LibreOffice, ownCloud join hands


Collabora and ownCloud are well-known names in the open source world. Together they have come up with a VM that runs LibreOffice on ownCloud server. This essentially means you can view and edit presentations, spreadsheets and documents directly on ownCloud. Continue reading LibreOffice, ownCloud join hands

Useful LibreOffice extensions

libreoffice_compLibreOffice has many extensions to boost productivity with the suite. We picked a few of them to share with our readers. You can search and download the extensions from the official extensions website. Try them and let us know your experience.

  • LanguageTool
    A style and grammar proofreading software for English, French, German and many other languages. You can think of LanguageTool as a software to detect errors that a simple spell checker cannot detect, e.g. mixing up there/their, no/now etc. It can also detect some grammar mistakes.
  • Read Text
    Lets an external program or web application read text from Writer, Calc, Draw, Impress, Web Writer or the system clipboard. If you use it to read text aloud, it can help you to edit your writing or to compare your document’s text with a printed document. If you use it with a web application, you can translate your text to another language or check punctuation and grammar. You need eSpeak / Festival / Mbrola on Linux for speech synthesis.
  • AltSearch
    Extension that adds many new features to Writer’s stock find & replace function. Supports regular or extended expressions, various criteria for text search, text containing multiple paragraphs, multiple search and replace and many many more functionalities.
  • Code Colorizer Formatter
    A simple parser is used to identify elements in the supported languages; for example, keywords, literals, comments, and operators. Each element type is set to use a specific character style. The style sets the color used for that portion. Supports Bash, Basic, C++, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, R, SQL, XML, C#, 8085 Assembler, and x86 Assembler.
  • Review Toolbar
    Implements a new Review toolbar with some relevant command buttons that are spread out in various menus and toolbars. The icons represent options to view and edit changes, comments, toggle highlighting, toggle line numbers and clear the document.
  • WebDAV integration
    Allows the user to open and save documents directly on a WebDAV server.
  • TexMaths
    an addon designed to provide LaTeX support into LibreOffice. LaTeX equations can be inserted as images (SVG or PNG formats) and the LaTeX code is saved into the image attribute for further editing.
  • MultiSave
    Save a document simultaneously into OpenDocument and/or MS-Office and/or PDF formats.

Once the .oxt file is downloaded locally, open LibreOffice and navigate to Tools ▸ Extension Manager ▸ Add… and select the extension to install it. Note that some extensions might need JAVA to be installed on your system.

Webpage: LibreOffice Extensions

LibreOffice Viewer Beta debuts on Android

Efforts to port LibreOffice and OpenOffice on Android have been going on for a while now. The first sustainable breakthrough comes from LibreOffice as the Beta Viewer hit the Android market today. There are bugs to be fixed, features to be added, polishing to be done but it’s a welcome first step.

The Viewer can currently recognize and render the following document types:

  • Open Document Format (.odt, .odp, .ods, .ots, .ott, .otp)
  • Microsoft Office 2007/2010/2013 (.docx, .pptx, .xlsx, .dotx, .xltx, .ppsx)
  • Microsoft Office 97/2000/XP/2003 (.doc, .ppt, .xls, .dot, .xlt, .pps)

The app uses the same engine as the desktop LibreOffice and is from the same organization, Collabora. Rendering is a bit slow in the Beta and there are issues with browsing SD card. However, expect these to be fixed soon.

Upcoming releases will see the following features:

  • Interactive document elements (e.g. URLs)
  • Support for browsing external SD storage
  • Many more…

Head on to the Google Play page for LibreOffice Viewer Beta and check it out. Report bugs to help the devs fix them.

