LibreOffice offers a powerful suite of office applications and is a great alternative to Microsoft Office. With laudable principles, nothing to pay and no ads, there’s no reason not to give it a try. LibreOffice includes several applications that make it the most versatile Free and Open Source office suite on the market: Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing). It’s compatible with nearly all Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 files. Tens of millions of people around the world use LibreOffice every day, in homes, businesses, charities and government departments.

LibreOffice is community-driven and developed software, and is a project of the not-for-profit organisation, The Document Foundation.

LibreOffice components

The newest version, 7.3 (and also an even newer version for geeks) is now out, and it looks and feel much more like its Microsoft counterparts. LibreOffice includes several applications that make it the most powerful Free and Open Source office suite on the market. And it’s the most actively developed and up-to-date suite of software of all the Opensource alternatives to Office. It’s faster than ever, more compatible and reliable, cleaner, lighter… and very much ready to serve as the only office suite you need.

  1. Writer: A word processor, it’s equivalent of Microsoft Word. If you’ve used Microsoft Word before, then you’ll be right at home with Writer and vice-versa. In fact, in many ways, Writer even blows Word out of the water.
  2. Writer: A word processing program, it’s equivalent to Word.
  3. Calc: A spreadsheet program, it’s equivalent to Excel.
  4. Impress: Presentation software, it’s equivalent to Microsoft PowerPoint.
  5. Draw: A design program, especially useful for vector graphics and flowcharts.
  6. Base: A database, it’s equivalent to Microsoft Access.
  7. Math: A simple tool for formula editing and equations.

It doesn’t come with an Outlook equivalent for email. But it’s not a problem if you are already using webmail via a web browser. And if you need to, you can continue using your Outlook software and use the new LibreOffice on the same machine. And if you need an update for your old version of Outlook, try Thunderbird – it’s free, just like LibreOffice. Or use webmail such as Gmail, Yahoo etc.

Combined, they make for a powerful suite of programs. It also works with Microsoft’s “docx” standard, which most free office software isn’t compatible with. There is no catch to it. It’s not pirated software, and there are no ads. They believe believe that free software can provide better quality, higher reliability, increased security, and greater flexibility than proprietary alternatives. And almost every Word document and Excel spreadsheet identical or nearly identical to the way it looks in Office. I can safely say without hesitation or any major doubt that LibreOffice is ready to shine in both business and personal usage.

Find out more, and download from LibreOffice.

LibreOffice is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux. And did I say, it’s free!