Whether a student or a professional, you must have used an office suite once. They are a set of tools that help achieve multiple tasks.
We mainly use them in tasks such as writing, maintaining records(spreadsheets), making presentations, etc.
Every tool should be finely tuned to achieve these tasks with minimum effort while providing additional flexibility. Hence, your options for these tools are limited in the market.
Only a few companies make and support these types of software applications. One of the most common applications you must know is Microsoft’s office suite.
However, it is more expensive, and not everyone can afford it unless you are a professional. Today we will discuss two free best alternatives to this application: LibreOffice and OpenOffice.
We will further examine LibreOffice Vs. OpenOffice and conclude which is a better choice.
If you do not require heavy lifting and only want to do simple tasks quickly without installing any extra software, then google’s office suite is the right choice.
You need an internet connection to start using google suite tools such as google docs, sheets, and slights to get most of your work done without much hassle.
It also automatically saves your work to the cloud, keeping your documents secure while working.
However, if you are looking into desktop software to do rigorous tasks regularly, LibreOffice and OpenOffice are the best free choices.
They provide some of the best advanced features you can only get in a desktop alternative to these applications. These applications are brought to us by the open-source community. So you can download and use them for free.
These applications are quite similar to each other in many aspects. So, let us compare them through several features and see which is top.
If you truly want to analyze an application, you must look at its past journey. So let us start by diving right into their enriching history.
It gives us an insight into what problems these apps ran into and how they evolved to be what they are now—looking at LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice, they go way back in time.
They have a long history since they both started around the same time. People following these applications over the years must be familiar with their conflicts and struggles.
They have had several clashes over time, competing to provide the best services in the field. If you look at both applications, you will notice many similarities. Hence, comparing them with only a few subtle distinctions is very difficult.
Following all the intrigue and drama surrounding office suite apps, LibreOffice and OpenOffice are two of the best choices for Microsoft’s office suite.
Previously StarOffice was one of the first office suites. It was later acquired by Sun corporation and remodeled. Sun launched OpenOffice.org, which replaced StarOffice with an open-source version.
It quickly gained popularity and became the default suite for Linux distros. Everything was well and good until Oracle acquired Sun and became the owner of OpenOffice.
LibreOffice came to life when Oracle disbanded the development of the OpenOffice project and laid off the majority of developers working on the project.
Soon after, developers working on Open office also began leaving, and the development halted.
These developers later utilized the open-source code they were working on and gave birth to LibreOffice.
This utilization happened as community members were not thrilled with Oracle’s development and rebranding of the Open Office suite.
In addition, Oracle donated its Open Office code and the trademark to the apache software foundation. That led to the development of the Apache Open Office suite.
Developers forked LibreOffice from Open Office using the document foundation as the host. They invited Oracle to join the document foundation, but they declined.
However, Oracle’s quote-unquote didn’t harm their business with the development of LibreOffice. They justified that this creation did not end any contributions valued by the company.
Many experts say this business decision was inevitable when oracle acquired the Sun. Recently OpenOffice released new updates that piqued the interest of many users, and it’s back in the race.
LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice – Comparing Applications
here is a detailed table comparing the features of LibreOffice and OpenOffice:-
|Compatibility||Compatible with Microsoft Office file formats, ODF, and other formats.||Compatible with Microsoft Office file formats, ODF, and other formats.|
|User Interface||Modern, easy-to-use interface with a ribbon-style toolbar.||Classic interface with menus and toolbars.|
|Collaboration||Allows real-time collaboration with multiple users.||Allows real-time collaboration with multiple users.|
|Language Support||Supports over 110 languages.||Supports over 110 languages.|
|Database Management||Has a built-in database management system (Base).||Has a built-in database management system (Base).|
|Spreadsheets||Calc supports up to 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns.||Calc supports up to 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns.|
|Word Processing||Writer has a range of features for formatting and editing documents.||Writer has a range of features for formatting and editing documents.|
|Presentations||Impress has a range of features for creating and editing presentations.||Impress has a range of features for creating and editing presentations.|
|Drawing and Diagrams||Draw is a powerful tool for creating diagrams and graphics.||Draw is a powerful tool for creating diagrams and graphics.|
|Math Formula Editor||Has a built-in math formula editor (Math).||Has a built-in math formula editor (Math).|
|Macros and Extensions||Supports macros and extensions written in various programming languages.||Supports macros and extensions written in various programming languages.|
|Support and Documentation||Has a large and active community with good documentation and support.||Has a large and active community with good documentation and support.|
As we know, both LibreOffice and OpenOffice contain tools in their office suite. That can help you achieve a variety of tasks.
