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Is LibreOffice truly cross-platform?

asked 2021-01-12 09:58:09 +0100

Owl gravatar image

updated 2021-01-12 12:04:50 +0100

E.g. I hope to create an Impress presentation, complete with timings, images, videos etc. in LibreOffice for Mac and find the file working exactly the same in LibreOffice for Windows. That would be true cross-platform portability.

Thanks for all responses to date, much appreciated. To clarify the ambition:

As a small group of volunteers, with an almost equal mix of Mac and Windows home devices and each working from home, we seek a means of creating presentations, such as outlined above, exchanging the files, and PLAYING them reliably on each others computers and on our church's A/V system. We had hoped that installing LibreOffice on all the devices would enable this. If this is not the case we may have to seek a different solution. Any further ideas welcome!
Thanks.

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This is what is supposed to happen but you must be aware that fonts are not universal. Those you select may not exist on the other platform.

What is exactly your question? Please, edit it to provide more information.

Don't use an answer (this is a Question & Answer site, not a forum). Answers are reserved for solutions.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2021-01-12 10:16:12 +0100 )edit
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in addition to @ajlittoz and more generally: Of course applications use services of the respective operating system and hence everything served by the operating system may be different on different platforms (file picker dialogs, audio & video support and probably more ...). In that sense there is no such thing you called "truly cross-platform"

Opaque gravatar imageOpaque ( 2021-01-12 10:32:05 +0100 )edit
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No it is not "truly cross-platform" in your terms. Specifically, "create an Impress presentation, complete with timings, images, videos etc. in LibreOffice for Mac" will not result in "the file working exactly the same in LibreOffice for Windows", because e.g. "videos" will depend on system codecs (see "Supported media formats" in help). Unfortunately, efforts to embed some media support into LibreOffice have not (yet) resulted in anything usable.

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2021-01-12 10:32:55 +0100 )edit

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answered 2021-01-12 10:44:14 +0100

keme gravatar image

updated 2021-01-12 10:53:06 +0100

Yes. LibreOffice provides the same functionality across supported platforms, and documents behave the same on different platforms.

... and no. "Working exactly the same" does not automatically imply "looking and behaving exactly the same", but I suspect that you make that implication. Some features are not only platform dependent, but also system dependent. For presentations I envision the following challenges:

  • Layout may depend on screen geometry. If you create a presentation on a 16:10 display and show it on a 4:3 display, there is a good chance of layout/shape issues.
  • As @ajlittoz mentions, fonts may present a challenge. Fonts used need to be installed on the target system. If they are not, character shapes will change.
  • Animations may require more resources than immediately available. There may be lag/skipping.
  • Some objects embedded in your presentation may depend on external "server apps". Typically video/audio. For this kind of content, the "service agreement" between apps must be established. See also @Mike Kaganski's comment to your question.

While there may be issues, and what is "true cross platform" may be a matter of dispute, I submit that there is no suite in the known universe with better and more consistent cross platform support than LibreOffice. Not the answer you asked for, but perhaps that is the answer you need :-)

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[...] almost equal mix of Mac and Windows home devices and each working from home, we seek a means of creating presentations, such as outlined above, exchanging the files, and PLAYING them reliably on each others computers and on our church's A/V system.

I guess that the main venue where you need reliable/predictable/quality output is the church system. To best handle this, you could set up a virtual system which mimicks the on-site setup, and copy that virtual computer to all collaborants.

This may seem like a lot of work. It probably is. Sometimes, making a good, reliable system requires a lot of work. Particularly when it involves multiple subsystems and unknown parameters.


More likely solution:

Test the presentation and make final edits using the live system (in church) in a low traffic situation. I.e., nobody there...

keme gravatar imagekeme ( 2021-01-12 13:45:17 +0100 )edit
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Asked: 2021-01-12 09:58:09 +0100

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Last updated: Jan 12