Most people are all
ears when when they hear there is something for nothing and wise
people will investigate any offer that seems to be something for
nothing. As someone said, “If it sounds too good to be true then it
That is not the case
with Open Source software generally and includes most Linux
distributions and as regards the topic of this page in particular,
LibreOffice may be
downloaded free of any financial costs and can be installed on
Microsoft Windows versions and is often included in popular Linux
distributions such as Mint and Ubuntu as part of the package.
It's amazing what you
can get for free. Compatible with Microsoft Office earlier and later
versions and employing a similar basic range of features it can
perform about 95% - 98% of the tasks that most people use an office
program for. The latest versions of LibreOffice will open Word, Excel
and Powerpoint documents no problem plus Microsoft Works files too. Earlier versions won't open specialist files such as Microsoft Publisher but people
shouldn't be sending Publisher files because even Microsoft Office
users won't generally have Publisher installed anyway (economy
versions of Microsoft Office include Word, Excel and Powerpoint
In fairness to
Microsoft there are tasks that Microsoft Office can do that
LibreOffice can't but in general these are tasks associated with
commercial and widespread distribution tasks. Even so the uptake of
LibreOffice by commercial users is vast, the French Police force
being just one example of this.
There is however a
major situation with LibreOffice that needs to be acted on.
A similar problem also
exists with Microsoft Office later versions.
After installation of
LibreOffice any documents saved will be in OpenOffice format. That
makes it incompatible with Microsoft Office earlier versions so that
sending files in OpenOffice format will mean that recipients won't be
able to open the files you send them.
This is easily
When LibreOffice is
first installed locate the Tools menu and open Options. In the window
that will open go to Load/Save and go to General and then save Text
Documents as Word, Spreadsheets as Excel and Presentations as
LibreOffice Writer also
allows you to select how you view documents either as metric or
One caution. It's
possible to do some fancy artistic work in LibreOffice such as making
text angled or inverted. If you do so then save in OpenOffice format
and also as a .pdf file if the file is for distribution.
I will add that there
are other free Office distributions available but have no experience
of them. With all of them however – what have you got to lose by
using them since they are free.
LibreOffice versions 4 x onwards can
now open Microsoft Publisher files although if they are modified in
LibreOffice they will need to be saved in LibreOffice format. This is a
huge step forward in attachment circulation.