Introduction the main components of LibreOffice

  • Writer (word processing)
  • Calc (spreadsheets)
  • Impress (presentations)
  • Draw (vector graphics)
  • Base (database)
  • Math (equation editor)

It also covers some of the features common to all components, including setup and customization, styles and templates, macro recording, and printing. For more detail, see the user guides for the individual components.

How is LibreOffice licensed?

LibreOffice is distributed under the Open Source Initiative (OSI) approved Mozilla Public License (MPL). See

It is based on code from Apache OpenOffice made available under the Apache License 2.0 but also includes software that differs from version to version under a variety of other Open Source licenses. New code is available under LGPL 3.0 and MPL 2.0.

May I distribute LibreOffice to anyone? May I sell it? May I use it in my business?


How many computers may I install it on?

As many as you like.

Is LibreOffice available in my language?

LibreOffice has been translated (localized) into over 40 languages, so your language probably is supported. Additionally, there are over 70 spelling, hyphenation, and thesaurus dictionaries available for languages, and dialects that do not have a localized program interface. The dictionaries are available from the LibreOffice website at:

How can you make it for free?

LibreOffice is developed and maintained by volunteers and has the backing of several organizations.

I am writing a software application. May I use programming code from LibreOffice in my program?

You may, within the parameters set in the MPL and/or LGPL.

Why do I need Java to run LibreOffice? Is it written in Java?

LibreOffice is not written in Java; it is written in the C++ language. Java is one of several languages that can be used to extend the software. The Java JDK/JRE is only required for some features. The most notable one is the HSQLDB relational database engine Java is available at no cost.

Note – If you want to use LibreOffice features that require Java it is important that the correct 32 bit or 64 bit edition matches the installed version of LibreOffice. See the Advanced Options in Chapter 2 of this guide. If you do not want to use Java, you can still use nearly all of the LibreOffice features.

How can I contribute to LibreOffice?

You can help with the development and user support of LibreOffice in many ways, and you do not need to be a programmer.

What is LibreOffice?

LibreOffice is a freely available, fully-featured office productivity suite. Its native file format is Open Document Format (ODF), an open standard format that is being adopted by governments Worldwide as a required file format for publishing and accepting documents. LibreOffice can also open and save documents in many other formats, including those used by several versions of Microsoft Office. LibreOffice includes the following components.

Writer (word processor)

Writer is a feature-rich tool for creating letters, books, reports, newsletters, brochures, and other documents. You can insert graphics and objects from other components into Writer documents.

Writer can export files to HTML, XHTML, XML, Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), and several versions of Microsoft Word files. It also connects to your email client.

Calc (spreadsheet)

Calc has all of the advanced analysis, charting, and decision making features expected from a high-end spreadsheet. It includes over 300 functions for financial, statistical, and mathematical operations, among others. The Scenario Manager provides “what if” analysis. Calc generates 2D and 3D charts, which can be integrated into other LibreOffice documents. You can also open and work with Microsoft Excel workbooks and save them in Excel format. Calc can also export spreadsheets in several formats, including for example Comma Separated Value (CSV), Adobe PDF and HTML formats.

Impress (presentations)

Impress provides all the common multimedia presentation tools, such as special effects, animation,
and drawing tools. It is integrated with the advanced graphics capabilities of LibreOffice Draw and Math components. Slideshows can be further enhanced using Font work special effects text, as well as sound and video clips. Impress is compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint file format.

Draw (vector graphics)

Draw is a vector drawing tool that can produce everything from simple diagrams or flowcharts to 3D artwork. Its Smart Connectors feature allows you to define your own connection points. You can use Draw to create drawings for use in any of the LibreOffice components, and you can create your own clip art and then add it to the Gallery. Draw can import graphics from many common formats and save them in over 20 formats, including PNG, HTML and PDF.

Base (database)

Base provides tools for day-to-day database work within a simple interface. It can create and edit forms, reports, queries, tables, views, and relations, so that managing a relational database is much the same as in other popular database applications. Base provides many new features, such as the ability to analyze and edit relationships from a diagram view. Base incorporates two relational database engines, HSQLDB and PostgreSQL. It can also use dBASE, Microsoft Access, MySQL, or Oracle, or any ODBC compliant or JDBC compliant database. Base also provides support for a subset of ANSI-92 SQL.

Math (formula editor)

Math is the LibreOffice formula or equation editor. You can use to create complex equations that include symbols or characters not available in standard font sets. While it is most commonly used Math to create formulas in other documents, such as Writer and Impress files, Math can also work as a standalone tool. You can save formulas in the standard Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) format for web pages.

Advantages of LibreOffice

Some of the advantages of LibreOffice

No licensing fees

LibreOffice is free for anyone to use and distribute at no cost. Many features that are available as extra cost add-ins in other office suites (like PDF export) are free with LibreOffice. There are no hidden charges now or in the future.

Open source

You can distribute, copy, and modify the software as much as you wish, in accordance with the LibreOffice Open Source licenses.


