Feature Comparison: LibreOffice - Microsoft Office

From The Document Foundation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


This page compares the features of LibreOffice 6.1.3 (download) and Microsoft Office 2016 / 365. It separates major and minor feature differences and also includes notes on LibreOffice extensions. The comparison highlights differences and therefore does not display any features which are present in both office suites.


The feature comparison table is continuously being updated and is work in progress.
It is a compilation by users and not an official document by the Document Foundation.
Please feel free to improve this page. Last update to this table was made at 23.11.2018

General office suite: LibreOffice vs. Microsoft Office

Major Feature Differences LibreOffice 6.1 MS Office 2016 / 365
Cross-platform availability (desktop) Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Haiku. (based on the same code base). Windows and macOS. Windows and macOS versions have some document format compatibility problems, somewhat different feature sets and differences in the user interface; macOS version does not include the database application MS Access, does not include MS Publisher, and also lacks a number of other features (see below).

Feature inconsistencies/differences in Windows versions, between "MS Office 2016" sales version and the "Office 2016 for Office 365" rental version: some features are being subsequently included only in the rental version (newly added features also differ between macOS and MS Windows) leading to inconsistencies in the feature set (see below).

Supported versions of MS Windows Windows 7 SP1, 8, 8.1, 10, Server 2008, Server 2012, Server 2016. ([1]). Versions until LibreOffice 5.4 still also support Windows XP SP3, Vista. Windows 7 SP1, 8, 8.1, 10, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, Server 2016 ([2]).
Supported versions of macOS 10.9+ (Mavericks). ([3]). 10.10+ (Yosemite)
Portable version that runs on USB flash disks (without installation) Yes (download) No
Open Source Yes, licensed under MPLv2 and others. No, proprietary and closed-source
Full integration of all office components Supported. From within each office component, files of all other components can be opened and be newly created. Central StartCenter with access to office modules, recently used files and templates. Not supported
Availability free of charge Yes (download, donate) No, proprietary software to purchase or rent. When subscription for the rental version ends, applications enter read-only mode (view or print) and no new documents can be created. The purchase-version is a perpetual license. One-month trial version available for the rental version (but not for the one-time purchase version).
Extension availability Complex ecosystem of extensions (over 360 on extensions.libreoffice.org and over 800 on extensions.openoffice.org), including automatic updates. Partly, no centralized extension system for add-ons and macros. Microsoft AppSource for Office 365. [4] Office Apps not supported on macOS.
Localization 115 languages (detailed list of languages supported by LibreOffice) 91 languages in Windows version, 27 languages in macOS version (display language for (some) office applications) [5], [6]
Support of Right-to-left⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg (RTL) languages (e.g. Arabic) and other complex scripts Comprehensive support, based on HarfBuzz⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg text shaping library Supported on Windows, mobile and online versions and macOS.
Additional writing aids Extended support (spell-check dictionaries, hyphenation patterns, thesaurus and grammar check, specialized dictionaries as extensions ([7], [8]). Detailed list of LibreOffice writing aids for over 150 languages. More limited, "proofing tools" for 92 languages in Windows version, 58 in macOS version. [9],[10]
Language technology Comprehensive support, based on the most popular spellchecking library Hunspell

LibreOffice Language Technology – News & Best practices, YouTube, Hunspell 1.7, LibreOffice vs MS Office, Better coverage: words, Unicode, morphology, 3 false alarms in Word, zero in Writer

