Libreoffice vs Apache OpenOffice: how to decide on the best free workplace suite for you

When it involves free workplace software program, there are two predominant decisions: LibreOffice and OpenOffice (or, to provide it its correct title, Apache OpenOffice). The two are remarkably comparable, so how will you select the best one for you?

First, it is price considering fastidiously about whether or not you want desktop workplace software program in any respect. Provided you’ve an web connection, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides would possibly supply all the pieces you want, with out the necessity to set up something, and with the additional bonus that all the pieces you create might be mechanically saved to the cloud. No extra misplaced paperwork, or having to electronic mail work to your self.

However, if you happen to write, create spreadsheets or make displays recurrently, you would possibly discover that you simply want a number of the extra superior options that you simply solely get in desktop software program. If you are in that camp LibreOffice and OpenOffice are two of one of the best choices round. They’re each free to obtain and use, even professionally, they usually’re open supply, which implies their code is publicly out there.

Indeed, they’re so comparable that you simply may need a tough time selecting between them, however there are some key variations.

Why are they so comparable?

LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice share a typical ancestor: This open supply workplace suite was initially developed by the software program large Sun Microsystems, however not all of its builders had been pleased with the mission’s course after Sun was acquired by Oracle.

As a end result, a gaggle of builders broke away and created a brand new fork. This turned LibreOffice, which has been hosted by The Document Foundation ever since.

In 2011, Oracle introduced that it was ending improvement of, and donated the code to Apache

LibreOffice Calc and Apache OpenOffice Calc (Image credit score: The Document Foundation; Apache)

What are the variations?

Frequency of releases

One of the largest variations between Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice is the frequency of releases. LibreOffice is up to date rather more regularly than Apache OpenOffice, which implies you will obtain new options and bug fixes extra rapidly.

The frequency of updates means there’s additionally extra potential for bugs in LibreOffice, however any that do seem are prone to be resolved rapidly.

Selection of instruments

Both LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice supply basically the identical set of apps (Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base and Math), however LibreOffice additionally features a device referred to as Charts. As its title implies, this can be a small software particularly for creating charts and graphs, able to be imported into different paperwork. Handy for displays.

Language help

If you are multilingual, it is price noting that Apache OpenOffice presents extra when it comes to flexibility relating to languages, letting you obtain further language patches as plugins. If you select LibreOffice, you will want to select one language at first and keep it up.

Slide templates

Presentation templates in LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice (Image credit score: The Document Foundation; Apache)

Pre-installed templates

If you usually must make displays, LibreOffice has the sting when it comes to the quantity (and high quality) of slide templates out there. Both software program suites supply loads of user-made designs to obtain, however LibreOffice’s number of pre-installed choices is much superior to OpenOffice’s.


As you possibly can see from the screengrabs, LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice are nearly equivalent. The useful variations are very minor; for instance, the sidebar in OpenOffice Writer is open by default, whereas in LibreOffice it is closed.

LibreOffice does look slightly extra trendy due to its bigger icons and leaning in direction of refined pastel hues, but it surely’s nothing that’ll have an effect on your on a regular basis work.

Supported file sorts

This is prone to be the largest deciding issue for many individuals. Although each LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice can open and edit native Microsoft codecs DOCX and XLSX, solely LibreOffice is ready to save to those codecs.

If you are going to be sharing paperwork with folks utilizing Microsoft Office, LibreOffice would possibly subsequently be the higher alternative.