Microsoft graphs and charts are easy to work with. They are created from data in an Excel spreadsheet. Then they can be inserted into a Word document or PowerPoint presentation, where they also can be edited.
This makes it easy for students and professionals to insert charts into reports and presentations as long as they are using Microsoft Office.
However, Microsoft’s charts do not work as easily outside of the suite. Many people may want to post their charts in a blog or Web page. They may want to email it to colleagues or send it to them during a chat session on Skype or a similar application.
Others may want to include a chart in a larger graphic element with professional drawing applications, such as Photoshop or Illustrator.
These require charts to be saved as images. The images are then inserted into a document or attached to a chat.
Excel requires the user to perform several steps to save a chart as an image. There are several different ways to do it.
LibreOffice Calc is different. It allows charts created from its data to be exported into several graphic and image formats with one simple step.
This article covers the steps it takes to save a chart as an image in Calc and Excel. It also covers the formats they can be saved in.
Office suites are almost as old as the personal computer, and like the personal computer, they have evolved over the decades. Modern office suites can open and edit universal formats and directly connect to the Internet.
Two of the most popular office suites are free for everyone and work well with each other: LibreOffice and Google Drive. Both are compatible with almost every operating system.
LibreOffice was designed to work equally well on Windows, Mac, Linux distros, and several other operating systems. Google Drive can be interacted with most Web browsers. It officially supports FireFox, Chrome, Safari, Explorer, and Edge. Firefox and Chrome have versions for the previously mentioned operating systems.
Photographs and graphics have been used in text documents since desktops started having GUI interfaces in the early to mid 1980s. Users had to copy and paste images into documents created by those early word processors.
As technology evolved, different file formats and applications that create them have come and gone. Since office-suite applications have been the standard tools used to create documents to share with others for various business and personal purposes, many of these image formats can be integrated into documents created by them.
One key difference between LibreOffice and Microsoft Office are the organizations behind them.
Office is owned by one of the largest technology companies in the world. It charges for its office suite and gives the version that runs on its operating system the most features and applications. The corporation's goal is to sell its latest versions of Office to as many people as possible.
LibreOffice is developed by the Document Foundation, a non-profit organization with a guiding manifesto that posits that everyone should have equal access to an office suite, regardless of their ability to pay or their native language. It also maintains that the individual user should retain intellectual property rights over their documents, as stated in its manifesto.
The non-profit nature of LibreOffice has made the suite a good digital preservation tool. Digital preservation is a process of making sure digital information is usable and accessible, regardless of the applications used to create it are still available or not. LibreOffice uses open formats and standards, which are essential to digital preservation, and digital preservation is important to retaining an individual's intellectual property rights.
Many users have temporarily lost their property rights because they have old documents in formats from office applications that are defunct, or newer versions of applications no longer support their old formats.
When you click Open in one of LibreOffice's applications and click File drop-down menu, a list with more than 100 formats will appear. This list is composed of modern and legacy formats for text editors, spreadsheet, and presentation applications.
Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint formats are in the list, of course, but it also includes Apple Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, as well as Corel WordPerfect, Quattro Pro 6.0, and several other Corel formats. Some of the legacy formats include Lotus WordPro and 1-2-3, ClarisWorks/AppleWorks, and Microsoft Works.
LibreOffice supports all of these formats because the Document Foundation values users retaining intellectual property rights. It allows them to open their documents and migrate them to open formats, such as OpenDocument Text. OS-College has a Web page with the list of formats for LibreOffice.
Microsoft Office does not have an exstensive list of formats like LibreOffice has, though version 2016 can open Office 97-2003 format documents in compatibility mode, and they can be converted to the latest Office formats (XML-based and open) or OpenDocument Formats. The latest version cannot open older Microsoft formats, however.
The XML formats that Microsoft has been its standard for that past decade or so are easier to examine with other applications than their previous ones. However, it has zero interest in allowing users to open legacy formats from other office applications, so they can migrate them to these XML formats.
This means that LibreOffice is a better preservation tool than Microsoft Office. While this may not be a reason to ditch the most popular office suite in the world for the open-source one. It may be a reason to include the latter in your toolbox of applications.
You can use LibreOffice, either by installing it or running the PortableApps version on a USB drive, to open the older documents and migrate them to and OpenDocument or office open format (docx, xlsx, pptx). This can be done by simply performing a Save As.