WPS Office: A Microsoft Office Clone For Linux

Do you love the Ribbon UI in Microsoft Office so much that you will try all means necessary to install MS Office in your Linux machine? If this is the case, WPS Office is the one for you.

Be it an online or a desktop app, there are plenty of office suites around that you can use as the Microsoft Office alternative. The difference between WPS Office and the rest of the office suites is the striking resemblance it has to Microsoft Office. Yes, it comes with the Ribbon UI, and even the shade and color are similar. In fact, I would call it a Microsoft Office clone rather than an alternative.

wpsoffice-writer

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One advantages of WPS Office are that it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag (the basic version is free), and it has a Linux version. The disadvantages? It is in Chinese (but don’t worry; we have a fix for that).

If you access WPS Office’s English website, you can only download the Windows and Android versions. For the Linux version, you will have to go to its Chinese website to download the installer file. Currently it is only available in 32 bit, so make sure you have installed the 32-bit libaries (iab3-libs2) in your 64-bit machine. There is also a repackaged version for UbuntuKylin available for download. For those who don’t understand Chinese, you can go to the download page and download the package (rpm, deb or tar.gz) for your machine.

After you have downloaded and installed this Microsoft Office clone, open a terminal and type:

cd /opt/kingsoft/wps-office/office6/2052
sudo rm qt.qm wps.qm wpp.qm et.qm

Now, restart WPS-Office. You will notice that all of the menu is now in English.

Dual UI view

The default menu layout is the Ribbon UI, but if you prefer the old classic layout, you can change it with the “File -> Switch UI” button.

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Built-in tabbed interface

When you open multiple documents, they are opened in a tabbed interface so that you can switch between them easily.

WPS Office suit comes with Writer, Spreadsheet and Presentations. If you are in need of a note-taking app like OneNote or email client like Outlook, then WPS is not for you.

WPS Office allows for you to open and view the XML-based file format (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx), but it doesn’t support saving to these formats. So if you have a .docx document, you can open, view and edit in WPS Writer, but you have to save it in .doc format. In addition, WPS Office doesn’t support Open Document format (.odf, .odt). If you are fine working only with the .doc, .xls and .ppt format, then WPS will be great for you.

I have not done a deep testing to test the full functionality of WPS Office and whether is it compatible with the advanced features of Microsoft Office, but simple editing seems to be working fine, almost the same way as it was done in MS Office. According to the comparison sheet, this Microsoft Office clone does support features like Equation and Symbol, illustrations, Comment & Track Changes, Mail Merge etc.

wpsoffice-comparison-chart

As you can see, the usefulness of WPS Office really depends on what you need to do with your Office suite. If you can’t do without the Ribbon UI, can work with the old MS Office format and can stand a few Chinese characters in the app, then WPS office is a great option for you.

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