Support of complex languages and special smart-font features (ligatures, true small caps, old style numbers, proportional or mono-spaced numbers, capital spacing, and true superscript/subscript) Limited support: full support of SIL Graphite font technology ([11],[12]) and full support of OpenType optional features ([13],[14],[15]) by syntax, without UI: tdf#58941. See LibreOffice Smart Font HowTo. Interoperability: No support for optional OpenType features in OOXML, and ODF 1.2 don’t provide OpenType optional features support (support scheduled for ODF 1.3) Limited via OpenType supporting ligatures, stylistic sets, number spacing options, number forms, and contextual alternates. [16] Support for optional OpenType features in OOXML.
Support of font variation Limited support for font rendering on screen, no support for printing and PDF export. tdf#108497 Limited support for font rendering on screen, no support for printing and PDF export.
Easy access to vector clip art Yes via LO Gallery (clipart extensions ([17] or [18])). Extension for the integration of clipart from OpenClipart.org Selection more limited. Feature to include a selection of "icons" ("Icons" not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version)
Macro scripting languages Multiple languages, support for wide variety of languages (LibreOffice Basic, JavaScript, BeanShell, and Python). Import and export of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), see ([19] and the release notes). Single language, support for Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Indirectly also Visual Basic or Visual C# by using automation.
CMIS protocol support to access Document Management Systems Support for Alfresco, Google GDrive, Nuxeo, MS SharePoint, MS OneDrive, IBM FileNet Lotus Live Files, Lotus Quickr Domino, OpenDataSpace, and OpenText ELS. (tdf#62437) Inbuilt support only for MS SharePoint and MS OneDrive
Support of ISO standards OpenDocument Format (ODF)⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg Advanced support, ODF v1.2 extended Limited support in MS Windows version, and online version, ODF v1.2. Support of ODF in macOS version and mobile versions (Android, iOS, Windows 10 Mobile) are limited and require the use of an online file format conversion service. [20] [21] [22]
PDF export extended options Multiple options (Additional options: Tagged PDF, Time stamp protocol⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg, detailed image settings, Hybrid PDF, transition effects, extended security and permission options, PDF forms, initial view settings, extended handling of URLs, digital signatures, and PDF signatures according to PAdES⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg standard). Support for font embedding of all font types (incl. OpenType .otf fonts). High or low quality PDF, page and markup to print in Access, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint [23]; pictures resolution and non-printing informations in Publisher. No support for font embedding of OpenType (.otf) fonts in PDF export [24].
Document classification Document classification in Writer, Calc, and Impress according to TSCP-standards (also with multiple policies). See: [25] and [26]. No inbuilt document classification system, but Information Rights Management (IRM) supported
Import of SVG vector graphics (.svg, .svgz) Supported .svg files supported in rental version and macOS sales version [27], not supported in MS Office 2016 Windows sales version.
Import of Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) vector graphics (.eps) Supported (with some rendering issues: tdf#81497, tdf#67464) Support for .eps imaged turned off by default due to security issues, but can be manually enabled via Windows registry in Office 2016 sales version. Support entirely removed in Office 2016/365 rental version ([28], [29]). Rendering issues of .eps files in PDF export ([30]).
Insert PDF as an image into documents Supported ([31]) Not supported
Creation of Hybrid PDFs (ODF file embedded in PDF for full editing) Supported Not supported
Import from raster graphics software: Adobe Photoshop (.psd) Supported Not supported
Import from vector graphics / DTP software: CorelDraw (v1-X7), Corel Presentation Exchange, Adobe/Macromedia Freehand (v3-11), Adobe PageMaker, Zoner/Callisto Draw (.zmf), QuarkXPress 3.1 to 4.1 Supported Not supported
Import of MS Visio files Supported (Visio 2000-2013) Not supported (only via MS Visio which is not part of MS Office)
Import of video and audio formats FLAC Audio (.flac), Flash Video (.flv), Matroska Media (.mkv), OGG Audio, Ogg Video, Quicktime Video, WebM Video, Real Audio (.ra), Real Media (.rm), Digital Video (.dv), Audio Codec (.ac3), and Ogg Opus (.opus) Supported Not supported
Drawing and vector graphics software LibreOffice Draw, drawing and vector graphics software that supports pages (up to 300cm x 300cm), layers, numerous drawing tools and DTP features. Partial. MS Powerpoint provides some features of a drawing software.
PIM and email software Not part of LibreOffice, referring to alternative PIM software such as Mozilla Thunderbird. See the comparison on this wiki: Mozilla Thunderbird vs. Microsoft Outlook.

Mail Merge Wizard sends out emails directly from LibreOffice without email software. LibreOffice-wide access to address books via Base.

