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LibreOffice – The Basics Part 2

Thursday, March 12th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Free Downloads, Software Reviews

In part 1 of this article, I told you how to find LibreOffice – a great free alternative to Microsoft Office. Libre Office works across multiple platforms and it’s even portable!

Let’s take a look at the programs that come with the suite.

Writer. Is the equivalent to Microsoft Word equivalent. When you click on the icon,  you will open a window that looks quite familiar. Notice the toolbar – looks pretty much the same with Word’s toolbar, doesn’t it?


The menu bar and the buttons don’t look so different from Word. You can quickly format the text or add bulleting and indentation. Also, you can check spelling and grammar, find a word, insert a table or a chart, shapes and so on.

Calc. Excel is not the king anymore. With Calc you can quickly use your already saved worksheets or create new ones.


As with Excel, you can perform calculations, format the text, merge or split the cells, increase or decrease decimals, insert formulas and everything you can do with Microsoft’s Excel application.

Impress. What can  PowerPoint  do that Impress can’t? Nothing.


Impress lets you insert titles, slides, shapes, images, videos, sounds – everything you need for a powerful, eye-catching presentation.

Draw.  This is so much more than an alternative to Microsoft’s Paint. It does a lot more than that simple program.


You can quickly insert shapes, text, arrows, splines and more. You can even insert other images and charts, apply 3D effects and format line, text and shapes styles.

Math. I must say that I’m impressed with this application. I’m sure it is every mathematician’s dream to work with it.


On the left side you have a quick picker of the most common operations, while on the right side you can choose the most used elements.

Base. The power of a strong database is unleashed with this application. Not only does it support all the formats supported by Microsoft’s Access, it even helps you to build a database from scratch, right from the moment you click the launcher.


The wizard guides you step by step through the whole process. At the end, you will have a ready to go database.

The best part comes next: all LibreOffice’s inside applications gives you the opportunity to save your work directly in .pdf format, with just one click.

In future articles I will teach you how to work with every single one of them.

~ Adrian

17 Responses to “LibreOffice – The Basics Part 2”

  1. warren says:

    downloaded this program …………how do you print and envelope…………

    • calinmusceleanu says:

      Pressing Ctrl+P will bring up the printing dialog window. Click Properties and you can choose the paper size.

  2. Joe Palazzo says:

    I use LibreOffice exclusively for my documents. A warning, if you are going to transition from Microsoft to LibreOffice there will be a learning curve. For example autoformatting will have to be relearned. When creating an outline type of document I found I had to spend a lot of time researching the problem. If the document is given to another person who is using Microsoft Word, the formatting is likely to change when reading it in Word. Another experience I had was the change in using mail merge. So I got frustrated when I first used the features of the new program, but I have become contented with using LibreOffice after the initial weeks of using this excellent program.

  3. Lawrence Moss says:

    Having this info is a big help. With the changes MICROSOFT planning to the ownership and delivery of their office products, it makes a lot of sense to give this replacement a lot of thought. I look forward to reading all the upcoming lessons on the use and tools available. Thanks for the heavy lifting on this.

    • calinmusceleanu says:

      I always advice anyone to migrate from commercial Windows OS or apps to a Linux based OS and apps. They run faster and they are much more reliable than a periodically crashing Windows machine.

  4. Kathy says:

    Tried to download yesterday and my computer told me that the download was corrupted; needless to say, I did not continue.

  5. Jim says:

    I got the same answer from my anti-virus that Kathy received.

  6. Tom R. says:

    Libre Office is great. I have problems when using Office 97 Excel. When saving files to .xls extension, Excel does not respond, the blue circle just keeps going around. when using Libre’s Calc with the extension .ODS, I can save my worksheets in three different formats. .ODS, .XLS (Excel 97/2000), or .XLSX (Excel 2007/2010/2013XML). Libre Calc saves the worksheet cleanly in either extension, saving my files in both Libre and Office 97. When updating the worksheets, I start with Libre’s saved file, update and save it there and then “save as” it to Microsoft’s Excel 97 as a back up. Problem solved.

  7. Judith Geithman says:

    I used it successfully for several years and preferred Writer to Word. However, I can’t find any equivalent to MS Publisher. Is there one?

  8. Allan Poe says:

    I installed Libre Office per your suggestion. I wanted to try it out before using it. It AUTOMATICALLY turned ALL of my Word doc’s and Excel’s into the Libre Office format. I had to uninstall Libre Office in order to return these items to the MS Word and Excel format. Why did this happen?

    • calinmusceleanu says:

      Allan, this is not possible. The only way to convert a .doc or .docx file, for example, to a .odt file (which is the extension for Libre Office Writer files) is to open the original .doc file and save it as a .odt file.
      Maybe the icons changed, but the file extension remained the same.

  9. Steve C says:

    Love Libre Office! It had.a fairly short learning curve, at least for Writer and Calc.. I’m finally using it for 95% of my productivity. Now, how about a free Publisher and Photoshop Elements-type app.

    • calinmusceleanu says:

      Instead of Publisher try Scribus, an open source application designed as an alternative to Publisher.
      As for Photoshop, Gimp is the best free similar software. Usually comes installed by default with almost any Linux based distribution, but it works on Windows, as well.

  10. Bill Leach says:

    I started with Star Office, so I have been using Libre Office and its sires for quite awhile.

    Adrian, I am so glad to see someone emphasize the superiority of Draw! Draw is an awesome program and of course works within Impress and Writer as well.

  11. calinmusceleanu says:

    Bill, it’s easy to see that Draw does a lot more than Paint. Its features leave no room for arguments about that. As my articles state, I’m a Linux and open-source applications fan and Draw is one of the best within its area.
    Stay in touch for a detailed article about it.

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