Putting office suites to the test

Light and Shadow

© Lead Image © Pavel Losevsky, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © Pavel Losevsky, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 193/2016

In the office, the interoperability and cooperation of a few programs play an important role. We take the four big Linux office suites to task and see how well they cope with non-native formats.

Office suites are probably the most frequently and universally used programs; therefore, every desktop Linux distro includes them when installing on a hard disk. Although the features of the free word processors, presentation programs, and spreadsheets outside the Microsoft world differ hardly at all, the integrated programs aim to score points with additional features and unique operating concepts.

Two key questions that determine the success or failure of an office product are: How compatible it is with Microsoft formats? Do providers within the industry support it?

LibreOffice 5.0.6 [1], Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2 [2], SoftMaker Office Professional 2016 [3], and WPS Office [4] demonstrate their practical capabilities in different environments that developed over time (Table 1). Along with interoperability, I look at the user interface, because the best conversion filters for foreign file formats are of little use if the office program is difficult to control.


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