Libre Office is a set of free, open source based office productivity applications. Libre Office Writer is the application used for crating documents. In other words, its the word processor component. In this article, we would take a look at ten interesting features that you can use while creating a document using Libre Office Writer.
- File Format: A document created by Libre Office Writer can be saved in multiple formats – the default is the .odt open standards format used to save text documents. But with Libre Office writer, you could save a document with a .doc format that can be opened and edited with MS Office equivalent application, or you can just export the document as a pdf file.
- Find & Replace: If there is a huge file with thousands of words, and you are looking for something related to a certain topic, you could just click on Edit –> Find & Replace and enter the term, which you are looking for. Libre Office Writer will bring up all the pages/ instances where that term is found in the document. Alternatively, you could also change a particular word, with another word, where ever it appears in the document, with this single function. For example, if you have used the word ‘colour’ in your document, but the audience reading your document is from the US, then you may want to change the spelling to color in all the places in the document using Find & Replace.
- Special Characters: You can insert a range of special characters (that are not available in the keyboard like ®) from Insert –> Special Characters in Libre Office Writer.
- Superscript/ Subscript & Line Spacing: You can insert a superscript like – a² (a square) or a subscript where the ‘2’ comes at the bottom of a, using the options in Formatting Toolbar. You can also change the default line spacing of 1 to 1.5 or 2 using the Formatting Toolbar if you feel the lines are very close to each other, in a paragraph.
- Header & Footer: Header and Footer areas can be added to every page in Libre Office Writer. Its actually a small empty bar that runs across the length of the document (above and below every page). What ever is entered in this area, is visible from all the pages – You can insert text, date, time, page numbers and many other fields that are common to all the pages of a document. With page number, its possible to insert the total number of pages just after every page number to make it look like Page 2/16, page 3/16, etc. (Insert –> Header/Footer –> default)
- Comment: Its possible to insert a comment pointing to a certain area of text. The comment would appear on the right hand side, just after the editable page has ended with a dotted arrow mark pointed to the text referenced. This might help others reading the document or yourself, if you happen to read it after a long time. (Insert –> Comment)
- Table of Contents (Index): A table of contents (Index with page numbers) can automatically inserted in Libre Office (perhaps at the beginning of the document) by using Insert –> Indexes and Tables, as long as all the main headings and sub headings are being tagged using header tags (h1, h2, h3) while making the documents. Only these headings tagged with the appropriate header tags appear on the table of contents.
- Compare two documents: You can go to Edit –> Compare document, to compare two documents for any changes. For example, assume you have opened a document, changed certain things and then saved it with a new name. But after sometime, you want to see what exactly you have changed. So, now you can compare the original document and the newer one, to see what has changed between them. You can also use this to check if any part of a document has been changed by others.
- Hyperlink & Cross Reference: If you have a huge document, you might want users to go to certain sections directly. So, you can create click-able text placed in one part of the document, which takes the user to another part of the document, when clicked on it. Hyperlink and cross reference are both ways to do it, but hyper link is more useful if the document is exported to the web and cross reference is useful if internal parts of the documents are being referenced. Again, you can only reference to the section which uses header tags (h1,h2,h3) in their headings. For creating a hyper link, Go to View –> Navigator –> Headings. Now drag one of the headings to the area where you want to create the link. For cross reference, Go to Insert –> Cross reference, select the required heading from the top box, select ‘reference’ in the bottom box and then click ‘Insert’.
- Password Protect Documents: While saving the file using ‘Save As’, you can check ‘Save with Password’ option and give a password. If anyone (including yourself) is trying to open the document, the password would be requested, and the document will be displayed only if the correct password is entered.