MS Outlook
Desktop publishing (DTP) software Partial. Writer supports many advanced DTP features (see section on Writer in this comparison table). Draw supports frame-based DTP features. Import of MS Publisher files (and from other DTP software) in Draw. MS Publisher
Integrated Development Environment (IDE) feature set The BASIC Integrated Development Environment (IDE) does not have: 1. Refactoring facilities (Renaming affects dependencies/Extract Method/Extract interface etc.) (tdf#92251, tdf#94524, tdf#94526, tdf#94527, tdf#94528, tdf#94529, tdf#94530); 2. Intellisense (or any other code completion functionality) such as auto-code-completion and showing the properties and methods of an object (tdf#66185); 3. Error checking (the IDE actually knows its symbols). Supported with Visual Basic for Applications and/or additional purchase of Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio (Windows-only). macOS version only supports a simplified Visual Basic Editor.
Import & Export of Microsoft OOXML files Good support of real life OOXML files (e.g. .xlsx, .docx, .pptx) and standardized (transitional) OOXML files, as well as import of OOXML-strict files. Advanced support of transitional (default) and strict OOXML files
PDF Import Partial, into Draw and Writer with the limitation that text is imported line-based (tdf#32249). Supported, into MS Word
Versions of office suite for mobile operating systems (smartphones, tablets) Ports for Android and iOS are in development, viewer for Ubuntu Touch. LibreOffice Viewer for Android available, which also contains basic and experimental editing features, more information: Android port wiki, [32], [33], [34], [35]. LibreOffice Light for iOS is in development [36]; more information on iOS port: [37]. The Document Viewer of Ubuntu Touch is powered by LibreOfficeKit and therefore supports viewing most file types supported by LibreOffice. Android, iOS and Windows Mobile. Mobile versions for smartphones and tablets with Android and iOS with restricted features set, for 'Windows 10 Mobile' smartphones with heavily restricted feature set. Professional users as well as users on tablets >10.1 inch are required to have an eligible Office 365 subscription at a monthly fee. Private users are allowed to view and print documents without registration private users, basic editing functionality requires registration. More comprehensive features require an eligible Office 365 subscription at a monthly fee.
Online/cloud version of office suite Libreoffice Online 6.1.3 / Collabora Online 3.3.1 released with full document support and rendering fidelity, advanced but reduced editing functionality, collaborative editing. [38], [39], [40], [41], [42]. See also: LibreOffice Online port development. Office web apps, with reduced functionality. ([43])
Integration of online office suite into (third-party) collaboration software and groupware / content management systems Integration of LibreOffice Online in OwnCloud and Nextcloud, Kolab,Pydio, Seafile,IceWarp, AG-I Solutions, Alinto, VNCLagoon, EGroupware, Univention App Center. MS Office Online Server integration in MS SharePoint
Availability of online office suite in (third-party) online services Variety of available service providers: UrBerri, eqipe, New Access, Arawa, Artistanbul, TransfertPro, Extensys,Rono-IT, SecuredStore, StudioStorti,united hoster, Option Service Télécom, AggreCost, Webo.hosting, FileCloud, Retention Range, Workman.net.au, OffiDocs, CiviHosting, ETES, Sunjun, opendsi, GMS, OpenLogic, SwissStash, iOffice Cloud, cloudplan, EGroupware, ZenTao, SwissVON, CQ Net, Mijncloudoffice, mentorITe MS OneDrive
Synchronous collaborative editing Partial. Collaborative editing in LibreOffice online version (Writer, Calc and Impress). Not available in the desktop applications (tdf#73831), see development information: Collaborative Editing and Track changes. Supported in online versions of MS Word, MS Excel and MS Powerpoint. Partial support in desktop applications via OneDrive or MS Sharepoint. Support in desktop applications: "Real-time typing" in MS Word, MS Powerpoint, "Co-authoring" in MS Excel (not supported in MS Powerpoint and MS Excel in MS Office 2016 sales version; MS Powerpoint 2016 sales version only allows for co-authoring (syncing after saving file). Simplified "sharing" of office documents in MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint via OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint. AutoSave feature, which automatically saves every few seconds, is supported in MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Powerpoint, if files are stored on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint Online (Not available in MS Office 2016 sales version).
User Interface approach Highly customizable UI concept "MUFFIN" [44],[45]: Classic UI with multiple toolbars mode, single toolbar mode, and Sidebar panel. UI concept "NotebookBar" available in experimental mode ([46]) with variants "Contextual groups/single", "Tabbed", Groupedbar full/compact", and "Tabbed Compact". Customization possible: several icon themes available, Firefox themes. Ribbon UI; Colour themes
User interface improved to enable use on touch screen devices on desktop operating systems. No (tdf#102015) Slightly adjusted user interface for touch screen devices, but no redesign.
Keyboard driven menu system (search function to better find features in office suite). Not supported. Only via help system. On Ubuntu Unity support for Head-Up-Display (HUD) system. (tdf#91874) Supported, Tell Me search bar.
Accessibility checker Not supported. Extension for text documents: AccessODF Supported [47].
Chat with other authors (collaborative editing) Not supported. In-app chat with co-authors for shared files on SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business. Not supported for OneDrive Consumer or any other storage location. Non-persistent chat (history not preserved; new users see only newly incoming messages). (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version; not supported on Android and iOS). [48].
Integration of instant Messaging (IM), voice, video, or screen sharing. Not supported. Skype integration (not supported in macOS version).
Dictation / speech recognition Not supported Supported in MS Word, MS Powerpoint, MS Outlook. Voice audio is sent to Microsoft cloud servers and returned as text. (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version)
Inserting and editing 3D models Not supported (previous support in Impress for glTF (.dae/.kmz) 3D models removed in version 6.0) Supported in Powerpoint, Word, and Excel. (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version)
Support of color fonts Not supported Supported [49]
Minor Feature Differences LibreOffice 6.1 MS Office 2016 / 365
Import of graphics formats DXF, MET, PBM, PCD, PCX, PGM, PPM, PPM, RAS, SGF, SVM, TGA, XBM, XPM Supported Not supported
Import of Classic Mac OS legacy vector and bitmap graphics formats: BeagleWorks, ClarisWorks, GreatWorks, MacPaint, MacWorks, SuperPaint, MacDraw, MacDraw II, RagTime for Mac 2-3, ClarisDraw, MacDraft Supported Not supported
Import of additional video and audio formats: CD Audio, Vivo Video. Supported Not supported
Drawing features: Arrow endings Substantially wider selection, including Crow’s feet notation Less supported arrow endings
Document converter wizard Supported Not supported
Euro currency converter wizard Supported Not supported
Expert config to access a multitude of settings from UI Supported Not supported
Support for multiple color palette formats: Gimp (.gpl), Adobe Swatch Exchange (.ase), LibreOffice/Apache OpenOffice (.soc) Supported (note: tdf#92354) Not supported
Import MathML formula from clipboard Supported Not supported
Import of StarOffice binary file formats .sdc, .sda and .sdw Basic support Not supported
Digital signatures / Signature Line Multiple signatures, including OOXML signatures. Round-trip with MS Office problematic (tdf#58442, tdf#58476). Import/export of PDF signatures. Support of XAdES⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg standard (XML Advanced Electronic Signatures) and OpenPGP keys. Additional support of ECDSA keys (on Linux and macOS). Additional (experimental) support for OpenPGP-based document encryption. Supported (OOXML/XML-DSig and XAdES signatures)
Convert SVG image to shapes / polygon Conversion supported in LO Draw. Additionally opening SVG files directly as shapes is supported in LO Draw. (tdf#115571) Supported (Supported in rental version and macOS sales version [50], not supported in MS Office 2016 Windows sales version.)
Enhanced list of recent files and folders Partial (tdf#61174, tdf#60743). Option to clear list of recent documents. Selectively delete Recent Documents (in StartCenter) Supported (option to set recent files as permanent)
Custom colours in formula editor Set of 16 colours (tdf#40436) Supported
Third-party software dependencies Java runtime environment (JRE) installation required for certain - but not most - features of the software. Java is notably required for Base. (tdf#34809) Not required
Shortcut keys for accented Latin characters Not supported (tdf#71176), workaround using Unicode conversion, see Unicode character input with Alt+X Limited support
Inserting audio / video from online sources Not supported (tdf#42246). Work-around: Download of online video and embed it in presentation (incl. Flash videos) Supported in Windows version ([51]). Not supported on macOS.
Quick access to email attachments Not supported Supported, "Shared with me" feature in PowerPoint, Excel, Word.
Streaming of office applications/office on demand Not supported (possible via third party services) Supported ([52])
Ink drawings / annotations (e.g. on touch- and pen-enabled devices) Not supported (tdf#35092), (only support for import of existing ink annotations from MS Word file format) Supported. Several pens, highlighters, colors and color effects, and pencils for inking to draw/annotate/highlight. Ink replay feature (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version)
Recognition of shapes from ink drawings Not supported Yes (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version)
Automatic background removal of a picture Not supported (tdf#103424) Supported in MS Windows version (not supported in macOS version)
Live preview while formatting Not supported (tdf#37048) Supported
Inserting a screenshot from within applications Not supported Supported
Import of graphics formats: MEZ, EMZ, WMZ, PCZ Not supported (tdf#103954) Supported
Export to XPS format⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg Not supported Supported
Support for Touch Bar on Apple MacBook Pro Not supported (tdf#105803) Supported (macOS only)

