I have to write a dissertation for my university. I have to respect various format guidelines, and my professor uses MS Word on his workstation. In my experience, LibreOffice has been faulty when it comes to MS Word compatibility, with many incorrect parameters (happened earlier this month). I can't afford a MS Office licence to install it in Wine, so I'd like to know if there are any alternatives for Linux.
As of right now, LibreOffice is the most compatible word-processor with MS Office.
KingsoftOffice has an interface which is more similar to MS Word than LibreOffice, but the documents made in KingsoftOffice are less compatible with MS Office than the documents made in LibreOffice.
Even though KingsoftOffice has a similar interface (GUI), that doesn't mean that it is compatible with MS Office.
I understand your problem, and I want to give you a good advice: Make the entire document in LibreOffice. Work in LibreOffice, but use MS Office only for final editing.
My advice does not work with complicated files with tables, but is sufficient for university dissertation with text and the occasional simple table. For final editing you can use someone else's MS Office, for example - The MS Office in your universities library.
I know that My proposition is not ideal, but it is a proper solution: Editing mainly with LibreOffice, but using MS Office Word only for compatibility checking and compatibility editing. In some cases it may occur that the document made in LibreOffice is 99% compatible to MS Office Word, in some cases not.
Format editing usually takes less time than creating an entire document in MS Office.
For example, when I learned in university, I wrote my thesis in LibreOffice, but my roommate had legal installation of MS Word. I asked him for his MS Office installation only few times a month, when I need proper MS Word formatting.
Your best bet will be IBM lotus symphony. It is free and most compatible with MS office when compared with Libreoffice/Openoffice. Official Ubuntu binaries are available from their website for both 32bit and 64 bit architecture.Though package says Ubuntu 8.0, worry not it works well on Ubuntu 11.10.
Also don't forget to download and install the service pack 3.
Kingsoft Office has been rebranded as WPS office.
It can be installed, for free, on Windows, Android, OS X and Linux. They provide a .deb file for Ubuntu, and it can be found on the playstore.
It's interface is similar to Word, with the ribbon at the top and the Alt keyboard shortcuts.
It includes a Writer, a Spreadsheet and a Presentation program as part of it - the 3 commonly used office tools. I've used the Writer mostly, but will be looking into the Presentation one soon to see how well it works with PowerPoint (e.g. animations).
I'll add screenshots when I get home.
The original question is dated 2011. The answer is still basically the same in 2016 for a FOSS solution: Apache OpenOffice and/or LibreOffice.
You final paper should be paper hard copy or PDF for an "electronic hard copy". Even different versions of Word can have incompatibilities with the same Wprd .DOC file. All three editors can output to PDF (or you can install a PDF printer to print to and get your PDF that way), and if you and your reader both use the same PDF viewing/printing software, you should both see the same results.
There are a good compatible office suite for Linux, but unfortunately it’s proprietary.
- SoftMaker Office for Linux, a non-subscription licence costs $69.
It provides you with both a Ribbon-inspired UI and a standard toolbar-based UI.