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Tom Briant

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

LibreOffice for Mac-Certainly a StopGap, Possibly a Replacement

A member of MacValley recently asked me to recommend a replacement for MS Office 2004. They have a lot of old documents in MS Office 2004 formats, which would cover MS Office 97 for Windows and  MS Office 98 for Mac, through MS Office 2003 for Windows and MS Office 2004 for Mac.

What could I recommend as a replacement for MS Office 2004, which upgrading from OS X 10.6.8 to 10.8.5 had rendered inoperative? I told them to go with LibreOffice 4.

I have read the reviews of LibreOffice on-line at and other sites. What it comes down to is this:

LibreOffice is free to use. FREE! Make a donation if you feel it helped you out in whatever amount you want to make. 

The User Interface is not that good. It’s stuck back in the ‘90s at worst and MS Office 2007 at best. It’s not as good as MS Office 2013 for Windows and the latest version of iWork. Then again, some users detest the Ribbon interface introduced by Microsoft. 

Its big advantage over the competition is that it reads many otherwise obsolete formats, such as WordPerfect for DOS, Windows, and Mac. It reads Appleworks/Clarisworks word processing documents. 

As a stand-alone office suite, it is the best solution for someone who right now needs to spend the money that would go for iWorks or Office 2011 on food, gas, and rent. You might want to test it out versus iWorks for the Cloud or Google Drive. You’ll have to store your works up in the cloud, though.  Is that a problem?

One last note. Version 4.1.6 is the 32-bit version which runs on both 10.6.8 and 10.9.4. Version is a 64-bit version that requires 10.8 at a minimum. 

The interface on versions 4.2.5 shows some upgrades over the old interface in 4.1.6. You can try them both and make a selection. 


Tom Briant

Editor, Macvalley Blog







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