalent in the LibreOffice suite. They recommend some alternative apps, and you can find suggestions on the internet, but nothing works or integrates as smoothly as the entire Microsoft Office Suite does.
  • Though lots of templates exist, it's clear that this software is mostly supported by developers and Linux users, which doesn't number a lot of graphic designers in comparison to MacOS or Windows.
If you are working in a Linux environment, then LibreOffice is an excellent choice for you, if not the best choice.

If you don't need to collaborate with people often or the documents you are working on don't need to adhere to strict style guidelines, then you really can't beat the quality for the price (free) of LibreOffice.

However, don't expect the fluidity or integration choices you have with Microsoft Office or Google Docs. LibreOffice is built as standalone software, and whereas tools, apps, and workarounds exist, if you are used to the bells and whistles of the other office suites out there, then LibreOffice will require some patience and extra work.
Jerry Janes | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I have been using, and introducing/supporting clients to use, LibreOffice for over ten years. I began using OpenOffice over a decade ago and continued once it became LibreOffice a few years ago. I also shared it with my students over a decade of teaching, as I worked in poor, rural communities where proprietary solutions like MS Office were simply not viable.
  • It converts MS Word very well. This is a strength for the same reasons I mentioned in my summary - LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite but most importantly, it provides identical functionality to MS' version, empowering those who otherwise cannot afford it. More than MS Word, it opens almost any word processing format
  • It also does a great job of opening/editing spreadsheets, also virtually any format.
  • For those of us who are using Linux OSs, this is your go-to Office alternative.
  • The Impress Presentation application does not open all MS PowerPoint files well. It seems it cannot translate the applied themes, at times. It DOES open them, and you can navigate slides well enough, but once opened, it often loses enough quality that you would not want to share as-is in an actual presentation (I've found using Google Docs to convert is more effective here).
As mentioned, for cost-effectiveness and Linux users, it is a staple suite of apps. As also mentioned, it is less appropriate for sharing former PPT presentations with clients or anyone else where quality is paramount.
Laura Gatius | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It's very helpful for us because we are a very large corporation and we needed an open-source free solution to use as an office suite. We use LibreOffice as an office suite. We edit, create, and print documents with it. We use it also to manage large files with data, like we would do with Excel.
  • It runs very well on a lot of laptops and computers, even if they're old.
  • It has a very good document editor very similar to Microsoft Word.
  • It's open source and free.
  • It does not consume a lot of resources of your computer. It's very fast and reliable.
  • The compatibility when switching the file format could be a little bit better.
  • Sometimes it crashes and you lose all your data.
  • It's a good alternative to Microsoft Office but it's not quite the same. We miss some features and tools.
It is a good free software that has several programs very similar to MS Office. The text editor offers all the basic features needed to write, edit, and print text files. It allows you to save it in different formats as the word does. The archives of different softwares are also compatible, such as Word's .docx. It has no extension limitations and this makes your life much easier when it comes to editing documents. Other programs are also good, such as the spreadsheet. The only negative aspect that I find is that it is not visually pleasing and it is a bit more difficult to understand the menus and the options. But other than that, it's pretty good editing software.
October 29, 2018

