Libre Office, is an open-source and standards-based implementation of the Office productivity suites (Word processing, Presentations, Drawings, Spreadsheets, Databases and even Mathematical equations). It’s very similar to MS Office and is interoperable with the file formats supported by MS Office.

The first thing that catches the eye about LibreOffice is the price tag, or more specifically the lack of one. LibreOffice originally forked off of OpenOffice and has been regularly maintained and developed over the years. It's one of the best free office suites of applications around and has programs for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. It is a versatile and powerful set of programs. While there are many word processors and cheap or free programs that try to deliver a full office setup, LibreOffice is one of the most comprehensive. Its wide range of apps tackles the vast majority of office-related workflows. It supports open formats that allow you to use documents from other programs so you don't have to isolate yourself or your workflow into a Libre Office world.

Advantages of LibreOffice

  • Cross-platform: LibreOffice runs on several hardware architectures and under multiple operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
  • Extensive language support: The LibreOffice user interface, including spelling, hyphenation, and thesaurus dictionaries, is available in over 100 languages and dialects. LibreOffice also provides support for both Complex Text Layout (CTL) and Right to Left (RTL) layout languages (such as Urdu, Hebrew, and Arabic).
  • Consistent user interface: All the components have a similar “look and feel,” making them easy to use and master.
  • Integration: The components of LibreOffice are well integrated.
  • Granularity: Usually, if you change an option, it affects all components. However, LibreOffice options can be set at a component level or even at the document level.
  • File compatibility: In addition to its native OpenDocument formats, LibreOffice includes support for opening and saving files in many common formats including Microsoft Office, HTML, XML, WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, and PDF.
  • No vendor lock-in: LibreOffice uses OpenDocument, an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) file format developed as an industry standard by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). These files can easily be unzipped and read by any text editor, and their framework is open and published.
  • You have a voice: Enhancements, software fixes, and release dates are community-driven. You can join the community and affect the course of the product you use.
  • All the components share a common spelling checker and other tools, which are used consistently across the suite. For example, the drawing tools available in Writer are also found in Calc, with similar but enhanced versions in Impress and Draw.
  • You do not need to know which application was used to create a particular file. For example, you can open a Draw file from Writer.

How LibreOffice helps you increase your productivity?

  • Libre Office uses an open document format for office applications (shortly known as ODF). ODF is an XML-based file format, whose standards are published by an organization called OASIS, which is backed by a lot of major companies. Since it is an open standard, the ODF files can be opened edited, and saved by any application supporting the open document format. So, the document extensions/ documents are not tied to a particular vendor-developed application.
  • You can run both Libre Office and MS Office on the same computer. You can choose any of the two as the primary office application that should open the files when you click on them and you can open the files in any of the two programs by right-clicking and choosing ‘Open with’.
  • You can save files in a lot of formats with Libre Office. Two noteworthy mentions include the ability to import and save drawings using the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format and the ability to save documents as PDF files directly from the Libre Office application.
  • You can encrypt documents using a password directly from the ‘Save As’, in the menu. With Write (Word processing) and Calc (spreadsheets), you can even password protect files that cannot be edited without a password but can be viewed without one.
  • You can join the mailing lists of the Libre Office project and request the implementation of some additional features that might be useful to your business. Developers are waiting for new ideas that could be implemented. You can even send a mail requesting some help/ support. Anyways, there is exhaustive documentation for the Libre Office project that could be referenced if you want to know/ use all the features available with individual applications.

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