The Document Foundation has just released LibreOffice 5.0, the tenth major release since the launch of the project. LibreOffice is a full feature open source office suite which includes includes Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, and Math.
According to the release “LibreOffice 5.0 sports a significantly improved user interface, with a better management of the screen space and a cleaner look. In addition, it offers better interoperability with office suites such as Microsoft Office and Apple iWork, thanks to new and improved filters to handle non standard formats. Other improvements have been added to every module of the suite, and Windows 64bit builds (Vista and later) have been added.”
If you are a Microsoft Office user and don’t want to upgrade to the subscription model of Office for Mac 2016 when it is released, you might want to consider trying the latest version of LibreOffice which is both free and very compatible with Office. While you will be able to purchase a copy of Office 2016 in September and not be forced to pay an annual subscription, but it’s not clear what this will cost. Why not try something new.
I have tried the beta version of Office for Mac 2016 and it is definitely better than Office for Mac 2011, However I’m not willing to pay $10/mo for a subscription or an unknown amount for a one-time purchase of a suite that I rarely use. I find that Pages and Numbers satisfy my occasional requirements for documents and spreadsheets and that LibreOffice fills any gaps. Give it a try and see if it works for you.
Download a free copy of LibreOffice 5.0 and take it for a spin. This is a large file (193MB) so it might take a few minutes to download the file to your computer. OS X 10.8 or newer is required for this version.
Tip: After you install LibreOffice open it’s preferences and select Load/Save > General. Then change the document types to be compatible with Microsoft Office. You can always do this as needed for each document, but I find it much simpler to change the default. Here are the settings that I recommend:
|Document Type||Always Save As|
|Text Document||Microsoft Word 2007–2013 XML (.docx)|
|Spreadsheet||Microsoft Excel 2007–2013 XML (.xlsx)|
|Presentation||Microsoft Powerpoint 2007–2013 XML (.pptx)|