Office software suites are an important if not downright critical part of most modern students and workers daily computing routine. For Windows there are several viable options out on the market including WordPerfect X8, LibreOffice, and the one nearly everyone knows - Microsoft Office 2016. Let's take a brief look at what's available to you so that you can figure out which product is right for you.

What's Different Between Office Suites

While much of the common functionality does exist between the apps, there are some key differences. The most obvious one is price. LibreOffice, thanks to open source developers, is completely free while WordPerfect goes for $249 (currently on sale for $100 for Black Friday) and Microsoft Office 2016 Home retails for $149 (though you can find it for $119 on Amazon for Digital Download). Microsoft has really stepped up the game visually in 2013 and 2016 editions but LibreOffice and WordPerfect both have very functional interfaces as well. Many of the mechanical differences are minor nuances but contain little things that might be better for you specifically. Those are the kinds of details that I would recommend checking out visually and I've included relevant videos from the Chris' Tutorials YouTube channel in this post to help you out there.

Office Suite Comparison


Which has the Best Design and Templates?

Without a doubt, Microsoft Office 2016. Could speculate that Microsoft may have the most professional designers on their team hard at work in designing interfaces and templates for Office 2016 and Windows 10 but whatever the case, I think that what they put out looks the best visually. It's more relevant when it comes to templates because a presentation created from your templates is going to reflect on you when presenting in a meeting. For any of the software you can find new or design your own templates but it's important that the ones in the box are good because that's what most people will default to. You can see some of them in action with this video.

Why are Office Suites so Similar

Dig a bit into the packages that are out there and you'll notice that they have almost the same functionality. Each package comes with a word processor, a spreadsheet manager, and a presentation creator. The reason for this is simple. The functions that they serve are essential and they would not be competitive software packages if one offered it but the other didn't. Unlike many mobile apps that you can find on Android and iPhone devices, you can't get away with not having a way to type documents up in your day to day routine. It's just one of the reasons why having at least one of these suites or similar apps are essential.

Which Office Suite Would I Go With?

The short answer is for a student without money to spend, stick with LibreOffice because it has excellent functionality for it's free price point. For those who are professional, anyone would respect if not expect the Microsoft Office decision. That said, there are definitely things I like about WordPerfect's mechanics as well. Being able to drag margin lines on the document by default is a useful visual way to manage that (as well as gutters and column sizes if your document needs that). Having an easily accessible symbols menu is handy in an office suite when you get tired of looking up symbol codes online. Of course, a symbols menu exists in LibreOffice and Word as well but the menu is considerably more confusing.

If you need a bit more information, try watching this comparison between Microsoft Office 2016 and LibreOffice