Microsoft Office

What's an Affordable Office Suite for My Computer?

Libre Office

Episode 1803

Dana from Mission Viejo, CA

Dana recently bought a new Dell computer, but he needs an office program suite. Leo recommends Libre Office. Leo says it's an excellent, open-source office suite, and it will save in Microsoft Office format files. An excellent option. And it's perfectly safe to download and install. It also has all the capabilities of Microsoft Office as well, and you don't have to renew it. It's free.

There is also a free online version of Microsoft Office: it's a web version. All you need is a Microsoft account. It's at

How Can I Backup My Novel?

Microsoft Office 365

Episode 1793

Jeri from Costa Mesa, CA

Jeri has made the shift to writing and is doing a memoir about her life as a pilot. But she's concerned about backing up her data. Leo says it's wise to be concerned. Having a local backup is a good start, but bad things can happen when you least expect it. So Jeri will want to have an off-site backup as well. Leo says having three copies, in two different formats, with one off-site is the way to go. That's called a 3-2-1 backup strategy, and it's based on DPBestFlow by Peter Krogh.

What's a good Office option for my business?

Google Docs

Episode 1740

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Mark wants to know how good the business version of Google Docs is. Leo says that the business version, Google Workspace (formerly called G Suite) is what they use on TWiT to run their daily operations. It's simple and easy, and very affordable. Microsoft Office with One Drive is another option if you want to stay in the Microsoft Universe. It's called SharePoint. That's probably what Mark wants.

Is Subscribing to Microsoft Office Worth the Money?


Episode 1739

Charlie from Castle Rock, CO

Charlie wants to know if Microsoft's Office subscription is worth $70 a year. Leo says he subscribes, but there are just as well open-source alternatives for free. Libre Office is one of them. But there's also the free web version of Office called Office365, available at If he won't have a need for the advanced features of Office, like pivot tables for Excel, then Office365 may be a better choice.

Is Google Docs as good as Microsoft Office?


Episode 1732

David from Anaheim, CA

David is concerned that his office will be moving from Microsoft Office to Google's G Suite. Leo says that Google Docs just like Microsoft Office, but some of the advanced features may be missing. And if you have "custom access" you may need to subscribe to Office 365 to use that feature. For $8 a month, it's not that bad a price. However, if you want to avoid that, Microsoft is also offering next month, a perpetual license for Office 2020. It comes with 1TB of storage. 

An open-source option is Libre Office which is free.

Can Linux run Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office 365

Episode 1724

Jack from Atlanta, GA

Jack is going to be moving to the Philippines soon, and he wants to know if Linux will be able to share the same computer with separate logins. Leo says that Linux actually invented the concept of a multi-user computer with individual accounts. So they've been doing that long before Microsoft did.

Can Linux run Microsoft Office? Linux can also run Microsoft Office by using an app called WINE, but Leo says it's much easier to use the online version of Office. It's pretty much the same. 


Why can't Libre Office read my database files?

Libre Office

Episode 1710

Dale from Dallas, TX

Dale updated to Windows 10, and it screwed up his laptop. He had it all fixed, and it turned out to be a dead hard drive. So he has a new hard drive, but now the program he wrote in Access to collect his library of books won't open in an open-source database like Libre Office, while it worked before. What can he do? Leo says as long as Dale has the original Access database file, he should be able to convert it into something more easily readable by Libre Office. Dale can also try using the free Microsoft Access Runtime utility to read the database file directly.

Can I Run an Older Version of Word on My Computer?

Office 2016

Episode 1628

Sharon from Los Angeles, CA

Sharon has Microsoft Office 2016 and wants to know if she can install that on her computer for a class she's using. Leo says that she could probably try using the Web-based version of Office first. Nearly everything is available for it. But can she install more than one version of office on her PC? She wants to use 16, but her instructor wants her to use a newer version. Leo says she can, but it takes a custom install.

Does Office come with Windows?

Microsoft Office

Episode 1558

John from Los Angeles, CA

John wants to know if Microsoft Office comes with Windows. Leo says it doesn't, but there's an open source option called Libre Office, which is free, and will do most of what MS Office does, including reading all Office document files. Buying Office is very expensive, but he can do a monthly subscription rate, which is about $100 a year for Office Home. It's the most affordable solution.