LibreOffice has long since moved on from being an offshoot of the OpenOffice project. It's now the go-to alternative to Microsoft Office, enjoying regular development and a constant tweaking to keep it up to date, stable and secure.

While LibreOffice lacks the slick presentation of rival Windows freebie Kingsoft Office Suite Free and its Office-inspired ribbon interface, it has the major advantage of offering a full set of office applications, including database, drawing package and mathematical tool on top of the requisite word processor, spreadsheet and presentation tool found in most free office suites.

While it’s definitely more navigable than before thanks to better placement of tools and visual previews of styles direct from the main toolbar, it still looks a little dated, despite the refreshed icon sets. Nevertheless, this is still a powerful suite capable of meeting most people's needs, making this zero-cost alternative to Office a valuable tool to have in your armoury.

Ever-improving support for third-party file types (including both new and classic Office formats) means you're not cutting yourself off from industry standards while cross-platform support means you can run LibreOffice on Windows, Mac or Linux without having to retrain yourself to a new way of working each time.

What else is new in LibreOffice 6 (see changelog for more info)?

- Boost your productivity. In LibreOffice 6.0, a new ePUB export filter has been added.
- Edit documents with ease.
- Work smarter with spreadsheets.
- LibreOffice online - your office suite, anywhere.

Note, this is the 64-bit build. A separate 32-bit build is also available for Windows and Linux.

Verdict

Don’t be put off by the dated user interface – LibreOffice is a powerful tool that includes all the core functionality most people will ever need.