LibreOffice runs on several hardware architectures and under multiple operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Extensive language support

The LibreOffice user interface, including spelling, hyphenation, and thesaurus dictionaries, is available in over 100 languages. LibreOffice also provides support for both Complex Text Layout (CTL) and Right to Left (RTL) layout languages (such as Urdu, Hebrew, and Arabic).

Consistent user interface

All the components have a similar “look and feel,” making them easy to use.


The components of LibreOffice are well integrated with one another.

  • All the components share a common spelling checker and other tools, which are used consistently across the suite. For example, the drawing tools available in Writer are also found in Calc, with similar but enhanced versions in Impress and Draw.
  • You do not need to know which application was used to create a particular file. For example, you can open a Draw file from Writer.

• File compatibility In addition to its native Open Document formats, LibreOffice includes support for opening and saving files in many common formats including Microsoft Office, HTML, XML, WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, and PDF.

Novendor lock-in

LibreOffice uses Open Document, an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) file format developed as an industry standard by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). These files can easily be unzipped and read by any text editor, and their framework is open and published.

You have a voice

Enhancements, software fixes, and release dates are community driven. You can join the community and affect the course of the product you use.

LibreOffice Minimum requirements

LibreOffice 6.0 requires one of the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows: Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows Server
    2012, or Windows 10.
  •  GNU/Linux Kernel version 2.6.18, glibc2 v2.5 or higher, and gtk v2.10.4 or higher
  •  Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or higher

Parts of the main window

-The main window is similar for each component of LibreOffice, although some details vary. See the relevant chapters in this guide about Writer, Calc, Draw, and Impress for descriptions of those details.

Common features include the Menu bar, standard toolbar, and formatting toolbar at the top of the window and the status bar at the bottom.

LibreOffice Menu bar

The Menu bar is located across the top of the LibreOffice window, just below the title bar. When you select one of the menus listed below, a sub-menu drops down to show commands. Below is the case for Writer:

File – contains commands that apply to the entire document such as Open, Save, and Export as PDF.
Edit – contains commands for editing the document such as Undo, Find & Replace, Cut,Copy, and Paste.
View – contains commands for controlling the display of the document such as Zoom and Web Layout.
Insert – contains commands for inserting elements into your document such as Header,Footer, and Image.
Format – contains commands for formatting the layout of your document.
Styles – contains commands for quickly applying common styles; for editing, loading, and creating new styles; and for accessing the Styles and Formatting section of the Sidebar.
Table – contains commands to insert and edit a table in a text document.
Tools – contains functions such as Spelling and Grammar, AutoCorrect, Customize, and Options.
Window – contains commands for the display window.
Help – contains links to the LibreOffice Help file,

LibreOffice Toolbars

LibreOffice has two types of toolbars: docked (fixed in place) and floating. Docked toolbars can be moved to different locations or made to float, and floating toolbars can be docked.

In a default LibreOffice installation, the top docked toolbar, just under the Menu bar, is called the Standard toolbar. It is consistent across the LibreOffice applications.

The second toolbar at the top, in a default LibreOffice installation, is the Formatting bar. It is context-sensitive; that is, it shows the tools relevant to the current position of the cursor or the object selected. For example, when the cursor is on a graphic, the Formatting bar provides tools for formatting graphics; when the cursor is in text, the tools are for formatting text.
In some cases it is convenient to reduce the number of toolbars displayed and get more space for the document. LibreOffice provides a single-toolbar alternative to the default double-toolbar setup. It contains the most-used commands. To activate it, enable View > Toolbars > Standard (Single Mode) and disable View > Toolbars > Standard and View > Toolbars > Formatting.

Displaying or hiding toolbars

To display or hide toolbars, go to View > Toolbars on the Menu bar, then click on the name of a toolbar from the drop-down list. An active toolbar shows a check-mark beside its name.
To close a toolbar go to View > Toolbars on the Menu bar and deselect the toolbar, or right-click in an empty space between the icons on a toolbar and select Close toolbar from the context menu.

LibreOffice Menu bar

When you select an item on the Menu bar, a sub-menu drops down to show commands. You can also customize the Menu bar.

File – contains commands that apply to the entire document; for example, Open, Save, Wizards, Export as PDF, Print, Digital Signatures, and Templates.

Edit – contains commands for editing the document; for example, Undo, Copy, Paste,Track Changes, Find and Replace, Compare and Merge Documents.

View – contains commands for modifying how the Calc user interface looks; for example,Toolbars, Grids, Column & Row Headers, Full Screen, Zoom.

Insert – contains commands for inserting elements into a spreadsheet; for example, Pictures, Media, Objects, Formula Design, Frames, Special Characters, Charts, Functions, Shapes, Pivot Tables, Named Ranges, Comments, Hyperlinks, Headers and Footers, Form Controls.

Format – contains commands for modifying the layout of a spreadsheet; for example, Cells, Page, Styles, Alignment, Merge Cells, Print Range, Conditional Formatting, Spreadsheet Themes, Image, Chart, Object.

Styles – contains commands to apply standard styles to cell, group of cells or sheets contents.

Sheet – contains the most often used commands for handling sheets, such as Insert and Delete Cells, Columns, Rows and Sheets, Sheets from File, Cell Reference Type, Link to External Data, as well as Comments and Fill cells.

