A tour of OpenOffice alternatives


Article from Issue 75/2007

If OpenOffice is too fat and feature-rich for your taste, try one of the office alternatives. We found much to like and much to wish for when we put six office suites to the test.

Linux was once without a full-featured office suite, but now several suites offer word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation tools for the Linux desktop. OpenOffice isn’t the only solution – and probably it isn’t even the best solution for many users. Some users object to OpenOffice’s enormous memory requirements and lengthy start-up time; others simply don’t need all of its various features. Both free and commercial office suites have appeared over the past few years. Some packages grew under the umbrellas of the major GUI projects. In the Open Source area, the alternatives include KDE’s KOffice suite, Gnome Office (which is actually a compilation of smaller standalone tools), and smaller alternatives such as Siag Office. The commercial, closed-source camp includes ThinkFree, SoftMaker, and the Applixware office suite by VistaSource, which was the first commercial office suite for Linux. We took a tour through some of these Linux office suites.

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