Need Excel or Word? Try Libre Office Free

Sure, it’s written like a spam or a sales document but the truth is that most people won’t need anything else and yes, it it is completely free.  Libre Office, is a complete office suite, and it really is free.

Ok, why am I talking like a salesman?  Simple, someone asked me if they could “borrow” my copy of Microsoft Word.  6:45 AM in the middle of my dog walk.  I told them to check my blog today for links for downloads for Libre Office instead.

First, you don’t really borrow software, you do that and it is considered piracy.
Second, you don’t really need to spend the money for a word processor or spreadsheet program when there is an excellent free piece of software out there.

Yes.  Free.

As in Free and Open Source Software.  “FOSS“.

Keeping this simple, basically “FOSS” works.  People do write software to do things and sometimes it is put out there for everyone to use.  You know, good guy stuff?

In the case of Libre Office, you can replace Microsoft Office with it.

Word is replaced by Libre Office Writer
Excel is replaced by Libre Office Calc.
Access is replaced by Libre Office Base.
Powerpoint is replaced by Libre Office Impress.
and Visio is replaced by Libre Office Draw.
They also have something called Libre Office Math, which I believe is a replacement for Mathematica but I don’t have any experience with it. It lets you solve equations like the ones you had in Algebra and Calculus by typing in the formula.  Don’t tell your high school kid but it should solve their homework for them.

Now, if you are a professional, you’ll realize that in certain cases you simply can’t use anything else.  Your IT Department decided this is what you’re going to use.  Go for it.

But if you are like the majority of computer users, on Linux, Mac or Windows, all you really need these days are a good browser and an occasional Word Processor and Spreadsheet.   The rest is overkill but hey, it’s all free.  They do make their money by donations, so if you’re fully employed you might want to drop some money in their tip jar

Think about it, Five Bucks for a Microsoft Office Work-alike Replacement.  Pretty cool, huh?

I use it on my machines here, Windows, Mac, and Linux.  In fact it came free with Linux Ubuntu, I didn’t have to think to install it … there it was.  It’s on my CentOS Linux Server that I’m building right now.  My Linux People will know – Synaptic has all this stuff for the asking on Ubuntu and Debian. I loves me some Synaptic!

The thing is that even the output files that you create using Libre Office are the same format as those out of the more popular programs like Microsoft Office.  The only rub is that you have to make sure you tell it to use the docx or xlsx formats when you save, or configure Libre Office to do that once and for all.  I forget once in a while and then get a little confused as to why my resume is not in docx.

The download page is here.  Like I said, you don’t have to pay for it.  It’s free.

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