Data – contains commands for manipulating data in the spreadsheet; for example, Define Database Range, Sort, Filters, Statistics, Pivot Tables, Consolidate, Forms, Groups and Outlines.

Tools – contains various functions to help you check and customize the spreadsheet; for example, Spelling, Share Document, Gallery, Macros, Goal Seek, Solver, Detective, Protect Sheet, XML Filter Settings, Extension Manager.

Window – contains commands to open a New window or Close an open window.

Help – contains links to the LibreOffice help system and other miscellaneous functions; for example, Help, License Information, User Guides, Check for Updates, Send Feedback, and Donate.


The default setting when Calc opens is for the Standard and Formatting toolbars to be docked at the top of the workspace Calc toolbars can be either docked and fixed in place, or floating; you can move a toolbar into a more convenient position on the workspace. Docked toolbars can be undocked. either To activate it, enable View > Toolbars > Standard (Single Mode) and disable View > Toolbars > Standard and View > Toolbars > Formatting.

The default set of icons (sometimes called buttons) on toolbars provides a wide range of common commands and functions. You can also remove or add icons to toolbars.

Customizing LibreOffice for more information. When hovering the toolbar with the mouse, a tool tip shows the action performed by each icon in the toolbar.

Formula bar-

The Formula Bar is located at the top of the sheet in the Calc workspace. The Formula Bar is permanently docked in this position and cannot be used as a floating toolbar. If the Formula Bar is not visible, go to View on the Menu bar and select Formula Bar.

From left to right, the Formula Bar consists of the following:

Name Box – gives the current active cell reference using a combination of a letter and number, for example A1. The letter indicates the column and the number indicates the row of the selected cell.

Function Wizard – opens a dialog from which you can search through a list of available functions. This can be very useful because it also shows how the functions are formatted.

What is Impress?

Impress is the presentation (slide show) program included in LibreOffice. You can create slides that contain many different elements, including text, bulleted and numbered lists, tables, charts, and a wide range of graphic objects such as clipart, drawings, and photographs.

Impress also includes a spelling checker, a thesaurus, text styles, and background styles. This chapter includes instructions, screenshots, and hints to guide you through the Impress environment while designing your presentations.

Starting Impress

When you start Impress for the first time, the Impress window opens with the Presentation Template dialog displayed.

Main Impress window-

The main Impress window has three parts: the Slides pane, Workspace, and Sidebar. Additionally, several toolbars can be displayed or hidden during the creation of a presentation.


You can close the Slides pane or the Sidebar by clicking the X in the upper right corner of each pane or go to View > Slide Pane or View > Sidebar on the Menu bar to deselect the pane. To reopen a pane, go to View on the Menu bar and select Slide.


The Workspace (normally in the center of the main window) opens in the Normal view. It has five tabs: Normal, Outline, Notes, Handout, and Slide Sorter. These five tabs are called View buttons. Since LibreOffice 5.1, the View buttons are not shown by default; but they can be activated by choosing View > Modes Tab Bar from the menu bar.

Slides pane-

The Slides pane contains thumbnail pictures of the slides in your presentation in the order in which they will be shown, unless you change the slide show order.
• Add new slides to the presentation.
• Mark a slide as hidden so that it will not be shown as part of the presentation.
• Delete a slide from the presentation if it is no longer needed.
• Rename a slide.
• Duplicate a slide (copy and paste).
• Move a slide to another place in the slide stack by dragging and dropping it to the desired position
• Change the slide transition following the selected slide or after each slide in a group.
• Change the slide design.
• Change slide layout for a group of slides simultaneously.


The Sidebar has seven sections. To expand a section you want to use, click on its icon or click on the small triangle at the top of the icons and select a section from the drop down list. Only one section at a time can be open.


Shows the layouts included within Impress. You can choose the one you want and use it as it is, or modify it to meet your own requirements. However, it is not possible to save customized layouts.

Slide Transition

Provides a number of slide transition options. The default is set to No Transition, in which the following slide simply replaces the existing one. However, many additional transitions are available.

Custom Animation

A variety of animations can be used to emphasize or enhance different elements ofeach slide. The Custom Animation section provides an easy way to add, change, or remove animations.

Master Pages

Here you define the page (slide) style for your presentation. Impress includes several designs for Master Pages (slide masters). One of them – Default – is blank, and the rest have background and styled text.

TipGo to Format > Styles > Styles and Formatting on the Menu bar or press the F11 key to open the Styles and Formatting dialog, where you can modify the styles used in any master page to suit your purpose. This can be done at any time.

Styles and Formatting-

Here you can edit and apply graphics styles and create new ones, but you can only edit existing presentation styles.


Opens the Impress gallery from which you can insert an object into your presentation either as a copy or as a link.


Opens the Impress navigator, in which you can quickly move to another slide or select an object on a slide.


Many toolbars can be used during slide creation. They can be displayed or hidden by going to View > Toolbars on the Menu bar and selecting from the context menu. You can also select the icons that you wish to appear on each toolbar.

Status bar-

The Status bar located at the bottom of the Impress window, contains information that you may find useful when working on a presentatio

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