These tools are writer, spreadsheet, presentation program, database management system, vector graphics editor, Mathematical formulae editor, etc.
These programs are included in their package that you can use to achieve several personal and professional tasks. Let us compare all the programs offered by both of these applications in terms of their functionality and effectiveness.
Writer:- Both software are packed with word processing or a writer program. This word processor has similar functionality to Microsoft word.
It has extensive editing capabilities that you can use as a text editor. They both support the .doc or .docx format out of the box. You can write proposals and letters and do anything related to text editing.
Calc:- It is also known as a spreadsheet program. They both include a spreadsheet program that anyone can utilize to edit or create sheets and maintain records.
Both of them are great alternatives and competitors to Microsoft excel. They both boast unique features, such as creating graphs from user information. These applications are highly used by business owners and several professionals as well.
Impress:- People who love making presentations and displaying information through slides can utilize both apps’ handy presentation-maker tools.
This application is a replacement for Microsoft’s PowerPoint. You can export presentations in different formats, such as SWF, and view them using adobe flash player.
Draw:- They include an extensive vector graphics editor similar to Corel draw or Microsoft Visio. This program will help you create and edit vector images with ease.
You can connect several shapes, apply various styles, and create drawings in a flowchart format. LibreOffice’s version of this tool can also act as a PDF file editor and includes several features similar to Microsoft publisher.
Math is one of the most useful tools designed to edit and create mathematical formulas. This basic software can assist you in solving mathematical equations easily and quickly. You can also incorporate the formulas created here into tools such as writer, calc, etc.
Base:- Both apps include a database management system out of the box. This software is extremely useful for businesses and professional companies that need to maintain a database.
It is a great alternative to Microsoft access. You can also create reports and forms and easily create or manage databases.
LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice: Community Support and Coding Licenses
Community support is quite essential for the development and maintenance of the application. Also, users benefit greatly from the community; whether learning new features or discussing the workflow, it becomes a great communication platform.
A good community can largely determine the success of an application. Most open-source software, such as LibreOffice, is largely tied to their community. Open-source software means its users, such as you, can find and fix bugs.
That improves the app’s efficiency by great margins, and you can rest assured that there are tons of people out there to keep the application bug-free and smooth.
LibreOffice has a continuously monitored Ask page and a subreddit page that is quite active.
They also have a wiki website that records the latest software changes and regular updates. You can find several comprehensive guides to the latest rolled-out updates.
OpenOffice has been largely discontinued, but you can still find it if you know where to look. People who look in the right places can easily get support for the app.
The subreddit page of OpenOffice is not very active, and you can most likely find answers to your questions on the Open office official forum, which is still active today.
In addition, several other support resources have also been closed due to inactive users, such as the unofficial forum of the application and 8daysaweek. In contrast, you can easily get a ton of support for the LibreOffice application.
Software licenses greatly matter to businesses and people who want to use the application.
In the case of LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice, licenses for every individual surely affect the set of features the application offers. LibreOffice has undergone rapid development and has great potential for the future.
It is mainly due to the difference in their licenses. LibreOffice boasts a dual LGPLv3 / MPL license, whereas OpenOffice boasts an apache license.
You need to know that since Open office has an apache license, it can not incorporate code from LibreOffice, whereas LibreOffice can easily incorporate code from OpenOffice.
Hence, LibreOffice can roll out several updates regularly and develop much faster. The ability to adapt features from the other surely makes the development much quicker.
LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice: User Interface and Software Design
When comparing two similar applications, User interface and software design are crucial in determining the winner. The user interface and design of both LibreOffice and OpenOffice are very much similar to each other.
