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What is LibreOffice

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What is LibreOffice?

LibreOffice is the default office suite of the most popular Linux distributions. It is a free and open-source office productivity software suite.

  • It is a project of The Document Foundation (TDF).
  • It was split in 2010 from org, which was an open-sourced version of the earlier StarOffice.
  • The LibreOffice suite consists of programs for word processing, creating and editing spreadsheets, slideshows, diagrams, and drawings, working with databases, and composing mathematical formulae. It is available in 115 languages.
  • As its native file format to save documents for all of its applications, LibreOffice uses the Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF), or OpenDocument.
  • An international standard developed jointly by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

LibreOffice also supports the file formats of most other major office suites, including Microsoft Office, through various import and export filters.

LibreOffice is available for various computing platforms, including Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Chromebook. It is also available as an online office suite called LibreOffice Online, including the applications Writer, Calc, and Impress.

Features of LibreOffice

The feature of LibreOffice is continuously being updated and is a work in progress. Below are some essential elements of LibreOffice:

1. Included Application: It includes the following basic components, such as:

  • Writer: A word processor with similar functionality and file support to Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. It has extensive WYSIWYG word processing capabilities but can also be used as a basic text editor.
  • Calc: A spreadsheet program, similar to Microsoft Excel or Lotus 1-2-3. It has several unique features, including a system that automatically defines graphs based on the user’s information.
  • Impress: A presentation program resembling Microsoft PowerPoint. Presentations can be exported as SWF files, allowing them to be viewed on any computer with Adobe Flash Player installed.
  • Draw: A vector graphics editor and diagramming tool similar to Microsoft Visio and CorelDRAW. It provides connectors between shapes, which are available in a range of line styles, and facilitates building drawings such as flowcharts. It also includes features similar to desktop publishing software such as Scribus and Microsoft Publisher. It can also act as a PDF file editor.
  • Math: An application designed for creating and editing mathematical formulas. The application uses a variant of XML for creating formulas, as defined in the OpenDocument specification. These formulas can be incorporated into other documents in the LibreOffice suite, such as those made by Writer or Calc, by embedding the formulas into the document.
  • Base: A database management program, similar to Microsoft Access. LibreOffice Base allows databases to be created and managed and generate forms and reports of database content. Like Access, it can be used to create small embedded databases stored with the document files. It can also be used for more demanding tasks as a front-end for various database management systems, including Microsoft JET, ODBC/JDBC data sources, MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL Microsoft Access.

2. Operating Systems

  • Foundation developers target LibreOffice for Microsoft Windows (IA-32 and x86-64), Linux (IA-32, x86-64 and ARM), and macOS (x86-64).
  • LibreOffice is also installable on OpenIndianavia SFE.
  • Historically, LibreOffice’s predecessors, back to StarOffice3, have run on Solaris with SPARC CPUs made by Sun Microsystems (and later Oracle).
  • Current unofficial ports of LibreOffice 5.2.5 run only on Intel-compatible hardware, up to Solaris 11.
  • The LibreOffice Impress Remoteapplication for various mobile operating systems allows for remote control of LibreOffice Impress presentations.

3. LibreOffice Online

LibreOffice Online is the online office suite edition of LibreOffice. It allows for the use of LibreOffice through a web browser by using the canvas element of HTML5.

4. Miscellaneous features

  • LibreOffice can use the GStreamer multimedia framework in Linux to render multimedia content such as videos in Impress and other programs.
  • LibreOffice also ships with a modified theme that looks native on GTK-based Linux distributions. It also renders fonts via Cairo on Linux distributions.
  • With version 6.2, LibreOffice includes a Ribbon-style GUI, called Notebookbar, including three different views. This feature has formerly been included as an experimental feature in LibreOffice 6.
  • LibreOffice has a feature similar to WordArt called Font work.
  • LibreOffice uses HarfBuzzfor complex text layout. It was first introduced in 4.1 for Linux and 5.3 for Windows and macOS.
  • LibreOffice supports a hybrid PDF A PDF file can be read by any program supporting PDF and contains the source document in ODF format, editable in LibreOffice by dragging and dropping.

5. Scripting and extensions

LibreOffice supports third-party extensions. As of July 2017, the LibreOffice Extension Repository lists more than 320 extensions. Another list is maintained by the Apache Software Foundation and another one by the Free Software Foundation.

Extensions and scripts for LibreOffice can be written in C++, Java, CLI, Python, and LibreOffice Basic.

Interpreters for the latter two are bundled with most LibreOffice installers, so no additional installation is needed. The application programming interface for LibreOffice is called “UNO” and is extensively documented.

6. LibreOffice Basic

LibreOffice Basic is a programming language similar to Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) but based on StarOffice Basic. It is available in Writer, Calc, and Base.

It is used to write small programs known as “macros”, with each macro performing a different task, such as counting the words in a paragraph.

LibreOffice Versions

Since March 2014 and version 4.2.2, two different major released versions of LibreOffice are available at any time in addition to development versions.

The versions are designated to signal their appropriateness for differing user requirements. Three numbers separated by dots designate releases.

