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LibreOffice vs OpenOffice, Two magnificent suites.

There have always been alternatives to Office. OpenOffice has emerged as the office suite in free software by excellence, with LibreOffice you have a chance to see for yourself that the veteran package has left him a serious competitor.
The base used for the development of both suites as part of their software architects is the same. In 2010, after more than ten years of being in charge of the OpenOffice project, the company Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle Corporation. From developers, fearing that Oracle reorient the project in a direction that does not respect the philosophy and original ideas, they created a separate group to found LibreOffice, whose first version appeared in early 2011.

LibreOffice vs OpenOfficeSince then LibreOffice has gained in popularity and followers, as corroborated by the fact that to emerge as the default office suite in various versions of the Linux distributions Ubuntu or Debian, to name just two examples. Probably the suspicions of those who at the time staged excision were not unfounded, because the truth is that the same year the Oracle OpenOffice project was dumped. Now is part of Apache Incubator, which maintains and develops a broad range of open source applications under the auspices of The Apache Software Foundation. Hence his full name has changed to Apache OpenOffice. Since both are based on the same software suites, initially, their similarities were very  patent.However, now that it has passed more than a year and a half since the fork and, according to developers of
LibreOffice, mediate million lines of code difference between both packages, can we talk about clear differences? That is what we have tried to find out.

Its installation and space requirements

Both suites are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, but our tests have focused on the Windows version. Pack size of Apache OpenOffice 3.4 is substantially smaller than that of LibreOffice 3.5. The first occupies 118 Mbytes compared to the second weighing 202. However, note that while OpenOffice detect our location and downloaded from the official website in the Spanish package, LibreOffice is distributed in a multilingual package, which justifies the increase in size. (In the last version they change this issue and it will allow you to download the pack according to your language)

There is a book about how to get started with OpenOffice (Libre

Although imports are not always performed correctly, the cast of formats that can be opened in LibreOffice and OpenOffice is awesome

Although imports are not always performed correctly, the cast of formats that can be opened in LibreOffice and OpenOffice is awesome

Interestingly, the OpenOffice installation time during our tests was around 5 minutes 20 seconds, while LibreOffice, the most voluminous of the two by far, has been reduced: about 3 minutes 45 seconds. In both cases, we have opted for the recommended installation, both suites complete with great ease and whose only other option is to add a shortcut icon to the desktop.
After completing both locations and by the details you give us the Windows Control Panel, the version of LibreOffice occupies 574 Mbytes. The 3.4.9 version of OpenOffice is 301 Mbytes, but after the addition of other components round 400. Finally, note that, although LibreOffice is distributed as a universal package, the help files must be downloaded separately and are chosen depending on the language.

In short, LibreOffice requires more disk space, but installs faster than OpenOffice. Both these tests as they will then have been carried out on a Pentium Dual Core 1.6 GHz equipped with 4 GB of RAM and running Windows 7.libre office start center

Advances in LibreOffice

First, LibreOffice supports more languages ​​than Apache OpenOffice, but can say that they work with a broad range of languages ​​and that in any case the differences lie in the use of more minor. In this respect and for practical purposes, we can consider that they are matched.

Moreover, the dependence of LibreOffice Java Runtime Environment, which
in early versions was one of the negative, especially in versions for Linux and Mac OSX points – has been declining and now this additional software only is essential for the implementation of very specific characteristics, especially those related to the Base database manager data.

Developper The Apache Software Foundation The Document Foundation
Suite Apache OpenOffice 3.4 LibreOffice 3.5
Price free free
Web www.openoffice.org http://libreoffice.org
Installation Pack 118 Mbytes 202 Mbytes
Time needed to install 5’20” 3’45”
Included Software Writer, Impress, Calc, Math & Base Writer, Impress, Calc, Math and Base
Space needed once installed 400 Mbytes 574 Mbytes
Memory consumption – Writer 67 Mbytes 67 Mbytes
Memory consumption – Calc 53 Mbytes 64 Mbytes
Memory consumption – Impress 68 Mbytes 68 Mbytes
Portable Version Yes 3.2 Yes 3.5
Assessment 9 9.1
Quality / Price 9 9.1

From left to right: a document in LibreOffice, OpenOffice and Microsoft Office.

From left to right: a document in
LibreOffice, OpenOffice and Microsoft Office.


After installing both suites with the default options, we find two interfaces that although have aesthetic differences, are identical in both programs that we give and in the arrangement of icons on the screen. Even the names of the applications are the same, though each is preceded by the name of the suite to which it belongs.
Thus in both packages, Writer is the equivalent of Microsoft Word, Calc is oriented to editing spreadsheets and can be considered a replica of Excel. To create and import presentations created in PowerPoint we can use Impress, and if we need to create and manage databases resort to Base. These major programs are complemented by Draw, a tool to plot graphs and diagrams and Math, which will help us to write formulas and nomenclature related to mathematics

More similarities than disparities

Great news for those who are familiar with either of the two proposals before us is that, when working, the similarities in interface applications, the locations of the menus, keyboard shortcuts, and in Finally, in the most fundamental aspects remain far more numerous than their differences, which are felt only in rare cases. In other words, it is enough if you’re accustomed to using OpenOffice to be able to adapt easily to LibreOffice, and vice versa.

Stability and resource consumption

Those who have had the opportunity to use applications including LibreOffice and OpenOfice we can attest that offer stability foolproof. Overall, there are not very specific problems relating to our operating system with its hardware or conflicts with other programs you have installed, we can banish fears to lose some of our work because they close unexpectedly.

