LibreOffice - a full featured, free office suite
April 23, 2020

LibreOffice - a full featured, free office suite

Jacob Wall | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with LibreOffice

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  • The menus are outdated; while it's full featured, some tools are buried within dialogs that you'd have to find under sub-sub-menus, etc.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.
  • Positive - Providing more complete options to clients where occasional Office suite use is needed.
  • Positive - Financial savings on these same uses.
  • Positive - Greater work flexibility.
LibreOffice is very similar, but more actively maintained. I actually used OpenOffice more frequently than LibreOffice in the past, but after LibreOffice forked from OpenOffice, the developers began to maintain it more actively, so I switched.

Some features (I believe certain plugins / add-ons) still come primarily from OpenOffice. I don't believe it makes a significant difference to use one over the other.
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.

Do you think LibreOffice delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with LibreOffice's feature set?


Did LibreOffice live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of LibreOffice go as expected?


Would you buy LibreOffice again?


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.