Last updated: September 23, 2018
One name that immediately comes to mind when having a talk of open source office suite. It’s LibreOffice. Most Linux distributions use it as the default office suite although there are other open source office suites available out there. NeoOffice and Calligra Suite are other examples of open source office suite.
Open source software are often chosen to be a free alternative to proprietary software. When it comes to office suite, applications like LibreOffice are the best solution to release the dependence to proprietary software like Microsoft Office.
If you are on the pursuit of open source office suite, here are some items you can try.
LibreOffice is the most popular and widely-adopted open source office suite. Like I said mentioned earlier above, most popular Linux distributions, including Ubuntu and Linuxmint, use LibreOffice as the default office suite. LibreOffice itself consists of six applications; Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Match and Base. For former Microsoft Office users, LibreOffice is a nice choice to start a new life. You can open as well as edit the existing documents you created with Microsoft Office using LibreOffice. LibreOffice is developed and maintained by The Document Foundation. LibreOffice was forked from OpenOffice.org in 2010. This office suite uses the international standard OpenDocument file format (ODF) as its native format. LibreOffice is licensed under the Mozilla Public License. In addition to Linux, LibreOffice is also available for Windows and macOS.
2. Apache OpenOffice
Apache OpenOffice is the brother of LibreOffice. It is the successor of discontinued OpenOffice (without “Apache”). The word “Apache” is added since this office suite is developed by Apache Software Foundation. Before the emergence of LibreOffice, OpenOffice once become most popular office suite in the Linux communities and used as the default office suite by many Linux distributions, until the project was eventually discontinued.
Hardly any difference between Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Apache OpenOffice also consists of six applications like LibreOffice. It also uses OpenDocument Format (ODF) as the default file format. The source code of Apache OpenOffice is available on GitHub. This office suite is released under the Apache License 2.0. It is available for Linux, Windows and macOS.
NeoOffice is another open source office suite built with the same core as LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice. It’s just, this office suite is built exclusively for macOS, no other operating systems are supported. It’s licensed under the GNU General Public License. NeoOffice is developed by Planamesa Software. Unlike LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice, NeoOffice is a paid software. However, its price is much cheaper than, for instance, Microsoft Office. You only need to pay for US$ 15 to get this software. Free version is actually also available, but it can only be used to view documents without the capability to edit and save.
4. ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors
If you want to try the different taste of open source office suite then you should give ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors a try. This tool is built with the different core to three software above. ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors is developed by Ascensio System SIA, a company headquartered in Latvia. ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors consists of three applications to create documents, presentations and spreadsheets. This tool is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License v3.0 with the source is available on GitHub. ONLYOFFICE itself is delivered either as a SaaS (web-based) and desktop-based. The desktop version of ONLYOFFICE (ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors) is available for Linux, macOS and Windows. ONLYOFFICE uses the standard document format of Microsoft Office.
5. Calligra Suite
Formerly known as KOffice, Calligra Suite is an open source office suite developed by KDE. This office suite consist of several applications to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and diagrams. Calligra is licensed under the GNU General Public License and GNU Lesser General Public License. Since it is developed by KDE, Calligra becomes default office suite on KDE-based Linux distributions. In addition to Linux, Calligra is also available for Windows, macOS and Free BSD.