Sunday, March 31, 2013

Consider Migrating to use of the free LibreOffice software suite


The Document Foundation just released a white paper to help individuals and organizations migrate to use of LibreOffice -  a high quality, free and open source personal productivity and office software suite. This is an alternative many researchers and students of history ought to seriously consider using. See Migrating to LibreOffice to promote software and document freedom.

LibreOffice is the leading free and open source 'Personal Productivity' suite of office software for computers using MS Windows, MacOS X and GNU/Linux. It offers six feature-rich applications for all document production and data processing needs: Writer for text, Calc for spreadsheets, Impress for presentations, Draw for drawings, Base for databases, and Math for mathematical annotations.

LibreOffice is designed to address both personal and office productivity needs. The software is deployed on millions of personal computers (PC), including those of the French government and many other regions, provinces and cities all over Europe and around the world. It is being used by organizations in almost every sector of the economy, e.g. healthcare, education, government, business. See LibreOffice Infographic.

LibreOffice adopts the ISO standard Open Document Format (ODF), recognized by governments and many other organizations across the globe. It is based on true open standards as the default format for all office documents. ODF files can easily be recognized by the filename extensions – odt for text documents; ods for spreadsheets; odp for presentations; odg for drawings; odb for databases;  and odf for mathematical formulas. It also allows one to save documents in a form of editable hybrid 'open PDF' format.

This 'open' approach represents a significant improvement with regards to document interoperability, which is often impossible to obtain with many proprietary office software solutions. Remember, LibreOffice has the ability to accept, edit, and email documents in almost all available forms: ODF, PDF, and MS Office formats.

LibreOffice installs only free fonts, which are designed to be compatible with every operating system and therefore able to further increase interoperability by helping to maintain the same layout even if the document is accessed on a different  operating system from the one used to create it.  Learn more about the latest release - LibreOffice 4.0

Office software suites are an integral component of any workflow, either personal or organizational. Switching to LibreOffice for personal use is relatively easy. However, migrating to LibreOffice can be a more complex endeavor for organizations due to resistance to change inherent in group dynamics and issues related to the integration of the office suite into the organization's existing IT architecture and infrastructure.

On the other hand, the migration to LibreOffice represents an excellent opportunity to rethink many of the organization's existing internal business processes – while also generating considerable savings by avoiding the purchase of costly, commercially licensed products.  See Migrating to LibreOffice to promote software and document freedom.

Learn more about LibreOffice and many other high quality free and 'open source' resources for use by individuals and organizations, e.g. application software, IT utilities & tools, supporting organizations, standards.  Visit the COSI 'Open' History & Research web site.


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