Those who need and use Microsoft Office. Those who do not need Microsoft Office and have moved on. Those who are afraid not to use Office but are willing to try an alternative. Here’s a quick look at a free alternative to Microsoft Office.
Former Official Office User
A few years ago I managed to kick the Office habit because my workflow had changed sufficiently that complete and total file compatibility with Office documents was no longer an overriding issue.
For awhile I tried substitutes, including the free LibreOffice, which I consider one of the best Office-like suites.
It looks like Office. It works like Office. It runs on Mac and Windows (and Linux PCs). But LibreOffice doesn’t have an Office price tag.
The components in LibreOffice somewhat mirror Microsoft’s Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with Writer, Calc, Impress, but add Draw, Base, Math, Extensions, and Templates to make the suite of apps greater than the sum of the parts.
In almost every way possible, LibreOffice looks and functions much like Microsoft Office (though on the Mac a bit more like the Windows version of Office).
The key to understanding what you get with each component in LibreOffice vs. Microsoft Office is the need to know what you need.
If absolute file compatibility is a require with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, stick with Microsoft Office for Mac (although it should be noted that even different versions of Office do not have full file compatibility with other versions).
However, if you’re a small office, or a home office with multiple users, LibreOffice gives much of the same functionality as Office and the whole kit and caboodle is free. Most of the time, files you send to or receive from Microsoft Office users are still compatible and often require little if any tweaking.
Free is a huge enticement, no?
LibreOffice is like Microsoft Office in another way, too. It’s complex. You’ll need to download the PDF Documention to master all the functionality.
Or, if file compatibility is becoming less of an issue each year, you can take a different route and use Apple’s iWork– Pages, Numbers, Keynote. Also free.