LibreOffice: The Free Replacement Application for Microsoft Office

Getting tired of paying for Microsoft Office?

There are many free office suites out there. The one that we recommend, LibreOffice (which can be found at http://www.libreoffice.org), has the ability to save files in the same file extensions as Microsoft Office (for example, it can save in Word’s .docx format or Excel’s .xlsx format). This allows for cross-compatibility, which means you can write a document in LibreOffice and email it to someone who will open it with Microsoft Word. The only difference is that you downloaded LibreOffice for free and saved yourself $120-$300.

Some of you may have heard of OpenOffice, which is (or was) one of the most popular free office suites. Unfortunately, OpenOffice is currently not being updated. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are close cousins. LibreOffice has the ability to type documents, create slideshows, and create spreadsheets, among other things. You may recognize these abilities as the core three components of Microsoft Office – namely, Word, Powerpoint, and Excel.

The only real drawback to LibreOffice is that it doesn’t have a mail client that emulates Microsoft Outlook (although there are other free programs that do!). But if you use your office package for simpler tasks, LibreOffice is worth looking into. The only caveat is that we’ve run into some minor compatibility issues, mostly regarding formatting, when a LibreOffice document is opened with Microsoft Office. If you’re engaging in simpler word processing and spreadsheet documents, LibreOffice could be perfect for you. If you like to use a lot of formatting (fancy fonts, pictures, and the like), then it could be problematic.

If you decide to install it, come on in and talk to us for some advice on how to tweak some settings to make it a seamless transition. If you’d like to install it, please simply visit www.libreoffice.org. We have no affiliation with LibreOffice, we simply think that it’s a great program.

You might even save yourself some money!

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