What is LibreOffice?

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.

LibreOffice 7.0 Getting Started and Impress Guides

Two more volumes of LO 7.0 user guides were published in January: Getting Started Guide and Impress Guide. They are available in free PDF downloads and in low-cost print editions. See this page for links.

LibreOffice 7.1 Community released

On 3 February, The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 7.1 Community, the volunteer-supported version of the office suite. The Community label emphasises the fact that the software is not targeted at enterprises, and not optimised for their support needs. Blog post with more information.

For enterprise-class deployments, TDF has strongly recommended the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners—for desktop, mobile and cloud—with long-term support options, professional assistance, custom features and other benefits. See LibreOffice in business.

Help for people still using Apache OpenOffice

Do you know someone who is still using Apache OpenOffice? Have they recently tried to open a .odt, .ods or .odp file and received this error message? “This document was created by a newer version of OpenOffice. It may contain features not supported by your current version.

AOO error message
The notice (pictured) that pops up in Apache OpenOffice doesn’t say so, but even the latest version of AOO (4.1.8, which was released earlier this month) does NOT support features like ODF 1.3, so updating to it won’t help. AOO users would need to “update” to LibreOffice. (LibreOffice users can avoid the problem for OO users by continuing to save files in ODF 1.2.)

Note: other features are lacking in AOO, for example the ability to save files in DOCX format, even though AOO can open DOCX files. LibreOffice can do both. Wouldn’t it be nice (helpful) if the “Update Now” button in AOO took a user to the LO download page?

See also this blog post at LibreOffice.

LibreOffice 6.4 and 7.0 User Guides

I am way behind updating this blog, including mentioning the LibreOffice 6.4 user guides that have been published in 2020. These include Getting Started Guide, Writer Guide, Base Guide, Calc Guide, Draw Guide, and Math Guide.

Calc Guide 7.0 coverTwo volumes of the v7.x series of books have been published recently: Math Guide and Calc Guide.

You can download free PDFs of these books or buy printed copies of the v6.4 volumes (v7.0 print copies may be available later). See this page for links.

LibreOffice 7.0

LibreOffice 7.0 was announced on 5 August 2020. Since then three minor releases have appeared. Significant new features include support for OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.3; better performance; and improved compatibility with DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files. For details, see the blog post linked above.

LibreOffice produced a visual timeline of derivatives from OpenOffice.org, as shown below. (Click for a larger image.)
Timeline of OO/AOO/LO major releases