I am working in a big non-private hospital where we want to convert to open-source starting with office/productivity software and then installing Linux.

Microsoft is all over and even if we could switch to LibreOffice we foresee difficulties reading/parsing correctly 5-10% of MS proprietary documents.

With SaaS and even desktop based software there are now all kinds of newcomers and I haven't been able to figure out if there are any new solutions to at least view these 5-10% documents without skewed results (misplaced graphics etc)?

Google Drive is a great alternative but does not allow documents to be viewed without user account. So for browser based solutions we'd need a solution which uses non-user based login eg. IP address or general/common login for all hospital staff. Best of all - installed locally.

  • 2
    I definitely recommend submitting the improperly rendering documents to LibreOffice and OpenOffice so they can work on any compatibility issues. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 22:36
  • 1
    One thing to put into the mix: get your people to save their MS files as *.doc, *.xls, *.ppt, etc., i.e. do not use the .docx/xlsx/pptx formats. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the older formats have better exchange with LibO than the *x versions. You can run your own trials, but I'm fairly confident you'll find this is the situation.
    – Dɑvïd
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 22:38
  • You could try running the MS Viewer under Wine. Might work ... might not. :) I have had some success running older MS Office (2003?) under Wine, but that might not be a viable solution for moving away from Office (obviously).
    – Dɑvïd
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 22:43
  • The hospital bit makes cloud based services a bit tricky, since you probably have privacy related things. Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 0:42
  • Actually we would define documents as being 1) private and then must reside inside the hospital network and 2) non-private and these could be viewed in online (browser) tools or in the cloud even Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 18:57

3 Answers 3


You can definitely use Kingsoft Office, it's highly compatible with MS Office file formats and offers a tab view to open multiple documents in the same window.

  • I had trouble viewing some table formatting in LibreOffice, but they work just find in Kingsoft Office. Kingsoft also seems to be much faster at loading
    – Eldamir
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 10:51

I might be 5 years late, but this problem bothered me as well for some time. So, I've decided to create a solution - Visum.

Visum was created to solve the problem of viewing office files on Linux the right way.

Benefits of using Visum:

  • 🚀 Blazingly fast

  • 🔌 Customizable

  • ⚡ Built on pre-installed technologies

  • 💻 Lightweight to install

  • 🚫 NO need for an online account

Check it out here and let me know what you think!

  • 2
    It's worth noting that this solutions sends your document to either Google or Microsoft, so this is something to consider if you're working with confidential documents.
    – GTCrais
    Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 10:03

I was in situation when I wanted to view proprietary office file (Academic) but Libreoffice 4.2 wasn't up-to the task, since the issues were the same as yours -- misplaced graphics, or text. Running a virtual machine just to open a file didn't seem to me a good idea as that makes the system feel bulky. Wine has a good support for Ubuntu but you're on your own for an OS like Slackware.

Enough commentary, regardless of anything said above, amongst the contenders on WebStore the best (requiring no Internet access) I found was this extension for Chromium (Google Chrome also):

Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides

Description and Features

View and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files -- without needing Office installed on your computer.

Once the extension is installed, Office files that you drag into Chrome, open in Gmail, Google Drive, and more, will be opened in Docs, Sheets, and Slides for viewing and editing.

You can save each file back to its original Office format, or convert it to Docs, Sheets, or Slides to unlock more features, like inviting others to edit with you, commenting, chat, and more.

Formats supported: .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx

Note: If the presentation files have animation then the animation wouldn't work. The extension can view the files locally, but requires Google Drive access to edit. This extension IMO is upto the task as I tested .doc, .docx, .pptx, .xls files and most of them worked fine for reading. Also, since the title of the question asked for a viewer, I assume this extension meets the demand.

Libre formats (office) didn't work in this extension.

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