They have a distinct vintage design that rejects Microsoft’s modern interfaces. However, both applications are similar; we must look closer to find the differences. They both have a clean design that makes it easy for users to navigate options.
Although LibreOffice has a particularly modern design compared to OpenOffice’s simple-looking interface. OpenOffice has more features, typically as default settings visible on the page.
You can easily modify or customize both applications to hide or show various features on the page. For instance, Inside the word processor of OpenOffice, you get to see an extra sidebar on the page out of the box.
Whereas in LibreOffice, you must display or hide the feature according to your preference, which is not displayed as a default setting.
Another interface difference is that you see the word counts dynamically when writing inside LibreOffice’s editor. Whereas In OpenOffice, you will need to look at the word count manually, and it is not available dynamically, which can be a let-off for many writers.
With LibreOffice being quite modern, the fonts you use on its editors can be accurately imported to other editing applications. It also allows you to save your documents in the .docx format, whereas OpenOffice does not support this format.
On a positive note, they both support most of the Microsoft and OpenDocument formats. They also have similar tools and programs.
LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice: Formats Supported and Compatibility
Compatibility and supported formats are critical factors for most of the applications coming out today. With several options onboard, most people like to use compatible apps with others and support similar formats.
Suppose you want to transfer your documents to another editor and work there, so your app needs to be able to support the format of the other.
Hence, it would be best if you prioritized knowing the supported formats and their compatibility with other software such as Microsoft’s office suite. One of the biggest motivators for the people deciding between these applications is to pick the one that can open the files they often use.
The files a program can open and the formats in which it can save the documents are extremely crucial for an application. The file format is very important when dealing with files created in other programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Gsuite.
For instance, If you want to use one of these programs to open.docx Microsoft Word files, you must first determine whether these programs can open such files or not and whether they can save the files in the format.
Else you will have to select a different format to open such files. Both of these apps can open a vast range of file formats. Although OpenOffice has support for a broader range of file formats than LibreOffice.
However, LibreOffice, a more modern solution, can save in many different file formats. We have compiled a list of all the formats both of these applications can load but not save the file in the same.
OpenOffice can open the files with the following file extensions:-
- XPM, XML, XLW,XLTX,XLTM, XLT, XLSX, XLSM, XLSB, XLS, XBM, WPS, WPD, WMF, WKS, WK1M, WB2, VOR, UOT, UOS, UOP, UOF, TXT, TIF, TGA, SXW, SXM, SXI, SXG, SXD, SVM, STW, STI, STD, SMF, SLK, SGV, SGL, SGF, SDW, SDP, SDD, SDC, SDA, RTF, RAS, PXL, PSW, PSD, PPTX, PPTM, PPT, PPS, PPM, POTX, POTM, POT, PNG, PLT, PGM, PDF, PDB, PCX, PCT, PCD, PBM, OTT, OTS, OTP, OTH, OTG, ODT, ODS, ODP, ODM, ODG, ODF, ODB, MML, MET, JTT, JTD, JPG,HWP, HTML, HTM, GIF, EPS, EMF, DXF, DOTX, DOTM, DOT, DOCX, DPCM, DOC, DIF, DBF, CSV, CGM, BMP, 602, 123
Let us take an example: OpenOffice can load DOCX files but can not save them in this format because it does not support creating DOCX files, so you will have to save your file in the latest formats, such as RTF or DOC.
Similarly, OpenOffice Calc has similar limitations to XLSX files. It can load them but not save them in this format. A similar situation is viable for its other applications as well.
Below are the formats that LibreOffice can load but not save:-
- ZIP, ZABW, XLW, XLTX, XLTM, XLSM, XLSB, XLM, XLK, XLC, WPS, WPG, WPD, WN, WMF, WKS, WK1, WB2, VSDX, VSDM, VSD, VDX, UOF, TGA, SYLK, SVM, SVG, SGD, RAS, PIB, PSD, PPTM, PPM, POTX, PICT, PGM, PDF, PDB, PCX, PCT, PCD, PBM, OTH, ODM, NXD, MWD, MW, MET, MCW, LWP, LRF, KEY, JPG, JPEG, HWP, HQX, GIF, FB2, EPS, EMF, DXF, DUMMY, DOTX, DOTM, DOCM, CWK, CMX, CGM, CFR, BMP, ABW, 602, 123
We have also compiled a list of file extensions that both files can load and save in the same format.
