Taming LibreOffice

Resources for intermediate and advanced users

What is LibreOffice?

9 April 2012

LibreOffice is a suite of programs for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, and vector drawings. It is free to download, use, and distribute. It is available in many languages and runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

LibreOffice’s native file formats are OpenDocument (*.ODT, *.ODS, *.ODP, etc.), but it can open and save to many other formats, including Microsoft Office formats (*.DOC, *.XLS, *.PPT, etc.).

To download LibreOffice, go to the LibreOffice website.

LibreOffice is a project of the not-for-profit organization, The Document Foundation.

A short introduction to the software is Introducing LibreOffice (PDF). For more detail, get the full book Getting Started with LibreOffice (see links in lefthand sidebar).

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LibreOffice 4.2 Getting Started Guide published

24 June 2014

LibreOffice 4.2 Getting Started GuideThe Documentation Team has published the LibreOffice 4.2 Getting Started Guide.

Free PDFs of individual chapters and the full book can be downloaded from The Document Foundation’s wiki.

Printed copies can be purchased here. (Published by Friends of OpenDocument Inc.)

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LibreOffice Impress Remote for iPhone/iPad

4 February 2014

LibreOffice Impress Remote for iPhone and iPad is now available in the iTunes store.

It joins the Impress Remote for Android released in January last year and available through the Google Play store.

The app allows you to use a smartphone, iPad, or tablet to remotely manage the LibreOffice Impress presentation running on a laptop, by showing a miniature of the slides on the screen and allowing you to navigate back and forth by sweeping right and left with your fingers. You can also see the presenter’s notes.

For more information on the LibreOffice Impress Remote for iPhone and iPad, see this blog post.

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LibreOffice 4.2 is an important release; here’s why

4 February 2014

Charles-H. Schulz has written a post examining why LibreOffice 4.2 matters more than you think. He gives three main reasons:

  1. This is a major code overhaul, including a brand new engine for Calc.
  2. It is more Enterprise-ready than many others. The post provides examples.
  3. It’s not about success. It’s about what comes next. The amount of code clean-up, refactoring, write up, the inclusion of new features and the continued growth of contributors between the moment the Document Foundation released LibreOffice 4.0 and the 4.2 is truly amazing. The 4.0 was a major accomplishment, but this time we did even more.

Please make any comments on the original post on Charles’s blog.

Posted in Document Foundation, New LO releases | Comments Off

LibreOffice 4.2 released

4 February 2014

On 30 January 2014, The Document Foundation announced LibreOffice 4.2, a new major release targeted to early adopters. It features a large number of performance and interoperability improvements targeted to users of all kinds, but particularly appealing for power and enterprise users.

For more information about this release, see this blog post.

All new and improved features of LibreOffice 4.2 are summarized on this web page.

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LibreOffice 4.1 Calc Guide published

30 November 2013

Calc Guide 4.1The Documentation Team has published the LibreOffice 4.1 Calc Guide.

Free PDFs of individual chapters and the full book can be downloaded from The Document Foundation’s wiki.

Printed copies can be purchased here. (Published by Friends of OpenDocument Inc.)

This completes a full set of books for LibreOffice 4.0 – 4.1.
See this page or the LibreOffice wiki for a list of books with links to ODT, PDF, and printed copies.

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LibreOffice 4.1 Draw Guide published

27 November 2013

Draw Guide v4.1The Documentation Team has published the LibreOffice 4.1 Draw Guide.

Free PDFs of individual chapters and the full book can be downloaded from The Document Foundation’s wiki.

Printed copies can be purchased here. (Published by Friends of OpenDocument Inc.)

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LibreOffice 4.0 Impress Guide published

8 August 2013

Impress 4.0 GuideThe Documentation Team published the LibreOffice 4.0 Impress Guide in July.

Free PDFs can be downloaded from The Document Foundation’s wiki.

Printed copies can be purchased here. (Published by Friends of OpenDocument Inc.)

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LibreOffice 4.0 Math Guide and Base Handbook have been published

7 July 2013

Base 4.0 HandbookMath 4.0 GuideThe LibreOffice Documentation Team has published two books: the LibreOffice 4.0 Math Guide and the LibreOffice 4.0 Base Handbook.

Free PDFs can be downloaded from The Document Foundation’s wiki.

Printed copies can be purchased here. (Published by Friends of OpenDocument Inc.)

Note: The Base 4.0 Handbook is identical to the Base 3.6 Handbook, except for the cover, the ISBN, and the title and copyright pages. If you have the earlier version, you don’t need this one. The Math 4.0 Guide has new and revised material in it.

Posted in Base, Books, Math | Comments Off

New books: LibreOffice 4.0 Writer Guide & LO 3.6 Base Handbook

8 June 2013

The LibreOffice Documentation Team has published two new books this week. Free PDFs can be downloaded from The Document Foundation’s wiki.

Writer 4.0 GuideLibreOffice 4.0 Writer Guide. In addition to free PDFs (see first paragraph), you can purchase printed copies (published by Friends of OpenDocument Inc.) from here.

Base 3.6 HandbookLibreOffice 3.6 Base Handbook, translated from the German edition. In addition to free PDFs (see first paragraph), you can purchase printed copies (published by Friends of OpenDocument Inc.) from here.

Posted in Base, Books, Writer | 4 Comments »

Two free alternatives to MS Office

17 March 2013

The Windows Secrets newsletter has an article by Fred Langa dated March 14, 2013, titled Two free, full-blown alternatives to MS Office that features LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

The article mentions several features that particularly appeal to users of older (pre-2007) versions of MS Office who have been reluctant to move to newer versions: unlike Office 2013, LibreOffice and OpenOffice “live and work entirely on your PC’s hard drive — there’s no prodding you toward cloud storage or app rental. Both suites use traditional toolbars (no Ribbon interface) and come with six business apps: word processor, spreadsheet, presentation creator, drawing/desktop-publishing tool, database manager, and mathematics tool…

“Although the two suites are similar, LibreOffice is a bit more evolved… For example, LibreOffice now supports more file formats than Open Office does…” (including opening, but not saving to, Microsoft Publisher files).

Lange says, “Is either of these open-source MS Office substitutes right for you? If your office-suite needs are relatively modest, the answer is most likely yes. On the other hand, if you’re regularly collaborating with businesses that use Office 2010 or 2013 and exact reproduction of spreadsheets, presentations, and text documents is essential, it’s safer to stick with Microsoft’s suite…

“I think LibreOffice is currently the better choice. It nicely does what I need done, quietly and without fanfare. It supports more file formats, including those used by the newest versions of Microsoft Office, and it has more developer momentum behind it. But that’s me; Open Office might work just as well or better for you…

“Bottom line: If you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office that isn’t cloud-oriented, that uses traditional toolbars, and that’s totally free, you probably won’t go wrong with LibreOffice or Open Office!”

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