Microsoft Office and LibreOffice are the two most used office suites today, and they offer very similar features. Therefore, the question may arise as to which is the most appropriate for each user. Although the two are very similar, there are some important differences to consider when making a decision. Here we explain the most important differences between Microsoft Office and LibreOffice .
Price, LibreOffice wins by a landslide
LibreOffice is free to download and use even for commercial purposes. It is open source software, so anyone can download and edit the source code of the program.
On the other hand, you can buy a single license for Microsoft Office for different prices depending on the version chosen. Office Home and Student 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 intended for retail sale, so their correct operation over time cannot be guaranteed.
Programs included, it depends on the version of Microsoft Office you choose
One of the most important considerations when choosing between Microsoft Office and LibreOffice are the programs that are 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 Student 2019 includes Word, Excel, Power Point and OneNote; Office Home and Business 2019 includes Word, Excel, Power Point, OneNote and Outlook; and finally Office Professional 2019 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.
Full file compatibility, but with a few nuances to consider
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 like DOCX, PPTX and XLSX.
However, keep in mind that documents will not always look the same in LibreOffice as they do in Microsoft Office programs. This is due to Microsoft's use of its own sources, and also due to the difference in the way the 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. possible by all users.
Something that we like a lot is that both office automation suites allow us to export the files to PDF format.
User support, Microsoft Office takes the lead
Microsoft offers us 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. To all this is added that Microsoft has published a set of guides.
In the event that automated systems are not capable of solving your concerns, you will also have at your disposal a live chat and telephone support service , with Microsoft technicians ready to help you.
As for LibreOffice, you will find a lot of information in the LibreOffice Wiki, which can be very useful to solve your doubts and problems. LibreOffice also provides a ticketing system with which you can submit inquiries, as well as read responses to other users' questions, and lastly offers a live chat channel.
At this point, you may be thinking that both solutions offer very similar support, but there is a very important difference. While LibreOffice's support is excellent, it all depends on volunteers donating their time and expertise.
The Document Foundation is under no obligation to provide assistance , and you may have to wait longer for a response than Microsoft Office. Also, there is no phone support for LibreOffice.
Cloud services made easier with Microsoft Office
If you are a LibreOffice user and want 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 easy to sync files with the cloud by saving them to a dedicated folder on your PC.
In the case of Microsoft Office, each of its programs has integration with Microsoft OneDrive , and it is the default location to save all new files. This means that saving all your documents in the cloud is a much easier task in the case of Microsoft Office.
Compatibility, each has its strengths and weaknesses
Microsoft Office is available for Windows and Mac, with the possibility of using 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 USB stick to always carry it 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 is quite expensive, but in return we will have a much better integration with the cloud, as well as a professional technical support service.
LibreOffice has the advantage that it is excellent and totally free software, so we can use it on all our compatible devices without paying a single euro. In addition, it has a native version for Linux operating system, which is not the case with Microsoft Office.
What is your favorite?