- XML, XLT, XLSX, XLS, UOS, UOP, TXT, SXW, SXI, SXC, STW, STC, SLK, RTF, PPTX, PPT, PPSX, POTM, POT, OTT, OTS,OTP, ODT, ODS, ODP, ODG, HTML, FODT, FODS, DOT, DOCX, DOC, DIF, DBF, CSV
You may notice from the above lists that LibreOffice can support all of Microsoft’s latest file formats: PowerPoint, Word, or Excel. LibreOffice has the upper hand if you are looking for a fabulous alternative to Microsoft’s office suite.
LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice: File Size Difference
Now, we will compare the download size and the storage space that LibreOffice Vs. OpenOffice takes up your systems.
LibreOffice has a significantly larger download size than OpenOffice, but it is surely not a problem if you do not have a bandwidth issue. The download size of LibreOffice for macOS is a bit over 250MB, and for OpenOffice, it is over 185MB.
Similarly, the installation size or the file storage space is significantly more substantial. LibreOffice may require somewhere between 800MB to 1.6GB of disk space for you to install and use the application successfully.
On the other hand, OpenOffice may require somewhere between 400MB to 600MB of disk space for your installation to be successful. Some people face file storage problems because not everyone can afford high-end systems.
However, most of us have the right amount of storage space on our hard disks today. So, you should not have any problems unless you are pressed for space. In that case, you will have to go with OpenOffice.
Also, depending on the platform, you will require between 256MB and 512MB of Ram. They both have similar requirements in this regard. If your system meets these minimum requirements, you should not have any trouble running these applications on your Pc.
Available Language Support
When deciding between applications, one of the major requirements is the available language support as you won’t be able to operate the program unless its language comes under your linguistic expertise.
There are tons of languages spoken all around the world. Hence, it becomes a priority for software developers and companies to provide essential language support with their programs.
Providing support for various languages means you are increasing your customer engagement. More and more people tend to join if the app supports their language. Hence, let us compare LibreOffice Vs. Openoffice in this regard.
LibreOffice supports far fewer languages than Apache’s OpenOffice. In this case, you must pick one language and then stick with it the entire time.
However, it is to be noted that apache’s OpenOffice has much more flexibility in terms of support for various languages. Also, the program lets you download additional language packages in plugins, making it simple for the users.
So if you ever want to switch languages or want to add any different language, you can do it in a breeze. Finally, you may find some language difficulties with LibreOffice unless you are multilingual.
Mobile Applications: LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice
In this new era of smartphones, people want to do all their tasks through their mobile phones. Hence, most companies often provide mobile apps for their programs so that users can access them easily.
They also come in handy during emergencies when you do not have access to a laptop or a pc and need to get some work done urgently. Companies try to incorporate all of the features from their desktop applications into the mobile app while providing a simple yet intuitive interface for the users.
Suppose you are one of the folks who love to do all of their tasks from their mobile phone and give it preference over the desktop system. LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice both have their respective applications for mobile users.
With constant updates and upgrades, these apps are regularly improving. So, let us look at both programs’ mobile apps.
OpenOffice brings you the ported AndrOpen Office app for your android devices. The application is entirely free to use on this platform. The IOS platform has Office 700, which will cost you around 5.99$.
With both apps, you can easily access all the tools such as writer and calc. Impress, math, and draw. You can see the supported file formats in their download description.
There is also a free or lite version of the IOS app, but it has many ads, missing certain features from the paid version, and no access to cloud storage.
LibreOffice also offers two applications to its users for the respective IOS and android platforms. Both apps have different uses, so you should not get confused.
They provide the Collabora Office app for the android platform that boasts features similar to LibreOffice and allows you to open or edit standard file formats such as PPTS, XLSX, DOCX, and many more.