Best open Office suite

Miguel Useche | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It's used by all the organization to write all documents and to make spreadsheets. We use it because we want to have all documents in an open format that we know it will be maintained for multiple years. Also their price is lower so it helps the organization to save costs by avoiding the need of multiple licenses for an Office software.
  • It's lightweight, it opens fast and doesn't consume a lot of resources. Helpful for older computers.
  • Real multi-platform, I can use the same software on Windows, Linux and MacOS. I can compose a document on my MacOS laptop and the open it at my linux machine without any problems. Also workers can use any OS without losing compatibility with OpenOffice.
  • Great compatibility with other offices suites, it can open any document format so we don't have to worry about formats.
  • One click export to PDF, we can quickly creates PDF by exporting with a single click.
  • UI is outdated, it feels like an Office suite from a decade ago.
  • Some tools are not intuitive, I have to search documentation or online guides to do some tasks.
  • Their Microsoft compatiblity is not enough
It's a great suite for organization where they can't spend a lot of money on licenses. I recommend it when employees have multiple operating systems and want to use a single office suite. I don't recomend it if all your bussiness platform is managed by Microsoft software.
Jesús Noehi Posada Navarro | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use LibreOffice across the whole organization. Thanks to being free, it helps you to save money without losing any functionality while working with all kinds of Office files, like Docs or Sheets for example, which we use on a daily basis.
  • Full compatibility with other Office suites, thus avoiding any problem derived of compatibility issues.
  • You can get it for free from its website. This way you can save money!
  • Allows you to add more features using extensions that can be found on the internet
  • Thanks to being open source, it has a great and big community behind fixing problems and updated the suite.
  • It would be good update the UI for a more modern one, it wont make It work worse, but it's a bit dated.
  • Sometimes it consume more system resources than I would like, they can improve in this.
  • The Sheets function needs an update to make it more intuitive to use for people not used to work with Sheets
If you need to work with docs and sheets it will work great, but with presentations it can be a bit confusing if you are not used to working with them.
Thanks to a Big community there's lots of places to go on the internet to look for help
David García Caballero | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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Verified User
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I have used LibreOffice as a free alternative office suite, used it to create my documents and presentations without any worry about licenses or payment.
  • Compatible with most office documents and formats.
  • Easy and lightweight installation.
  • It's a free and fully functional package.
  • It has a lot of resources, and it's a solid and powerful tool.
  • Sometimes its not as stable as other office suites.
  • Some menus in the options can be confusing.
  • The user interface can be improved to be more attractive.
LibreOffice is a pretty functional package, it gives all the necessary tools for daily, professional and personal work, with total and free availability. I think that it can fit perfectly in a PC of a business that needs to read and write administrative and office documents, even for any home PC and students for school and university docs.
Igor Neumann | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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Verified User
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I currently have Microsoft Office and LibrefOfice installed in my computer and use LibreOffice way more often for a couple of reasons... Mainly my job requires me to manipulate .csv files and Excel does a very poor job of opening it (it always assumes the delimiter character is ";" while I never saw it being used in my life, everyone - and their dogs - use "," as a delimiter), so you need to rename it to .txt in order for Excel to ask you), while LibreOffice always open it correctly. The other reason is its interface. Call me a dinosaur, but I'm still not a fan of the "ribbon" interface of MS Office, while LibreOffice's interface resemble the "legacy" (pre 2003) MS office interface.
The only program that I still prefer the MS option for is for presentations, but I still find PowerPoint BAD, so LibreOffice's Impress is even worse. (For context sake, I'm a designer used to Adobe Creative Cloud programs so it's natural to feel limited by presentation programs.) Im currently testing other alternatives for that.
Apart from that, LibreOffice offers some programs that are way superior to MS Office's options such as "Draw" (way better than Visio), its equation editor "Math" (way better than MS Office equation editor) and "Charts". So basically LibreOffice made most of its programs "as- ood" as MS alternatives (except Impress) and took some small MS Office features (Visio/equation editor/charts) and made them into full features programs as differential.

It does miss a key feature though... the CLOUD.

