OpenOffice Calc Review – Best Free Microsoft Excel Alternative

OpenOffice 3.1 has been around quite sometime and now there is an updated version 3.2 just released on Feb 11th, 2010. Many companies like Oracle (earlier Sun), Red Hatimage, IBM etc have worked on this community driven Office Software suit. Great features and extra stability have been introduced post OpenOffice 3.0. We had earlier carried out a review of OpenOffice Writer. Here is our review on OpenOffice Calc, a worthy alternative to the most popular Spreadsheet software, Microsoft Excel.

Calc Features

  • OpenOffice Calc is Open Source and Free software.
  • Calc is cross platform, runs on Linux, Windows, Mac OS etc.
  • OpenOffice Calc is mostly able to read Microsoft office format like XLS (up to a certain extent XLSX)
  • Native support for Open Document Format (ODF)
  • Supports Macros, Complex Formulas, Graphs
  • Plug-in or Extension support that gives extra features in the form of 3rd party add-on’s to make Calc more interesting.
  • Export to PDF option.
  • Database support with OpenOffice Base.
  • Word Art, Fancy fonts support.
  • Great compatibility with Microsoft Office 1997-2003 file formats.
  • CSV import facility
  • Auto-correction, Spell-check and much much more…

Graph Support – Calc offers a various graph support just like Microsoft Excel. Very easy to plot Graph, modify, rename axes etc.

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Extension Support – Lots of Extensions available on OpenOffice web page. Plenty of customizations are possible.

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Microsoft XLSX Format support – OpenOffice Calc is able to read Microsoft’s new document format not completely but mostly accurately. Here is a XLSX file opened in Microsoft Office 2010 as well as OpenOffice Calc 3.1.

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Office 2010                                                                                             OpenOffice Calc 3.1

Export to PDF option – OpenOffice Calc is able to directly export the current document to PDF which is very handy most of the times.

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Short-comings of OpenOffice Calc

Well, OpenOffice Calc is highly capable but however, at times, Calc seems to be slower compared to Microsoft Excel. Not much compatibility between Microsoft Excel Macros and Calc Macros. XLSX format support is still improving. Extension feature is great but you will have limited extensions to try out though.

All said and done is, OpenOffice Calc is highly capable and challenger to Microsoft Excel. It is free and can be used in Enterprise environment without any legal obligation.

If you have any feature of Calc that you like, then please add a comment below.

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2 comments

  1. Software Review…

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  2. Olanor says:

    I using it for a while now. Calc is a excellent Excel alternative. Love it.

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