Word processors: LibreOffice Writer vs. Microsoft Word

Major Feature Differences LO Writer 6.1 MS Word 2016 / 365
Handling of captions for graphics or image boxes Stable layout Layout problems
Styles (page styles, frame styles, list styles) Supported Not supported
Overlining of text Supported No, but complicated workaround
Master documents for longer texts Master documents and Master document templates supported Supported but deprecated because it causes file corruption
Register-true feature / register accuracy (DTP-feature) Supported Not supported
Business card wizard Supported (release notes) Not supported
Text auto completion of words already used before Supported [53] Not supported
XForms documents creation Supported Not supported
Mathematical calculations in tables Complex calculations Only basic arithmetic
DocBook import & export Supported Not supported
Export to MediaWiki (Wikipedia) format Supported Not supported
Export to XHTML Supported Not supported
Export to EPUB⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg e-book file format (.epub) Supported Not supported
Export document as image(s) Supported, image formats: .jpg, .png Not supported
Import of Apple Pages documents Support for Pages v1-5 [54] Not supported
Working with large documents Stable layout Some layout problems [55]
Extended label creation features (release notes) Supported (generic database access, synchronise content) Partial
Frames DTP-like features like text in multiple columns and text-wrap around graphics Concept of "horizontal frames" is more limited
DirectCursor (allows to enter text anywhere on a page) Supported Supported, under the name Click and type (advanced option)
Table styles Supported (release notes 5.3 and release notes 6.0) (tdf#34391). Supported
PDF export of comments Export of comments according to PDF specification (via "File" > "Export as PDF"). PDF export of comments: inside the margin, at end of page, at end of document (activation complicated, only via: "Tools" > "Options" > "LibreOffice Writer" > "Print" (tdf#77650)) Export only as comments inside margin
Grammar check Out of the box only 4 languages (English, Russian, Hungarian and Brazilian Portuguese)

extensions: e.g. Languagetool for 29 languages plus 14 language variants (level of language support varies; 7 languages with more than 1000 rules), Grammalecte for French, CoGroo for Brazilian Portuguese

