What is Libre Office and Should you use it?

There are many free office suites on the web today but most are not compatible with the most common operating systems. Libre Office is a free and open source office suite, developed by The Document Foundation. It was stemmed from OpenOffice.org in 2010. It is designed to be compatible with major office suites, mainly Microsoft Office. Since most of the world uses Microsoft Office, sharing documents should not be an issue. With this suite you get 6 applications that are very similar and familiar to that of Microsoft Office.

  • Writer is the word processor.

  • Calc is your number tamer and helps with decisions when your weighing billing questions.

  • Impress allows you to use create multimedia presentations easy and fast.

  • Draw allows you to build diagrams and sketches from scratch.

  • Base is the database front-end of the Libre Office suite. It allows you to seamlessly integrate your existing data into other components of Libre Office, or create an interface to use and administer your data as stand-alone application.

  • Math is a very simple equation editor that lets you lay out mathematical, electrical or scientific equations.

So should you use it and is it worth not paying?

For the most part Libre and Microsoft office have the same suite of software with the exception of one thing, Outlook. Libre doesn't come packed with an email client, so if you need Outlook you won’t find it for free. Also, Libre Office is good if the money is tight or your Microsoft Office needs to be renewed it might be worth a try to download Libre Office for free for a few days. Libre Office does also have office extensions, which means you can customize the look, features and feel of the suite to your needs. And fortunately, the two office suites usually play nice together, so you should be able to continue working with documents you've already created in Microsoft Office.

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