LibreOffice: 9 Reasons To Use As An Alternative To Microsoft Office

Why did I start using LibreOffice instead of Microsoft Office? Is LibreOffice a good replacement for Excel and Word? Let us see.

LibreOffice

Why did I start using LibreOffice?

I brought a new Laptop and the first thing I missed was Microsoft Office. Which I am so used to working with on my work computer.

The high cost of Office 2019 and the recurring annual cost of Office 365 was huge deterrent. I thought of getting the activation code in an unethical way. Given the risk, it was a straight no. Then what?

I started to look for some alternatives to MS Office. The main reason was my usage of Word processors and Spreadsheet applications. I would use a Word Processor only to create an occasional document and Spreadsheet for writing down my expenses or maybe some other basic work. This did not make great sense by paying so much for an M365 subscription. This is very important and you should also understand your requirement before making a decision.

After careful research, I came up with two software LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice. Both have the same origins, you can read about the difference here. There is hardly much difference between the two but one feature is the ability to save files in .docx and .xlsx format. This is because LibreOffice supports Office Open XML export, whereas OpenOffice can only import. This made my choice easy.

Microsoft Office 365 online is also a free option, the only drawback is you cannot save the program on your PC. You can use it online and save documents in Microsoft OneDrive. I have done a full review on this topic, which you may follow the below link.

How to use Microsoft Office online for free?

LibreOffice vs Microsoft Office

There are not many differences between Microsoft Office and LibreOffice. The UI is similar and if you want you can enable the tabbed menu in LibreO to make it look more like MS Office. The Writer and Calc are very similar to MS Word and MS Excel.

Take a look at some screenshots.

Writer
Libre Writer
Calc
Libre Calc

The Benefits

  1. It is Free!
  2. Libre Office is compatible with a wide range of document formats like MS Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. You can even export your work to different formats including PDF. With each new release, the compatibility is getting better.
  3. You can save Libre documents to Microsoft format, like .docx and .xlsx.
  4. Documents created by LibreOffice look professional and clean. It has all the formatting and styles you need for your document.
  5. The Draw program in LibreOffice lets you draw flowcharts, an equivalent of MS Visio. Now, that’s a bonus.
  6. You can edit PDF. That’s what we call a feature. You can also create Hybrid PDF files and share them with others at the same time other Libre users can edit them as well.
  7. Use a wide range of templates and download them from an extensive library. Especially useful for your presentations.
  8. Used by millions of people worldwide.
  9. Great lineage. Originally Sun Microsystems acquired StarOffice and made it a free and open-source office suite called OpenOffice.org. LibreOffice is built on the original codebase of OpenOffice.org.

Now the cons?

  • It is not online like Office365 and Google docs where you can save documents online storage.
  • You need to get used to it, some options might be named differently or placed elsewhere.
  • You feel like using an older version of MS Office, so it lacks the novelty of Office 365.
  • No alternative to Outlook or OneNote. If that actually matters to you.

How to download LibreOffice?

Click here to download it from the official website of LibreOffice.

You can then choose the Operating System (Windows/Mac/Linux) and download the latest version. The latest version is 7.3.3. If you have an older version of LibreOffice then you need to immediately update as it is no longer tested or updated.

Learn more about LibreOffice 7.3

LibreOFfice
Select the Operating System and Download.

You can install it on any of the below Operating Systems

  • Linux x64 (deb & rpm)
  • Mac OS X
  • Windows x86_64 (Win 7 or above)

Follow the easy prompt-based installation of Libre Office and choose the type of features you need. Try the Recommended if the Custom install is complicated.

Verdict: Does LibreOffice make the cut?

LibreOffice is a worthy alternative to MS Office. If you are looking for a Word Processor or a Spreadsheet application with no cost or risk then this is for you. It opens any Microsoft files and you can also save the LibreOffice files in Microsoft format (.docx and .xlsx). As a bonus, you will also be able to edit PDFs and create Flowcharts using the Draw application.

Have you used LibreOffice or any other software like OpenOffice? Please share your feedback or any other views in the comments section. Thank you!

Next read: LibreOffice vs OpenOffice

4 thoughts on “LibreOffice: 9 Reasons To Use As An Alternative To Microsoft Office”

  1. Pingback: How to use Microsoft Office for free? | Techno Frugal

  2. I was searching for an alternative on MS Office. Finally, I came to know about LibreOffice on your blog. Thanks for the article. Definitely will try my hand on LibreOffice.

  3. Pingback: LibreOffice vs OpenOffice - Techno Frugal

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