you are looking for a software program that will let you create
documents, but don't want to pay the money or deal with the licensing
that Microsoft Office requires, LibreOffice is for you. I have started
using it as my everyday word processor in early 2016, and I've been using it ever since. It has a lot to offer.
(1) It is free. I already mentioned that, but it is worth mentioning again.
(2) You don't have to worry about only being able to install it on 1 or
3 devices. There are no licensing or legal limitations on how many devices you can install LibreOffice on.
(3) LibreOffice is a fully featured word processor. It can do many things that you
need done in the process of composing documents with complex formatting.
This last reason is a more technical reason, but it is definitely a
good reason to use LibreOffice. This word processing program was formed
around the idea of a file format (in its recent version,
known as Open Document Text, or .odt) that is not the proprietary
knowledge of one company (such as Microsoft), but whose specifications
knowledge. Because the specs are openly available to anyone, any
program can read or write files in the ODT
format. With this being the case, you do not need to purchase
Microsoft Office, or run the Windows operating system, just to be able
to properly make or view these files. To be sure, LibreOffice can view
and save documents in other file formats as well. But the original idea
behind LibreOffice was that it would use a file format that any word
processing program can read, write, and edit documents for. No
particular program or operating system is need to read or save these
documents. So instead of creating documents in Microsoft file formats
(such as .doc or .docx) that push people to use Microsoft Windows
operating systems and Microsoft Office software to read these files, I
think it is better for people to be free to use whatever software they
want to on their own computers, that can read and save files in the ODT
I would like to give you a few tips on using LibreOffice. (1) Saving your files in different formats
default, LibreOffice saves word processing documents in the OpenDocument
format (.odt). If you are communicating with someone whose computer cannot read files in that format, you can easily save any
file in several other formats. If you have not yet saved the
particular file that you are working on, simply click on the blue save disk icon on the
toolbar, and then in the Save dialog that opens up, you can go toward
the bottom, and click on the Save as Type field. A drop down menu will
open up, allowing you to choose whatever file format you want. Rich
Text Format (*.rtf) or MS Word (*.doc or *.docx) are the most common formats, and
most likely to be viewable by the other person.
you have already saved your file, but would still like to create that
same file in another format, go to the File menu. Select the Save As
option, and in the new dialog the opens up, you can rename it if you
want, or simply change the file format of your new file.
save your files automatically in one of these other formats, you can
change the default format to another format. Go into the Tools menu,
and select Options. In the new dialog that pops up, click on the
Load/Save option in the left pane, and then the General option
underneath Load/Save (in order to see that General option, you might
need to double click on the Load/Save setting on the left pane). Now in
the right pane, you can choose the
particular format you would want to use as the default setting for your
text documents. Towards the bottom on the right pane, make sure that
the Text Document option is selected for "Document Type," and then
for the "Always Save As" option, you can choose another
format, such as Rich Text Format (.rtf) or MS Word (.doc or .docx). (2) Using Word Count
find out how many words are in your file (or even, just in a selection
of text), you can look at the bottom of the document screen, on what is
called the status bar. On the left side of this status bar (at the
bottom of the screen displaying your document) will be the page
position. Just to the right of that will be the word count. If you want
to see how many words are in just a block of text, select the entire
text with your cursor. After it is blocked out, you should see new,
lower numbers on the status bar, which will tell you only the number of
words in that selection that you have just blocked out.(3) Remove the autocomplete of words
of the things that I have always disliked about LibreOffice is that by
default, it will often try to complete words after you have typed 2 or
3 letters. This is irritating even when it is correct. If you want to
eliminate this behavior, it is simple. Go to the Tools menu, then
select AutoCorrect. In the side arrow menu, go down and choose
AutoCorrect Options. In the new window that pops up, select the
Word Completion tab. Uncheck the Enable Word Completion option. (4) Modifying the toolbars
user interface of LibreOffice can be customized to a great extent.
First, there are a lot of toolbars that can be added to view. Go to the
View menu, then select Toolbars. In that side arrow, you can add quite
a few toolbars. I like to use the Standard and Formatting toolbars.
there is the position of the toolbars. You can arrange them so that
each toolbar occupies one row, or you can merge two or more onto one
row. Be careful, as putting them on one row might force some of the
icons. to be seen only after clicking a down arrow along the right edge
of that particular toolbar. In order to move them, move your cursor to
the left side of each toolbar that you want moved, where you see the
three vertical dots. As the cursor moves over those dots, it becomes a
symbol with four arrows (pointing up, down, left, and right).
When the cursor has turned into the four arrows symbol, you can
click on the toolbar and move it wherever you want it.
There is another level of customization of these toolbars. You can add and delete commands on each of these
toolbars. The simplest way is to go to the Tools menu, and then click
on the Customize option. In the new dialog that pops up, click on the
Toolbars tab, and then for the Toolbar option, select the toolbar that
you would like to modify. Once you have chosen a toolbar, you can
scroll down the Toolbar Content commands, and check and uncheck
whichever commands you want available on that toolbar. You can
even change the order in which those commands appear on the toolbar.
After selecting a particular command, select just to the right of that
field, either the up or down arrow, and then that command will move
across the toolbar, however you prefer. Where to go for help using LibreOffice
The place I would recommend is Ask.LibreOffice.org
You can register for that site, and then ask your questions. I would
advise that when you type in your question, see if any of the
suggestions that the site gives you (after you type in your question, a
drop down menu should appear, with threads that might answer your
questin), answer your question. If you have spent some time looking
still don't see your answer, then feel free to ask away.
to asking a question there on their help site, you might want to look
up your question on your own in their online help section. With
LibreOffice opened up, go to the Help menu, and then select LibreOffice
Or, with LibreOffice being displayed on your screen, just press the F1
key. That will open up a website with help topics for LibreOffice.