Microsoft Office is the de-facto standard office suite there in the world, but unfortunately, it is not available to us, the “free” folk on Linux. Sure there are quite a few numbers of ways to use it on Linux, either by using a virtual PC or employing ….. Which also allows you to run it on Linux. Either way, the experience might not be the best. Fortunately, also, this has also allowed for the creation of some very capable alternatives on Linux, and today, we’d take a look at 5 of the very top office suites that are available on Linux.
In terms of the features that come with these Office Suites, LibreOffice is arguably the one that can come the closest to the offering of MS Office. Especially with recent version 5.2.2, LibreOffice, it has a long way in its quest to dethrone MS Office. LibreOffice comes with Writer (Word), Calc (Excel), Impress (Powerpoint), Base(Access). What you don’t get is the collaboration of MS Office and Google Doc. But for a powerful MS Office alternative on Linux, LibreOffice is probably the most capable.
Calligra Suite usually comes with some KDE based distros. Calligra comes with Words, Sheets, and Stage (for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint). Calligra looks quite different from LibreOffice and MS Office. The feature parity with MS Office is not there and does not come close to what LibreOffice offers. But it comes with many more applications than what comes with LibreOffice such as MS Pfoject and Visio alternatives Plan and Flow. Check out Calligra Suite and it just might be for you.
WPS Office (formerly Kingsoft Office) is probably the closest to MS Office in terms of appearance. WPS uses a ribbon interface akin to what is available on MS Office. WPS is mostly free (ad supported) with a paid version. WPS comes with Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets. You don’t get the extensive collaboration as in Google Docs.
If LibreOffice doesn’t suit your needs, OpenOffice is also worth a look. Both LibreOffice and OpenOffice are built on the same foundation, and while they’re relatively similar, LibreOffice has a little bit more of a mass appeal and gets updated more often. So you get everything as with Libre albeit the development is slower, and thus why it is not up there on my list. It comes with six different applications which allow you to work with text documents, any spreadsheet, databases, presentations or even graphics.
OnlyOffice is a multifunctional office suite that is available on most popular platforms including Debian and Ubuntu and their derivatives and allows for business collaboration, document and project management. OnlyOffice is compatible with MS Office and OpenDocument formats. ONLYOFFICE includes an online office application suite working within a browser. It combines text, spreadsheet and presentation editors that include features similar to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It also incorporates Customer Relationship Management CRM to allow coordination of work with clients. It is mostly paid with a 30-day trial version but you can request for a free license if you are using it for Non-Profit Organisation.
Microsoft Office is not cheap, but replacing it is not the easiest. You may, in the end, make a lot of concessions and even if you were willing to pay, it isn’t officially available on Linux. WPS Office does an excellent job trying to be as much like Microsoft Office as possible while costing less and providing a few more neat features. LibreOffice and OpenOffice are completely free and they offer more functionality than WPS Office. Calligra is quite capable and rocks well with your KDE based distro and then there is OnlyOffice which is also quite capable. So there you have it, 5 awesome MS Office replacements on Linux. Have you used any of these and what has been your impressions? Kindly share with us in the comments below.