21 languages (plus 1 language variant) were supported in MS Office 2013 with additional costs); no information on supported languages in MS Office 2016. Grammar check on macOS version limited to few languages.
Style sets (for paragraph styles) Different. Templates provide this functionality, but more difficult to handle. Helpful extension: Template Changer (tdf#89286). Experimental design themes: (tdf#45176, tdf#90497) Supported ("document themes")
Use of LaTeX syntax for formulas Not supported. Extension: TexMaths Supported. Ability to type math using the LaTeX syntax (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version)
Vertical alignment (top/center/bottom) of content on page Not supported (tdf#36117), workarounds via frame/table Supported
Picture styles & additional effects Not supported (tdf#59906), but effects are preserved on import and export. Supported
View changes in the right margin in "track changes" mode Not supported (tdf#34355) Supported
Diagonal borders in tables Not supported (tdf#51665) Supported
Extended reading mode of documents Not supported (tdf#55168) Supported
Collapse and expand parts of a document Not supported (tdf#47746) Supported
Instant messaging while collaborating on document Not supported Supported ([56])
Minor Feature Differences LO Writer 6.1 MS Word 2016 / 365
Protected cells in tables (allows better creation of forms) Supported Not supported
Open erroneous .doc files Better recovery mode ([57],[58]) More frequently denies opening those files
Wizard to create personalized letter templates Supported Not supported
Import & Export Unified Office Format text Supported Not supported
Import & Export AportisDoc (Palm), PocketWord documents Supported (requires Java) [59] Not supported
Import of AbiWord files Supported Not supported
Import of eBook formats: FictionBook 2.0, BroadBand, Plucker (Palm), eReader (Palm), zTXT (Palm), TealDoc (Palm), PalmDoc (Palm) Supported Not supported
Import of legacy Mac OS word processing documents: MS Word for Mac (1-5.1), MS Works for Mac (1-4), ClarisWorks/AppleWorks, Write Now, MacWriteII/MacWritePro, DOCMaker 4, FullWrite Professional, HanMac Word-K/J, LightWayText for Mac 4.5, Mariner Write Mac Classic 1.6-3.5, MindWrite Document, Nisus Writer Mac Classic 3.4-6.5, TeachText/SimpleText 1, Tex-Edit 2, WriterPlus, Z-Write 1.3, eDOC 2, Acta Mac Classic, BeagleWorks/WordPerfect Works 1, GreatWorks, MacDoc 1, MoreMac 2-3, RagTime for Mac 2-3 Supported Not supported
Import of DOS/Windows legacy word processing documents: Microsoft Word for DOS, Microsoft WinWord 5, Microsoft Word 6.0 / 95, Microsoft Write, Hangul WP97 and Text 602 (T602), Lotus WordPro Supported Not supported
Logo toolbar and interpreter supported Not supported
Format text of all comments in document Supported Not supported
Conditional text Supported ([60], [61](PDF) [62]) Partially supported ([63], [64])
Automatic replacement of Emojis supported. Additional toolbar control to insert Emojis (experimental: tdf#100100) Manual creation of replacement lists
Number of columns per table in document Unlimited columns Limited to 63 columns
Multi-line headings for chapters Multi-line headings for chapters by allowing a line break as separator between a chapter number and its name (in Chapter Numbering dialog) Only via work-around [65]
Maximum page size 300cm x 300cm 55.87cm x 55.87cm
Bibliographic features Basic inbuilt support. Excellent free extensions: e.g. Zotero, Bibus, JabRef as well as proprietary extensions. Inbuilt support. Excellent free extensions: e.g. Zotero as well as proprietary extensions.
Advanced find & replace / Special characters Partial (tdf#38261). See List of Regular Expressions. Extension: Alternative dialog Find & Replace for Writer Supported
Complex Outline numbering / Multilevel list Different numerically equivalent format not supported (tdf#35217) Supported
Default keyboard shortcuts Less default shortcuts ([66]) More default shortcuts ([67])
Add watermarks to pages Support for text watermarks. Workaround for picture watermarks via adding image to header/footer. Supported (text and picture watermarks)
Complex/rich text formatting in comments (e.g. bullet points, text color, images, tables) Not supported. Some formatting features are supported, e.g. font type, font size, bold, italics, underline, text alignment (align, centered, justified). (tdf#81458) Supported
Document/text translation Not supported (tdf#34058), extension: TradutorLibreText. Supported ([68])
Decorative page borders Not supported (tdf#39270) Supported
Horizontal split view of the same document Not supported (tdf#31481), workaround: Windows > New Window to clone document window. Supported
Outline view Not supported (tdf#38262), workaround: Navigator > Content View to drag and promote/demote headings Supported
Draft view Not supported (tdf#67698) Supported
Upload to blog servers Not supported, extension: Sun Weblog Publisher. Supported (Sharepoint Blog, Wordpress, Blogger, Windows Live Spaces, Community Server, TypePad, MetaWebLog API)
Digital pen usage / ink gestures Not supported Supported [69]. (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version)

Spreadsheet applications: LibreOffice Calc vs. Microsoft Excel

Major Feature Differences LO Calc 6.1 MS Excel 2016 / 365
Spreadsheet functions (for details see Functions comparison of LibreOffice Calc and Excel) 504 functions (25 functions unique to Calc) 467 functions (13 functions unique to Excel)

Functions not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version: MAXIFS, MINIFS.

Functions not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version: CONCAT, IFS, TEXTJOIN, SWITCH.

