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LibreOffice for Windows

  • Free
  • In English
  • V 7.3.4
  • 3.9
  • (4728)
  • Security Status

Softonic review

Kristina Schulz
Kristina SchulzUpdated 11 days ago

A free open-source office suite for PC

LibreOffice is a free office suite for Windows operating systems developed by The Document Foundation. A utilitarian and open-source software, LibreOffice offers a feature-rich, free alternative to Microsoft Office. The suite includes a wide variety of standard tools. Included is software for word processing, spreadsheets, slideshow creation, a vector-drawing program, and even an editor for math formulae.

Originally based on OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice has since risen to the most actively developed OpenOffice.org successor project. As a free and open source software, anybody can make use of this collection of apps. Whether on Windows, macOS, or Linux, LibreOffice has an invaluable suite of programs for presenting and organizing. It can also be used for writing, akin to Google Docs or Microsoft Word documents.

Write, present, organize, and create

Released as an open-source office suite back in 2011, LibreOffice was derived from another productivity suite called OpenOffice, which was, itself, a product of StarOffice. Similar to the goals of both its predecessors, LibreOffice is intended to be a close replica of Office Suite. In many ways, it meets the bar, and in a few ways, it even exceeds it.

For people coming from a background with Microsoft Office 2021 or Microsoft 365 on Windows, this latest version of LibreOffice will be comparably familiar. You can use LibreOffice’s Write app to type documents. It has a user interface and keyboard shortcuts that few could discern from a paid product. You can then elect to export your written files into a wide variety of formats, such as .docx, .xlsx, and .pdf.

All programs under the LibreOffice banner recognize and support practically any file extension available, ensuring your work is readable and sendable over the internet.

  • LibreOffice Write is one of several programs that make up the entirety of LibreOffice as a whole. 
  • LibreOffice Calc is another component of the suite, and serves to emulate the spreadsheet program, Microsoft Excel
  • LibreOffice Impress is the LibreOffice counterpart to PowerPoint

 

This compatibility is one of the biggest advantages of using LibreOffice. Issues often arise when revisiting old documents made decades ago, as word processors and spreadsheets obsolete themselves with age and newer versions. If you work in an office, school, or a setting that relies on legacy documents, LibreOffice can be a crucial means of maintaining file integrity.

In another effort of making their product similar to other business and productivity suites, LibreOffice on Windows also utilizes the same keyboard command shortcuts. If you’re uncertain which keystroke is used, it’s likely the same as what you’d use in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. Alt+equal sign, for example, is the ‘autosum’ function in LibreOffice’s Excel clone, Calc.

As a spreadsheet tool, Calc is one of the programs in the LibreOffice suite that may surpass MS Excel. It’s every bit as intuitive and convenient as Excel, but is clearer when displaying its functions. It makes use of a clearer outline form in general. It also suffers from less lag than Google Spreadsheets and doesn’t require you to be signed in to your Google account to edit.

LibreOffice vs Microsoft Office

For all its good qualities, there are some negative aspects to using LibreOffice as well. Most of these become apparent when it’s compared to Microsoft Office 2021 on Windows. First and foremost, LibreOffice has no collaboration tools or features. This may make it less desirable when choosing a suite to run for a whole company. While its performance is decent, it does overall lag behind Microsoft Office. It can quickly become overtaxed and run slower as a result.

While LibreOffice does support the vast majority of file formats you’ll come across, files imported from other office suites may not migrate correctly. Additionally, when compared, ‘Calc’ and ‘Impress’ do appear to be less polished iterations of Excel and Outlook. Still, if you’re coming from a background in Microsoft Office and want something you can quickly acclimatize to, LibreOffice is a good bet.

A reliable alternative to Microsoft Office

The main audience for LibreOffice is Windows users looking for a free alternative to Microsoft Office. As such, LibreOffice functions accordingly similar. It enables users to choose different visual styles, such as a more traditional row of icons and toolbars. NotebookBar, another tool in the LibreOffice suite, is comparable to the ribbon-style menu of Microsoft Office. This more mirrored approach is an effective way to placate Office users wary of making the transition.

The similarities between the two suites were intentional from the start, and it’s apparent in nearly every aspect of LibreOffice. Microsoft Office users will be able to adjust quickly, as most features in its respective programs are familiar. Those that aren’t are accessible and explained at a glance through the help of hover tips and duplicate iconography.

PROS

  • Imports and converts legacy documents
  • Extensive file format support
  • Fully-featured productivity suite
  • Updates regularly

CONS

  • No online collaborative function
  • Occasionally sluggish performance
  • Formatting does not always carry over

Older versions

Also available in other platforms

Program available in other languages


LibreOffice for PC

  • Free
  • In English
  • V 7.3.4
  • 3.9
  • (4728)
  • Security Status

User reviews about LibreOffice

  • Rose Guerra

    by Rose Guerra

    I love this program, it is great and free.I went to some computer classes and they taught us to use this program, I was impressed to I want to use it  More

  • Wesley Evers

    by Wesley Evers

    so a nice machine ;-)

  • Carolyn Ploof

    by Carolyn Ploof

    I like all the features the features that LibreOffice has and is easy to use. I haven't found any problems with this app. I would recommend this app t More

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    Great!.
    Best open source alternative to MS Office. Easy to install and has some nice customization options.
    Pros: Customization
    It's  More

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    My Absolute Favorite office Suite.
    Pros
    * Feature-Packed
    * Fast & 'light-weight'
    * Secure
    * Few minutes & a  More

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    Preferable to MS Office in some respects. And amazingly its FREE !.
    I prefer it to MS Office, especially as it comes without the dreadful ribbo More


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Laws concerning the use of this software vary from country to country. We do not encourage or condone the use of this program if it is in violation of these laws.