LibreOffice is an actively developed, free, and open-source office suite forked from OpenOffice.
|License||Free (Open source)|
|Easy to use and learn, extensive file support with improved compatibility, actively developed.|
|Java dependency requiring Java installation for full functionalities. No official mobile version.|
LibreOffice includes a word processor Writer, a spreadsheet Calc, a presentation app Impress, a drawing app Draw, a formula editor Math and a database management app Base.
The office suite uses the native Open Document Format (ODF) to save documents for all its applications. It also allows opening and saving files in other formats, including the popular Office Open XML (OOXML) format, which is the current XML-based format of Microsoft Office documents with the file extensions of .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx.
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 Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for full operations and functionalities, but is currently working out the Java dependency.
Decisively a heavier download compared with that for Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice’s GUI is fresher and modern, and its support base is constantly growing. It has addressed certain background stability issues and added some key features, including saving files into the current format of Microsoft Office.
LibreOffice releases more updates and has better compatibility for importing from other office suites.
The main differences from Apache OpenOffice include:
- Microsoft OOXML export
- Signing of OOXML and PDF files
- 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
- Delete Page Break instead of Delete Manual Break
- Page Break instead of Manual Break
- Insert > Names has additional ‘Manage’
- Additional ‘Title Page’ option
- No Wizard upon opening (by default)
- Snap Lines instead of Guides
Unfortunately, the Document Foundation does not offer a mobile version of LibreOffice as of this writing, but there is a similar product known as Collabora Office, which has developed a version for Android and iOS using the same engine as LibreOffice for Windows, Mac, and Linux.