Comparison of two spreadsheet files Supported Not supported
Page styles (in addition to cell styles) Supported Not supported
Hyphenation of text in cells Supported Not supported
AutoSpellcheck / Spelling as you type Supported Not supported ([70])
Export to XHTML Supported Not supported
Exporting of a single chart as image (e.g. jpg, png, svg, pdf) Supported Not supported
OpenFormula standard Largely supported Partial
Keep the copy of cells (usability of copy&paste) Supported. (Copy of cells is kept for pasting, even if the user does other tasks like typing or inserting cells) Supported in Windows rental version, not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version.
Import of Apple Numbers spreadsheet documents Support for Numbers v1-3 [71], see also this comparison Not supported
Maximum number of columns per sheet 1,024 (tdf#50916) 16,384 (256 in compatibility mode)
Table styles View ▸ Toolbars ▸ Tools ▸ Choose Themes as well as Format ▸ AutoFormat provide part of this functionality. (tdf#77569, tdf#44762,tdf#44763) Supported
Record a macro Limited support [72] Supported
Insert a graphic into a spreadsheet header or footer Partially supported; inserted image cannot be resized nor cropped, usability issues. (tdf#74146) Supported
Statistical / Analysis toolkit Built-in Data Statistics Wizard with additional features: Chi2-test, Logarithmic regression, Power regression Add-on, not activated by default. Additional features: Fourier analysis, Histogram, Random number generation, Rank and percentiles, and some more detailed options.
Chart styles Not supported (tdf#62925, tdf#62540, tdf#39097) Selection of some pre-set chart styles and layouts
Power Pivot⁠Wikipedia logo v3.svg features Not supported Supported
Additional chart types: Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto, Box & Whisker (Box plot), Treemap (Mosaic), Sunburst, Funnel Not supported (tdf#74665, tdf#81530,tdf#70361,tdf#72992, tdf#97832) Supported.
Relationships between tables, based on matching data in each table Not supported (work around: using function VLOOKUP) Supported ([73])
Integration of external data sources Not supported. Extension: New Jaguar Calc add-in provides SQLREQUEST function and Queryconnector provides graphical interface. Queries and data sources via "Power Query" and "Power BI" [74]. (SQL.REQUEST removed in favor of Power Query since MS Excel 2010)
Forecasting data to predict future trends Supported. Extended set of forecast functions (based on exponential smoothing algorithm) Supported. Forecast functions and forecast charts (based on exponential smoothing algorithm) (not supported in macOS version)
Import MS Access databases Via ODB file connected to database (needs MS Access installed on the system) Supported
Multi-Core Processing / multithreading Parallel formula compiling on the CPU. OpenCL/GPU threading in Calc core ([75],[76]). Multithreading is work in progress: tdf#65046, [77], Presentation "Making Calc Calculate in Parallel". Starting in Excel 2010, the following features use multi-core processors: saving a file, opening a file, refreshing a PivotTable (for external data sources, except OLAP and SharePoint), sorting a cell table, sorting a PivotTable, and auto-sizing a column.

For operations that involve reading and loading or writing data, such as opening a file, saving a file or refreshing data, splitting the operation into two processes increases performance speed. The first process gets the data, and the second process loads the data into the appropriate structure in memory or writes the data to a file. In this way, as soon as the first process begins reading a portion of data, the second process can immediately start loading or writing that data, while the first process continues to read the next portion of data. Previously, the first process had to finish reading all the data in a certain section before the second process could load that section of the data into memory or write the data to a file. ([78], [79])

Export generic XML Not supported Supported
Minor Feature Differences LO Calc 6.1 MS Excel 2016 / 365
Flexible CSV export Supported ([80], [81]) Not supported
Advanced find & replace / regular expressions / special characters Supported (List of Regular Expressions) Not supported
View clone of spreadsheet in new window Independent window Cannot be moved outside the application window
Median in PivotTable Supported tdf#61700 Not supported [82]
Chart type Stepped lines for XY (Scatter) graphs Supported Not supported
Use English function names Possibility to switch between function names in local language and English Not supported
Import & Export Unified Office Format spreadsheet Supported Not supported
Import of DOS/Windows legacy spreadsheet formats: Lotus 1-2-3, Quattro Pro (v1-5.5 DOS; v1.0-6.0 Windows), Microsoft Works spreadsheet, Microsoft Multiplan (v1-3 DOS) Supported Not supported
Import of Classic Mac OS legacy spreadsheet formats: BeagleWorks, ClarisWorks, Claris Resolve, GreatWorks, MacWorks, Wingz, Microsoft Multiplan (v1.11) Supported Not supported
Import & Export Pocket Excel Supported (requires Java) [83] Not supported
Ability to rotate entire chart Supported Not supported
PDF export of comments Export of comments according to PDF specification Not supported
Property mapping functionality for charts (conditional chart colors/borders) Supported Not supported (Only available: Inverting colors for negative values)
Import from Gnumeric Supported (not available on Windows, see tdf#94834) Not supported
Export cell range selection or a selected group of shapes (images) as .png or .jpg image Supported Not supported
Export sheet/table as .png image Supported Not supported
Formatting of cells More detailed: Number formats: more flexible use of "Format Code" for custom adjustments, leading zeroes, language setting, percentages without percentage sign, thousands separator for percentages; Font: overligning of text, relief (embossed, engraved), outline, shadow, underline of individual words, spacing settings, kerning; Borders: shadow, spacing to contents; Protection: hide cells when printing. Less features
Additional cell format types Number format "Boolean value". Engineering notation. Natural language number format (spelling out numbers in various languages. Easy work around for missing US zip code and US phone number formats. Partial, engineering notation via custom formats.
Support negative year date (BCE) Supported. Partially support, using work-arounds.
Conditional formatting: icon sets 2 additional smilies icon sets. No reverse icon order (tdf#61313). Customization of icon sets, e.g. reverse icon order.
Advanced find & replace / Cell Format Partial (Styles supported, Cell Format not supported) Supported
Formulae with entire columns or entire rows Partial (tdf#34094, tdf#92452, tdf#92453) Supported
Default keyboard and/or mouse shortcuts [84] Less default shortcuts ([85], tdf#98259, tdf#92452, tdf#92453) More default shortcuts ([86], [87], [88])
Sheet protection options (allow users certain actions in protected sheets) Supported for select protected/unprotected cells and insert/delete rows/columns. Supported for select protected/unprotected cells, insert/delete rows/columns, format cells/columns/rows, insert hyperlinks, sort, use AutoFilter/Pivot Table reports, edit objects/scenarios.
Chart: Automatically vary colours by point Not supported (only manually) Supported
Chart type: xyz / surface charts Not supported, basic workaround [89] (tdf#51670) Supported
Chart type: pie of pie (bar of pie) Not supported (tdf#50934) Supported
Map charts and 3D geospatial visualization tool Not supported (via extension GeOOo) Map charts and "3D Maps". (Map charts not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version)
Different chart types for different data series Not supported (tdf#35629) Supported
Printing of selected chart only Not supported, workarounds [90], [91] (tdf#45893) Supported
Quick analysis feature Not supported Supported
Flash fill Not supported (tdf#109003). Some (partial) workarounds suggested here tdf#109003#c1. Supported
Chart recommendations Not supported Supported
'Publishing' spreadsheet for online team meetings Not supported Supported
Sparklines (to give a quick overview of the trend in a data range) Not supported, extension: EuroOffice Sparkline Supported
Add points to a line, possibility to bend lines Not supported (tdf#36943) Supported
Cell background options Background color (bugs regarding pattern tdf#31205 and gradient tdf#49177). Extension: Hatch Patterns for Cells Background color, pattern, gradient
Copy only visible cells Not supported (tdf#36466), extension: Copy only visible cells Supported

