LibreOffice

LibreOffice for Mac

 
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Jane
"Free alternative to MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint"
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Dec 7, 2019 by Jane

It's pretty easy to forget about Windows forever once you've bought a Mac. However, Microsoft Office users might face a problem here. If you have been using Microsoft software for many years, then you will have to buy their office suite. Or is there a free alternative solution?

LibreOffice for Mac is a full-featured open-source suite of productivity programs offering practically all of the functions found in Microsoft Office Suite for free. The provided set includes applications for spreadsheet creation, word processing, presentations, and database design. It provides you with the following components:

  1. Writer – to create documents;
  2. Calc - to work with spreadsheets;
  3. Impress – to make presentations;
  4. Draw – to create graphics and diagrams;
  5. Math – to edit formulae;
  6. Base – to manage databases.

Key features

All applications in the suite come with an automatic spell-check. A wide range of custom styles can be applied to documents to make them easier to read while the AutoComplete tool offers suggested words and phrases. LibreOffice allows its users to gather, cross-tabulate, and process data from corporate databases. Collaboration on workbooks and spreadsheets is also possible since Calc supports multiple users. The software is cross platform and suitable for Mac, Windows, and Linux. There also a version of LibreOffice for Android, called LibreOffice Viewer. A portable version is also available.

Supported file types

Importing and exporting documents to various other formats, including PNG, SVG, HTML, EPUB, and other types is quite easy. The software has no extension limitations and provides options to open and save files in multiple formats, including DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, etc. It’s pretty handy if you need to collaborate with people using Microsoft Office. Moreover, LibreOffice is notable for its compatibility with virtually all legacy file formats – something that no other office suite can offer.

LibreOffice vs. Microsoft Office

The interface of LibreOffice is not as good-looking as the MS Office’s. Some Microsoft Office documents, opened in LibreOffice, might require heavy formatting. Moreover, there are several problems with Calc: it doesn’t support some MS Office macros and lacks the dynamic previews of Pivot tables. However, the functionality of Calc can be extended via multiple plug-ins.

Conclusion and alternatives

LibreOffice is highly flexible and, what's even more important, appears to run faster than the free or commercial alternatives. Its interface may not be quite as modern as most Mac apps offer, still LibreOffice can be considered an excellent budget-friendly substitute for Microsoft Office, but only if you’re not working with documents containing custom fonts or complex customization. Other free solutions for creating text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations include Apache OpenOffice, WPS Office, Apple iWork, and Google Suite.

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Rating:
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Version:
6.3.3 (Sep 26, 2019)
License:
Open source
Runs on macOS:
El Capitan (10.11),
High Sierra (10.13),
Mojave (10.14),
Catalina (10.15)
File name:

Tags:

#office suite for Mac
#MS Office alternative for Mac
#word processor for Mac
#productivity tools for Mac
Pros
  • Great compatibility with documents created in Microsoft Office
  • Compatible with all legacy document formats
  • Impressive statistical tools in Calc
  • Extendable functionality via a wide range of plug-ins
  • Cross platform
Cons
  • Unable to save files as macros or MS Office templates
  • Lacks integrated cloud storage
  • Limited selection of templates
  • MS Office documents with complex formatting may look completely different
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