Microsoft Office on Linux


So, you have decided to give Linux a go, and are pretty happy with choosing your own desktop environment, making loads of tweaks and what not! And now, you decided to install the operating system on your home PC. Suddenly, a bizarre situation pops up. The software that you used to install by clicking on icons on windows, no longer work on Linux! Now what? How will you complete the assignment you need to submit next Monday, or create the presentation that you were supposed to present in front of the classroom, or your boss?

The point here is that, Linux contains replacement for almost every software ever made for Microsoft Windows. And, you can also install windows-based software on Linux, though the experience is not the same on both the platforms, because they don't share a lot of code. There are some alternatives to using Microsoft office on Linux, some are listed below:

1. Installing Microsoft Office itself.

This is probably the method you have been looking for, if you want the same old Microsoft office to run on your box. The Linux operating system does not support the installer for Microsoft office, hence, you will need a compatibility layer in the middle. This compatibility layer is called wine. You can learn more about wine here. To install wine on your operating system, simply open the terminal, by either pressing Ctrl+Alt+T, or Super+T, or Command+T, and type in:

user@userdir~$ sudo apt-get install wine

Note that you need to type the text after the $ sign. The wine binary is about 170 Megabytes in size and after the installation, you will be able to run windows software, though with some lags and reduced graphics. To overcome this problem, you can install PlayOnLinux, and install Microsoft office from there,

user@userdir~$ sudo apt-get install playonlinux

This will install playonlinux on your system, and from there, you will be able to run Microsoft office after installing it. A paid alternative to playonlinux is the "Crossover" package, from Codeweavers. This seems to run pretty much anything you throw at it without a lag, but is free to use for 14 days, after which you need to pay to use it.

2. Installing office alternatives on Linux.

Using this method, you will be able to run, create and use office documents flawlessly, without any lags but with reduced features. There are a plethora of office suites for Linux, that you can check out and install on your PC to run Microsoft office documents. \Some of them are listed below:

       a. WPS Office.

This office suite has not been around for so long as the other players, at the time of writing this, it is just 2 years old, but is quite efficient to run. It shares a common code base with its android counterpart as the part for linux. It supports both 32 bit and 64 bit architecture, and the community for it is quite huge, providing support for almost anything that you might get stuck on. You can get the binary packages from here. After downloading the package, copy them to your home directory, and open a terminal there and type in the following:

user@userdir~$ sudo dpkg -i wps-office_10.1.0.5672~a21_i386.deb 

You will be prompted for your passoword, and then you can proceed with installation. Note that, the wps-office_10.1.0.5672~a21_i386.deb  in the above code should be replaced with whatever the name of the package you downloaded is.

    b. Apache office and Libreoffice.

These two are probably the best office alternatives that I have found so far, They can be checked out on their sites here:

Apache office is also called open office. Apache office has to be downloaded and installed via prebuilt binaries but Libreoffice can be installed via the terminal.

user@userdir~$ sudo apt-get install libreoffice



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