They also offer another application called Impress Remote that is available for both IOS and Android platforms. It enables you to create or edit impressive presentations directly on your phone, similar to the desktop version. Now, you can walk around anywhere while creating or presenting presentations.
Although you can only take advantage of all the features of these applications in a desktop environment, having a mobile alternative is always a great option.
Software developers from both companies have devised the respective apps to extend the desktop program’s functionality and provide a similar service for their mobile platform.
Their applications have a good interface and include some exact features from the desktop version so you won’t have any problems while continuing your work on your phone.
Stability and Security
One of the major issues with modern applications that you need to keep in mind is stability. You can not finish your tasks effectively if the app is unstable and tends to break down occasionally.
Similarly, security is also a big issue, as you must have heard about all the data leaks and app vulnerabilities. You do not want your data stolen, right? So you must carefully analyze the security of the application you are considering. We shall now discuss the stability and security of both LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice programs.
Libreoffice has a much larger, dedicated development team working around the clock. Hence, it gets more frequent updates as compared to OpenOffice. Naturally, they are putting more resources into the project.
Another factor, as we discussed above, is that there is a license in place. It means that LibreOffice and not vice versa can use the code of OpenOffice. Although OpenOffice rarely gets updates as a small team is working on the project.
Not getting regular updates also means outdated security, making it more vulnerable to the latest online threats. It could take them a long time to fix bugs or vulnerabilities popping up today.
For instance, a critical bug exists on the Mac version of the program’s calc tool. It just crashes when trying to make diagrams. Such issues are yet to be fixed, but apache seems to be scrambling on the matter.
After our lengthy discussion over LibreOffice Vs, OpenOffice, let us summarize all of our findings. To begin with, both of these programs have several incorporated tools; hence they are called suites. Each of these tools can perform different tasks.
They have six: writer, calc, impress, draw, math, and base. In addition, you can install and use these applications on different platforms such as Windows, macOS, IOS, and android.
They also support a variety of languages to choose from. Especially on OpenOffice, you can download language packs as plugins and install them in your program.
Both apps are entirely user-friendly and provide one of the best user experiences in a similar category. If you are looking for a free alternative to Microsoft Office, then any of these can be your pick, as they are both entirely free.
LibreOffice is much more secure and stable as compared to OpenOffice. It gets regular updates and timely releases of security patches to keep its security updated.
You can also download and use the mobile version of these programs. They both support a ton of file formats or file extensions, so you can easily get most of your work done.
LibreOffice vs OpenOffice vs Freeoffice:-
Here is a detailed table comparing the features of LibreOffice, OpenOffice, and FreeOffice:
|Compatibility||Compatible with Microsoft Office file formats, ODF, and other formats.||Compatible with Microsoft Office file formats, ODF, and other formats.||Compatible with Microsoft Office file formats, ODF, and other formats.|
|User Interface||Modern, easy-to-use interface with a ribbon-style toolbar.||Classic interface with menus and toolbars.||Modern, easy-to-use interface with a ribbon-style toolbar.|
|Collaboration||Allows real-time collaboration with multiple users.||Allows real-time collaboration with multiple users.||Allows real-time collaboration with multiple users.|
|Language Support||Supports over 110 languages.||Supports over 110 languages.||Supports over 30 languages.|
|Database Management||Has a built-in database management system (Base).||Has a built-in database management system (Base).||Supports databases through the use of plugins.|
|Spreadsheets||Calc supports up to 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns.||Calc supports up to 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns.||PlanMaker supports up to 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns.|
|Word Processing||Writer has a range of features for formatting and editing documents.||Writer has a range of features for formatting and editing documents.||TextMaker has a range of features for formatting and editing documents.|
|Presentations||Impress has a range of features for creating and editing presentations.||Impress has a range of features for creating and editing presentations.||Presentations has a range of features for creating and editing presentations.|
|Drawing and Diagrams||Draw is a powerful tool for creating diagrams and graphics.||Draw is a powerful tool for creating diagrams and graphics.||SoftMaker Office has a separate application, SoftMaker FreeOffice, for creating drawings and graphics.|
|Math Formula Editor||Has a built-in math formula editor (Math).||Has a built-in math formula editor (Math).||Has a built-in math formula editor (Equations).|
|Macros and Extensions||Supports macros and extensions written in various programming languages.||Supports macros and extensions written in various programming languages.||Supports macros and extensions written in various programming languages.|
|Support and Documentation||Has a large and active community with good documentation and support.||Has a large and active community with good documentation and support.||Offers email support and an online help center.|
Is LibreOffice better than OpenOffice?
