Monthly Archives: December 2011

Microsoft Office for FREE!

Summary Difficulty Rating Time to complete
Install LibreOffice as a fully functional office suite that is Microsoft Office compatible.   5 – 20 minutes.
OK…that headline isn’t 100% true.  But I hate seeing people spend money on software they don’t need.
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Lately I have run into several people with Macs (or older versions of Office) who find themselves unable to open files from the School / PTO / Local Charity, etc.  because the files were created in Word or Excel.
Like it or not MS-Office is a standard today that cannot be ignored even if you do “think different“.
But before you blow over a hundred bucks on the latest version of  MS-Office I’m going to ask that you give LibreOffice a shot.

LibreOffice is a complete Office suite that is fully compatible with all versions of Microsoft Office.  And since it is open source it is also 100% free.

It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux PCs, updated often, and is the only office suite that works almost identically regardless of machine.

To be fair LibreOffice can’t do everything that MS Office 2010 does.  But it does a lot more than offerings such as Google Docs, and has more power than most users need. It is an obvious choice for any user, company, or organization that wants to stop paying for Office.

It comes with a:

  • Word processor (Writer)
  • Spreadsheet (Calc)
  • Presentation system (Impress)
  • Drawing package (Draw)
  • Database (Base)
  • Math equation editor (Math).
More details on the features are found here.

One very cool  feature is the ability to create PDF files right out of the box.  No need to mess around with additional software or creating fake printers.

Installation couldn’t be simpler – just download, run and…that’s it!  Depending on your Internet speed you could literally be up and running with it in a few minutes.  And if MS Office is your mainstay then I’d suggest taking a few moments to set the default file save format to Word/PowerPoint/Excel before you start.

The one thing it doesn’t come with is an alternative to Microsoft Outlook.  However, if you really need an email client, then Mozilla’s Thunderbird comes highly recommended.

But if you are looking for an office suite that is Microsoft Office compatible then you have nothing to lose – so  give it a shot!   Unless you actually enjoy spending money on software you don’t need.

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Filed under Free Software, Linux, PC Problems?, Windows