This is the first of many parts in our guides on the LibreOffice suite. While there are many components of LibreOffice, this is where to begin.
There are a number of office software suites out there. Some, you pay money for while others are distributed for free. LibreOffice is one such free solution.
LibreOffice is a free and open source solution that is capable of handling a wide range of office-related jobs. It is actively supported still and can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux environments.
Step 1: Download LibreOffice
The first thing to do is get LibreOffice. To do this, head over to the official website. Click on the Download dropdown menu and click Download LibreOffice.
As of this writing, you’ll see two different downloads. One is an early version while the other one (below it) is an older and more stable version. The decision really boils down to personal preference more than anything else. You really can’t go wrong with either download.
Once the file finishes downloading, open the file in your browser. In the Chrome browser, it’s as simple as clicking the file on the bottom of the screen.
If you happen to get a security warning, don’t worry, as almost the entire open source community can attest to, LibreOffice is fine to install.
Step 2: Install LibreOffice
When you open the installer, you’ll get the following screen:
All you really need to do is click “Next”
In the next screen, you’ll get two options: Typical or Custom.
For most users, Typical is certainly sufficient. Custom will permit to pick and choose which components of the suite you want to install. Unless you already know the program and have an idea of what you want to do, feel free to just install using the custom option. For us, since we’re basically the typical average user, we’re going to stick with Typical. Click “Next”
In this screen, you’ll be given two options. The first is to create a Desktop Shortcut. Take a look at your desktop and ask yourself: “Do I need another icon on this?”
Most modern computers can handle a lot of icons, but keep in mind that this is just another icon you are adding when you start your computer up. On the other hand, if you intend on using LibreOffice a lot, then having that desktop icon isn’t such a bad idea. Again, personal preference.
The other option is to load this on startup. Unless your computer is dedicated to using this software, it’s hard to imagine a circumstance where I need to start the program when I boot the computer. If you are booting LibreOffice on start, this may add to the load time. Still, it is user preference.
When you are done, click “Install”.
The program may take a minute or a couple of minutes to install. This depends on how fast your computer is of course. Just let it install.
When you are done, you’ll get to this screen. Simply click on “Finish”.
Step 3: Open LibreOffice
If you open ordinary LibreOffice, you’ll get a screen like this. You are ready to start creating with LibreOffice!
Some people might think LibreOffice as a document creating software. The truth in the matter is that it can handle much more than just documents. Writer, of course, handles document creation. Calc, meanwhile, can allow users to create spreadsheets. Impress allows users to create slideshow presentations. Draw helps users create diagrams and other basic visual art. Base, meanwhile, handles databases such as MySQL. Finally, math handles formula’s – much of which can be used in Calc.
Bottom line is LibreOffice is actually a full suite of software solutions that can handle a wide range of tasks. We will be going over a number of these pieces of software in future guides.