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What program is similar to MS Office?

(12 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by milknhunnieeaolcom
  • Latest reply from LadyFitzgerald
  • Topic Viewed 393 times

milknhunnieeaolcom
Posts: 1

What program is similar to MS Office? Free or low cost.

Posted 2 years ago
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CompWiz
Posts: 864

milknhunnieeaolcom, hi.

The one's I prefer are;

Openoffice
http://www.openoffice.org/download/

LibreOffice
http://www.libreoffice.org/

(And Mozilla Thunderbird for me is the best alternative for Outlook)
http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/

Edit: All 'open source' (free) :)

Posted 2 years ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

MS Office 2010 Home and Student has more (and, IMNSHO, much better) features and isn't all that expensive. NewEgg is selling it for $130 right now but recently had it on sale for $90. I bought my copy a couple of months ago from Fry's for only $100. When you figure Office 2010's end of life isn't until roughly 7 1/2 years from now, that figures out to only a little over $17 a year for a license that can be installed on up to three computers at a time and can be transferred from one computer to another. Granted, free is cheaper (and I understand you may be on a tight budget; I've been there, done that, and couldn't afford the tee shirt) but quality is always worth springing for, even if it means eating mustard sandwiches (without the bread) for a month or two (I do draw the line before the third month).

Posted 2 years ago
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oldgeezer
Posts: 211

If it is Office 2007 or 2010 that you are looking at an alternative to then there isn't really anything that works in the same way (with the 'ribbon' of icons along the top). The free Office suites that CompWiz has listed are more like earlier versions (2003 and before) to look at, but in many people's opinion this is no bad thing. They will all open Office documents, including .docx, .xlsx etc. although you do have to alter the default settings if you want your documents saved in .doc format (they don't save to .docx format which, again, may be no bad thing). IMHO I have found that for some projects OpenOffice is far easier to use than Word, especially if you are doing DTP work - (eg getting frames to behave in Word can be very frustrating sometimes).

The main thing, however, is that these programs are free and do not have a 'shelf-life', they are continually being developed FOR FREE!.

Also bear in mind that you can install them with no restrictions and see if you like them before deciding.

Posted 2 years ago
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Veegertx
Posts: 376

I use Free Kingsoft Office 2012 8.1.0.3375 http://download.cnet.com/Kings.....&dlm=0
Only thing it won't do as all the Free won't do is Access or .mdb files. If you need that then you have to use MS office

Posted 2 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Don't kid yourself - nothing is 'similar' to MS Office. The amount of programs and the wealth of function you get is unmatched. Try to make a presentation like this with the clones. https://vimeo.com/8343611

Posted 2 years ago
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vistamike
Posts: 10945

milknhunnieeaolcom, it really depends what area you intend to work in. For a small business this can be difficult to decide.
If just (everyday use) word processing, presentation and spreadsheet then CompWiz's suggestions above will suffice and will open with MS Office when you share.
Professional / Business use really does require MS Office which is the 'industry standard'.

Mike

Posted 2 years ago
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Ruja
Posts: 230

@whs Really? Am I missing something? Is that all the power of MS Office, fading from one grayscale picture to another in full color? I think you can do that with LibreOffice Impress for sure.

Things that one must take into account:

1. Most people don't use Microsoft Office at full capacity. And I mean, for Word for instance, using master documents, cross-references, paragraph styles, captions, fields, tables of contents, list of figures and tables, the new equation editor (which is one of the bests ones I've seen), margins, tab stops, sections, different header and footer in each page, and so on. People usually get lost inserting pictures and using tables, commonly in an incorrect way (in front of text, misaligned, and all of that) and they end up with semi-decent documents. That's my experience.

2. For writing very simple documents, a letter, an essay for homework, a CV, etc. Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer (and AbiWord and others) are almost the same.

3. LibreOffice Writer can handle more complex documents, too, only you have to learn how to use it well. This is no different from Word, except that most people do edit complex documents with no idea on how Word works (not using paragraph styles for instance).

4. LibreOffice can open/save DOC and DOCX documents, but don't expect full compatibility. You need some collaboration with people using Word to ensure nothing will break, again, for simple documents you should have no problem. I think Word 2010 is not able to open the most current ODT format, but if you stick to LibreOffice, it is the best format you can use. RTF is a very common format also. And of course you can export to PDF as well, for others to read your document.

Please note I think Microsoft Office 2010 is great software, and I know Word quite a bit. But for most people LibreOffice will suffice. This is for Word and Writer, but can be applied to the other utilities in these office suites.

My recommendation is to get a copy of LibreOffice and try it (since it is free), and if you think it is not enough for you then but Microsoft Office.

Posted 2 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Ruja, it is not what you think - show me that you have done it.

Posted 2 years ago
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Xhi
Posts: 6298

Many of us do not do presentations. Many of my clients, most of them older than I, do not need anything fancy, but do like to view documents from others. The freebies work just fine for most of them. I can't remember the last time I did a presentation, oh, yes, never.

Posted 2 years ago
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Ruja
Posts: 230

There you go, ODP + OGG audio, made with LibreOffice 3.6.3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/l4n0gk8loqk2hwq/presentation.zip
(not a direct link, links to a Dropbox download confirmation page)

With "Is that all the power of MS Office?" I mean that Microsoft Office is much more than some transitions or animations. I know you can make things like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGYIbeZnecU with PowerPoint, great, but the point here is if LibreOffice (or another software) will suit the needs of one person. And I think it might.

For the really strange situation in which I need a presentation I use deck.js, a HTML5 and Javascript engine. That suits my needs, and has no animations.

Posted 2 years ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

I agree with whs about MS Office's superiority (although his Power Point presention may not be the best example of that). Besides having more features, it is more universally compatible with other users. I've tried Open Office, etc. and found, while there were work arounds that could be used to enable them to meet my needs (some rather Mickey Mouse), Office was much easier and faster to use. In all fairness, my needs (such as desktop publishing) were more demanding than most people's.

However, Ruja made excellent points. Most people use only 10% of Office's features due to a lack of need for many features and/or from a lack of knowledge of them, something even Micro$snot admits, and do not need full compatibility with other users. Ruja made an excellent suggestion, however. Try the freebies first and, if they don't measure up, then get MS Office.

Posted 2 years ago
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