LibreOffice (Apr 2019)

Technology Tips – Published April 2019 in the Guide and Digest

By Don Trauger – Kennett


Back in 2011 a project to circumvent Microsoft’s Office program was made available for PC users at no charge. Called LibreOffice it was a very usable program that easily did most of the same things that Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel performed. The following year another program called OpenOffice entered the field. It was based on the same programming code so it had many of the same features. However, in the last year or so, OpenOffice has lagged behind LibreOffice in updates to its program. If you still use OpenOffice I recommend uninstalling it and downloading and installing LibreOffice. Get it here:


Look for it in your Downloads folder then double click it to install it. Choose the Typical installation and follow any screen prompts.


LibreOffice is faster and the text appears a little sharper on the screen. Because it’s free you don’t have to pay for MS Office. If you are thinking of buying a new computer, you don’t have to buy MS Office 365’s installed and annoying subscription program. This marketing item comes on most new computers.


LibreOffice installs easily and runs without glitches. When you open It, all the functions are listed on the left. Writer mimics Word and Calc mimics Excel. When you open a function you will see many icons at the top. Simply hover the mouse arrow over them to see what they do.


Two settings need to be changed in the program. The default file saving format for Writer and Calc is different from Microsoft’s. Microsoft uses .DOC or in their newer format .DOCX. You need to change the default file format so you can save your created documents in the Microsoft format so other email recipients can read your LibreOffice attachments. Microsoft Word or Excel users will then be able to open and read your documents.


After you have installed LibreOffice click Tools at the top. In the menu, click Options and click the + sign next to Load/Save then click General. Under “Default File Format and ODF Settings” and across from “Document type:” click the little down arrow to select “Text document”. Just below and across from the “Always save as: click the down arrow and select “Word 2007-2019 (*.docx). Click Apply. Now, go back to the “Document type:” and click the down arrow to select “Spreadsheet”. Across from “Always save as: click the down arrow and select “Excel 2007-2019 (*.XLSX). Click Apply then click OK to complete the process. You can “X” out of the Options window. That’s it!


I feel confident this program will fulfill your Microsoft Office needs.


We will cover LibreOffice installation and show you how to proceed on setting the proper file format settings. The PC Club meets every 3rd Tuesday at 7 PM upstairs in the Community Center. Due to pending Community Center construction we may be relocated. Watch the TV Bulletin Board, Channel 1971, for updated information.