Software Information

Software info: Office suites/desktop publishing software – free and paid-for

Most PC users use an office suite. Therefore, they would like to have one preinstalled on a new PC. However, not many new PC s come with the most popular office suite, MS Office, preinstalled unless it is chosen as an optional extra that is paid for. It is done that way in order to keep the cost of PCs as low as possible as the best way of selling them.

Note that Office is now available for the Apple iPad and that it has an online subscription version called Office 365. If you have a Microsoft account, such as a Hotmail or account, you are provided with 7GB free online storage space in OneDrive (in May 2014), which used to be called SkyDrive, that is part of the account and free Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online and OneNote Online.

If you need an office suite and don’t want to pay for it, you can use the excellent Apache OpenOffice suite from that has a word-processor, spreadsheet, database and presentational application, or LibreOffice from, which provides the same office applications.

The following computer-forum thread provides some useful information on these free apps.

Are Microsoft’s free Office Web Apps good enough for you? –…

Here is a good article on Microsoft Office, Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice:

Two free, full-blown alternatives to MS Office [March 2013] –

Here are the Wikipedia pages for OpenOffice and LibreOffice, respectively, that provide information on their history, development and features:

Ubuntu Linux has replaced OpenOffice with LibreOffice as its included office suite. A decision that probably has something to do with the Oracle takeover of Sun Microsystems, its initial developer and owner, and the transfer of OpenOffice to the Apache Software Foundation. LibreOffice is based on the same source-code as OpenOffice, which is open-source, as the Linux operating system itself is, which means that any developer can develop it.

“LibreOffice is the free power-packed Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base.” –

If you are a home user, Microsoft Office 2016, which contains Word (word-processor), Excel (spreadsheet), PowerPoint (presentational program) and OneNote (an application for organising notes and important information), is currently available from and other suppliers. Any home user or student can buy a copy and it comes with three licences, enabling it to be installed on three PCs. It requires product activation, so any PC you install it on should be online. If you are not online, you will have to phone Microsoft for an activation code. If the software is not activated, after 30 days it can only be used to go online for activation. Office 365 (2016), also known as Home Premium, is Microsoft’s subscription cloud-based service, which is now available for the Apple iPad.

Microsoft Office for Home and Students, Small Business and Apple Mac are available. Search for them in the Microsoft Store and Amazon. I always read through the purchaser reviews on Amazon, many of which provide helpful advice that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Microsoft Office for iPad Hands-On –

In May 2014, Office 2010 could still be obtained new from suppliers such as

Microsoft Microsoft Office for iPad Hands-OnOffice 2010 review –

Here are two free desktop publishing applications:

Scribus Open Source Desktop Publishing –

Serif PagePlus Starter Edition [free] –

In August 2013, the current paid-for version is Serif PagePlus x7, priced at around £82. It was given a five-star Best Buy by Computer Shopper UK/Expert Reviews.

To locate other reviews of office suites or desktop publishing software, you can enter those words as search queries in a search engine.

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