LibreOffice is community-driven and developed software, and is a project of the not-for-profit organization, The Document Foundation. LibreOffice is free and open-source software, originally based on (commonly known as OpenOffice), and is the most actively developed successor project.

LibreOffice is developed by users who, believe in the principles of Free Software and in sharing their work with the world in non-restrictive ways. At the core of these principles are the four essential freedoms and the tenets of The Document Foundation’s Next Decade Manifesto [PDF].

LibreOffice is a powerful and free office suite, a successor to OpenOffice(.org), used by millions of people around the world. Its clean interface and feature-rich tools help you unleash your creativity and enhance your productivity. LibreOffice includes several applications that make it the most versatile Free and Open Source office suite on the market: Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing).

Great-looking, well-structured documents

Your documents will look professional and clean, regardless of their purpose: a letter, a master thesis, a brochure, financial reports, marketing presentations, technical drawings, and diagrams. LibreOffice makes your work look great while you focus on the content, thanks to its powerful styles system and structuring tools.

Use documents of all kinds

LibreOffice is compatible with a wide range of document formats such as Microsoft® Word (.doc, .docx), Excel (.xls, .xlsx), PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx) and Publisher. But LibreOffice goes much further with its native support for a modern and open standard, the Open Document Format (ODF). With LibreOffice, you have maximum control over your data and content – and you can export your work in many different formats including PDF.

LibreOffice contains six component programs that provide everything you need from an office suite:

  • Writer (word processing)
  • Calc (spreadsheets)
  • Impress (presentations)
  • Draw (vector graphics)
  • Math (mathematical formulae)
  • Base (databases)

You can save and open many different formats, including Microsoft file types (including DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, and many more), which is ideal if you’re collaborating with users of Microsoft Office, or if you’ve previously used Microsoft’s suite but have decided to try LibreOffice.

User experience

LibreOffice offers a choice of interface styles: a traditional system of icons and toolbars, and an optional NotebookBar (similar to the ribbon used in Microsoft Office since 2007). Both have their advantages; the NotebookBar will make switching from Microsoft Office more natural, while the old-school layout means everything is visible at a glance, and you can navigate easily using a keyboard rather than a mouse if you prefer.

Beyond that, there’s little difference between Microsoft’s productivity toolkit and LibreOffice. The open-source suite lacks Office’s built-in cloud storage option, but that’s easily remedied by installing the Dropbox desktop software, which gives you instant access to your account as though it was a folder on your PC.

LibreOffice’s selection of templates might seem a little limited compared to Microsoft’s, but this is easily remedied by the huge collection of downloadable options available in the project’s online repository. There are also plugins to add features like advanced grammar tools, extra language packs, improved accessibility options (such as export for braille embossers), and plugins for other programs like mind-mapping tool Freemind.

LibreOffice 6.0 comes with improved Microsoft Office Open OOXML interoperability. This includes iSmartArt import and ActiveX controls import/export for embedded text documents and spreadsheets, the export of embedded videos to PPTX, the export of cross-references to DOCX, the export of MailMerge fields to DOCX, and improvements to the PPTX filter.

In addition, you can now export Writer documents to the ePub ebook format. You can also import QuarkXPress files. In short, if you want to publish ebooks straight from LibreOffice, you can now.

There’s also an improved filter for importing Enhanced Metafile Format Plus Microsoft Office documents. Some improvements have also been made to the Open Document Format (ODF) export filter, making it easier for other ODF readers to display visuals

I’m not a big fan of the ribbon-style user interface (UI) on any program, but if that’s what floats your boat, the LibreOffice Ribbon UI now has two new versions. The first, Groupedbar Full, put three levels of buttons on the bar. The other, Tabbed Compact, is a minimalist version of the standard Tabbed Notebook Bar. 

LibreOffice is pre-installed on all Flavors of Ubuntu but if you do not have it or would like to install it follow our install guide for instructions on how to install LibreOffice on your system. Also, there are times that LibreOffice gets updated but Ubuntu is much slower on distributing the updates so if you like to update your LibreOffice version you will find the instructions in our install guide as well.