Libreoffice VS Openoffice

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There was a time where choosing an open source office suite was an easy task. There was no doubt, no hesitation. Why? Because there was only one main, popular and well known office suite: Open Office. Then came Libre Office, and gone were the times where choosing an open source office suite was a no-brainer choice.

Now days people are wondering what the deal is with the LibreOffice vs OpenOffice fight. Is OpenOffice still maintained? What are the differences between OpenOffice and LibreOffice? We will answer those questions, and more, in this LibreOffice vs OpenOffice article.

How it all started

Actually OpenOffice was not absolutely the first main Office Suite available to Linux users. It all started with Star Office, a proprietary, and resource heavy, office suite from Star Division.
In 1999 Star Division was acquired by Sun Microsystems, and one year later, Star Office was released as an open source office suite: Open Office. Being actively developed by the community, OpenOffice rapidly became popular, and one of the most famous open source project.

In 2010 Sun Microsystems was bought by Oracle, and the development of OpenOffice was no more assured.

Libre Office

After the development of OpenOffice was discontinued, members of the OpenOffice development team created The Document Foundation and released a new office suite: LibreOffice, a fork of OpenOffice. Since then LibreOffice was actively developed by The Document Foundation, new features were added and bugs fixed. In the same time, as most of the community developers were gone, the development of OpenOffice was stopped. Finally, in June 2011 Oracle contributed the OpenOffice code to The Apache Software Foundation's Incubator.

The verdict

If Open Office is not dead yet, Libre Office is well alive. They are basically the same office suites, one being the fork of the other. But Libre Office has been more actively developed, is supported by a large community. The Apache Software Foundation's Incubator will without doubt be able to improve OpenOffice and to make it a real competitor to LibreOffice. But for now the winner of the LibreOffice vs OpenOffice "fight" is clearly LibreOffice.

Download LibreOffice

Download OpenOffice

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Displaying 12 of 12 comments.
Reliability issues
By Anonymous on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.

I've lost content while using OpenOffice Writer recently so looking at LibreOffice as an alternative. From the comments above, both products seem to have reliability issues.

Reliability issues
By Anonymous on Monday, May 12, 2014.

I've lost content while using OpenOffice Writer recently so looking at LibreOffice as an alternative. From the comments above, both products seem to have reliability issues.

LO 4.2 dangerous
By Anonymous on Sunday, April 6, 2014.

LibreOffice 4.2 is buggy, and will quietly corrupt totals formulae in XLS files (it corrupts the range over which the total is calculated). It caused great problems for me and my company. 4.2.2 is supposedly.

Libreoffice 4.0/4.1 is buggy
By Anonymous on Sunday, December 29, 2013.

For somme time I ve used libreoffice instead of openoffice but I ve been forced to retake openoffice cause of libreoffice crash when changing for exemple fonts antialiasing or DPI plus a problme of refreshing that I ve found the on version 4.0 and getting worst in 4.1.

Im afraid OpenOffice wins by K.O.
By Anonymous on Wednesday, October 31, 2012.

If you want to migrate to linux from windows you will probably want to convert a lot of material created with MicrosoftOffice to your new office suit. If you have word documents or power point presentations which have Windows Metafiles (.wmf) or 32-bit Enhanced Metafiles (.emf) libreoffice is not an option. It just doesn't read them properly. Even the latest LibreOffice suite only delivers unreadable empty boxes. In contrast, even old versions of OpenOffice can load these kind of images without problem. LibreOffice wont even read properly files which had already been converted to *.odp using OpenOffice. I had to uninstall Libreoffice and reinstall OpenOffice to be able to use the documents and presentations that were originally created with microsoft software.

I like LibreOffice
By Anonymous on Friday, September 28, 2012.

I've changed from OpenOffice to LibreOffice 3.6. Everything works fine for me. The filtering bug is solved and the performance of LibreOffice is faster. :).

OpenOffice is more reliable!
By Anonymous on Thursday, September 20, 2012.

Fully agree with the other comments, OpenOffice seems to be much more stable than LibreOffice, which has got me into permanent paranoia because of the constant crashing. Example conditional formatting in calc. In LibreOffice 3.6.1 it's not saved (the next time you open the doc, conditional formatting is gone) and in 3.6.2 RC, the document couldn't be opened anymore because it would crash every time when trying. OpenOffice - no problems! Great to have a big developer community, but they have to appreciate that if they want to be a true alternative to M$ Office, stability should be paramount, followed by speeeeed!!.

OpenOffice for me
By Anonymous on Monday, September 3, 2012.

I just installed OpenOffice 3.4 and it works fine. LibreOffice 3.5.6 and 3.6.1 still have bugs and problems with documents (.doc).

It really doesn't seem that there is much of a difference except that OpenOffice seems to be more stable (and LibreOffice is included in Linux distros).

My vote is for OpenOffice.

LibreOffice has significant issues with crashing
By Anonymous on Saturday, August 25, 2012.

LibreOffice 3.4 installed on Xubuntu 12.04 platform running on SAMSUNG NC110 netbook: I have been using libreOffice for the past 2 weeks, and it is so slow in comparison to MS Excel. My one vocab spreadsheet isn't even 400KB, and it takes Libre Calc at least 45s to open and more than 15s to save it! Moreover, for small documents it crashes more than 1/5 times, and for medium sized documents like mentioned above, it crashes 1/2 times! It's simply neither stable nor efficient enough for any work related task.

Libre Office doesn't work for me
By Anonymous on Monday, August 20, 2012.

I recently tried to install Libre Office 3.6 on my iMac running OS X 10.8. It produced an error message. I posted a help request on their forum but got none.

I then deleted the Libre Office code and installed Open Office. It runs like a charm!!!.

serious bugs in LibreOffice
By Anonymous on Wednesday, July 18, 2012.

Looks like spelling is broken - at least for OS X users (defaults to German no matter what you do)

fine if you're German, though!


The two should merge
By Anonymous on Sunday, July 8, 2012.

There has been talk of resolving things such that the LibreOffice and could merge, and I think that would be a huge boon to users and the FOSS community in general.

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