Posts Tagged 'Libre Office'

FreeFile Review – AbiWord

Originally, this review was to be titled “WordPad – The Forgotten Word Processor”, however, it soon became clear that WordPad was forgotten for very good reasons. Support for Word’s .doc format was removed from WordPad when Windows Vista debuted. Little was expected and even less was delivered by WordPad. It may be a reasonable application if your needs begin and end with .rtf (rich text format), but better solutions exist.

Next up is AbiWord which has long been considered the best of the free word processor applications. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Installation was problem free. A few add-ons can be selected during the install, however, the search and translation options merely place internet shortcuts on the ‘Tools’ menu – skip those. The interface is pleasant and relatively uncluttered. AbiWord will open, edit and save to a long list of formats, including .doc and .html. Although, AbiWord is not as full featured as Word, it has spell check, mail merge and supports the embedding of graphics and tables. During my short test, I found no issues opening, editing and saving .doc documents.

Only one negative surfaced. I found a bug (or, is it a feature?). While in the Print layout, the horizontal ruler on top does not line up with the page. It does not affect the page layout, but, I found it annoying.

– – The Bottom Line – –

AbiWord is a capable word processor that should meet most people’s needs. If you want more, consider Libre Office which was reviewed here 3 months ago.

Download AbiWord HERE

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FreeFile Review – LibreOffice

What is LibreOffice? For years, the number one free alternative to Microsoft Office was OpenOffice.  About a year ago, the OpenOffice developers left that project and used OpenOffice source code to launch LibreOffice. If you’ve used OpenOffice in the past, LibreOffice will be quite familiar. The entire LibreOffice suite is completely free and it is a fairly large download (about 200MB). It consists of a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a database, a PowerPoint replacement, a drawing application and a math program. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. This review is primarily about the word processor and spreadsheet applications, since these are all that most people will ever use.

Installation is relatively pain free, however, Java may, or may not need to be installed. Once installed, a single icon provides access to all of the programs in the suite through a simple ‘start center’. User Interfaces are similar for all the programs. They are attractive, but quite busy, due to the incredible amount of features and options offered. It is very much like Microsoft Office before the ribbon interface.

Writer, the word processor, is a very capable, full-featured program. It can open and save Microsoft .DOC documents. The default save option is for the LibreOffice format. Most will want to change the default to .DOC through Tools > Options. Also, it can save as a PDF. I haven’t noticed any compatibility issues with documents created in Word. Writer is all the word processor that most people will need.

Calc is the spreadsheet application of the suite. It looks very much like Excel and it can open and save to various Microsoft formats. I did notice some minor formatting inconsistencies with documents that were created in Excel – not a major problem – just irritating. I think everyone, except hardcore Excel users, will be pleased with Calc.

– – The Bottom Line – –

LibreOffice is a very capable alternative to the pricey Microsoft Office. Most people will have no need for Microsoft Office after trying LibreOffice. The only negative that I could find is that the abundance of features and options can confuse some users (just as Microsoft Office will). If you need an office suite, download LibreOffice today.

Download LibreOffice HERE

Get more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com


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