LIBREOFFICE REVIEW – Making Word-Processing Great Again

LIBREOFFICE REVIEW – Making Word-Processing Great Again

June 14, 2018 2 By Muhammad
Disclaimer: This is an uninvited review of a FREE software program I recently tested. I have no fiduciary relationships, in any form, with its providers.


The software and hardware prerequisites for installing LibreOffice on a Windows system are as follows:
• LibreOffice 6.x: Microsoft Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, or Windows 10
• LibreOffice 5.x: Microsoft Windows XP SP3, Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, or Windows 10
• Pentium-compatible PC (Pentium III, Athlon or more-recent system recommended)
• 256 MB RAM (512 MB RAM recommended)
• Up to 1.5 GB available hard disk space
• 1024×768 resolution (higher resolution recommended), with at least 256 colors
The software and hardware prerequisites for installing on a Apple macOS computer are as follows:
• macOS 10.9 (Mountain Lion) or higher
• Intel processor
• 512 MB RAM
• Up to 800 MB available hard disk space
• 1024×768 graphic device with 256 colors (higher resolution recommended)
The software and hardware prerequisites for installing on Linux are as follows:
• Linux kernel version 2.6.18 or higher
• glibc2 version 2.5 or higher
• gtk version 2.10.4 or higher
• Pentium-compatible PC (Pentium III, Athlon or more-recent system recommended)
• 256Mb RAM (512Mb RAM recommended)
• Up to 1.55Gb available hard disk space
• X Server with 1024×768 resolution (higher resolution recommended), with at least 256 colors
• Gnome 2.16 or higher, with the gail 1.8.6 and at-spi 1.7 packages (required for support for assistive technology [AT] tools), or another compatible GUI (such as KDE, among others)
For certain features of the software – but not most – Java is required. Java is notably required for Base

(excerpt from

screenshot of program

When you hear the term “word processing”, what comes to mind first? Is it the “yay!!” or the “sigh” preceding the dread of another session of surviving the dull, grey, soul-sucking environment of another word processing program? Until now, the term “word processing” was synonymous with Microsoft Word and unconsciously generated the mental image of a very dull and cumbersome process. Not any more.. here comes LibreOffice, a new free word processing program which takes the “process” out of word processing. Finally, here comes a breath of fresh air into the world of free word processing software.
If you work from home typing, you know that for a very long time now, Microsoft Word, (or Word, as it’s become known) has dominated the word processing environment. Mastering its complexity is no small feat. Learning the program itself has evolved into an entire academic course. It has been the flagship of the word processing industry, unchallenged by the other run-of- the- mill imitations in the software world. It defined the form and formats of the word processing industry like an indestructible Humpty Dumpty sitting on the fabled wall. No one seemed willing to give it a push. Then along came LibreOffice – a free-spirited freeware program (for now), seeking to dethrone the King of the Hill. LibreOffice has at long last breathed new life into the world of free word processing software and is poised to make word processing great again!

screen shot of Word startup menu- bar

Being a steadfast supporter of freeware programs, I have been on constant lookout for a reputable Word replacement with all the capabilities but without the bloat. In LibreOffice, I think I have found it at last. No more does “free word processor download” have to mean download an imitation Word processor. From its opening layout to its handling and storage of finished documents, LibreOffice has totally redefined the word processing industry. No longer do you have to suffer the indignity of not being able to afford the cost of Microsoft Word if you wish to produce legible, acceptable documents.
Deal of the week

From the git-go, LibreOffice gives you the option to choose the type of document you are going to work on. The “file” menu immediately gives you that choice so that your format is correct. After that, it’s all downhill from there, labor-wise I mean. The relief generated by this step makes this piece of software well worth the effort of acquiring it. Need I restate the price: free?
As you can see from this comparison of Word and LibreOffice, the face of word processing has changed. Color has finally arrived. Compared to the bloated appearance of Word’s menu, LibreOffice’s main menu is much more streamlined. (Does Word’s grey head and bloated body signify anything to you?) Its redesigned icons hide numerous functions that occupy little space but pack a lot of punch. The very layout of the working environment gives you the impression that your intended document is expected to be a work of art, worthy of your best efforts.


Word processing, by its nature, is concerned with text and it’s appearance, among other things. Here, too, LibreOffice does not fall short. It’s font library is quite impressive, containing standard and foreign fonts at fingertip range to include directly into your documents as required. You can insert images, text- boxes, charts and tables on the fly. Should you need special characters, they have those as standard fare also. Whatever the impression you wish to create, LibreOffice can help. It is, after all, a word processing program first and everything else comes second.


LibreOffice also provides an impressive kit of tools. From its amazing spell-check function, its thesaurus, auto text, mail-merge, online dictionaries to its word-count and numbering functions, it tries to leave nothing to chance. Almost everything you desire in a word processing program, free or paid, is provided for you in this free program. You can even format your documents in non-standard ways, according to your audience. You can even insert audio and video sequences within your documents as a standard feature. Heck, you can scan documents into your document if need be. Are you excited by the possibilities yet? You need to develop a pdf? No problem, that’s built in too.


The form tool in this program is simply fantastic. Knowing how important it is for document creators to create forms, receiving a form tool that designs forms on all levels is nothing short of the proverbial cherry on top. I may seem to be over enthusiastic about this program but I am continually blown away by the benefits bestowed upon us by LibreOffice, for free.


As wordsmiths, we are often limited by the kinds of software available to us. We are faced with the choice of Microsoft’s bloated, expensive and cumbersome Word program and its derivatives or freeware’s limited copycats. While I applaud them for their efforts, when it comes to word processing, freeware has been, until now, lamentably grovelling in the dirt. LibreOffice has surfaced at a most opportune time! Take advantage of the current offering to get the complete, free word processor download. I would suggest that every true wordsmith secure a free copy of this software NOW before it transitions to a paid platform.
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