LibreOffice a serious contender in the office suite competition

LibreOffice’s launch screen gives quick access to all the components

So I’ve been using Microsoft Office since at least 2004 – I forget exactly when but the fact that I’m still running Office 2004 tells me at least that much. Yes this is a 10 year old software package, and yes it is outdated and showing its limitations on a daily basis. However since I’m no longer a student I just can’t find the need to spend $100 or so on Office.

I had tried the open source alternative, OpenOffice, several years ago but found it just annoying enough to keep me from switching over completely. But LibreOffice 4 is really making my head turn in that direction.

I’ve been using LibreOffice on my laptop which is currently dual-booting Windows 7 and ElementaryOS. I’ve been using Elementary primarily on it, and installed LibreOffice as my office suite so I had something to do my work on. The semi-steep learning curve I had with prior versions is gone, and my satisfaction is so far good. I’ve found some minor translation issues in opening Excel files in LibreOffice, but nothing serious. Most of the issues seemed to center around default fonts being different in the programs, meaning that sometimes they overflowed the cell leading to “####” instead of my data. But these have all been minor.

I use Excel and Word quite a bit in the MS Office suite, and found both versions in LibreOffice easy to use. I haven’t tried the other parts of it so I can’t say much about them.

I’ve found that the more you use a particular program the less likely you are to move to something else, especially if you’ve spent a long time learning how to use that program. If you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into learning Office 10, chances are you probably won’t switch even if you don’t love it simply because of the investment you’ve made in it. However if you’re just getting in to documents and spreadsheets, or are in need of a free alternative to Office, give LibreOffice a try. It takes a little time to learn, but it’s well worth it.

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Posted on January 12, 2014, in software and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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