Free Microsoft Office alternative reviewedSpreadsheet and word processing programs for free
05 August 2011
Which? has just published results of its test of LibreOffice, the free alternative to Microsoft Office.
Based on the once popular OpenOffice program, LibreOffice has many of the same features as full-fledged office program but without the price tag.
While our testers reckoned it wasn't for everyone, they were impressed with its ease of use an familiar interface. To see our test ratings and final verdict, read our full LibreOffice review.
What's in LibreOffice?
LbreOffice was created by some of the developers who worked on OpenOffice, the well-known free office suite. Its main programs are Writer (word processing) and Calc (spreadsheet), alternatives to Word and Excel. It also comes with Impress, similar to Microsoft Powerpoint, and unlike Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010, a database program is included as well.
The graphics program, Draw, allows you to create flowcharts and diagrams, for example, useful for then inserting into Writer or Impress.
Creating PDF documents is very straightforward from within any of LibreOffice's programs. Overall, LibreOffice has many of the features that a home or business user would find useful.
How we test office software
As part of our office software testing, we rate how easy it is to find different menus and functions in each of the programs included. We rate the number and quality of any pre-designed templates available within each program and scrutinise the help sections to determine whether they do actually offer useful help. And of course, we carefully examine overall ease of use as we run through various scenarios.
For more information, read about how we test office software.
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