LibreOffice is free and open-source software that is starting to be one of the growing competitors for the well-known MS Office productivity suite. It is a parallel version born from the same code as the Open Office package. LibreOffice is made up of six applications: Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Math and Draw. The best thing about having all of them together is that you do not need to download any third-party software.
It is a parallel version born from the same code of the Open Office package
The latest version of LibreOffice includes several enhancements, such as the improved interoperability with Microsoft Word to process documents (especially with DOCX and RTF formats); the new engine for spreadsheets, which allows for performing formula cells massive parallel calculations thanks to the use of GPU via OpenCL; or the new Start Screen, which has been redesigned to offer a cleaner and simpler layout.
What does the suite include?
Writer is a word processor and desktop publishing utility that includes while-you-type spell checking, auto-complete options and auto-formatting capabilities. It also has an Advanced Notes feature that makes it possible to display notes next to the document, so they can be read while moving along the file. They can be easily identified with different colors and dates. Even though documents are saved in ODT by default, you can choose DOC or DOCX formats to make these files compatible with Microsoft Word. It exports as PDF and HTML too.
Calc is a spreadsheet software. Its Advanced DataPilot technology eases pulling in data from databases and then cross-tabulating, summarizing and converting it into something meaningful. It allows for creating new formulas from words, for instance, sales or costs. It also has an Intelligent Sum feature which inserts functions or subtotals automatically.
Impress is a multimedia presentations creator, which allows for adding effects and animations to slides to make them much more professional. Draw allows for building sketches and diagrams from scratch. It has 3D capabilities that will make your illustrations more dynamic. Math is an equation editor that layouts and displays equations, whether scientific, chemical, mathematical or electrical, in standard written notation. Base is a database front-end you can use as a stand-alone program or as a complement to another application, to create queries, tables, forms and reports. Additionally, LibreOffice also includes a PDF creator, which allows you to distribute readable documents that can be opened in almost any computer or OS.
LibreOffice 4.2.0 Features
Some of the unique features of LibreOffice are the following:
- Six applications: Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Math and Draw
- Microsoft Word round-trip interoperability, particularly for DOCX and RTF formats
- New engine for Calc: use of GPU via OpenCL to create massive parallel calculations of formula cells
- Custom install dialogue has been simplified
- New Start Screen
- Ability to embed images into HTML files and to create DOT files in Writer
- Statistics functions in Calc as well as ‘Find All’ option when clicking in ‘search in all sheets’
- New Custom Animation toolbar for Impress and Draw
- Honoured checkboxes for reference values in Base
If you want to read more information about LibreOffice before you download it to your computer, feel free to visit the developer’s site.
The minimum system requirements to correctly download and install LibreOffice to your computer are:
- Operating System: Windows XP or later
- Processor: Pentium III, Athlon or faster
- RAM Memory: 256 MB
- HDD: 1.5 GB of free space available
- 1024 x 768 screen resolution