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Libreoffice Calc VS Excel Which One to Choose

January 18, 2024 3.2K views

In the realm of office work, spreadsheets are indispensable. Excel, a star in Microsoft Office, is widely used but can be costly for exclusive use. Thankfully, alternatives like LibreOffice Calc offer powerful features. This guide explores the distinctions between LibreOffice and Excel to help you make an informed choice.

Part 1. Introduction to Libreoffice Calc & Excel

Libreoffice Calc & Excel

#1 What is Libreoffice Calc

LibreOffice Calc is a free and open-source spreadsheet application that is part of the LibreOffice office suite. It is a powerful tool for organizing, analyzing, and storing data in tabular form. Calc can be used for a wide variety of tasks, including:

  • Creating and editing budgets, invoices, and other financial documents

  • Tracking inventory and sales

  • Managing project schedules and tasks

  • Performing statistical analysis

  • Creating charts and graphs to visualize data


Calc is compatible with the OpenDocument Format (ODF), which is an open standard for office documents. It can also open and save spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel format, making it a good choice for users who need to share files with others who use Excel.

#2 What is Excel

Excel is a spreadsheet program developed by Microsoft. It is one of the most popular spreadsheet programs in the world and is used by millions of people for a variety of tasks, including:

  • Creating and editing budgets, invoices, and other financial documents

  • Tracking inventory and sales

  • Managing project schedules and tasks

  • Performing statistical analysis

  • Creating charts and graphs to visualize data

Excel is known for its powerful features and ease of use. It offers a wide range of functions and tools for working with data, making it a versatile tool for users of all skill levels.

Part 2. Detailed Comparison: Libreoffice Calc vs Excel

When it comes to choosing the right spreadsheet software, understanding the nuances between LibreOffice Calc and Microsoft Excel is crucial. Below is a comprehensive comparison based on features, pricing, and pros & cons:

Feature

LibreOffice Calc

Excel

Price

Free and open-source

Commercial product

Operating systems

Windows, macOS, Linux

Windows, macOS, iOS, Android

File formats

ODF, Excel, CSV, TXT, and many more

Excel, CSV, TXT, and many more

Features

Comprehensive set of spreadsheet features, including functions, formulas, charting, and data analysis tools

Comprehensive set of spreadsheet features, including functions, formulas, charting, data analysis tools, and more advanced features such as data mining and built-in macros

Compatibility

Compatible with a wide range of file formats, including ODF and Excel formats

Most widely used spreadsheet program in the business world, so it may be easier to share Excel files with others

Actual experience of using LibreOffice Calc and Excel

LibreOffice Calc: LibreOffice Calc is a good option for beginners, as it is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface. It is also a good choice for users who need a powerful spreadsheet program without having to pay for a commercial product. However, Calc may not be suitable for users who need to use more advanced features or need to share files with people who use Excel exclusively.

Excel: Excel is a good choice for users who need to use a powerful spreadsheet program with a wide range of features. It is also a good choice for users who need to share files with others who use Excel. However, Excel is a commercial product and may be too expensive for some users.

Recommendations

  • For beginners: LibreOffice Calc is a good option for beginners, as it is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface.

  • For users who need a powerful spreadsheet program without having to pay for a commercial product: LibreOffice Calc is a good option for users who need a powerful spreadsheet program without having to pay for a commercial product.

  • For users who need to use more advanced features or need to share files with people who use Excel exclusively: Excel is a good choice for users who need to use more advanced features or need to share files with people who use Excel exclusively.

Part 3. How to Use Libreoffice Calc & Excel

Libreoffice Calc

How to Use creating tables in LibreOffice Calc is a breeze. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Open LibreOffice Calc and start a new spreadsheet.

Step 2: Select the cells you want to include in your table.

Step 3: Go to the 'Data' menu and choose 'Define Range.' This will allow you to name your table and specify its location.

Step 4: With your cells still selected, go to 'Format' > 'Table' and choose your desired style.

