How do you rate LibreOffice?

A reader wants to know what I think of the free Libre Office Suite:

“How do you rate free programs such as LibreOffice? I have been using it for years. No charge, and only a gentle suggestion that users can donate, or even help with supporting the program. Instructions and support are good. And no, I don’t know if there is something else from which they get funding. They are good enough, I don’t mind supporting them with donations.”

I rate LibreOffice and its cousin OpenOffice very highly. They are incredible programs that offer absolutely free office suites that are compatible with Microsoft Office. The programs are developed and maintained by volunteers and supported by donations. Businesses are asked to use the paid versions of the program in order to help contribute to the continuing development of the software.

LibreOffice encourages businesses to work with their partners who offer paid version of the software with long-term support options, professional assistance, custom features and other benefits. Among those businesses:

  • Collabora – Collabora Office, Collabora Online
  • CIB – LibreOffice powered by CIB, LibreOffice Online powered by CIB
  • Adfinis SyGroup – Enterprise-level support

If you aren’t familiar with LibreOffice, let’s take a look. The fully functional office suite works with PCs, Macs, or Linux computers.

LibreOffice is developed by users and is a project of the not-for-profit organization, The Document Foundation. LibreOffice is free and open-source software, originally based on (commonly known as OpenOffice).

The suite features the Writer word processing program, Calc spreadsheet program, and Impress presentations software. 

You also get Draw, a program for making diagram., Base, a database program, and Math, a formula editor.

There’s also a powerful presentation software called Impress.

These programs can read and edit program created with Microsoft Office and you can read and edit documents created with LibreOffice in Word and Excel.

Let’s look at how to download and install. Start by going to

First, click on Download Now.

Choose your version.

Then select your operating system/

Click Download. You’ll need about 1.5 GB of hard drive space to install the entire suite. There’s an option to donate, but it is not a requirement.

The download might take a few minutes. Then go to your downloads folder and launch the LibreOffice Installer.

You’ll need to give it permission to run. Once the installer wizard opens, just follow the instructions.

You can choose between the typical or a customized installation. I’d suggest just going with the typical.

You can choose whether or not you want a shortcut on the desktop.

Installation can take several minutes. Once it’s finished, click the desktop shortcut to open.

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