One of my co-workers did just that and asked that same question. I said, “No.” That opened up a mini-Pandora’s box of questions for which I didn’t really have answers on hand. “What would I use instead of Microsoft Office,” she asked.
After a lengthy conversation, and some research and testing, I’m ready with an answer to these questions: “Should I buy Microsoft Office?” And, “If not, what should I buy instead?”
My answers start with “It depends.” At that point I begin to ask questions about why someone feels they need Microsoft Office. Most buy it because they fear their documents won’t be compatible with Office for Windows.
Other new Mac users really use Word and Excel and PowerPoint and want something comparable, though more Mac-like. For those friends and family, I tell them to buy iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote).
For everybody else who needs a Microsoft Office replacement, substitute, or alternative, my official recommendation is LibreOffice. It’s as close as you can get to Microsoft Office without paying any money.
LibreOffice is an open source office suite that runs on Windows, Mac, and even Linux PCs. The suite itself is home to six apps that somewhat, more or less, imitate what you get in Micosoft Office.
Writer is like Word. Calc is like Excel. Impress is like PowerPoint. Then, there’s Draw, Math, and Base. The feature list is extensive. This is, after all, an Office replacement.
The Start Center brings up a launch screen with all six Office apps, and an option to open a document. After that, each app is remarkably similar to Microsoft’s Office suite apps, even down to the keyboard shortcuts.
What’s the advantage of using LibreOffice vs. Microsoft Office?
LibreOffice is free. That makes it a big money saver for small or large offices (business or organization). And, if everyone in the office uses LibreOffice, there are few, if any file compatibility issues.
Even the learning curve may not be much if you or your staff are familiar with Office for Windows.
What’s a disadvantage of using LibreOffice vs. Microsoft Office?
Compatibility. Not all files will be fully compatible with versions of Office, Mac or Windows. The only thing is, that’s true even between versions of Microsoft Office.