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    • StockportGerbil
    • By StockportGerbil 4th Oct 17, 1:15 PM
    • 539Posts
    • 106Thanks
    StockportGerbil
    Free Microsoft Office alternative
    • #1
    • 4th Oct 17, 1:15 PM
    Free Microsoft Office alternative 4th Oct 17 at 1:15 PM
    Folks :-
    I am setting up a laptop for the parents to replace their elderly Windows Vista based PC which is getting increasingly flakey.

    On that PC they had either Office 2003 or 2007. They write the odd letter possibly look at the odd spreadsheet / presentation, but otherwise the PC is used for email, web browsing and Dad keeping Amazon in business.

    I can't see any justification in paying for a full Office licence when usage is so light, but something that is compatible is going to be required with a minimal number of differences from Office. (At 83 they are resistant to change and the Windows Vista to Windows 10 upgrade is going to keep them amused...)

    I've tried Softmaker Freeoffice (which made a pigs ear of accessing one Word Document I tried to edit and didn't have a thesaurus) and LibreOffice (slow on starting up.)

    Are there any alternate recommendations? (Online is out as the internet access can be a bit flakey and it's a low end laptop - i3 processor / 4GB RAM so not huge amounts of power.)

    Thanks

    Kevin
    Last edited by StockportGerbil; 04-10-2017 at 1:15 PM. Reason: Added notifications
Page 2
    • StockportGerbil
    • By StockportGerbil 8th Oct 17, 11:28 AM
    • 539 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    StockportGerbil
    And stopped support for Vista (apart from extended support to businesses) in 2012.
    Don't want to run a word processor without support but runs an OS for 5 years without it.
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    Fair point about Vista, but I want to at least start with a supported platform! :-)
    • A.Penny.Saved
    • By A.Penny.Saved 9th Oct 17, 12:26 AM
    • 1,603 Posts
    • 845 Thanks
    A.Penny.Saved
    Stick the OS on a SSD and Libre Office should start pretty quickly. I have tried MS Office and disliked it, it choked on some spreadsheets that Libre opened without a problem. I have an intense dislike for the new interface.

    Libre Office is updated fairly regularly unlike Open Office.
    • Frozen_up_north
    • By Frozen_up_north 9th Oct 17, 7:56 AM
    • 1,212 Posts
    • 567 Thanks
    Frozen_up_north
    Further to the earlier comment about dismissing Libre Office as being slow to start, just checked it on a friend’s basic Acer Win 10 64 bit laptop, from clicking the icon to it displaying a list of previously opened documents... 5 seconds. Just how quick does the OP want? And no, it was a cold boot of the laptop, not from hibernation.
    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 9th Oct 17, 9:08 PM
    • 323 Posts
    • 244 Thanks
    SouthUKMan
    You say your parents had either 2003 or 2007....but there is quite a difference between the two.

    2003 was the last Office product to be based around tool bars. LibreOffice still is, and to my mind looks very similar in layout to 2003.

    2007 was the first Office product to use the ribbon interface, and has a very different feel to LibreOffice.

    Whatever anyone else says though, LibreOffice is a very capable free office suite that does offer a high level of compatibility with MS Office. For simple letters and spreadsheets it is perfect. Yes, on older hardware it might be a little slow to load - but are your parents really going mind if it takes 5 or 6 seconds instead of being instant?
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 9th Oct 17, 11:06 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 121 Thanks
    Tom99
    [QUOTE=SouthUKMan;73239649
    Whatever anyone else says though, LibreOffice is a very capable free office suite that does offer a high level of compatibility with MS Office. For simple letters and spreadsheets it is perfect. Yes, on older hardware it might be a little slow to load - but are your parents really going mind if it takes 5 or 6 seconds instead of being instant?[/QUOTE]

