• Patch Lady – looking for options?

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    I stumbled across this site the other day:  https://alternativeto.net/ and in particular https://alternativeto.net/software/microsoft-office-suite/ Fo
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    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #1936315

      and in particular https://alternativeto.net/software/microsoft-office-suite/

      I use LibreOffice Portable https://www.libreoffice.org/download/portable-versions/ for years. It does what I need flawlessly.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1936493


        I’ve also been using LibreOffice for years; in fact earlier today, I tore out a non-supported version of MS Office on a client’s machines and installed it (after finally convincing him that he was courting certain disaster and that I had much better things to do than reinstall Windows on all his computers).

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    • #1936571

      Libre Office gets my vote.

      I use it on my other Windows installations, mainly for Word and Excel functions.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1936779

      The Document foundation needs to double down on the spelling dictionary as that’s not in very good shape as it’s having trouble with plurals and hyphenation(Excessive) and overall possessive spell checking.

      A good dictionary/thesaurus that comes installed by default with any word processing package is also needed in addition spell checking.

      But LibreOffice is what I use with no worries about MS’s products other than Windows 7 and it going EOL.

    • #1936787

      I agree about Libre Office too and I even like the looks of it.  I’m also wondering about a good, secure, PDF Reader to replace Adobe Acrobat Reader with on my Win 7 machine.

      Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

      • #1937804

        FWIW, after trying various free PDF readers on my Win 7 Pro rig over the years, I finally settled on Foxit Reader.  Amongst several reviews of free PDF readers, here is one: https://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-free-pdf-reader .

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1944748

        PDF-Xchange Viewer from Tracker Software has been my choice for years. All Adobe stuff uninstalled from my computer, except the Flash browser add-in, of course. Convenient tabs, extensive previous files list, just works. Free.

        For many PDF’s from the web, I just use Opera’s reading function that lets me read something quickly and then decide whether to download it for saving. Haven’t checked how that works on other browsers since Opera is my default browser.

        Kingsoft’s WPS office suite, in my case Writer instead of Word almost exclusively. Once upon a time I did a lot of translation and copy editing work and Writer did all the basic stuff  I needed that Word did, read and saved all the doc/docx formats, two files in one window for line by line translation or checking my colleague’s translation I was editing against the original language version, and was easy to adapt to. Some ad pop-ups, pretty much controllable with startup control programs. Never had compatibility complaints from clients using Word or problems reading their files.


        • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Wayne.
        • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Wayne.
      • #1944866

        I have been using PDF-XChange for several years and been very happy with it.

        Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

    • #1937301

      Charlie, that’s easy.  I like Sumatra coffee and Sumatra PDF viewer.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1937428

      I’ll second that Sumatra recommendation, using it since Foxit got nasty with the included stuff.

      And of course LibreOffice as office suite, use it since OpenOffice was taken over, since I was using that then.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1938165

      I agree about Libre Office too and I even like the looks of it.  I’m also wondering about a good, secure, PDF Reader to replace Adobe Acrobat Reader with on my Win 7 machine.

      I use Sumatra PDF reader.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1938439

      I have to vote thumbs down on Libre Office because of Bug 37967 (Bug 4914 in OpenOffice). For me (and apparently many others) the lack of a “Normal Mode” in Libre Writer is a total showstopper and deal killer. And the apparent incomprehension on the part of the advocates and developers as to why this is a “causes program to halt and be deleted from the hard drive”- level bug makes it even more frustrating. (No, neither “web view” nor “hide whitespace” are adequate workarounds.)

      • #1938878

        I have not had any problems with the Linux version of LibreOffice, but then I don’t really use it a lot.

        Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1938493

      LibreOffice can read/edit PDFs too.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1938855

        I didn’t know that.  I have LibreOffice for Linux Mint on my Linux laptop along with another program called “Document Viewer” which is a PDF reader.  LibreOffice Writer lets me export as a PDF, but that’s all I saw.

        Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it again.

        • #1941115

          In Mint (and Ubuntu) they call it Document Viewer. But to the larger Linux community it’s known as Evince. Great viewer, but no editing capabilities.

          -- rc primak

    • #1940575

      It uses LibereOffice Draw.  Just File->Open and select a PDF.  And yes you have to Export as PDF to “save” the PDF.

      You can even make forms.  If you check the “Create PDF form” during PDF export the fields you add in the Draw document are text fields in the exported PDF.

