All in one way or another have been users of Microsoft Word since the first versions that came out, however, when you know the alternatives based on free software, first OpenOffice.org and now LibreOffice, you realize that really sticking to an office tool we makes technological slaves and dependent on a single product that does not take us into account when trying to modify or propose the odd change you need.
These are some of the many reasons why people love and work with LibreOffice.
If you have ever used both Microsoft Word, and LibreOffice in the same document, you may have noticed that LibreOffice often runs into problems when opening files created or edited using Microsoft Office. Don't be too quick to blame LibreOffice.
According to Italo Vignoli of The Document Foundation, Microsoft uses the non-standard version of its own OOXML format in office products, which creates interoperability problems. On top of that, Vignoli says, Microsoft uses default proprietary fonts that break compatibility with other office suites. If you want to ensure interoperability, you must use LibreOffice and save your documents in the Open Document Format (ODF), approved by ISO.
LibreOffice is the free office suite that offers the best compatibility with all types of files. Its different programs can import and export all the most common file formats like DOCX, PPTX and XLSX.
However, keep in mind that documents will not always look the same in LibreOffice as they do in Microsoft Office programs. This is due to Microsoft's use of its own sources, and also due to the difference in the way the data is interpreted and displayed on the user's screen.
This shouldn't be inconvenient on a personal level, but if you share your files frequently with users who use LibreOffice or Microsoft Office, you may find it more convenient to use the same office suite as them to ensure that everything is displayed at its best. possible by all users.
Something that we like a lot is that both office automation suites allow us to export the files to the PDF format.
Microsoft is in good health and shows no signs of going away anytime soon, but you never know. If the company suddenly ceases to exist or shuts down the product or doesn't support the older version of a file format, then you won't be able to access your files. Case in point: Some users have reported not being able to open old .doc files with the latest version of Microsoft Office. With LibreOffice you can leave your documents in Open Document Text (ODT) format for a long time and can be opened decades later. Which guarantees the conservation of your digital memory.
LibreOffice Project has incorporated support for ODF and many other file formats. Which allows you to save your files in closed formats and docx formats, although the recommendation is to save in ODF or .txt formats, and LibreOffice does a much better job of dealing with ODT files.
A Microsoft Office license can be excessively expensive for a single person, and even subscribing to the Office 365 service can cost around $ 99.00 USD per year, while if you use LibreOffice you do not have to pay anything to anyone , or pay licenses to use it, you can install it on as many PCs as you want in a totally legal way. This problem of paying for proprietary licenses is much more important for companies that pay very expensive licenses for users, making the work significantly more expensive. Also, many poor countries have difficulties to pay these amounts.
Documents can be easily uploaded directly from LibreOffice to Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. LibreOffice also supports ssh (among other services and protocols), so I can easily upload my files directly to a remote server. The downside for Linux users is that Google Drive is not available for Linux.
In the case of Microsoft Office, each of its programs has integration with Microsoft OneDrive, and it is the default location to save all new files. This means that saving all your documents in the cloud is a much easier task in the case of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft Office is not available for Linux and it had been a second-class option on MacOS for a long time. If you are someone who jumps between MacOS, Windows and Linux, LibreOffice is your only option.
Canonical and the KDE community are working on developing their own Linux-based mobile platforms. LibreOffice can be easily installed and used on these platforms. LibreOffice can be used on a tablet with Ubuntu and it works very well. There is no Microsoft Office for tablets and phones that run on Ubuntu.
Microsoft Office is available for Windows and Mac, with the possibility of using mobile applications for iOS and Android. In addition, we can use Microsoft Office Online, which offers reduced versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint in any modern web browser.
LibreOffice has versions for Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as offering a portable version that can be installed on a USB stick so you always have it with you. The negative point is that there are no applications for smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks, except for LibreOffice Viewer for Android.
Because it is an open source project, anyone can contribute to LibreOffice and add features they want. That is especially useful for companies that have developers who can dedicate themselves to adding features they need to LibreOffice. Collabora is a good example. They offer LibreOffice-based business solutions and are among the top contributors to the LibreOffice code base. Companies like Canonical, SUSE, and Red Hat are also among the top contributors. In contrast, Microsoft Word is proprietary software developed exclusively by Microsoft.
And if we have a company, our IT team can modify it to adapt it to our company.
No software is without bugs. But because LibreOffice is completely based on open source technology, anyone can submit a patch and fix a LibreOffice vulnerability. When there is a bug in Microsoft Office, users have to wait for Microsoft to fix the problem. That is true with any closed product.
LibreOffice Project has been designed from the ground up to share as much code as possible between all the applications that make up this powerful package. This is an important difference from Microsoft Office, where the different applications are much more independent in this regard. The LibreOffice concept means that the suite takes up less space on the hard disk, the applications open more quickly, and there are more similarities between all its applications.
How many times have you seen your Word hang when trying to open a document? Absolute stability is very difficult to achieve, but in this sense LibreOffice is much more robust, largely because of its much smaller code that is easier to maintain and debug. Libre Office is also more efficient with the use of RAM, which also helps to achieve greater stability.
LibreOffice receives a major update every six months or so, a significant difference from Microsoft Office's three-year cycles. A greater frequency of updates means that the suite is always up to date, better serving the needs of users.
LibreOffice Project is an open source project, which means that a huge number of users are willing to solve possible security problems once they have been made known, in the case of Microsoft Office, everything depends on the good work of the company from Redmond. LibreOffice is completely transparent with users on security issues, so if there is a serious problem, you can find out as soon as possible.
LibreOffice Project is available on a multitude of operating systems, from Windows to Android, Mac, Linux, Solaris, and many others. This makes it possible for you to use the same applications, and the same interface on all your work devices. As if that were not enough, LibreOffice maintains compatibility with very old versions of operating systems. Also, backward compatibility is complete in the case of LibreOffice, something that is not always the case with Microsoft Office.
In addition, LibreOffice works with open file formats, which means that they are fully compatible with other office suites. If you create a file and send it to another user, they will have no problem viewing it exactly as you created it. Something very different from the case of Microsoft Office, which works with proprietary file formats, which can create quite a few compatibility problems if you send a file to another user or open it on a computer that is not yours.
These are some of the reasons why people prefer LibreOffice over Microsoft Office. It costs nothing to try and the benefits are incredibly great, it's a matter of stepping out of your comfort zone. We are used to working with Microsoft Office and when we try LibreOffice it seems to us that it is worse, that it is difficult to find things, things are not in their place, but ask yourself if it was the other way around, if all our lives we had worked with Libreoffice and suddenly They put us in front of Microsoft Office, which one would be better for you?
The two computer suites are very similar, but perhaps it would be good if more Libreoffice were used, the more it is used, the more companies will bet on it and that will be good for companies and users because they will not depend on a decision that a single company such as Microsoft can make . And for developing countries it is essential that they have these tools as they usually cannot afford such expensive licenses. So for us there is no clear winner, both work very well, but we believe that Libreoffice is better for the reasons we have explained before.
Anyway, if you want to dig a little more into the subject and delve into all the differences, here is a page that makes an extensive comparison on Microsoft Office vs Libreoffice.
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