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Calligra vs. LibreOffice: Which Is The More Productive Linux Office Suite?

By Danny Stieben on 17th September, 2013 | Linux |  No Comments

Is LibreOffice the sole worthwhile office suite for Linux users? Possibly not, because of KDE’s Calligra.

LibreOffice, and its predecessor OpenOffice, have long been recognized as the leader in free office suites readily available for all Linux. While it’s certainly the most popular choice among Linux users, it certainly isn’t the only full-fledged office suite intended for that operating-system. Calligra is an additional choice for a total office package.

With two great choices taking place, what one do you select? I compared both of these office suites head-to-head on features, design, and compatibility to see which is the top.

LibreOffice, for anyone how aren’t aware, was forked from OpenOffice’s code back 2010. Sun Microsystems had the rights to OpenOffice back then, but Sun Microsystems was bought out by Oracle - and the ones feared Oracle would shut down the OpenOffice community and turn the project in a closed-source one.

Today LibreOffice s commonly found because the default office suite for some Linux distributions (the sole exception, generally, being distros that try and be lightweight).

LibreOffice includes six total applications: Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Math, and Draw.

Design and Features

LibreOffice looks and functions similarly to Office 97 through Office 2003. It is not like Office 2007+, because it doesn’t will include a ribbon user interface - nor will it probably ever. Most from the functions you will find in Office can be purchased in LibreOffice, although LibreOffice does lack some support for highly advanced or complex functions. There are also some functions that LibreOffice partially supports, in this you can create them, but they’re not to compatible between different office suites. More on that later.


One in the major downsides (still) of LibreOffice isn’t necessary it’s amount of available functions that you can carry out by it, but alternatively the compatibility it's got with the Microsoft Office suite. It offers a excellent amount of compatibility with formats that were around for some time, like .rtf and .doc, nonetheless it still has difficulties with newer formats including .docx.Thankfully, it’s had time to read and write to that format for a time now, so some compatibility is superior to nothing I suppose. Full compatibility won't happen without actually using Microsoft Office, but LibreOffice comes pretty close.

Calligra, a workplace suite usually appropriate for KDE users, is often a project completely independent from LibreOffice. It was forked from KOffice, another office suite the location where the development has stalled. It’s pretty sure that Calligra is considered to be the successor to KOffice.

Calligra includes nine total applications: Braindump, Flow, Karbon, Kexi, Krita, Plan, Stage, Sheets, and Words. Compared to LibreOffice, this includes a mind-mapping tool and a project managing tool - LibreOffice doesn’t include one at all, and Microsoft Office users must spend another few hundred dollars to acquire Microsoft Project.

Design and Features

Caligra’s interface is extremely different from Microsoft Office and LibreOffice. While the welcoming screen may seem a little familiar when compared with Office 2013, that’s where every one of the similarities end. A lot of formatting functions for Calligra are available on the right hand side with the window instead of at the top, therefore the actual editing space for the document doesn’t span completely across the screen, horizontally speaking. It also includes most with the functions that people generally need, though the feature list isn’t quite as complete as LibreOffice’s.


Sadly, Calligra’s compatibility is quite a bit worse than LibreOffice’s. General compatibility among most formats is decent nonetheless it could certainly be better. Also, Calligra supports reading .doc and .docx formats, nevertheless it doesn’t support chatting with either of which. Therefore, Calligra probably isn’t the best choice if you’re going to need to deal with a lot of Microsoft Office users.


While both office suites are decent and also have their own pros and cons, I ought to declare LibreOffice because winner. While I’m quite impressed that Calligra can offer a few more applications (including one for project management), it’s absolutely vital to maintain the highest volume of compatibility possible. Only LibreOffice can offer you the amount of compatibility that you need to be able to assist most Office documents with only a small amount worry as is possible.

Both office suites should be installable via your respective package manager by seeking “libreoffice” or “calligra”. Most applications will also be labeled while using suite within the name; one example is “libreoffice-writer”.

Which office suite would you use? Are there any points that I missed, especially some which you believe make Calligra a better choice than LibreOffice? Let us know inside comments!

Photo Credit:

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