Presentation software: LibreOffice Impress vs. Microsoft PowerPoint

Major Feature Differences LO Impress 6.1 MS PowerPoint 2016 / 365
Hyphenation support Supported Not supported
Export to XHTML Supported Not supported
Export to HTML Supported Not supported (removed feature since MS Office 2013)
Export to Flash format (SWF) Supported Not supported
Export to vector graphic formats: SVG, EPS Supported Not supported
Presentation remote control for smartphones/tablets For Android smartphones/tablets, iOS (iPhone/iPad), and Pebble smartwatches. For WindowsPhone 8 and Android (smartphones only, no Office 2013 RT), but with additional features for Excel and Word
3D slide transitions ​macOS, Linux, Windows ​macOS, Windows
Edit embedded videos Via external programs Directly in the program
Comments and reply to comments Partial Supported
Animated effects Supported, but problems with: spinning text (tdf#87958), pixelated (tdf#87959), wobble/shake/vibrate (tdf#87960), objects stuck (tdf#88196) Supported
Trim embedded video or audio Not supported Supported (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version)
Zooming features for presentations (Prezi inspired) Not supported (tdf#38263) Supported (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version) [92]
Slides editable during presentation Not supported (tdf#34965) Supported
SmartArt diagrams Not supported (tdf#37932), solution: smArt extension Supported
Save highlights and drawings during presentation Not supported (tdf#51928) Supported
Compare presentations Not supported Supported
Broadcast presentation on the Internet Only via export to PDF or SWF Supported. Additional support to publish to Microsoft Stream video-sharing site (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version)
Animated diagrams Not supported Supported
Record a slide show Not supported (tdf#34959) Supported
Slide design suggestions Not supported Supported Powerpoint "Designer" (not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version)
Navigate presentation using a Bluetooth pen Not supported Supported (not available in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version)
Minor Feature Differences LO Impress 6.1 MS PowerPoint 2016 / 365
Number of slide layouts 12 9
Text background colour in text boxes Supported Not supported
PDF export of comments Export of comments according to PDF specification Not supported
Import & Export Unified Office Format presentation Supported Not supported
Export to graphics formats: MET, PBM, PICT, PGM, PPM, RAS, XPM Supported Not supported
Import of Apple Keynote files Support for Keynote v1-6 [93] Not supported
Embedding of fonts in presentation file Supported Supported on Windows. No support for embedding fonts in PowerPoint on macOS, although displayed
Maximum page size 300cm x 300cm (Draw and Impress) 142.22cm x 142.22cm
Editing of master slides Limited editing, has been a GSOC 2013 project ([94]). Powerful editing
Default keyboard shortcuts Less default shortcuts ([95]) More default shortcuts ([96], [97])
Recognition of text from ink drawings Not supported Yes (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in macOS version. Only available on Windows 10)
Automatically suggesting presentation outline from online sources by entering subject Not supported "QuickStarter feature (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version and not supported in Windows version)
"Morph" transition type Not supported Yes (Not supported in MS Office 2016 sales version)
Creation of automatically starting presentations Not supported, extension: ImpressRunner Supported
Export presentation to video formats Not supported (tdf#34959) Supported to .mp4 and .wmv formats. Export up to 4K resolution (on MS Windows only)
Slide zoom and pan Not supported (tdf#38263) Supported
Option to save as picture presentation Not supported (tdf#93589) Supported

