One of the best alternatives to
Microsoft Office is LibreOffice. LibreOffice not
only runs on Linux but it’s also available on Mac and
Windows like Microsoft Office. LibreOffice is a suite of
applications that comes with a word processor called Writer, a spreadsheet application called
Calc, presentation software called Impress, a database app called Base. It also
includes a couple of additional pieces of software, including Draw for
creating graphics and diagrams, as well as Math for creating math in
scientific formulas. Let’s start out by looking at Writer. Writer will be similar to Microsoft Word. Let’s create a new document. You can see that the layout is
similar to see an older version of Word. If you ever use Word, or any other word processor for that matter, you’ll be able to catch onto Writer
really quickly. One of my favorite features of Writer is the autocomplete feature. When you type a word, it can sometimes
suggest the completion of that word and if you like it, simply hit Enter and
Writer will complete the word for you. I’ll give you an example here… You can see after I type ‘COM’ that they suggest that ‘complete’ is
probably the word that I want to type and if I want to accept that word, I
simply press Enter. If I don’t want to accept their word, then I keep on typing. One of the features people are interested in
in a word processor is the ability to track changes and work with others. So I’ll give you a quick example of how
that works in Writer. Go to Edit Changes and hit Record. Let’s go ahead and look at these
changes and accept or reject them. You can see there’s only one change
here in this simple example and it shows that the action, and the
author, when it was a made, and of course, the comment that
was in place. I’ll just simply hit Accept.
I’ll do another quick example… We’ll do Record Changes… You can see how it’s
highlighted but if you want to turn that highlighting off, you can simply unclick Show. Let’s open up an existing document. You can see that some words are
highlighted with red underneath them and that is the spell checker in action. Writer, like Word, has spell check
and grammar check built-in. We’ll go ahead and right-click on one of
these words that it thinks is misspelled and just choose an option here. Then we can do this… and we’ll just add that went one to our dictionary. Another good thing about Writer is that you
can save in several different formats. Click Save As… The default format is ODF, which stands for Open Document
Format. You can also save files in Microsoft
Word 2013, 2003, 97, etc. If you’re into blogging
or have some other reason that you need HTML, Writer can save HTML as well. Another thing that I like about Writer is that you can export to a PDF. Let’s do that now. Here you can see that the letter we
were working on is now a PDF document. Writer will able to handle most documents created
with Microsoft Word without a problem, however some documents that have complex
formatting may not render exactly as you would expect in Writer. If you’re sharing documents with someone
that is using Microsoft Word you shouldn’t really worry that much,
especially if they’re simple documents. For most situations, you’ll be able to
share these documents without any problems.