If you don't use Office365 Cloud features, PowerPoint isn't your main application, and aren't in love with the MS ribbon interface, LibreOffice is likely an as good (or better) option for you.
  • Work with CSV files (MS is reeeeally bad at this and it's very important for my job).
  • Diagrams.
  • Formulas.
  • Its interface (but hey, its a question of taste on this one).
  • Format compatibility (they use Open Document Format, NOT a proprietary format as MS and are fully compatible with MS ones).
  • Impress, I'm very unimpressed by it! (see what I did there?)
  • But to be fair, I also consider MS Office's alternative BAD. (from a designer's standpoint)
  • Cloud Integration (that could be a deal-breaker for O365 users).
  • It could be prettier (its UI feels dated, but please don't copy the Ribbon interface).
Very well suited to edit CSV files, its text editor and spreadsheet editor are top notch, less appropriate if you use/need cloud integration to share (or edit) a document between many users, also its presentation program is really lacking, so it's a great suite for the "usual" office user, with text editor and spreadsheets as its main programs, but wouldn't recommend it as a presentation software nor for shared documents, you can have way better options on the cloud (Google? Microsoft? Zoho?) and also some specific presentation programs (Focusky, Prezi).
Score 8 out of 10
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Verified User
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I use LibreOffice for data cleaning in Calc. The portable version of this app is very useful for spot-case use where you don't want to fully install or use across multiple devices. This app is being used for data processing, cleaning, and ETL for databases and comma separated file/tab separated file manipulation.
  • Native support for Regular Expression
  • Easy interaction with CSV documents
  • Supports Excel formats
  • Upgrade the user interface, it is looking very mid-2000s
  • Support for structured references
I always recommend LibreOffice for data cleaning practices since Excel tends to have some hiccups that can really hurt your data cleanliness. I do not recommend LibreOffice for standard reporting/charting in corporate environments where Excel is king since there is not 100% support of all features. I find LibreOffice to be more suited for the IT/Web crowd instead of Finance/Supply Chain.
Score 7 out of 10
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Verified User
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I have used LibreOffice throughout my undergraduate degree, and later as the main offline office productivity suite on my Linux desktop. LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite that includes applications for spreadsheet creation, word processing, presentations and database design. I use it to read documents, prepare presentations, and edit invoices.
  • Free to use, includes many core office applications including CAD
  • Relatively mature offerings and full featured software; applications such as Calc and Writer support macro functionality
  • Easy to get started with using if you're familiar with older versions of the Microsoft Office suite
  • Stability of the applications is a concern. It has improved over the years but expect at least a couple of crashes a month in Writer or Calc.
  • Does not support VBA scripts if importing documents from Microsoft Office
  • Weird formatting and rendering inconsistencies with switching between file formats or importing from MS Office.
LibreOffice is your best bet if you appreciate working on documents offline and want to keep storing them locally. It is perfect for students. For Linux systems it's one of the best native offerings you'll get, short of spinning up a Windows virtual machine and paying for a MS Office suite license. A bit more effort will be required if you want to create Word documents or presentations that look slick, professional, and modern - so if presentation and time are important to you, go for other office suites instead. LibreOffice is free, so there's no harm in trying it out and seeing if it's sufficient for your needs.
Score 10 out of 10
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Verified User
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I choose to use LibreOffice because of a few reasons. I like to support the Open-Source Community - yes LibreOffice is free. You can however make a donation to the project if you choose to show support for their efforts in continuing the project and making it better and better. I also like LibreOffice because it works across platforms. It will run Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. I use Windows and Linux both and they have the same product on both platforms; [this] is a big plus to me. For mobile devices, it is my understanding that they have a viewer for Android and the ability to edit on Android is still an experimental feature. Hope to see a full Android version someday. So, if you like LibreOffice and want to see it more robust on mobile devices, I would suggest letting them know and by making a donation for supporting the efforts.
  • LibreOffice is a full suite of office use solutions. Those include: Writer (to work with documents - .doc, docx, and even .pdf). Calc which is a full-featured spreadsheet tool, Impress which is to do presentations and slideshows, Draw which is as it sounds - a drawing tool, Math for working with formulas, and Base which is for working with databases.
  • There are templates for a number of items that you may need to create from time to time.
  • It works well with most items created in Microsoft Office and the other way around.
  • There a number of extensions that can be installed to be used to make it work for a specific purpose. Such as Code Highlighter so that code will be colored based on the syntax. I believe that plugins support some 350 or so programming languages. This is just one of the many extensions available. I just happen to like this one personally.
  • When saving a Word file (document) you have to be careful to save it as an MS Word DOCX file or it will by default save it as an ODT file.
  • I would like Draw to be more feature rich. But, for documents, it is very sufficient. So, I guess I can't expect it to be PhotoShop, since that it not its real purpose. But, some of those types of features sure would not be frowned upon :)
It quite simply, in my opinion, the best open-source office suite out there. It will perform most all of your tasks you need to do on a daily basis.
Linda Sasenick | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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We use LibreOffice for all of our word processing and spreadsheet needs, as a free, open-sourced substitute for Microsoft Office. It also offers a full "suite" of services, including presentations, drawing, and database, and most importantly, we've had very few problems converting from and to other vendors' formats with LibreOffice. For us, it is a low cost (free!) solution for written communications, data management (we primarily use the spreadsheet), and other spreadsheet functions.
  • LibreOffice does a remarkably good job of converting files in other vendors' formats, generally with little loss of function or format (e.g., opening and manipulating other .doc or .docx files from Microsoft Office).
  • Just because it's free doesn't mean its functionality is limited! I can't think of any Office function or feature which isn't also available from LibreOffice.
  • Have a variety of users, devices and operating systems? No problem, LibreOffice is a "cross-platform" suite, available for Linux, Windows, Mac, tablets and Androids.
  • There are some quirks, and finding the solution isn't always easy. For example, spreadsheet files in CSV format can be tricky to open if specifics about the "delimiter" (tab, comma, etc.) are provided in detail. I've had to play "guess the delimiter" and use trial and error to open a number of popular CSV export formats (particularly when exporting/importing contacts between programs).
  • LibreOffice's extended functionality is expanded by "extensions," however, some of these extensions either fail in the installation or don't work (in particular, the grammar extension).
  • It's a minor thing, but it would be great if the spell check would prompt with the correct spelling, instead of just the red underline.
LibreOffice is by far, from my experience, the best, budget-friendly (free!) office suite out there, well-suited for any business with "average" written communication, presentation and data management needs (again, a working grammar check function is something that needs improvement). If your work requires highly individualized or specialized functions -- such as custom fonts -- or if you commonly download or exchange complex and customized documents with others, I'd stick to whatever software is in common use for that application.
Glen Mehn | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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It's a replacement for MS Office. It was used across the organisation, particularly for internal collaboration and documents in a mixed (Windows/Mac/Linux) environment. Once we got finance to start using it they actually preferred it to Excel (had some statistical features) though there was a learning curve. It's particularly handy because it's free and able to be downloaded and avoids the upgrade/version compatibility cycle that we have had with MSO.
  • Calc has better statistical tools built in
  • Ability to map macros (i.e. ctrl-K for inserting links) to whatever you want
  • Cross platform better than windows/mac
  • Works on Linux
  • Interface is actually dire - 20 years out of date. It's like Word 2000, or maybe 98.
  • The PowerPoint analogue leaves a LOT to be desired. You have to spend quite a lot of time making stuff up for it.
  • There's no real analogue to Project.
  • The Visio analogue is Draw, which is really not as easy to use.
If it works people like it. It's very well suited for fairly straightforward collaboration - if you need advanced features you'll need to either map macros or spend a lot of time hunting. In some cases it's handier than the MS version.