Database program: LibreOffice Base vs. Microsoft Access

Major Feature Differences LO Base 6.1 MS Access 2016 / 365
Available on all operating systems supported by the office suite Yes MS Access not available on macOS, online and mobile OS versions
SQL syntax highlighting Supported Not supported
Native connectors for: MySQL/MariaSQL, PostgreSQL, Novell GroupWise Supported No, via ODBC
Integration of Mozilla Thunderbird address book, KDE address book, Evolution LDAP and storage, Windows system address book Supported Not supported
Native JDBC driver Supported Not supported
Connect to ODF spreadsheet (Calc) file format Supported Not supported
Database engine FirebirdSQL 3.0, HSQLDB 1.8.x (deprecated). In LibreOffice 6.1 HSQLDB is still default for new databases. Migration assistant for existing databases to FirebirdSQL available in experimental mode (tdf#51780) Jet
Integration of MS Outlook address book Supported only on MS Windows. No support for Outlook (tdf#56903) and Outlook Express (tdf#56905) address book access in the native 64-bit Windows builds of LibreOffice. Supported
Importing data sources (tables) from within the database application Either via drag & drop from Calc or via drag & drop from another Base window with the data source being open. ([98]) (tdf#51872) Supported
Exporting tables to different file formats from within the database application: Only via drag&drop to LibreOffice Calc or via drag & drop from another Base window with the writable data source being open. ([99]) (tdf#73798) Supported
Edit MS Access files Limited olders driver "Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0" works fine for read/write, while "Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0" driver only reads; (tdf#43187). Driver only works on Windows. Supported
Native connector for: Microsoft SQL Server No, via ODBC Supported
Crosstab queries Not supported but reproducible with Pivot Table with Calc (FAQ 142) Supported
"Linked tables" capability Not supported but you can link text tables (FAQ 143) (tdf#56234) Supported
Imported table from spreadsheets - keep fields format Not supported Supported
Import data from XML, HTML Not supported Supported
Minor Feature Differences LO Base 6.1 MS Access 2016 / 365
Native connector for: dBase databases Supported Not supported (removed feature since Office 2013)
Open LibreOffice Base (.odb) files Supported Not supported
Open DOS/Windows legacy formats: Microsoft Works database Supported Not supported
Native connector for: SharePoint lists Not supported Supported
Link or import data from Salesforce and Dynamics 365 Not supported Supported
Web service data connection Not supported Supported
Password protection of database Not supported (tdf#70638) Supported
Calculations in database tables Not supported (tdf#72787) Supported

Extensions: LibreOffice extensions adding outstanding features to LibreOffice

LibreOffice has a complex eco-system of extensions (over 360 on extensions.libreoffice.org and over 800 on extensions.openoffice.org). Additionally to the extensions already mentioned in above comparison table, here is a selection of some extensions adding valuable features to LibreOffice:

LibreOffice Extensions
General office suite: LibreOffice
LibreOffice Writer
  • TexMaths adds an LaTeX equation editor to LibreOffice
  • DMaths adds a comprehensive mathematical tool box to LibreOffice Writer
  • Chemistry allows to insert chemistry formulas as image from formula.
  • COOoder or Code Highlighter provide syntax highlighting for LibreOffice Writer.
  • AddPics creates a Writer document from pictures of scanned pages.
  • Writer's Tools is a set of utilities for frequent writers.
  • Alternative find & replace dialog for Writer.
  • Typography toolbar for advanced use of Graphite smart font features.
  • QR code Generator
  • Transcriber, transcription tool for audio files.
  • Organon, organisation and navigation tool to organize long texts (novels, narrations, scientific works).
  • Template Changer, allows to change the template for an existing document.
  • Libre OCR allows to convert images to editable documents using an external OCR service (based on Tesseract OCR).
  • Footswitch. A transcription tool working wholly within LibreOffice Writer.
  • TradutorLibreText. Tool to translate texts in several languages.
  • Anaphraseus CAT tool. Macro set for Computer Aided Translation similar to famous Wordfast.
  • Writer Rotation Tool, allows to rotate an image in a text document using the mouse, like others graphical objects.
  • File format filters
    • Export Freemind allows to export Writer documents to Freemind mind manager.
    • Writer2LaTex allows to export Writer documents to LaTex.
    • Writer2ePub allows to export to the a free and open e-book standard ePub.
LibreOffice Calc
LibreOffice Impress
  • Export as Images allows to export all the Impress slides or Draw pages as images of JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF format.
  • OpenCards is a free award-winning flashcard learning software.
LibreOffice Draw
LibreOffice Base
  • Access2Base VBA for MSAccess emulator. (installed by default in v6.1 available for download for older versions)
  • BaseDocumenter fully document a LibreOffice Base application.
Accessibility extensions
  • odt2daisy, converts OpenDocument Text (ODT) to digital talking books in the DAISY format (DAISY 2.02, DAISY 3.0 XML and Full DAISY 3.0) for speech synthesis.
  • Read Text, it uses an external program or a web service to read text. Read the selection with Calc, Draw, Impress, Web Writer and Writer.
  • AccessODF, helps authors evaluate and repair accessibility issues in OpenDocument Text and other word processing formats supported by Writer.
  • odt2braille, enables authors to print documents to a Braille embosser and to export documents as Braille files. The Braille output is well-formatted and highly customizable.

See also