Step 5: Your table is now ready for data input.

How to Download Installing LibreOffice Calc is a straightforward process:

Step 1: Visit the official LibreOffice website.

Step 2: Choose your operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.) and click 'Download Now.'

Step 3: Once the file is downloaded, open it and follow the installation prompts.

Step 4: LibreOffice Calc is now ready to use on your system.

Excel

How to Use Creating tables in Excel is a fundamental skill. Here's how:

Step 1: Launch Excel and open a new spreadsheet.

Step 2: Select the cells you want to include in your table.

Step 3: Navigate to the 'Insert' tab and choose 'Table.' Excel will automatically format the selected cells into a table.

Step 4: You can now start entering your data.

How to Download

Installing Excel is typically bundled with Microsoft 365. Here's how:

Step 1: Visit the Microsoft 365 website.

Step 2: Select a plan that includes Excel and follow the purchase and installation instructions.

Step 3: Once installed, launch Excel and start using it.

Please note that Microsoft 365 is available for both Windows and macOS systems.

Part 4. Best Free Alternative to Libreoffice Calc & Excel -  WPS Office

WPS Spreadsheet is a modernized powerful office tool Apps. It is a part of the all-in-one WPS Office suite, which is compatible with different systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. WPS AI is a useful tool integrated in WPS Spreadsheet, which can help you with tasks such as data analysis, formula creation, and error correction. Moreover, WPS Spreadsheet has a modern interface and functions. You can find a variety of templates on the WPS template website: wps.template.com.

Pros of WPS Spreadsheet compared to LibreOffice Calc & Excel:

  • Free and open-source: WPS Spreadsheet is a free and open-source spreadsheet program, while Excel is a commercial product.

  • Cross-platform compatibility: WPS Spreadsheet is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, while LibreOffice Calc is not compatible with mobile devices.

  • Modern interface and functions: WPS Spreadsheet has a modern interface and functions, which may be more appealing to some users.

  • AI-powered features: WPS Spreadsheet includes AI-powered features such as data analysis, formula creation, and error correction, which can be helpful for users of all skill levels.

I have found WPS Spreadsheet to be a good alternative to LibreOffice Calc and Excel. It is easy to use and has a wide range of features. I have been particularly impressed with the AI-powered features, which have made my work more efficient.

WPS Office is a good choice for users who are looking for a free, cross-platform compatible, and easy-to-use spreadsheet program. It is also a good choice for users who want to take advantage of AI-powered features.

Overall, I think WPS Office is a great alternative to LibreOffice Calc and Excel. It is free, cross-platform compatible, easy to use, and offers AI-powered features.

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FAQs about libreoffice calc vs excel

How many spreadsheets on LibreOffice Calc by default?

By default, LibreOffice Calc contains one worksheet per spreadsheet. This is the standard configuration when you open a new spreadsheet in LibreOffice Calc. If you need additional sheets, you can easily add them as per your requirements.

Can Microsoft Office read LibreOffice files?

Yes, Microsoft Office can read LibreOffice files. LibreOffice uses the Open Document Format (ODF) as its default file format, which is an open standard supported by multiple office suites, including Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office has built-in compatibility for ODF files, allowing you to open, view, and edit documents created in LibreOffice. Keep in mind that there might be some formatting differences or features that may not be fully compatible between the two suites, so it's a good practice to double-check the document after opening it in a different office suite.

Summary

This guide provides a detailed comparison between LibreOffice Calc and Excel, aiming to help users choose the best spreadsheet tool for their needs. While Excel is widely used, its cost can be a hurdle, making LibreOffice Calc a compelling free alternative. The comparison covers features, pricing, and user experience, emphasizing the strengths and limitations of each. Additionally, it introduces WPS Office as a modern, powerful, and cost-effective alternative worth considering. Ultimately, the choice depends on individual requirements, making it important to weigh factors like budget, collaboration needs, and task complexity when selecting the right spreadsheet tool.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.