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LibreOffice

CNET Editors' review

When it comes to creating documents, spreadsheets, databases, and presentations, MS Office is the suite that comes to mind. But let's face it: Office is a pricey piece of software. Thankfully, there are cheaper alternatives out there, but they don't always live up to their promise. LibreOffice offers up a free alternative, and we found it on par with its more popular competitor.

LibreOffice opens with a main menu that let us select which application we wanted to use: Base, Calc, Draw, Impress, Math, and Writer. Each application's interface will look very familiar to you if you've used MS Office products. We started with LibreOffice Writer, the suite's word-processing application. We typed up a document and formatted it without any issues. The application saves documents as .odt files by default, which cannot be opened by MS Word. But to solve any compatibility issues, it does allow you to save it as a .doc file. We proceeded to check out Calc and Impress, the suite's spreadsheet and presentation programs. Like Writer, each program introduced a familiar interface. We were able to bypass the default .ods and .odp file types to MS file types and open them without any issues. And the Math and Draw applications were just icing on top of the cake of this capable suite of tools. Should you need it, each application includes a link that takes you to the Web site for support.

LibreOffice installs and uninstalls cleanly. Its tools work just as well as their pricey competitor's, and it's free. What else can we say? We highly recommend the program.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 152

  • 1.0 stars

    "Ridiculous program"

    March 6, 2014  |   By hikerbiker

    Version: LibreOffice 4.2.1

    Pros

    Free is about the only pro I can think of.

    Cons

    This program is so counterintuitive, it's ridiculous. Want to set up a document with multiple pages? Nope. Want to select all so you can copy and paste? Nope. Want to step and repeat an element? Nope. Want to add an additional page to your document? It puts it above the page you're working on and not after, where you would think it would go. Just spend the money and get InDesign.

    Summary

    Horrendous program, horrible written and designed. Even if it's free, the developers should be ashamed of themselves.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Reliable office suit. Free and Open."

    February 8, 2014  |   By mark0812

    Version: LibreOffice 4.2.0

    Pros

    It's uncomparable in cost with MS Office since 139euros/Student to 539euros/professional editions in Greece. Plus free updates every 6 months. Plus clear and transparent procedures in administration, comments, bugs, QA, etc. Plus Open. Using it for 6 months and found it OK.

    Cons

    Sometimes stops responding (edition 4.2.0) but don't lose my work.

    Summary

    Fine for Home and Office use. Recommend 100%.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great office program."

    February 7, 2014  |   By Mustang5513

    Version: LibreOffice 4.2.0

    Pros

    This can do everything that MS Office can do including keeping files in MS format. The only MS office program that can beat it and not by much is MS office Professional and that's only because it has program that are not in LibreOffice.

    Cons

    Haven't really found any problems with it. It works across multiple platforms without having to download other helpers to get it to work.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Good free Office suite but not professional"

    November 16, 2013  |   By fhansson999

    Version: LibreOffice 4.1.1

    Pros

    - Free
    - Low hardware demands
    - Support many formats
    - Formatting tools are good

    Cons

    - Still using Times new roman default
    - Cluttered user interface
    - Spelling is missing a lot
    - No hardware acceleration = slow scrolling and handling of large documents and spreadsheets
    - No integration in Windows startmenu and taskbar
    - No automatic updates for Windows
    - Help is very short in information
    - Not perfect DOCX formating
    - Very limited script language

    Summary

    LibreOffice works for students and personal use in most cases. It's free and therefore it's a pretty amazing sets of programs. Compared to MS Office it fells short in many areas. It's on pair with Office 2000 in features and user interface. Office 2003 is an overall better Office suite than LibreOffice today. Sticking to classic menus are good for some but user interface starts to be cluttered, just like pre-ribbon Office 2003 back in the days.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Better than OpenOffice or Kingsoft or MS Office"

    October 2, 2013  |   By burdlaw1

    Version: LibreOffice 4.1.1

    Pros

    Updated often, FREE, nice colorful interface, quick opening, clean look, fully compatible with MS Office formats, has Draw program that is nice extra.

    Cons

    no bugs noticed after year of use.

    Summary

    After comparing, even if it were not free, this one is tops. But for free it's spectacular. If you want the best Office suit, I recommend this one, LibreOffice.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Excellent Free MS Office Alternative!"

    September 8, 2013  |   By rasheed12824

    Version: LibreOffice 4.1.1

    Pros

    - All indispensable features for common users present
    - Quick loading time
    - Does what it says
    - Updated frequently
    - FREE
    - open source

    Cons

    no bugs encountered yet.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Fine freebie...But"

    September 1, 2013  |   By TheHulkPower

    Version: LibreOffice 4.1.1

    Pros

    No problem with this software and a fine product..

    Cons

    One thing it very slow opening the software to open my doc file...

    Summary

    So far kingsoft office free open so fast!

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Very good replacement for "Office"

    August 10, 2013  |   By THCarl

    Version: LibreOffice 4.1

    Pros

    Has all you need for home or small office.

    Cons

    Very large footprint, but you only need to install the portions that you need.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "It's okay."

    August 8, 2013  |   By espa1000

    Version: LibreOffice 4.1

    Pros

    Offers everything what an office suite needs.

    Cons

    Usability: It will open every other program except the program which you currently need when you haven't saved a work last time. So it might open LibreOffice Draw when you clicked on LibreOffice Calc and LibreOffice Calc stays closed till you have cared for LibreOffice Draw first, that's really annoying. I still haven't found out how I can paint in LibreOffice Calc without using LibreOffice Draw first, that's also really annoying. Same for LibreOffice Writer. And LibreOffice Calc asks what to delete in the cell when used the first time. It should be obvious that it should delete the content of the cell in most cases, why does it ask? Other Office suites delete the content without asking then and offers other options in a menuvia right click, which makes it much easier.

    Summary

    I have used already LibreOffice, OpenOffice and Microsoft Office. My favorites are still OpenOffice and Microsoft Office.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "A nice comprehensive office suite."

    July 29, 2013  |   By GCG1000

    Version: LibreOffice 4.1

    Pros

    Has ample features for the home user, SOHO or a full-fledged office operation. Good GUI with all key features & options clearly defined. Works correctly out o the box. The learning curve For LO is fast and easy.

    Cons

    Nothing at this time.

    Summary

    Well worth a try and it's FREE. Like it then donate to the Document Foundation, LO's publisher.

    Updated on Jul 31, 2013

    Actually LO is one of the BEST replacements for Office! Change my rating to FIVE Stars!

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Results 1-10 of 152

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