How Microsoft Office Tops LibreOffice: 11 Features: Page 2

LibreOffice is developing rapidly, but Office still outclasses it in some areas.

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5) Broadcasting Slide Shows

These days, conferences quickly post presentations online after they are delivered. You can upload a slide show to a broadcast from within MS PowerPoint. By contrast, although you can send slide shows in an email in LibreOffice Impress, it has yet to provide this small piece of modern functionality.

6) No Whiteboard

The OneNote whiteboard was only added a decade ago to Microsoft Office, which makes it a relative newcomer compared to Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. All the same, it's a popular application.

Supporting a wide variety for formatting, OneNote can be used for note-taking, brainstorming, outlining, to-do lists, collaboration, and any other function you can find for it. You can get some of its functionality in KDE's aging application Basket, as well as various Firefox extensions and Calligra Suite's Braindump, but integrating all this functionality directly into LibreOffice would make it even more useful.

7) Screen Capture

LibreOffice Writer can already scan content and add it-on-the-fly. So why can't it add screen shots the same way, the way that Word can? It shouldn't be hard, either, to improve on MS Word's functionality, and allow a shot of the whole screen, a window, or a selected area, the way that most screen capture utilities do. There's no need for a full-featured utility like Shutter, although users probably wouldn't complain if one was added.

8) Sparklines in Spreadsheets

Both LibreOffice's Calc and Microsoft Office's Excel have extensive charting tools. However, charts can quickly become crowded and unreadable when they include more than a few data series. When that happens, you may not have space to make the chart as large as you need.

As an alternative, Excel offers the option of sparklines. Invented by information theorist Edward Tufte, sparklines are a small representation of a single data series. In Excel, you can add a sparkline to a single cell -- ideally close to the data that it summarizes, then customize the sparkline by adding high and low points, or even every data port. In Calc, I'm sorry to say, you don't have this simple alternative.

9) Filtering Spreadsheets by Color

When spreadsheets are used for to-do lists or project management, they are often color-coded. For example, a different color may be assigned to each person or team, or to tasks that depend on each other. These visual clues making reading the spreadsheet much easier.

Calc has extensive logical filters to simplify the display of information. Yet, unlike MS Excel, it doesn't support filtering by color. Why not?

10) A Useful ClipArt Gallery and LibreOffice have included a clipart gallery. Its default content are a series of background tiles, rulers and home page buttons that might have been considered suitable for Web pages two decades ago, and a series of sound clips that are useless because they are unlabelled. If anybody has used any of this material within the last decade, I would be surprised.

The gallery can be made useful, of course, by a few downloads. But the contrast with Microsoft Office's clipart collection could hardly be greater. Perhaps today when everyone is on the Internet, the idea of a gallery is obsolete, but LibreOffice could at least have a link to some resource like the Open Clip Art Library that might actually be useful to someone. But, right now, the gallery simply takes up space for no good reason.

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Tags: Linux, enterprise software, Microsoft Office, LibreOffice

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