Top LibreOffice Alternatives

A survey of the leading LibreOffice alternatives, with the pros and cons of each alternative.

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More people than ever are enjoying the benefits of LibreOffice. It's free to use and open source. But what about LibreOffice alternatives? Are there any good LibreOffice Alternative sand should you try them for yourself? This article is going to share some of the best LibreOffice alternatives and provide links where you can learn more about each of them.

Google Drive as a LibreOffice alternative

We've all heard of using Google Drive as a means of managing your documents, but have you ever tried using the Google Docs functionality? You should, as it's actually pretty good. Google provides you with browser access to word processing, spread sheet and presentation tools at no cost to you.

The best part is you can access this service from any web browser with an Internet connection. This might sound silly, but those of us who remember what it was like before web-based office suite access understand the value of this option.

Additional features, going beyond a typical office suite: the ability to create web forms, integration into Google Drive, and easy access to document sharing.

Additional considerations: As good as Google Drive (Docs) happens to be, it's not perfect. First off, you really need to have an active Internet connection to get the most value from the tools provided. You can use "offline" mode as a fall back, however, using offline mode is a far cry from the benefits of using Google Drive online.

Should you consider using Google Drive? I think so, if you're someone that is usually connected to the Internet. I personally don't use Google Drive for office suite tasks. However I've found it to be invaluable for storage of my documents and various web forms.

WPS Office as a LibreOffice alternative

Built to be a true clone of Microsoft Office, WPS is an application suite that is very close to what those coming from Microsoft products would expect. It provides support for all Microsoft Office suite file types like LibreOffice, but does so with better docx support. To be clear, it's as close to running Microsoft Office on Linux as you can get without WINE.

The software is free to install on your system. If you wish to have cloud syncing for access on other platforms, you're able to upgrade to the premium edition. For most people, the non-premium edition is more than enough. WPS provides you with access to word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and PDF viewing.

Once installed, WPS is actually quite impressive. It has a number of nice features that really set it apart. LibreOffice has its own crash recovery, however WPS goes a step further. You can actually browse through backed up documents in a side panel provided by WPS. Other compelling features WPS: its eye protection and night modes. These settings allow you to either dim or change the color of your WPS session to free yourself of eye strain.

Additional considerations: How Microsoft views WPS is a bit of a mystery. It's pretty clear much of the interface was borrowed from MS Office. But WPS does have some functionality that's considered unique. If you're using LibreOffice, you might want to try out WPS if you're struggling with some MS Office file formatting. I've found on a few occasions where WPS did a better job with docx file formats. But this is less of an issue that in years past.

Collabora Online with NextCloud as a LibreOffice alternative

If you're someone who appreciates the current flow provided by LibreOffice, but feel like you're lacking the ability to keep your docs in the "cloud," Collabora Online with NextCloud might be worth trying. Available as a docker image, you can easily install the Collabora Online docker image on your favorite server platform.

Another feature that makes this approach great is that you can quite literally duplicate Dropbox functionality using your own server, the locally installed document synchronizer and the Collabora online software. If you're tech savvy enough to run your own NextCloud server, this is an excellent way to take the LibreOffice experience to the next level. Best of all, you're completely in-charge of how much storage is available and how your data is to be managed. The single most valuable feature provided by using this approach is that you're able to enjoy a collaborative editing experience with other users.

Additional considerations: As good as Collabora Online with NextCloud happens to be, there are some areas that might not fit with your needs. First, you're in charge of hosting your own data. Unless you choose to pay someone else to do it for you, the backups, scalability and other factors all fall to you. That said, this NextCloud solution does well by providing you with support for all the popular MS Office formats while doing so with a LibreOffice interface when working with documents.

ZoHo Office as a LibreOffice alternative

Perhaps the closest comparable to Google Drive (Docs), ZoHo Office suite offers a pretty great user experience. Not only does it provide you with the usual Office type offerings, you also have access to additional applications ranging from ticketing systems to invoicing.

What might surprise some folks is that even at the free level, ZoHo offers a LibreOffice comparable functionality. From there, if you need additional storage it's readily available for a reasonable price. Overall I believe ZoHo is the closest thing to a Google Drive alternative. While it might not offer as much free storage, it does provide greater tools for free (invoicing, CRM, etc).

Additional considerations: ZoHo is what I think Microsoft Office online was trying to do. But unlike Microsoft's online offering, ZoHo doesn't arbitrarily shrink its free storage offering. In addition, I feel like ZoHo has better overall offerings than comparable SaaS solutions.

Best LibreOffice alternative for you

If you're focus is to stick with a well supported FoSS LibreOffice alternative, it's going to be tough to beat Collabora Online with NextCloud. Honorable mentions go out to both KDE and GNOME based office suite solutions. I chose not to include them as they are both very desktop environment-centric. That and I don't really feel they add value not found with LibreOffice. Great office suites, but hardly blowing minds with new and exciting functionality.

If, however, you want ready-to-go solutions, ZoHo or Google are the clear winners here. Neither embrace a FoSS philosophy, but both provide you with a ready to go cloud friendly means of working with important office suite tasks.

What say you? Do you disagree and feel there are better office alternatives to LibreOffice? Fantastic! Hit the Comments and share your favorite alternatives with the readers here.




Tags: Linux, LibreOffice, LibreOffice 5, Open Source Adoption


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