Tips to make LibreOffice more productive and compatible with Microsoft Office

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I previously wrote about LibreOffice as a good alternative for Microsoft Office 2013. Today, I want to share a few tips to make the open-source office suite more productive, compatible and more user-friendly with Microsoft Office.

Chances are that if you switched to LibreOffice, you’ll soon come across a Microsoft Office document, spreadsheet or presentation from someone who is likely using Office 2010 or the new Office 365. The inconvenience here is that by default Writer, Calc, and the other applications use the .ODS file format, which is different to the .DOCX/.XLSX used by Office. This could cause some compatibility problems, so the best way to keep documents working in harmony is to configure LibreOffice to use the Microsoft’s Office file format. This is actually something pretty easy to do: 

Instructions

1. Launch any LibreOffice application, in this case Writer, and from the Tools menu, select Options.

2. Expand the Load/Save settings and under “Default files format and ODF settings”, make sure that “Document type” is set to Text document and the “Always save as” is configured for “Microsoft Word 2007/2010 XML”. In the same way you should configure the rest of the other applications (e.g., for Calc choose spreadsheet and Microsoft Excel 2007/2010 XML, etc.). When you’re done with the configuration, simply save the new settings by clicking OK.

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This simple configuration will make sure that every document you create gets saved as a compatible Microsoft Office document file.

LibreOffice Grammar

You can also optimize the grammar engine in LibreOffice by enabling some interesting options in the Dictionary extension (Yeah! That’s right, the open-source software also features extensions to add extra functionality). To get started, from the Tools menu, click on Extension Manager, and from the English spelling dictionary, click Options.

dictionary extension

Now under Grammar checking you can also enable: Possible mistakes, Capitalization, Word duplication, Parenthesis, and much more to make your writing better proofreading.

LibreOffice Extensions

Also you’ll find that there are many other extensions you can control, and if they aren’t enough, you can click the Get more extensions online link to add even more functionality to LibreOffice, such as: languages tools, clip-art, gallery, file format tools and much more.

Quick Tip: From the extensions web page you can also access the templates page, to help you create beautiful presentations or to simply save you time getting the work done.

Let us know in the comments below if you have another tip working with LibreOffice.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.