If you do not already have LibreOffice installed take a look at our post about how to install LiberOffice
Now that you have LibreOffice installed you are ready to make the jump from the dominant Office Suite to one that gives you more control and makes you feel good about using your software again.
There are a few ways that you can open LiberOffie Writer. If you created a desktop icon when you did the install you will see this icon on your desktop. This will open the LibreOffice management center. From here it will show previous documents that you have worked on and a link to open each of the different programs in the suite. You can also run Writer directly from the start menu or start screen in Windows 8.
The layout of Writer is similar to Word before Word 2007. In word 2007 Microsoft introduced the ribbon bar. Over time many people have gotten used to it but it was a major change that really from my point of view a change that brought no added benefit. With LibreOffice the text menu it still there. For me it was like seeing an old friend.
It is nice that they have kept the tool bar very simple and uncluttered. You can add more buttons if you need them. For the average user the default buttons will be more than enough for what you need. If you are an advanced or power user there are many more options under the word menu. If you click on view then tool bars you will see all the options that you can enable on the tool bar to fit your needs.
LibreOffice Write opens very quickly. In the test that I have done it opened in about 25% less time than Word did for me. Once the Writer program is open it opens a blank document by default. You can start to edit right away. If you want to open a template click on File |New | Templates. You can also open the templates directly by holding down CTRL + Shift and pressing N. There are only a few templates that are installed by default. If you are looking for something else there is a large depository of templates on the LibreOffice site. Another nice thing in the Open source community is that people share the templates that they create. If you design a template you my want to consider submitting your template for addition to the template repository. You are getting a pretty robust and useful piece of software and the more people that contribute the better it will be.
Once in your document you have the same options that you have in word. To change fonts there is font and size settings on the main toolbar.
If you are starting a new paragraph you can change these font settings to what you want and then start typing. You have want to change text that has already been typed. Highlight the text and then choose the desired settings in the menu and all the text you have highlighted will change. If you have ever used a word processing program this is something that works pretty much the same way in all of them.
After getting set up in LibreOffice Writer just explore the settings. You can’t hurt anything by opening a new document and just checking everything out to see what is there and how it work. The nice thing about Writer is that it is fairly easy to use. It is free and it allows you to go completely Open Source.
If you have any questions let us know in the comments or contact us here