Are you one of the many Mac owners who is addicted to Microsoft Office? If you’re like most long-time Mac or Windows PC users, there’s a fear of being without Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on your Mac.
With very little effort and no cost, you may be able to lick the addiction to Microsoft and save plenty of money in the process.
LibreOffice is a free Microsoft Office-like suite of apps for the Mac (and PC), based on the Open Office open source suite.
Because LibreOffice is free you can try it out before getting rid of Microsoft Office (or, paying another Microsoft upgrade fee).
Most of us who’ve used Microsoft Office in the past fear a lack of compatibility between Office documents and other apps, Mac or Windows.
Microsoft doesn’t even provide complete compatibility between their own versions of Office. And most Office users don’t use all the features in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
That gives you an opportunity to try a free alternative with no risk.
LibreOffice is a very powerful suite of apps that mimic Microsoft Office in many ways.
Writer – This is the word processor and it’s packed with Word-like features. Auto-complete, auto-formatting, spell checking, plus you can drop in images, add bibliographies, and even diagrams.
Writer documents are not 100-percent compatible with Microsoft Word documents (but neither is Microsoft), but the differences are often minor.
Calc – Excel is the industry standard spreadsheet. But if you’ve used one spreadsheet, you’ve used them all LibreOffice’s Calc looks and feels and works similar to Excel.
It can import and use XLS files (so long as they’re not too complicated), bring in data from databases, even display 2D and 3D graphics.
Impress – PowerPoint is a monster presentation app. Impress works similarly and lets you build interactive slide shows on the fly.
Draw – It’s a built-in drawing app. What you draw can be dropped into Calc, Impress, or Writer.
There’s also other components which round out the suite. Math is the equation editor. And Base is the database app which can import data from MySQL, PostgreSQL, even Microsoft Access.
There’s also a built-in PDF file creator. And, of course, on the Mac you can save any document as a PDF.
That’s what you get for free. LibreOffice looks remarkably like Office on Windows (more vaguely like Office for Mac). Icons are similar, as are menu locations.
Even better, if your home or office is both Mac and Windows, there’s a LibreOffice version for each, and that makes the suite a good alternative to Microsoft’s continual tax.