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Product Evaluation Technical Report
Microsoft Word vs LibreOffice Writer
Computer Training and Tech Writing
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Executive Summary
This document is a Product Evaluation Technical Report and a recommendation for the adoption
of a computer software application. The software in the evaluation study is Microsoft Word and
LibreOffice Writer. Microsoft Word is a commercial software application from Microsoft and
LibreOffice Writer is an open-source software application from LibreOffice.
Five salient features which are most common from both the applications are discussed in this
document. Spelling and grammar check feature is available in both packages and users of both
software find it quite handy for grammatical and spelling proofread for their documents.
Accessibility is another most important feature which both the software possess. They both are
supported on multiple platforms and apps across the globe. Some popular platforms include
Microsoft Windows, MAC, and apps for IOS and Android. Microsoft Word takes the lead here
as it is supported on IOS and Android apps, which LibreOffice Writer does not.
Another very important and eye-catching feature for both products is the user interface. Users in
either of the software environment can quickly understand different icons and can easily find
commands they want to use. Microsoft Word also takes the lead in the user interface layout.
Also, both the applications support different sets of languages for the users who prefer languages
other than English.
Last but not the least, a prominent feature that is quite popular in the industry these days is the
adoption and integration of cloud services. Using these services in LibreOffice Writer is not that
easy as it somehow does not directly support. But for Microsoft Word, using these services is
hassle-free as it has built-in cloud services from Microsoft and integrates well.
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Feature Comparison
Spelling and Grammar Check
There is hardly any visible difference in spelling and grammatical check feature in Microsoft Word and
LibreOffice Writer. They both display similar output errors. Figure 1a shows how spelling and grammar
check works in Microsoft Word.
Spelling error are
identified as wavy red
Grammatical errors are identified
as blue wavy line
Figure 1a: Spelling and Grammar Check in MS Word
Wrong spelled words are underlined with red wavy lines and grammatical errors in a sentence is
underlined as blue wavy lines. This feature comes built-in in Microsoft Word.
Spelling and grammar check works very similarly in LibreOffice Writer. Figure 1b shows how it
is displayed in Writer.
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Spelling errors are underlined in
red wavy lines.
No detection for grammatical error
since the sentence is grammatically
Figure 1b: Spelling and grammar check in LibreOffice Writer
From the picture above, we can see the spelling check feature is similar in Libre Writer as we
saw in Microsoft Word. Wrong spelled words are underlined with a red wavy line. However,
there is no detection of the grammatically wrong sentence. It means that you have to install a
dictionary and thesaurus on your own to enable this feature in LibreOffice Writer.
Microsoft Word takes the lead here because it comes built-in with this feature as we compare the
usage of spelling and grammar features in MS Word vs LibreOffice Writer.
Microsoft Word has accessibility on all the industry-known major computing platforms and
mobile apps making it the first choice for the users who share their documents on different
platforms. The supported platforms include:
a. Windows
b. Linux
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c. Android
d. iPhone/iPad
e. MAC
f. Web-Based
g. Windows Mobile
LibreOffice Writer is an open-source application software also making it accessible to all the
major platforms, but it also comes with limitations. Libre Writer is not accessible to certain
platforms which include Windows mobile. So the users on that specific platform are unable to
use Writer and have to opt for Microsoft Word. The supported platforms for LibreOffice Writer
a. Windows
b. Linux
c. Android
d. iPhone/iPad
e. MAC
f. Web-Based
Microsoft Word takes the lead here as it is accessible to all major platforms as compared to its
counterpart which has some limitations with the accessibility.
User Interface
The user interface is the most important feature for any application software as it is the very first
landing point, to begin with. This feature plays a significant role in the decision for the
adaptability of software. Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer both have eye-catching and
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easy-to-understand user interfaces. Microsoft Word comes with option tabs with all the icons
visible on the ribbon toolbar. It is designed in such a way that users can easily locate the desired
icon or command for their document. Even first-time users can easily understand the function of
the icon by just looking at the icons. Figure 2a shows the user interface of Microsoft Word.
Ribbon toolbars which displaying all the
icons and commands.
Figure 2a: User-Interface | Microsoft Word
LibreOffice Writer also has the ribbon toolbar but it is designed differently. Some icons are
displayed on the front but the downside is that a user has to dig in for different options and locate
the desired tool to use. This is not straightforward as we saw in Microsoft Word. Figure 2b
shows the user interface of LibreOffice Writer.
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Icons are displayed but a user also has to click on desired
options and look for the specific commands from the drop
down list. Also some icons are displayed on the side bar. This
user interface could be confusing and time taking for some
users to get used to.
Figure 2b: User-Interface | LibreOffice Writer
Microsoft Office also takes the lead here because the user interface is easy to understand and
saves time by not searching from the drop-down list options as we saw in LibreOffice Writer.
Supported Languages
Microsoft Word comes with a set of fully supported languages for users in different users. These
languages include:
a. Chinese (China)
b. English (Canada, United Kingdom, United States)
c. French (France)
d. German (Germany)
e. Italian (Italy)
f. Spanish (Mexico and Spain)
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LibreOffice Writer also comes with a built-in set of languages for the users of different users.
The supported languages include:
a. English
b. Chinese
c. German
d. Hindi
e. Japanese
f. Spanish
g. French
h. Russian
i. Italian
j. Dutch
k. Portuguese
l. Turkish
m. Swedish
LibreOffice Writer takes a visible lead here when it comes to supported languages. As we can
see it support a whole list of languages as compared to its counterpart, Microsoft Word does not.
Cloud Services
A prominent and relatively new feature that is quite popular among users is the use of cloudbased services to store and retrieve their documents from wherever and whenever they want.
Microsoft Word comes with the built-in Microsoft OneDrive, which is a cloud-based file storage
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service available to Microsoft Office users free of charge up to 5 GB of storage. Users can opt
for higher storage solutions from Microsoft as per their requirements. This feature gives users the
freedom not to purchase extra storage units and also loosen their burden from the extra cost.
LibreOffice Writer on the other hand does not give its users an extra advantage of cloud-based
storage solutions for their documents. If you opt to use Libre Writer, you have to use other
storage solutions that are available free on the internet. One of such solutions is Drop Box, which
is available free and easy to use. All you have to do is make an account with your preferred email
and you are good to go with syncing your Libre Writer documents online.
Both Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer offer the basic set of features which in many cases
fulfill the requirement of a common user, which include document creation, editing, printing,
saving, sharing.
However, the most noticeable difference between both software applications is how they
integrate on different computing platforms and features related to cloud-based services.
Microsoft Word takes clear leads in both areas. Microsoft Word users can create and open files
from anywhere using Microsoft OneDrive and it also enables its users to use their services on
multiple platforms such as Windows, MAC, Android, IOS, and iPad.
I am confident that this report will help you in understanding the key features and differences of
both applications and why one is better than the other. My recommendation is to adopt Microsoft
Word as it integrates well with all computing platforms and also it comes with the free cloudbased service, Microsoft OneDrive.
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1. Office Insiders. (n.d.). Retrieved from Office Insiders website:
2. Financesonline.com. (n.d.). Microsoft Word vs LibreOffice 2021 Comparison |
FinancesOnline. [online] Available at:
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