Looking for something that looks something like Microsoft 365 – but doesn’t cost what Microsoft charges? Put your eyes on the following comparison: LibreOffice vs. Open Office. These two productivity packages are great alternatives to Microsoft software.
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LibreOffice and OpenOffice are free to download and use. Both are comparable alternatives to the premium Microsoft Office productivity app (or Office 365, as it’s now called), but without the associated cost.
In terms of platform availability, both are available for Windows, Linux, and MacOS.
Open Officehowever, has a slight advantage over Libre Officeyour website provides links to ports Y distributions of additional third partieswhich are not endorsed or maintained by Apache Software Foundation.
In case you’re using an Android device, a notable port is AndrOpen Office, which is the Android port of OpenOffice. However, be careful when downloading or using these unofficial ports and distributions.
Winner: OpenOffice for just a hair.
Neither LibreOffice nor OpenOffice have interfaces that are too unfamiliar or difficult to use. That said, your personal preference for either can come down to one factor: are you a Google Docs person or a Microsoft Office person?
LibreOffice looks a lot like a Microsoft Office app, right down to the menu of buttons and options that line the top of the screen. The ribbon icons are big enough, and the overall look is brighter and more colorful, making it easy to search to find what you need.
In contrast, OpenOffice is a bit drab, gray in appearance, and has smaller menu icons that line the top of its windows. But it does look like Google Docs, so if you prefer its minimalist design and simple menus, OpenOffice might be the best option for you.
Additionally, OpenOffice offers what it calls a “Sidebar Cover”, which is a series of menus that appear on the right side of the screen. It’s packed with many of the same tools and options you’d find at the top of the app, but in a handy menu that’s easy to access and features larger, easier-to-see buttons and icons.
LibreOffice also has a sidebar cover, but it doesn’t open by default like it does in OpenOffice.
Winner: tie. Both feature interfaces that are simple, familiar, and easy to use. Really, it boils down to deciding if you want something that looks like Microsoft or a suite room similar to a Google product.
Both LibreOffice and OpenOffice have six different types of documents you can create: a text document, a spreadsheet, a presentation, a drawing, a formula, or a database.
Both productivity apps offer document templates, but LibreOffice offers them built-in and ready to use. Unlike OpenOffice, which must first search the online collection stored on your website and download the ones you need. That said, both options allow their users to add new extensions and features to their software to improve functionality.
Both options include wizards that can help you create unique templates for letters or other types of documents. However, LibreOffice’s wizards seem to be easier to use, while OpenOffice may require you to first download and install a Java runtime environment.
Winner: LibreOffice because its templates and wizards seem to be easier to use and access. In general, both have many of the same features and capabilities.
While both programs allow you to save documents in a wide variety of formats, LibreOffice has the upper hand in this category. Offers more modern formatting options, including ODF (open document format, for its acronym in English), FOU (Uniform Office Format), Word 2007 to 365, Word 97 to 2003, and Rich Text. It also allows you to export your documents as PDF, EPUB or XHTML.
OpenOffice, on the other hand, tends to lean towards older file formats when it comes to giving you “Save As” options, including ODF, Microsoft Word 95/97/2000/XP, Rich Text, and exporting your documents as PDF and XHTML. .
Winner: LibreOffice due to its wider file format range.
In this head-to-head challenge, LibreOffice is the clear winner due to its overall ease of use, easily accessible templates and wizards, and support for more modern file formats.
But, as with many other types of software, the choice between LibreOffice and OpenOffice is primarily a personal one and begs the question: which one works best for you?
Ultimately, if you prefer an application that looks like Microsoft Office, has built-in templates, and supports modern file formats, then LibreOffice is probably your best bet.
If you prefer to use a program that resembles Google Docs and does not use wizards or templates, then choose OpenOffice.