To find out the requirements of both free suites, we monitored its memory consumption using Sys internals Process Monitor. The conclusions are that the needs of the programs included in both solutions are very similar and somewhat higher than those of their counterparts in the 2007 version of Microsoft Office.

So, after opening a text document of some complexity, the memory consumption of both LibreOffice and OpenOffice Writer was about 67 megabytes, compared to 31 Mbytes which was required by Microsoft Word 2007. Focusing on Calc, in the spreadsheet of both suites, we found that LibreOffice uses a little less memory: about 53 compared with 64 Mbytes of OpenOffice.

In any case, both programs exceed Microsoft Excel 2007, which only requires 38 Mbytes. This is the most striking difference we could find, because when opening a presentation in Impress,both programs have been around 68 Mbytes (compared with 29 required by PowerPoint), Base with 69 Mbytes noted on the scoreboard after creating simple data base. LibreOffice menu also seems to be somewhat lighter (32 compared to 41 Mbytes of OpenOffice).

However, can these figures be critical to determining what is the most suitable package? In our opinion, not at all. All programs have worked very smoothly in our test team, noting that the distances are insignificant for the hardware to handle today. The reasons that may tip the balance in either direction and a winning cast are quite different.

Both LibreOffice & OpenOffice are available in Portable version.

Both LibreOffice & OpenOffice are available in Portable version.

Portable Versions

At this point, note that both suites have an advantage over the office suite from Microsoft that probably will not convince too many users to permanently abandon Microsoft Office, but to complement it with the developments that we have analyzed. Both OpenOffice and LibreOffice are available in portable versions. This is an alternative way to install one of the suites on a flash drive that we can carry around and thus avoid relying Officefacilities in other languages ​​we might find when we travel, in cafes, offices, etc.
As with standard facilities, OpenOffice provides various packages for various languages, whileLibreOffice is distributed multilingual universal package. However, in this sense OpenOffice is at a distinct disadvantage, as the embodiment of the portable suite that is distributed at the end of this edition is the 3.2 and dates from 2010.
Instead, the package LibreOffice Portable is completely updated to version 3.5, so it is definitely the best solution.

apache openoffice start center

Apache OpenOffice start center

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Compatibility with Microsoft Office

Both OpenOffice and LibreOffice offer great versatility when formatting the contents of the documents, giving us all kinds of tools to work with different fonts, graphics, tables, embedded images, and so on.
Thus, operating with OpenDocument Format (ODF), its performance is absolutely satisfactory. In many cases, the same happens if you import items in standardized formats such as RTF. However, although many of us are free software enthusiasts, probably the thing that worries us when using one of the two alternatives is its compatibility with Microsoft Office files themselves. In this sense, neither freeware packages that take us to other places in their own right and offers revolutionary solutions.

While importing text documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and other standard material usually it can be completed without any problem when the format is relatively simple, the fact is that when the documents are of great complexity in terms of sources, formatting text, embedded images and other features, is more than possible to be satisfied with the results.

Deficiencies are truly patents if the original material has been stored in the following version of Microsoft Office 97-2003, ie, if you work with files that have incorporated an X extension (DOCX, PPTX, etc.) formats. So, whenever we can, we do well to request that we offer the files in version 97-2003 that will increase our chance of success.

Broadly speaking we can say that the various applications of the suites are composed Calc is best respects formats, including importing XLSXdocuments. However, both Writer and Impressare not so accurate at interpreting complex Word and PowerPoint files. Especially the first, which causes serious problems for imports when there are embedded images.

Particularly in the Write program both suites, the results are far from convincing, even if we have previously converted document in Word DOCX to DOC Regarding Access databases, to open them to dump them in Base will specify ODBC. Because users of databases are not as numerous as those which require a text editor or a spreadsheet, the downside is not so significant.



After convert PPTX files to PPT with PowerPoint, we found that the two free programs interpret much better. The same happens if we DOCX to DOC

After convert PPTX files to PPT with PowerPoint, we found that the two free programs interpret much better. The same happens if we DOCX to DOC


Interfaces are very similar, identical names, very similar resource consumption … Maybe the year and a half does not represent a period sufficiently long as to lead to significant differences, especially as scrambled as the period in question, when LibreOffice cleavage is still new and the original OpenOffice name changed. While, according to the documentation accompanying each of its versions, LibreOffice appears to have made ​​more progress than the suite of the departed, in practice the differences are less pronounced. In all probability it is true that the new LibreOffice makes a better job when importing files from WordPerfect, Microsoft Works and Lotus Word Pro, but one might wonder how many users will exploit this functionality. The same is true of the capabilities of LibreOffice to import scalable vector graphics in SVG format and other features that OpenOffice lacks.
If we look at these details, the winner package between LibreOffice vs OpenOffice is the Libre Office.

However, in our opinion, there are no winners or losers. Only two great tools whose only defect is patent problems when importing from complex material formats, like it or not, have become the standard. Only substantial improvements in this area can convince users to migrate en mass to one of the two. In the future, this is the field where the battle should escape.

LibreOffice vs OpenOffice, Two magnificent suites.
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LibreOffice vs OpenOffice, Two magnificent suites.
Besides having veteran OpenOffice suite, we have LibreOffice. The hegemony of Microsoft Office probably would not be such if more users will use theese two freeware alternatives.
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