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Lacking Features

Changing the Default Formats

If you regularly share documents with other people or among other computers that use MS Office, you’ll probably want to change the default document formats of LibreOffice. That way, it will automatically create new documents and save existing ones using the MS Office formats. Otherwise, the default is the Open Document Format, which isn’t support by MS Office.

To change the default formats, click Tools > Options. On the Options dialog, expand the Load/Save settings and click General. Then on the bottom of the dialog box, choose the desired document types and select the MS Office format for each.

Figure 4 shows an example of changing the Text document format for Writer to the MS Office format:

Give It a Try

We discovered LibreOffice is an open and free alternative to MS Office. Though it lacks some of the bells and whistles, it provides the basic features and is compatible with the newer MS Office file formats.

You can run LibreOffice on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7. It has only minimal system requirements: Pentium-compatible PC with 256MB of RAM (512MB recommended) and 1.5GB of disk space.

You can download the stable version or be an early-adopter and try the latest releases.

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