Using Microsoft Office on Linux

This informative guide will highlight the best way for running Microsoft Office applications within Linux as well as consider alternative applications that you could use instead.

The main Issues With Installing Microsoft Office

It’s potentially easy to run Microsoft Office 2013 using WINE and PlayOnLinux however the results are far from perfect.

Microsoft has released all the Office tools as free versions online and it has all the features you may require for everyday tasks such as writing letters, creating your resume, creating newsletters, creating budgets and creating presentations.

The first few sections in this guide will therefore take a look at showing ways to get access towards the online Office tools as well as highlighting their features.

The end of this guide will reveal another Office applications that you might consider as options to Microsoft Office.

Make use of the Microsoft Office Online Applications

There are lots of top reasons to make use of the Microsoft Office Online tools within Linux:

They work without crashing
They have the freedom
You may use them anywhere
No tricky installation instructions

Let’s consider the reason why you might opt for Microsoft Office in the first place. The truth is that Microsoft Office is still considered to be the best office suite available but many people only use half the normal commission from the features especially when they are using office tools at home.

For this reason, it is worth trying the internet form of Microsoft Office before attempting something drastic for example using WINE to set up office.

You are able to access the online version of Office by visiting the next link:

The various tools available are the following:


You can open any application by clicking on the right tile.

You’ll be asked to sign in with your Microsoft account to use the various tools and when you do not have one you may create one while using link provided.

The Microsoft account is free.

An Overview of Microsoft Word Online

The first thing you will observe when you click on the Word tile is you will discover a listing of existing documents attached to your OneDrive account.

Any existing document already installed in OneDrive could be opened or upload an document out of your computer. You will also watch a quantity of online templates available like a letter template, Resume template and newsletter template. It is possible obviously to create a blank document.

By default you will see the home view which has all the main text formatting features for example deciding on the text style (i.e. Heading, Paragraph etc), the font name, size, whether text is bold, italicised or underlined. You may also add bullets and numbering, alter the indentation, change text justification, find and replace text and manage the clipboard.

You can use the Insert menu choice to show the ribbon for adding tables and many of the features you could require for formatting tables are there including formatting all the headers and every individual cell. The primary feature I noticed missing is the capability to merge two cells together.

Other things on the insert menu allow you to add pictures both out of your machine an internet-based sources. You may also add add-ins that are offered in the online Office store. Headers and footers could be added in addition to page numbers and you may even insert those all important Emojis.

The Page Layout ribbon shows formatting choices for margins, page orientation, page size, indentation and spacing.

Word Online even features a dictionary with spell checker via the Review menu.

Finally you have the View menu which provides option for previewing the document in print layout, reading view and immersive reader.

An Overview of Excel Online

You are able to switch between the products by clicking on the grid in the top left corner. This can bring up a summary of tiles for that other available applications.

Just like Word, Excel begins with a list of potential templates including budget planners, calendar tools and of course the choice to create a blank spreadsheet.

The Home menu provides formatting options including fonts, sizing, bold, italicised and underlined text. You are able to format cells and you can also sort data within cells.

The key thing about Excel online is that the majority of the common functions work correctly so you can apply it the greater common tasks.

Obviously there are no developer tools and there are limited data tools. You can’t for instance connect to other data sources and you can’t create Pivot tables. What you can do however via the Insert menu is create surveys and add all manor of charts including line, scatter, pie charts and bar graphs.

Just like Microsoft Word Online the View tab shows various views such as the Edit View and Reading View.

Incidentally, the File menu on each application allows you to save the file and you can visit a look at recently accessed files for that tool you use.

An introduction to PowerPoint Online

The form of PowerPoint provided online is excellent. It’s bundled with a lot of wonderful features.

PowerPoint is really a tool which you can use to create presentations.

You can add slides towards the project in the same manner while you would using the full application and you may insert and drag slides around to alter an order. Each slide might have its own template and through the Home ribbon you can format the text, create slides and add shapes.

The Insert menu enables you to insert pictures, and slides as well as online media for example videos.

The Design menu assists you to change the styling and background its the slides and it has a number of pre-defined templates.

For every slide you can add a transition to the next slide using the Transitions menu and you may add animations to items on each slide via the Animations menu.

The vista menu enables you to switch between editing and reading view and you can run the slide show right from the start or from a selected slide.

Microsoft Office online has many other applications including Onenote for adding notes and Outlook for sending and receiving email.

At the end of the day this is Microsoft’s response to Google Docs and it has to become said it is an extremely great one.

Options to Microsoft Office

There are plenty of options to Microsoft Office, so you shouldn’t be disheartened if you can’t use it. Like with MS Office, you can select from running applications natively or using online apps.

Linux-native apps include LibreOffice, WPS Office, and SoftMaker.

Google Docs is the best online alternative.

Here is a little bit of info about each of these.


If you are using Ubuntu, LibreOffice has already been installed. It offers:

LibreOffice Writer
LibreOffice Calc
LibreOffice Impress

LibreOffice offers key features that has made MS Office so popular: mail merge, macro recording, and pivot tables. It’s a good bet that LibreOffice is exactly what many people most (if not completely) need most of the time.

WPS Office

WPS Office claims to function as the most compatible free office suite. It offers:

Word processor
Presentation package

The compatibility is often a key issue when choosing a different word processor especially when you’re editing something as important as a resume. In my opinion the main failing of LibreOffice is always that text appears to shift down to the next page with no obvious reason. Loading my resume into WPS certainly appears to resolve this problem.

The actual interface for that word processor within WPS is rather simple with a menu at the very top and just what we’ve become familiar with as a ribbon bar underneath. The word processor within WPS has most of the features you realized of a top package including everything that Microsoft Office’s free versions have to give you. The spreadsheet package with WPS seems to include each of the features that Microsoft’s online for free form of Excel offers. Whilst not as being a clone of MS Office, you can clearly begin to see the influence MS Office has had on WPS.


Before we obtain into this, here’s the deal: It isn’t free. Price ranges from $70-100. It includes:


There isn’t much in Soft Maker that you simply can’t get in a free program. The word processor is certainly compatible with Microsoft Office. TextMaker uses a traditional menu and toolbar system rather than ribbon bars also it looks a lot more like Office 2003 than Office 2016. The older feel and look is persistent in most areas of the suite. Now, that isn’t to say there it’s all regulated bad. The functionality is really excellent and you can do everything that can be done in the free online versions of Microsoft Office, but it is unclear why you need to pay for this over while using free version of WPS or LibreOffice.

Google Docs

How could we omit Google Docs? Google Docs provides all of the features from the Microsoft Online office tools and it is largely because of these tools that Microsoft had to release their very own online versions. If absolute strict compatibility isn’t on your list, you would be silly to look elsewhere to have an online suite.

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