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LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice: The difference between the two and which one is better?

LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice: The difference between the two and which one is better?

MS Office is the only program we actively remember in discussions regarding office suites. But we have two more identical suites that have been competing with the former and one another ever since. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are the two rivals originated from the same source named, the only open-source suite which existed back in 2010.

Enterprise/ companies looking for open source office suites, often try OpenOffice or the LibreOffice by having a clear cut analysis of the two (to choose the best one). This analysis only, leave companies to the dilemma of choice because the two are almost identical. Actually, LibreOffice is a forked out version of OpenOffice. Moreover, it won’t be any wrong to call these the Twins.

Let’s Know their History of Origination

In 2010, Sun Microsystems, the company that acquired StarOffice (the program has its roots with) open sourced its suite to dominate the already popular MS Office. However, in 2010 Oracle got control over the company. This happened after the former suffered serious financial problems.
Oracle however, was not happy with and wanted to end, open-sourcing the suite. As a result, its developers formed a community called The Document Foundation and called Oracle to hand them the brand. Oracle was highly opposed to this and refused the proposal. These developers, who left the company forked out the’s code to form their own office suite and named it LibreOffice.

Around 2011, Oracle sold OpenOffice trademarks to Apache which renamed it as the Apache OpenOffice.

LibreOffice Vs OpenOffice: The Outcomes

Since then, the two suites have been competing in everything they have from the old features to the new advancements. OpenOffice, however lost its basic ground in the entire process the company went through. The talented programmers who created LibreOffice brought completely new technology and features to the market, which added more hype to its popularity. As LibreOffice has a copy-left license (because it came as a result of forking out the OpenOffice), it is open to all to use the open source code. OpenOffice on the other hand shifted its copyright license from Oracle to Apache which limited using its code for the commercial purposes only.

This in short means that the LibreOffice can replicate any feature of OpenOffice while the latter cannot do this at all. This is why these have been going identical even since LibreOffice was formed.

Having been the mainstream suit, OpenOffice still has managed to build up a huge fan-base. This article is mainly intended to give you a more detailed and in-depth comparison apart from the basic information about the two.

OpenOffice Vs LibreOffice: The Comparison

Being almost twins, there are certain aspects which create a fine boundary between the two. These aspects are:

The Lighter LibreOffice

LibreOffice according to the reports by Open Hub has 7.2 million elemental codes/ line of codes while the OpenOffice has about 11.2 million. This happened as a result, when LibreOffice decided to clean all the unwanted codes from its servers. OpenOffice is thereby bulky and slower as compared to LibreOffice.

Embedded fonts

Using LibreOffice, you can embed fonts in your documents so that others also can see it in their own systems with the same fonts even if it is not available. To enable it in LibreOffice go to: File> Properties> Font. Simply tick the font you want to embed.
In OpenOffice there is no provision of embedding fonts.

Title Page Format

This format automatically specifies different page styles and formats for different occasions like as for essay, presentation or reports. There is no such facility in OpenOffice.

Level of Interface

LibreOffice stays always focused towards making its interface as simple as possible. Features like Macro recording and the one to use LibreOffice as an IDE can be toggled on or off anytime from a menu lying deep down its settings (Tools> Choice> LibreOffice>Advanced) rather than being at the interface. OpenOffice, however display all these features on the interface itself.

Find and Replace Functions offers a combined dialogue to the Find and Replace functions. This makes it a bit confusing and frustrating when you simply want to search a word/phrase.

LibreOffice analyzed the gravity of this situation and partitioned the Find and Replace function to the different dialogues. Find option, it has, bears resemblance to the search box we have in our web browsers.

Header/ Footer Tools

Different users have their own sort of preference. Many users don’t want to use the custom header\footer tools (because you then need to create a custom page style first). To simplify this, LibreOffice provides a complete range of basic header and footer tools which you can simply select and start working.
OpenOffice also contains a limited set of these pre-defined/basic header or footer tools. But the tools LibreOffice provide are more advanced than the ones available with the OpenOffice.

The Information Bar

The information bar in LibreOffice displays basic yet valuable information like the word count, current page number and the style. In OpenOffice, if you want to know the word count, you would have to select Tools and then Word Count. So, the user would have to make extra efforts to know such things, which on the other hand is easier to know in case of LibreOffice.

The Formatting Style

The comments (marginal notes for revision) in OpenOffice appear as plain text while In LibreOffice, these are formatted like the main text.

Support to the Microsoft Office/ XML

Both, OpenOffice and LibreOffice can open MSO files like a .docx file, but only LibreOffice can save it in the same format. These are equally supportive to the old MSO file formats (.doc) also.

The Editing Window

OpenOffice has managed to have the same basic editing window ever since the day it parted from LibreOffice. This has made it a bit rigid in comparison to the LibreOffice. LibreOffice however, is simpler in giving a basic idea about where the frames are and how the printed page will look like as it has reduced the basic frames (of OpenOffice) to their corner points.

So on the basis of the points discussed above, we can simply state LibreOffice to be more effective and efficient in executing operations. OpenOffice faced a shortage of brilliant programmers which obviously parted their ways from Oracle soon after it refused to go to their requests. As a result, OpenOffice lost all its basic grounds for which it used to remain popular among companies.

Also, as both of them support basically all the major features in one way or the other, OpenOffice still rules in the performance of a large no. of companies out there. But due to continuously failing to provide better upgrades and security measures to its clients, its user-base suffered a major decline over the years.

LibreOffice due to its robust community of brilliant programmers and continuous security updates have managed to dig its roots deeper into the market.


So, this was all about OpenOffice Vs LibreOffice. I hope this article provided you everything you were searching for. Post down the comments (in the feedback section) if you’ve got any. Also, share this if this article really helped you in gaining something better.

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