For those looking into switching from Windows to Linux, you might be surprised to learn that using Microsoft Office isn’t something that is natively supported on this platform. Don’t go blaming the Linux platform for this however, this is strictly Microsoft’s choice and they’ve made it very clear that they aren’t interested in supporting Office for Linux users.

Thankfully there are some alternatives that will suit the needs of most people. While in some cases it may be necessary to lean in the direction of Microsoft’s answer to an Office suite, most people not in the enterprise environment will do just fine with the options listed here.

Linux Office Suites
Photo by Ivan Walsh/em>

KOffice – Considered to be the KDE desktop office suite for those using KDE on their Linux desktops, using this office suite is a natural fit for most people. It’s easy to learn, logical in its layout and totally worth looking into.

GnomeOffice – Designed for use on the GNOME desktop, GnomeOffice provides all the functionality you could ever want. While it’s not as attractive as KOffice, it has most of the same benefits. I also have found it’s less theme oriented than KOffice, as Evince and Inkscape don’t feel like software that is part of any sort of suite per se.

OpenOffice/LibreOffice – Technically two different projects, it’s basically the same in terms of user experience. Arguably the best out of out of all of the office suites, I have been a happy user of Open Office for years. While I would suggest trying out each of the above options, I have found that generally speaking OpenOffice provides the most acceptable experience regardless of the Linux distribution.

Why not KOffice? Because you might not wish to install all of the needed KDE libraries on a GNOME based release like Ubuntu. Doable, yes. But this doesn’t translate into the best.