Microsoft Office on Linux

Hi there, so essentially I have a dilemma. I'm not new to Linux at all and have been dual booting for a while and have been fine with libre office as could dual boot windows. But I can no longer do this due to the new laptop and space on the SSD. I have no real reason to use Windows and want to replace it entirely with Garuda but the problem is that I am studying for my postgraduate course in September. In the past I have opened a file made in Libre Office in Microsoft Word and the formatting is all wrong. So my question is, what would you people recommend for someone in my situation? Word through wine? Ah electron app? The website? A virtual machine? Or something else? Thanks lots,

Stick with windows you have answered your own question? sorry for being blut

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Yeah fair enough I appreciate you being blunt instead of any rubbish tbh so thanks. But the thing is it's literally just Microsoft Office so I feel there are alternatives that would be good okay but it's just annoying you know as it's one small thing, like literally Microsoft Word that is stopping me from switching to Garuda. Just wish there was a proper solution.

Libreoffice is continuously improving MSO compatibility, but no sure solution can be provided when dealing with closed source software.

The real issue is not Libreoffice compatibility to MS Office. It is the fact that official agencies, governments, companies etc. are not using open standards for their office or other files formatting. For example, they could use ODT for documents. Then MSO and all OpenOffice alternatives would have identical representation of the files.


May i ask what country you are in?
I ask as in if youare in the uk or Europe they legally have to except the open document format ? why use word

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I've had that happen but it was several years back. WPS Office worked fine. It's in the AUR: AUR (en) - wps-office

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You might want to read this, Microsoft just blew up the only reason you can't use a Linux desktop | ZDNet, looks like you should be fine if you used ofice 365, but it might be too early.


OMG, I just about swallowed my tongue reading that.

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WHy not install Microsoft word using wine?

I'm in a similar situation - sometimes I need to handle complex macros and templates that LibreOffice doesn't display correctly.

You can certainly use Office 365, which ought to be provided by your university, although I have found that documents often revert to previous versions, particularly when saved on SharePoint. Be very, very careful with version control if you go down this route.

You can test other Linux-available software like FreeOffice for compatibility.

If you are hardware-confident, you can upgrade the SSD and continue to dual-boot. It's a 2 minute job on most laptops. You must have a lot of data, though - I can fit a Windows partition and a Linux partition quite comfortably on a 250GB SSD with space left over for over-provisioning.

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Try WPS Office. Then shut up, ya'll. :wink:

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I am UK based but my university seems to mainly accept doc/docx files. I may have misunderstood this however when reading through submission requirements so will check it out.

So you have never had one issue making a file in it and then opening with Word? 100% compatibility basically? If so then that sounds like the best solution if it does doc or docx so I can submit it.

Thanks, I know about Microsoft 365 but that costs money I don't have for a cloud PC and the office 365 applications are very limited versions so not sure that's for me as I need some more advanced features. But thanks it's good to have alternatives here and there.

Well there's plenty of issues with it which is why people generally stick to Libre Office. Could always try it out again but I've had issues like crashes and it not opening.

Ah I see. Yeah I'm sure I have office 365 provided to me by my university but again it's a compatibility thing with Windows Vs Linux. I don't want to risk anything to do with version control so I'll stay away from that personally. And yeah I can easily upgrade hardware, done the ram recently but upgrading the SSD means reinstalling all my stuff and files on Windows which I don't wanna do if I end up dual booting. And currently I only have around 40gb free on a 256gb SSD. Honestly I don't have a clue how I used so much space and have been trying to work it out for a while where it comes from. If I could free a total of 100gb or so I'd happily dual boot. But I don't have spare money for the SSD upgrade right now and the hassle of reinstalling Windows if I do decide to dual boot isn't great...

Another yes for WPS its excellent but some think because its Chinese it must be bad i don't think that way.

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There are certainly alternatives. Here are the ones I have tested quite thoroughly:

  • LibreOffice
  • WPS Office
  • FreeOffice/Softmaker Office
  • OnlyOffice Desktop

None are fully compatible from a formatting or functionality perspective. None is a clear winner as to the most compatible. They all have different strengths and weaknesses. They all struggle with the advanced functionality in Excel and Powerpoint.

If you are talking about Microsoft Word documents most of them will be fine with one caveat. You need to have the Microsoft fonts. If you don't, formatting will be off.

There are other alternatives.

  • Office 365 Online which is a free cloud version of Office. Compatibility is good but the feature set is a bit cut down.
  • If you have at least 8GB of total RAM, you could run a Windows VM.

Well, what is this, toilet paper comparison? Why the hell keep beating around the bush, install a few of them and try them out yourself.

Jesus Christ, software selection by consensus. What'll they think up next?

And get off my lawn, while your at it! :rage:

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LibreOffice allows you to save files in .doc or .docx format. Not a problem at all. Hit 'Save As' and select your format of choice from the filter drop down box. To be on the safe side, as @dalto mentioned, install the Microsoft TTF fonts and use those.

As I mentioned above, It only gets tricky once you are handling complex templates with specific formatting and fields and you need them to display correctly.

If the issue is around handing in essays with relatively simple formatting, it's actually a non-issue.

[EDITED TO ADD:] Office 365 also now handles files in .odt format, which LibreOffice uses natively - I have seen that for myself. There is a fairly good chance your lecturer will be using Office 365 to read your submissions.