Skip to main content

LibreOffice 3.5 Freeware Office Suite for your Business

A brief theory by PC Pro Magazine

A code overhaul and some necessary updates, but it’s still a long way behind Microsoft’s paid suite.

libreoffice3.5-PCSUPPORTER LibreOffice, the free suite spun off after developers lost faith in OpenOffice’s direction under Oracle, is building up a head of steam with its third major release in only 16 months. With the help of full time and volunteer “hackers”, The Document Foundation says LibreOffice 3.5 has had its 15 years’ worth of code “renovated” with the aim of pulling away from its still-alive ancestor.
This aggressive approach to redevelopment means stability isn’t the immediate priority. This new release is recommended only for power users initially, with others advised to remain on the more stable 3.4 branch until kinks have been ironed out. We had one fatal crash during PC Pro testing, but PC Pro readers should be savvy enough not to worry too much. You also can’t upgrade from any version before 3.4.5, so you may need to completely uninstall to get 3.5.
Although the majority of the work is hidden beneath the surface, you’ll notice a few visible changes straight away. LibreOffice finally has an automatic update checker, which sounds a faintly ridiculous introduction in 2012, and it comes in a single MSI installer to make setup as simple as possible, to attract new users. If you were fearing a Microsoft style ribbon overhaul, there’s no sign of that, and if you’re coming across from Office 2003 things will feel familiar. It’s also largely consistent across platforms, with the OS X and Linux toolbars practically identical to Windows.
Writer is the core word processing application, and it comes with an improved built-in grammar checker, a more visual entry method for headers and footers, and a live word count. All are solidly implemented, yet hardly groundbreaking, and the live work count would be more useful if it weren’t in a separate pop-up dialog. There’s also an automatic word completer on by default, which quickly becomes irritating.
Word file compatibility is good, and we could open the latest Office 2007 & 2010 DOCX files with a range of formatting and styles; some Word specific features such as WordArt objects were lost, however, along with fancier fonts and effects. On the other side, saving a file in DOCX format within Writer saw a few less common fonts and some spacing fail to carry over to Word. Also be aware that if you save and encrypt your file in LibreOffice 3.5, it won’t be compatible with version 3.4.4 and earlier since the Blowfish encryption has been replaced by AES.
Calc, LibreOffice’s alternative to Excel, is a more complex beast, and one that it’s arguably more important to get right if the whole suite is to tempt users. Some basic but important updates have been made, such as allowing the formula input bar to expand beyond a single line, and adding support for 10,000 sheets in a single file. There’s now no limit on the number of conditional formatting rules you can apply, and the many pop-ups and dialogs are cleaner and easier to navigate.
For the most part Calc apes the layout and feel of Excel, and it does a good job, some would say a better job, given the simpler main toolbar. Our one gripe is the Save icon: we’re all for finding a replacement for the retro floppy disk, but it isn’t immediately obvious what LibreOffice’s tiny rectangle with a green arrow on top is meant to indicate.
As for the other components, Draw can now import and display Visio documents, and Impress will open the latest PPTX PowerPoint files. It did so with only one or two cosmetic alterations to our test presentations, the core elements were generally present and correct, even if a few of the fills and effects weren’t. Some new transitions and elements of SmartArt won’t appear properly either, but for basic slides Impress is a usable, if uninspiring, application.
The best thing we can say about LibreOffice 3.5 is that it’s undeniably better than the suite that spawned it, and it’s wonderful to see a proper movement driving is forward after a time when its future has looked uncertain. It’s a perfectly usable collection of software, and if you’re already a user of LibreOffice or OpenOffice it’s a worthy download.
The problem is that although the many updates are welcome, they’re generally updates that any paid office software has had for some time, and there’s still a long way to go before LibreOffice gets close to Microsoft’s beast.
Compatibility is getting much better, and the user experience is steadily improving, but few could argue it’s entirely intuitive and novice-friendly. And there’s the threat of Microsoft’s free Office Web Apps looming large, too.
If you’re looking to leave Office, LibreOffice 3.5 is becoming ever more viable, but it needs to keep going for a few more versions keep going for a few more versions at this rate.
David Bayon

Download LibreOffice 3.5

Popular Posts

How to Install Hp LaserJet 1320 Printer in Windows 7?

How to Install Hp LaserJet 1320 Printer in Windows 7? Is Hp LaserJet 1320 Printer compatible with Windows 7? Yes it is!

Today Windows 7 is the most popular Operating System using in Homes & Offices all over. In early days due to non-compatibility and support to many Devices (like Printers, Scanners etc.), Windows 7 was not a Primary Operating System according to Professional’s remarks. Many companies made their devices compatible to this New Operating System with updating their Software and Drivers for Devices like Printer, Scanners etc., some of other companies made brand new Devices for new operating system. But some devices were far behind due to non-compatibility with Windows 7, and users were waiting for new release of drivers. Hp LaserJet 1320 is also one of the device, we still hoping from Hewlett Packard to launch updated drivers for 1320, to make it compatible with Windows 7.

Windows 10 Text Looks Blurry and Fuzzy

While I am still searching for this problem, I want to share it here so if someone can support and can give me a detailed answer. First-thing-first, I am on a low-end desktop PC, and I am not sure if the reason behind this problem is my low-end PC or Microsoft Windows 10. Yesterday I switched to Microsoft newly launched Windows 10 on my desktop PC which I am using since last few years regularly only for Office Work, particularly for Microsoft Office documents. I do know that it has only 256MB of graphics memory but I thought to give Windows 10 a chance to operate my PC. The upgrading process from Windows 7 (32bit Home Edition) to Windows 10, was itself so smooth and interesting that I feel its something special from Microsoft this time, and yes it is. Why I am talking only about graphics memory of my PC because Microsoft didn't mention any thing about required graphics card of amount of memory (as far as I read about it), and my RAM and Processor is enough sufficient to operate W…

Advanced Gadgets - Need or Trend

Surely you will be excited if you buy a new advanced featured iPhone 5 after recycling your ancient one. But is it your Need or its just for Trend?  Of course this is actually depend on your needs and requirements what you choose and why, on other hand, do this new advanced gadget suites your personality? Rarely questions these are, but we are talking about why most of people advancing to modern gadgets? Is it theirs need or just its a trend? Regarding to many survey reports and discussions, most of people using smartphones or even a camera phone for photo-shoot obviously, it means that a camera phone is your need somehow, but buying a smartphone for photo-shoot is either a trend. Using advanced featured gadgets is very good if it fulfils your needs and the way you will use it, but for trend I should say its just waste of money. No doubt that an advanced and latest technology device gives you more features including security benefits and more reliability as well as user friendly env…