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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Replace Open Office with LibreOffice

Open Office was great, but it stopped being developed April 2011. 
If you are still using Open Office, you may have begun to see problems - files crashing for no apparent reason, among other things. Many people who had Open Office 3.3 installed and then installed Internet Explorer 9 (either knowingly or via a background Windows update) found that Open Office would often crash and was not workable. 

For the end user (you), what matters is if it is working or not, and if not, how to fix it. 
For anyone out there still using Open Office 3.3.0 or earlier, I would strongly recommend switching over to LibreOffice. 

LibreOffice is continually being developed now, whereas Open Office is no longer being developed. LibreOffice is basically Open Office, but more evolved. The interface is pretty much identical (some of the icons are a bit different, but they do the same things. And, it is still free. Yes, you can still open the latest MS Office file formats, and you can export any file to PDF format.

To upgrade:
  • Download the program and the help part of the program from here.
  • Remove Open Office by going to (Win XP) Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs..., or (Vista, Win 7) Control Panel, Programs and Features...
  • Install the LibreOffice Program, and then the help program (must do it in this order).
  • LibreOffice should automatically see and incorporate your basic settings from OpenOffice
  • To ensure that LibreOffice is seen by Windows as the default program - in Windows Vista/Windows 7: Start Menu, Default Programs, Set your Default Programs, Choose LibreOffice in the list on the left. Set This Program As Default. (Note: This will set your simple txt files to open with LibreOffice Writer. If you still want Notepad to open for simple txt files, go to a txt file, right click, chose Open With, choose Choose Default Program, check off the Always open with this box, and select Notepad.)
  • If LibreOffice is not in this list of programs (above in the Default Programs), close this window and re-install the LibreOffice  program and choose Repair. If it is still missing, restart the computer and check again.
  • done.
Further information on LibreOffice can be found at their site here, or at the Wikipedia entry here.  

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