LibreOffice

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LibreOffice

A fork from OpenOffice and an actively developed free and open-source office suite

4.5

Our rating: 

4.5

Pros & Cons:

Very easy to use and learn, very extensive file support.
Java dependency requiring Java installation.

Our Review:

LibreOffice began life in January 2011. During the acquisition of OpenOffice by Oracle from Sun Microsystems, some members of the project were concerned that Oracle would cease or restrict development of OpenOffice.org and started 'The Document Foundation'. Oracle eventually ceased commercial development of OpenOffice.org paving the way for LibreOffice to gain a major fan base, the child of this collaboration based on the OpenOffice.org source code.

 

As with Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice still requires 32-bit Java (JRE) for full operation but is currently working out the Java dependency. Decisively heavier 205MB compared with 123MB from Apache, the GUI is fresher and modern and the support base is constantly growing. LibreOffice releases more updates and has better compatibility for importing from other office suites. Although we don't see where the additional 80MB's are used there must be some background stability issues addressed for that hefty increase.

The main differences from Apache OpenOffice include:

Universal
- Find / Find & Replace are separate options
- Clear direct formatting instead of default formatting
- No media player
- No record macro option
- Undo instead of Can't Undo
- Redo instead of Can't Restore

Calc
- Delete Page Break instead of Delete Manual Break
- Page Break instead of Manual Break
- Insert > Names has additional 'Manage'

Writer
- Additional 'Title Page' option

Impress
- No Wizard upon opening (by default)
- Snap Lines instead of Guides

The Android version is a LibreOffice Viewer offering basic editing capabilities, which are an experimental feature.


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