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      • #1941114

        I’ve had problems with downloaded PDF documents not rendering properly in LibreOffice Draw. Especially bold-faced fonts tend to run  way over the edge of the document, making editing and printing nearly impossible. Inkscape works better, but only handles one page at a time (in the free version). I have yet to find a free and open source substitute which truly replaces Adobe products. Lots of paid ones, but nothing free without watermarks.

        -- rc primak

    • #1941116

      I’ve been using AlternativeTo for a long time. When something is available, especially something free, this is my best resource for finding it. I still use other sites for reviews to make my final selection, but this site gives me a headstart on finding what to look into.  This is also the go-to site when I want to find a Linux program which may do what a Windows-only program has done for me over the years.  It might also work if there’s a Linux-only program for which you want to find a Windows substitute. Those do exist, you know.

      -- rc primak

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    • #1944551

      Hi!  Cleverly, I’ve to to Word alternatives through a different patch: Looking for a word processor for my Kindle Fire, an Android tablet.  I am using Textmaker from Softmaker.  I use it only tablets, my phone, and my windows 7 desktop and my win10 laptop/tablet/thingy. (looks like a laptop, works like a laptop, but it’s a tablet with a keyboard attached).


    • #1944597

      LibreOffice for me.  Open Office once upon a time but it wasn’t maintained well, which is why the LO fork was started.  As soon as Microsoft introduced the ribbon MS Office was history on my machines!

      In point of fact, I have absolutely no Microsoft programs (except Windows, obviously) other than Skype, which in typical fashion they acquired and promptly proceeded to mess up.

    • #1944588

      I use Ashampoo Office 2018 (3 user). It’s very good and very close to MS Office and a bit more user friendly than Libre Office, cos it appears just like MS Office.  You do have to buy it but it’s very cheap and is a few dollars cheaper than the price the Authors (Softmaker) ask for it.

    • #1944601

      I am now retired several years and do not have use of a full ‘Word’ interface, so have shied away from the subscription base of the Ms package.

      Have currently gone to Libre Office which meets most of my requirements although I find some of its functions ‘clunky’ when trying to find the MS equivalent. I guess I’ll keep looking.



    • #1944621

      Hi, there I use Softmaker, Ability and Libre office. Softmaker mostly. I also use Softmaker Flexy PDF works well for me. Edi Text editor is also an interesting take. Atlantis Word Processor for wrighting. Smart Edit writer is also interesting. There you go, some ideas.

      • #1945250

        I use Softmaker Office, too. Began using it several years ago when I didn’t want to pay the high cost of Office and hated the ribbon and its lack of tool bars. I’ve just begun to experiment with Libre Office on a Win 7 PC.

    • #1944774

      OpenOffice and Sumatra pdf for me. I also use Cutepdf which appears in my printer list, to quickly save anything in pdf format.


      Win10 22H2 Pro, MBAM Premium, Firefox, OpenOffice, Sumatra PDF.
    • #1944804

      Either Libre Office or Apache Open Office provide an essential benefit (compared to MSO) if you are supporting software used by others.  For example, payroll, budgeting, sales records, tax records, etc., all written as Calc worksheets, with many many macros.  It was almost impossible to keep multiple users’ on the same version of MSO, and impossibly expensive to upgrade to newer versions of MSO.

      I dropped MS’ Office years ago, and had all clients download what was then Open Office.org.  I studied Open Office basic, stopped using VBA, and have never had to worry about compatibility of different versions on user’s machines.  (We can all update to the latest free, identical version if necessary).

      — John V

    • #1944836

      For many years I used Apache Open Office under Windows 7 64bit Professional. I’m no longer a heavy user and it did the job but a few months ago when creating an important presentation it kept loosing pasted-in images. So I switched to Libre Office. That didn’t have the loosing images problem but it has one big irritation.

      Opening documents (text, s/s, presentations) can take anywhere from about 10 secs to 5 mins. It seems completely random and varies with the same document. This “feature” was reported as a bug by others many years ago and is still not fixed.

      Another irritation is in the spreadsheet where I use hot keys a lot. If I select a series of cells horizontally and then copy and then press the down arrow the behaviour is different to Excel. In Excel the focus moves to below the first horizontal cell, ready to paste the same values/formulas. In LibreOffice & OpenOffice the focus moves to below the last horizontal cell meaning I need to cursor back left to the first cell. Irritating and slows one down.

      Also in spreadsheet the Paste Special doesn’t remember the last options. The default is to paste values and formulas etc whereas 99% of the time I want to paste formats, so I need to deselect all the options and select the paste format option.

      There are numerous small differences like this and it can be irritating. Still, anything to avoid MS products, even though I have an official copy of Office in the drawer.