The first two numbers represent the major version (branch) number, and the final number indicates the bugfix releases made in that series. LibreOffice designates the two release versions as:

  • Fresh: The most recent major version (branch) contains the latest enhancements but may have introduced bugsnot present in the “still”
  • Still (formerly “Stable”): The prior major version, which, by the time it has become the “still” version, has had around six months of bug fixing. It is recommended for users for whom stability is more important than the latest enhancements.

New major versions are released around every six months, in January or February and July or August of each year.

How to Use LibreOffice?

LibreOffice is an open-source, free office software that can be an opponent of Microsoft Word. It is a good alternative to Apache OpenOffice, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office 365, Kingsoft Office, and other office suites. Below is a step-by-step process of how to use LibreOffice.

Step 1: Download LibreOffice from the following link and install it.


Step 2: Now, open LibreOffice.

Step 3: Choose a document type to start. Let’s choose LibreOffice Writer.

What is LibreOffice

Step 4: You can start typing directly into your new document and save it.

What is LibreOffice

Turning text into headings:

Step 1: Select the text that should become a heading.

Step 2: In the Formatting bar, open the Apply Paragraph Style dropdown and select the appropriate heading level. If you don’t see the heading status you are looking for, click More options.

What is LibreOffice

Customizing the visual appearance of a heading style:

Step 1: Open the Apply Paragraph Style dropdown. Click the arrow next to the heading style of which you want to change the visual appearance.

Step 2: Click Edit Style from the menu.

What is LibreOffice

Step 3: Make any formatting changes that you would like to make, such as Font, font size, etc., in the Font and Font Effects tabs and click on the OK button. All text which has that heading applied will automatically be updated.

What is LibreOffice

LibreOffice Toolbars:

Step 1: Select which toolbars you prefer to use. Go to the View menu, and click on the Toolbars tab.

What is LibreOffice

The two most commonly used toolbars are the Standard toolbar and the Formatting toolbar.

1. Standard toolbar:Using the Standard toolbar, you can:

  • Modify documents as a whole: This includes creating new documents, saving existing documents, and opening other documents. A useful function of the Standard toolbar can immediately generate a PDF file from an Office file. Another useful function is the ability for LibreOffice to e-mail your document directly.
  • Perform surface checks to the open document:This includes rolling back unwanted changes, scanning the document for spelling and grammatical errors, and initiating the copy-paste system.
  • Insert new objects into the document: It includes inserting web links, tables, and drawings into your document.

What is LibreOffice

2. Formatting toolbar:The Formatting toolbar is used primarily for editing text within the page. Using the Formatting toolbar, you can:

  • The Find toolbar:This toolbar enables you to search words in your document with lightning speed.
  • The Table toolbar:This toolbar enables you to manage a table you create.
  • The Bullets and Numbering toolbar: This toolbar enables you to manage document points and numbers.
  • The Align objects toolbar:This toolbar enables you to manage and align pictures you import into the document.

What is LibreOffice

How to Save Tagged PDF using LibreOffice?

Follow the following steps to save a tagged PDF using LibreOffice.

Step 1: Open the LibreOffice.

Step 2: Click on the File tab from the menu and select Export as PDF.

What is LibreOffice

Step 3: In the PDF Options dialog box, make sure the Tagged PDF (add document structure) and the Export bookmarks boxes are selected.

Step 4: Now, click on the Export button.

What is LibreOffice

How to Add Descriptions to Images in a Document?

You need to follow these steps to add an image description in LibreOffice Writer.

Step 1: Open LibreOffice and choose Writer Document.

Step 2: Click on the Insert tab and select image to insert a picture in your document.

Step 3: Double click on the image, and the Image dialog box shows up.

Step 4: Click on the Options tab in the Image dialog box.

Step 5: Enter a brief description for the image in the Name field.

What is LibreOffice

How to Add Headers to a Table?

Follow these steps to adding headers to a table in LibreOffice Writer.

Step 1: Open the original in LibreOffice Writer.

Step 2: Ensure the text in the first row functions as a title and identifies what each column is for.

Step 3: Right-click on the table and select Table Properties. Or, choose Table Properties from the bottom or top menu. The Table Format dialog box shows up.

What is LibreOffice

Step 4: In the Table Format dialog box, select the Text Flow tab. Ensure the Repeat heading check box is selected and that at least the first row is filled out.

What is LibreOffice

Step 5: Click on the OK button.

How to Set Language in LibreOffice?

These steps led you to set the document language in LibreOffice, such as:

Step 1: Open the LibreOffice Writer.

Step 2: Determine the main language of the text. When a lot of text is underlined with red squiggly lines, this is often an indication that the language isn’t set correctly.

Step 3: Set the correct document language by clicking on the Tools tab.

  • Then go to the Language
  • And select For all Text
  • Now click on the More button.

What is LibreOffice

  • The Options- Language Settings – Languages dialog box shows up.

Step 4: Under Default Languages for Documents, select the correct document language from the dropdown. If you check For the current document only, your choice will only apply to the recent document.

What is LibreOffice

Step 5: Click on the OK button and save the document.

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