LibreOffice is often considered the better option compared to OpenOffice. LibreOffice has more frequent updates, a more modern interface, better support for newer file formats, and more active community involvement.
What is the difference between OpenOffice and LibreOffice?
OpenOffice and LibreOffice are free, open-source office software suites offering similar applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. The key differences between them are their user interfaces, community involvement, and the frequency of software updates.
Why was OpenOffice discontinued?
OpenOffice was not officially discontinued, but it has experienced a decline in active development and community involvement since most of the developers, and contributors switched to LibreOffice after a conflict with Oracle over the control of the project.
Does anyone still use LibreOffice?
Many still use LibreOffice as a free alternative to proprietary office suites like Microsoft Office. It is especially popular among students, educators, and those who prefer open-source software.
What is the disadvantage of LibreOffice?
One disadvantage of LibreOffice is that it may not be as compatible with some proprietary file formats as other office software. Additionally, it may have a steeper learning curve for users who are used to proprietary office software.
Is there a better alternative to LibreOffice?
There are several free and paid alternatives to LibreOffice, such as Microsoft Office, Google Docs, WPS Office, and OnlyOffice. However, choosing the best alternative depends on individual needs and preferences.
What are the disadvantages of OpenOffice?
One of the main disadvantages of OpenOffice is that it has not seen active development since 2014.
Therefore, it may not be as compatible with newer file formats and operating systems as other office software. Additionally, its user interface may be considered outdated.
Is OpenOffice no longer free?
OpenOffice is still available as a free, open-source office software suite. However, it is no longer actively developed or updated and may not be compatible with newer file formats and operating systems.
Can Microsoft Office read LibreOffice?
Microsoft Office can read and edit documents created in LibreOffice, but some formatting and features may not be fully compatible.
What replaces OpenOffice?
LibreOffice is often considered the best alternative to OpenOffice since it offers similar applications and features but with more frequent updates and better community involvement.
Will OpenOffice run on Windows 11?
OpenOffice has not been updated since 2014 and may not be compatible with newer operating systems such as Windows 11. Users may experience issues when running OpenOffice on Windows 11.
Do old versions of office still work?
Older versions of Microsoft Office may still work, but they may not be compatible with newer file formats or operating systems. Additionally, Microsoft may no longer provide support or security updates for older versions.
What are the pros and cons of LibreOffice?
The pros of LibreOffice include its cost (free), open-source nature, frequent updates, and community involvement.
The cons include its potential incompatibility with some proprietary file formats and a steeper learning curve for new users.
Can I trust LibreOffice?
LibreOffice is an open-source software suite developed by a community of volunteers and professionals. It is generally considered safe and trustworthy.
Can I open word documents in Libre?
Yes, LibreOffice can open and edit Microsoft Word documents, but some formatting and features may not be fully compatible.
Which is better, Google Docs or LibreOffice?
Both Google Docs and LibreOffice have their advantages and disadvantages. Google Docs is a cloud-based office suite that allows for real-time collaboration and automatic saving.
At the same time, LibreOffice is a more traditional desktop office suite with more advanced features and better privacy.
Final Verdict on the LibreOffice vs OpenOffice list
After carefully accessing every aspect of these applications, it comes down to which is better. Based on our findings, it is too close to call and pass judgment.
However, if we have to decide, we will choose LibreOffice over OpenOffice as it has a slight upper hand in some of the categories we discussed above.
If you are still unsatisfied, you can also explore google’s Gsuite, which contains some of the most powerful tools. The best part is that all tools are hosted on the cloud, so you don’t need to download or install anything extra. We hope that this article has helped you in making an informed decision.