    I use Open Office but with either, if you save two template files on your desktop saved as EXCEL.xls and WORD.doc and then launch that file everytime you want a new document it should be pretty quick.
    • A.Penny.Saved
    • By A.Penny.Saved 10th Oct 17, 4:18 AM
    • 1,603 Posts
    • 845 Thanks
    A.Penny.Saved
    Other options to consider which have a considerably smaller file size than LibreOffice are:
    OnlyOffice
    https://www.onlyoffice.com/download-desktop.aspx
    Softmaker FreeOffice, the free version lacks a thesaurus which rules it out for me. You do need to register to get a key so use a suitable throw away email if you decide to try it.
    http://www.freeoffice.com/en/download
    The following are very much smaller than all the others but the full pack provides a lot of features which are not really required by many people. There are versions for different minimum resolutions so check the chart for features and resolutions. The Premium HD+ is only 17MB
    http://www.ssuitesoft.com/officesuites.htm
    Here is a link to alternatives to Microsoft Office
    https://alternativeto.net/software/microsoft-office-suite/
    Last edited by A.Penny.Saved; 10-10-2017 at 9:52 AM.
    • A.Penny.Saved
    • By A.Penny.Saved 10th Oct 17, 9:58 AM
    • 1,603 Posts
    • 845 Thanks
    A.Penny.Saved
    Another one, which I have seen recommended by a number of people is WPS Office, it does seem to have ads in the program but it might be possible to block those with a firewall. A benefit of this software is it's compatibility with MS office which is meant to be high and better than most of the other free office suites.
    https://www.wps.com/office-free
    I have not tried this yet.

    I don't suppose that your parents demands would be high so something small and light on resources might be best.
    Last edited by A.Penny.Saved; 10-10-2017 at 10:01 AM.
    • Sicard
    • By Sicard 11th Oct 17, 8:31 AM
    • 668 Posts
    • 586 Thanks
    Sicard
    Try OpenOffice it works exactly like Word and Excel, you can save the files as .doc and .xls and you can even save a formatted file on your desktop called WORD and EXCEL to open up each time you want a new file.
    Originally posted by Tom99

    Not quite exactly. When an unusual word or name crops up in OpenOffice and has the red line when it is given the 'ignore all' command it doesn't always do it. Also Word would highlight an extra character space between words with a coloured line whereas OpenOffice doesn't. This was useful when it's difficult to see the extra space.
    A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
    Baltasar Gracian
    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 11th Oct 17, 9:15 AM
    • 323 Posts
    • 244 Thanks
    SouthUKMan
    At the end of the day, if you want MS Office then you have to pay for it. If you want a free near fully compatible programme then there are a number of options available - LibreOffice being the most popular and most compatible. To everyone who picks out all the small differences between the products - it really doesn't matter! The choice is either pay for MS Office or don't pay.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 11th Oct 17, 9:21 AM
    • 262 Posts
    • 121 Thanks
    Tom99
    The one big thing that is not compatible in OpenOffice and I presume LibreOffice as well, are macros which in MS Office are written in VBA and in OO/LO in some other language.

    None of the macros in my old excel files will work in OpenOffice. I don't know it there is a simple way of converting them.
    • anewhope
    • By anewhope 11th Oct 17, 6:44 PM
    • 4,329 Posts
    • 2,871 Thanks
    anewhope
    At the end of the day, if you want MS Office then you have to pay for it. If you want a free near fully compatible programme then there are a number of options available - LibreOffice being the most popular and most compatible. To everyone who picks out all the small differences between the products - it really doesn't matter! The choice is either pay for MS Office or don't pay.
    Originally posted by SouthUKMan
    Not true, Office Online (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote and Sway) are free to use.
    • dipsomaniac
    • By dipsomaniac 11th Oct 17, 7:36 PM
    • 5,569 Posts
    • 2,114 Thanks
    dipsomaniac
    .............or pay £5 for the full office 2016
    "The Holy Writ of Gloucester Rugby Club demands: first, that the forwards shall win the ball; second, that the forwards shall keep the ball; and third, the backs shall buy the beer." - Doug Ibbotson
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