Microsoft Office and LibreOffice are the two most widely used office suites today and offer very similar features. Therefore, there may be doubts as to which one is the most suitable for each user. Although both are very similar, there are some important differences that must be taken into account when making a decision. We will explain the most important differences between Microsoft Office and LibreOffice.
LibreOffice has Excellent Software and Its Completely Free
LibreOffice can be downloaded and used free of charge even for commercial purposes. It is open-source software, so anyone can download and edit the program’s source code.
On the other hand, you can buy a single license of Microsoft Office for different prices depending on the version chosen. Office Home and Students 2019 has an official price of 149.99 euros.
It is possible to buy OEM Microsoft Office licenses for a much lower price, but these are licenses that are not geared to retail, so you can not guarantee their proper functioning over time.
The programs included depend on the version of Microsoft Office You Choose
One of the most important considerations when choosing between Microsoft Office and LibreOffice are the programs offered with each of these two packages.
LibreOffice includes Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Base (databases), Math (mathematical formulas), and Draw (vector graphics). These are the most frequently used programs.
On the other hand, Office Home and Students 2019 include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote; Office Home and Companies 2019 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook; and finally Office Professional 2019 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access.
Full File Compatibility but with Some Nuances
LibreOffice is the free office suite that offers the best compatibility with all types of files. Its different programs can import and export all the most common file formats such as DOCX, PPTX, and XLSX.
However, keep in mind that documents will not always look the same in LibreOffice as in Microsoft Office programs. This is due to Microsoft’s use of its own sources, and also the difference in the manner in which data is interpreted and displayed on the user’s screen.
This should not be inconvenient on a personal level, but if you share your files frequently with users who use LibreOffice or Microsoft Office, you may find it more convenient to use the same office suite as them to ensure that everything is displayed in the best possible way by all users.
One thing we like a lot is that both office suites allow you to export files to PDF format.
User Support – Microsoft Office takes the Lead
Microsoft offers a help application with solutions for a multitude of common problems, as well as an online chatbot that can also help you solve your doubts and problems. In addition, Microsoft has published a set of guides.
If automated systems aren’t able to solve your concerns, you’ll also have a live chat and phone support service available, with Microsoft technicians ready to help you.
As for LibreOffice, you will find a large amount of information in LibreOffice Wiki, which can be very useful to solve your doubts and problems. LibreOffice also provides a ticketing system with which you can send queries, as well as read answers to other users’ questions, and finally offers a live chat channel.
At this point, you will be thinking that both solutions offer very similar support, but there is a very important difference. Although LibreOffice’s support is excellent, it all depends on volunteers donating their time and expertise.
The Document Foundation has no obligation to provide assistance, and you may have to wait longer to receive a response than in the case of Microsoft Office. In addition, there is no telephone support for LibreOffice.
Cloud Services is easier with Microsoft Office
If you are a LibreOffice user and wish to store your files in the cloud, you will have to create your own system, as The Document Foundation cannot provide free server space for the millions of LibreOffice users.
You can use Dropbox, which makes it easier to synchronize files with the cloud by saving them in a dedicated folder on your PC.
In the case of Microsoft Office, each of its programs is supported by Microsoft OneDrive and is the default location for saving all new files. This means that saving all your documents in the cloud is a much easier task for Microsoft Office.
Compatibility – Each one has its Virtues and Defects
Microsoft Office is available for Windows and Mac, with the ability to use mobile applications for iOS and Android. In addition, we can use Microsoft Office Online, which offers reduced versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in any modern web browser.
LibreOffice has versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as offering a portable version that can be installed on a Pendrive to take it always with you. The negative point is that there are no applications for smartphones, tablets, and Chromebooks, with the exception of LibreOffice Viewer for Android.
As we can see, both Microsoft Office and LibreOffice are two excellent office suites that can offer us a lot of value. Microsoft’s proposal has a very high price, but in return, we will have much better integration with the cloud, as well as a professional technical support service.
LibreOffice has the advantage that it is excellent software and totally free, so we can use it on all our compatible devices without paying a single euro. In addition, it has a native version of the Linux operating system, which is not the case with Microsoft Office.
Which one is your favorite?