    • #1944868

      Lots of comments on this thread like Libre Office, and for them I have a question. Has anyone any experience of porting an Access database (accdb format) to Libre Office? If so, how did it go?

      Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

      • #1945017

        When I looked at this a while ago, I discovered that LO didn’t have a relational database. Its Base was just a front end to Calc. This was a showstopper for me and I’m happy playing O365. I’ve not checked since so it may have changed.

        Eliminate spare time: start programming PowerShell

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1945055

          @access-mdb Thanks for the heads up. I’ll check it out if I need to move. The lack of a relational db would be a showstopper for me as well.

          I am retired, so a light user now, and the annual sub for O365 is a steep price, in my view. I still have a standalone Office 2010  licence, so I will stick with that as long as I can.

          Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

    • #1944911

      We have used Open Office for some years now.  Typically need only the writer and spreadsheet functions.  Only drawback has been that their .odt and.ods formats cannot be opened by others not using OO.

      OO can open Microsoft formats but can’t save into them.  This is on occasion a problem.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1945057

      I am looking for a free (or cheap) replacement for ACCESS.  I have tried LibreOffice and find the tables will import but I have extensive programing and scripts in VB, and forms, etc.  Any ideas would be appreciated.

    • #1945423

      I switched over to Google Drive several years ago. The MS Office products got too big, slow and cumbersome. The files could not be accessed from my phone (except via upload to Drive, convert from MS, and then available in Android’s Google Drive app). I uploaded and converted all my MS Word and Excel files to the Drive format. Now I only use Drive for documents and spreadsheets. I can Share the files privately or publicly, which I find much more convenient than attaching to an email; and the recipients can View, Comment or Edit (at my choice). This means not having to download from email, edit, and then attach and send by email. I understand MS has made improvements in collaborating in Word and Excel, but I haven’t bothered to try. I found I can receive MS formatted files, add to Drive, edit and return in MS format if necessary.

      I also found PDFs can be displayed and Commented in Google Chrome. I either read directly or save to Drive. I then use a Shared link to open in a Tab or Window. From Drive they are accessible anywhere I have Internet (or anywhere if I make available offline). The Commented PDFs can be shared privately or publicly.

      For me, Google Drive is the perfect replacement for Microsoft Office.

    • #1945448

      I use LibreOffice as my office suite.  I used to use OpenOffice, but it has very few updates these days!

      I also use Sumatra as my PDF reader.

    • #1945467

      I am using Open Office 4.1.5, and love it. It does all that I need.

    • #1945764

      I have been using WPS for several years now. Initially on my Android devices but now have converted all my computers.  Unfortunately they do not run macros from Office, but I am learning to work around it.  Also their Help is not as user friendly as it needs to be. They really need to present a comparison of MS Office versus WPS commands.

    • #1945776

      If you only need a word processor that can also act as a PDF editor/writer the best I’ve found is Able Word. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that MS has but is quite adequate for most occasions and ideal for PDF.

    • #1946000

      On a Mac, I have access to Office, but I don’t heavily use it. Some of the stuff I use I’ve been featuring here: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/forum/askwoody-support/other-platforms-for-windows-wonks/macos-for-windows-wonks/

      My “bottom line” apps I use are these:

      • Nota Bene for academic writing (wouldn’t use anything else)
      • Nisus Writer Pro for general, everyday use (usually in place of Word)
      • Mellel only if I am heavily working between a Mac and iPad since its iPad app syncs nicely with iPad
      • PDF Expert for editing/annotating PDF’s
      • Keynote for presentations (unless I’m needing to use a niche presentation editor such as Faithlife Proclaim)
      • Numbers for basic spreadsheets (I only use Excel if it’s something too complicated for Numbers)
      • Scrivener or Ulysses for planning papers and for rough drafts
      • BBEdit mainly for web editing or plain-text stuff

      Nathan Parker

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1956450

      I have used LibreOffice (before that Open Office) for years at home and deployed it at my work when it was from Novell (we ran Netware then). Then we migrated to Collabora Office and that’s been equally fine, less expensive than M$ Office and have had absolutely no compatibility issues–but we have fairly uncomplicated documents and spreadsheets. I’ve moved off Adobe Reader and onto Sumatra PDF for those who do not need PDF signing; and Foxit (which I actually hate) for PDF signing needs. For databases we have to stick with Access on the desktop due to an embedded database from years ago that we migrated into a newer version of Access. If I had my way we’d be on Paradox, I loved that program! Anyway…we try to use open source as much as possible and it works great in our case.

      "The exercise of curiosity requires a risk, a sacrifice--a commitment."
      Malcolm Gladwell

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