LibreOffice is a free productivity suite that contains a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tool. The software can be used on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. It is compatible with Microsoft Office file formats, and the program runs offline when installed on a system. The simple interface of the program makes it very easy to use.
- Free productivity suite
- Word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tool
- Also includes a draw tool and database manager
- Compatible with Office file formats
- Free to download and use
- Simple and clean interface
- Lacks collaboration tools
- Not available for mobile platforms
- Lacks 100% Office compatibility
Those who are searching for a free alternative to expensive productivity suites would do well to check out LibreOffice. With subscriptions to Office beginning at $70 per year, LibreOffice is an economical way to gain access to the same tools. It will even save and open documents in Microsoft file formats. The basic tools included with the suite are a word processor for creating documents, a spreadsheet for calculations, and a presentation tool for creating audiovisual displays. The interface of the program eliminates ribbons in favor of a clean look. It is somewhat reminiscent of Office 2003 in its overall feel. This software has become so popular that it is now packaged with most Linux distributions. A big reason for that popularity is the program's ability to simplify tasks. There are also a few extra tools that come packaged with LibreOffice. These are Draw, Base, and Math. The Base tool is very effective in creating large databases, and the draw tool will be appreciated by design professionals. Many of the apps and features integrate with one another, of course, and that is useful for individuals who use the suite to create professional presentations. The Remote Files feature of the software lets users retrieve files from Cloud storage. A simple click will get files from Google Drive or OneDrive once the user has linked an account. The unfortunate side of file management with the program is that it lacks genuine collaboration tools. It is not possible for multiple users to edit a single document. It will allow users to track changes, though, when someone makes an edit to a document they have received before sending it back. A feature that many users praise is a distraction-free workspace on the word processor. LibreOffice has pared down the toolbars at the top to provide access to the tools which are used the most. This can help users focus on their writing. There is no mobile version for LibreOffice at the present time, but this could change. Currently, a read only option is all that is available for phones and tablets.