Free Spreadsheet Programs

Dear Computer Lady,
A Free Spreadsheet from LibreOffice
I got Windows 7 and I find that Microsoft Works is not there anymore.

I want to do spreadsheets. Can you help?

I have some of your lessons but haven’t seen anything about that.

Thanks, Helen

Dear Helen,

Microsoft has decided to discontinue Microsoft Works, and instead, most new computers with Windows 7 Come with a scaled down version of Microsoft Office, or a 60 day trial of Office.

That leaves you with a few options if you want to use spreadsheets.

First, (at least Microsoft hopes this is your first choice) would be to purchase Microsoft Office. If you purchase the home and student version of Office, it includes Excel (the spreadsheet program), is the least expensive way to purchase Office, and you are allowed to install it on up to three computers in your home.

The advantages to purchasing Office is that it is easy to use, most everyone will be able to open and use your files, and if you need help, there are a lot of classes available for Excel.

There are two other programs that you might want to choose, that are not as universal as Excel, but they are both free, and both should be able to read Excel files, and save files on Excel format so that others can read your files.

Open Office at is the first free office replacement program. OpenOffice is open source software. That means that the source code is publicly available, and there is a large community of people who are always working on improving the program. I have used it off and on for years, and it works great. The spreadsheet program looks and works a lot like Excel, and you have the option to save your files in Excel format. I’m not sure if it is compatible with files from Excel 2010, but it works with older versions of Excel just fine.

LibreOffice is another free, open source office program that contains a spreadsheet application. Just like Open Office, the spreadsheet program is similar to Excel, and it can read and save files in the newest 2010 Excel file format.

To use either OpenOffice or LibreOffice, just head over to the website and download the program. Once it has downloaded, double click on the file to start the install.


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    • sj_kac
    • June 9, 2012

    A year ago I bought a new Dell/Windows 7 Inspiron notebook to replace my 7 year old HP Pavilion notebook. The Dell Inspiron/Windows 7 notebook did not have Windows Works. Fortunately my old HP Pavilion came with the disk for Windows Works. I installed the old 32 bit Windows Works on the new 64 bit Dell/Windows 7 notebook and it works perfect.
    If Helen still has, or can get hold of an old copy of Windows Works it will install and run just fine on Windows 7.

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