Install LibreOffice 4.3 and later on Ubuntu

libreoffice_compUpdate: use the following LibreOffice Fresh PPA to get the latest version of LibreOffice in the 4.x series:

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

LibreOffice 4.3 is just out and appears to be a great release. While you can download the whole package from the LibreOffice website and install it, Ubuntu standard repos do not have 4.3 at the time of writing. There is a libreoffice PPA from which you can install LibreOffice 4.3 directly. Run the following to install:

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-4-3
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

While the above PPA hosts the last release candidate (almost same as release version) you can install the latest released version from another PPA meant for LXDE variant of Linux Mint:

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mati75/mint-lxde
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

You can also use the LibreOffice Pre-Release PPA (note that this PPA stages aplha, beta and pre-releases, be careful!):

$ sudo apt-get purge libreoffice-core
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-prereleases
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install libreoffice

OpenOffice and LibreOffice on Android

android_compIf you are a heavy open source software user you might crave for some of your favourite desktop applications on Android. How about your office suite? OpenOffice or LibreOffice? Let’s explore the current options.


Already ported to Android as AndrOpen Office. View or edit your documents at will. All the major components – Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base have been ported. This project is not affiliated to the original Apache project though it is forked from the same codebase.


This is not ready yet but in progress with daily builds available for testing. Head on to the main page with links to daily builds, developer page etc. Remember that the test builds are not quite something that you’ld like to try out at the time of writing.

Use LibreOffice online

libreoffice_compLibreOffice, a complete open source office suite, is the latest addition to rollApp, a service that lets you run many popular applications online using a browser. Following are the links:

rollApp is a very useful service for devices like Chromebooks or users who rely heavily on online services. Click on “Launch online” and register quickly on rollApp using any of your existing accounts to use the applications. As of now rollApp can connect and store your documents on Dropbox, Google Drive (former Google Docs), Box and 4shared.

LibreOffice 4.0 released

libreoffice_compThe freshly baked LibreOffice is now available for download. If you are looking for an industry standard open source alternative for commercial office suites like MS Office, LibreOffice is one of your best options. And with MS Office profits running low in the last quarter it seems that people are opting out of paying for office packages and weighing the cloud (like Google Drive) as well as native alternatives. Originally a fork of OpenOffice, LibreOffice supports multiple platforms and is a stable product now. Try it out.

Note: This article is outdated now. Check here for LibreOffice 4.3+ installation instructions.

Reduce LibreOffice memory usage

libreoffice_compIf LibreOffice is taking longer to load on your box (mine is Ubuntu 12.04), a few settings changes can make it snappier. Open LibreOffice Writer and go to Tools ▸ Options ▸ LibreOffice and try the following changes (I am using version

  1. General settings: Turn off Tips and Help Agent if you don’t need them.
  2. Memory settings: Set Number of steps to 15, Use for LibreOffice to 20 MB, Memory per object to 4 MB, Remove from memory after 00:08 minutes, Number of objects to 4. To always keep LibreOffice loaded in memory enable the QuickStarter. I omitted the last step as I don’t use office suites heavily.
  3. View settings: I just changed Icon size to small and turned off both Anti-aliasing options.
  4. Accessibility settings: Turn off Automatically detect high contrast mode… if it’s OK for you.
  5. Java settings: Disable Use Java runtime environment. Works for the version I have. Power users of LibreOffice, please read the comments below before proceeding with this step.
To disable the LibreOffice splash screen completely:

First method:

Edit the file /etc/libreoffice/sofficerc (In stock LibreOffice 4.2 /opt/libreoffice4.2/program/soffice) and change

Second method (the first method is better than this):

  1. Open /usr/lib/libreoffice/program/soffice. In stock LibreOffice 4.2 /opt/libreoffice4.2/program/soffice
  2. Find the following line (might be the last line in the file as well):
    exec $VALGRINDCHECK $STRACECHECK "$sd_prog/oosplash" "$@"
    and change to
    exec $VALGRINDCHECK $STRACECHECK "$sd_prog/oosplash" "--nologo" "$@"

Additionally I have removed some unnecessary (at least for me) buttons from Writer manually.