A Word on free office suites

WORD processors and office suites have changed a lot in the last two decades, but many consumers are yet to realise the savings they can make with new software.

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For many years, Microsoft Office was the industry standard. Other commercial players have come and gone; some readers may remember Lotus’ 1-2-3 and there are still some retail alternatives available.

One suite which has made a small dent in Microsoft office’s market is LibreOffice. LibreOffice is a completely free office suite which is largely compatible with Microsoft’s software.

It can read and write many simple Microsoft Office files and has equivalent programs for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher and Access.

Where Microsoft charges hundreds, LibreOffice gives it away free. And it’s not pushing ads or spying on you to make money either – the software is produced by an army of volunteers who dream of a world of free software.

If you are looking for software to complete letters, assignments and most other word processing tasks in, as well as budgets and slide shows, LibreOffice will serve you well. Jon Cavell from ITaffinity.com.au and Warragul Computer Repair does however suggest you consider what software those you work with use.

“If your place of employment or education provider require specific software, it is best to use that,” he said.

LibreOffice can be downloaded for free at libreoffice.org. If you do not feel comfortable installing the software yourself, most computer retailers can set it up for you for a small labour fee.