It's less well suited for going back and forth between MS and Office docs - particularly things like version control and it hasn't handled .docx/.xslx/.pptx files as well as the older alternatives (though that is getting better). Also doesn't handle SmartArt from Word.

It's *much* more stable particularly with BIG spreadsheets and documents (having known an author who lost ~120K words of a novel to Word and refuses to use it ever again)
Martin Malec | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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Verified User
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It is being used by whole organization and it is still being used as the main office suite. Recently we purchased Office 365 and are gradually moving to MS Office being part of the O365 subscription. But anyway in the last 4 years the whole organization was using almost exclusively the LibreOffice suite, most of the company's documents are saved in OpenDocument format (.ods, .odt etc.) and these files tend be difficult to be converted to MS Office formats. LibreOffice is being used as a text editor (Writer) and table processor (Calc) mostly, with only exceptional use of Impress for presentations and Base for connecting to a MySQL database and doing some edits there via forms.
  • Writer is very good at defining styles for paragraphs, characters, tables, pages etc., and this concept is more clear than in MS Office. Writing a document with well-defined styles makes it easier for future changes.
  • Good typographical features of Writer when using supported OpenType fonts such as kerning and ligatures make it easier to produce almost-DTP-quality documents. Embedded PDF export with a lot of features complements this really well.
  • Both Writer and Calc support doing elegant operations using regular expressions for example for a sophisticated find and replace, or in Calc in formulas.
  • The Office suite is perfectly cross-platform and has binaries available for all three major desktop operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux. Native support for Linux allows working in a mixed environment with zero compatibility issues. Lack of support of MS Office on Linux makes it complicated to collaborate between Win/Mac users and Linux users if one party repeatedly saves and opens the document in MS Office and the second one in LibreOffice, creating compatibility issues all the time.
  • Calc lacks Macro recording feature, or has it in an unusable state, compared to a very useful Macro recorder in MS Excel.
  • Incompatibility and a more difficult syntax of Basic especially useful in Calc. Writing the same macro in Excel is much easier than in Calc and converting macros from Excel to Calc or vise versa is complicated if not impossible. Most tutorials on how to achieve various tasks are written for Excel only and cannot be reused for Calc.
  • Calc should add the feature of dynamic previews of Pivot tables, instead of the need to generate one, delete it and try another time if the settings were not perfect. Excel shows the example how this could be done. More users can start using Pivot tables if the barrier to understand the concept is lowered.
  • There should be much more visually reasonable formatting templates for Calc tables. The current list is absolutely impractical and visually very suboptimal. Several colours, odd/even stripes should be added, as Google Sheets or MS Excel has.
Individuals who need to make some nice text documents, easier tables without macros, or presentations, should use LibreOffice instead of buying or subscribing to commercial office suites, because it is mostly a waste of money in such scenarios. Libreoffice can do 90% of tasks perfectly for most home users. Even smaller companies that don't absolutely require the functionalities of Excel (mostly macros, dynamic pivot tables, PowerPivot etc.) could save a lot of money by using Libreoffice.

Power users that know very well recent versions of MS Office and rely on some of its advanced features may, however, find LibreOffice subpar and their productivity may go down when trying to use Libreoffice and re-learn how to achieve the results they already know how to achieve in their former office suite. Then it may not be a good idea to spend this time to re-learn to this new office suite.
As a open source project it has well documented support channels and bugzilla and developers or other users reply to the tickets and are generally helpful.
We use mostly Ninite or Chocolatey for deploying new versions of LibreOffice and other software. Upgrading Libreoffice is usually smooth and without issues, except some not yet fully resolved bug when using the Chocolatey method of auto-update. Manual update was successfull in 100% of cases both on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.