New books: LibreOffice 4.0 Writer Guide & LO 3.6 Base Handbook

The LibreOffice Documentation Team has published two new books this week. Free PDFs can be downloaded from The Document Foundation’s wiki.

Writer 4.0 GuideLibreOffice 4.0 Writer Guide. In addition to free PDFs (see first paragraph), you can purchase printed copies (published by Friends of OpenDocument Inc.) from here.

Base 3.6 HandbookLibreOffice 3.6 Base Handbook, translated from the German edition. In addition to free PDFs (see first paragraph), you can purchase printed copies (published by Friends of OpenDocument Inc.) from here.

Two free alternatives to MS Office

The Windows Secrets newsletter has an article by Fred Langa dated March 14, 2013, titled Two free, full-blown alternatives to MS Office that features LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

The article mentions several features that particularly appeal to users of older (pre-2007) versions of MS Office who have been reluctant to move to newer versions: unlike Office 2013, LibreOffice and OpenOffice “live and work entirely on your PC’s hard drive — there’s no prodding you toward cloud storage or app rental. Both suites use traditional toolbars (no Ribbon interface) and come with six business apps: word processor, spreadsheet, presentation creator, drawing/desktop-publishing tool, database manager, and mathematics tool…

“Although the two suites are similar, LibreOffice is a bit more evolved… For example, LibreOffice now supports more file formats than Open Office does…” (including opening, but not saving to, Microsoft Publisher files).

Lange says, “Is either of these open-source MS Office substitutes right for you? If your office-suite needs are relatively modest, the answer is most likely yes. On the other hand, if you’re regularly collaborating with businesses that use Office 2010 or 2013 and exact reproduction of spreadsheets, presentations, and text documents is essential, it’s safer to stick with Microsoft’s suite…

“I think LibreOffice is currently the better choice. It nicely does what I need done, quietly and without fanfare. It supports more file formats, including those used by the newest versions of Microsoft Office, and it has more developer momentum behind it. But that’s me; Open Office might work just as well or better for you…

“Bottom line: If you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office that isn’t cloud-oriented, that uses traditional toolbars, and that’s totally free, you probably won’t go wrong with LibreOffice or Open Office!”

LibreOffice 4.0 Getting Started Guide

Cover of Getting Started with LibreOffice 4.0Free PDFs can be downloaded from the wiki.

Printed copies are available for purchase from Lulu.com.

New book: Self-Publishing using LibreOffice Writer

Self-Publishing using LibreOffice WriterSelf-Publishing using LibreOffice Writer:
How to use free software to write, design, and create PDFs for print-on-demand books

You don’t need expensive software to write, design, and create PDFs for self-published, print-on-demand books. LibreOffice Writer is free, easy to use, and has powerful page layout features suitable for producing books such as novels and short story or poetry collections. This book explains how to write, edit, and design a book; lay out the pages using styles and templates; build a table of contents and index; include pictures, graphics, and special effects; and create a PDF for submission to POD services.

Printed copies are available from Lulu.com.

You can download and buy a PDF of the book from this page. This book has no DRM; you may copy it onto as many of your devices as you wish. If you buy a printed copy, you are welcome to a free copy of the PDF.

Slides from my talk at LibreOffice Conference 2012

The slides from my talk “LibreOffice User Documentation: Successes and Challenges” are available from my website in ODP and PDF formats.