Essential tips for LibreOffice

libreoffice

LibreOffice has become the office suite most important in the free software landscape, with important advances since it began as a fork of OpenOffice after the movements of Oracle after the purchase of Sun Microsystems. Lately they are enhancing one of their weak points, the graphical interface that is still far from perfect and is presented as one of the biggest problems when it comes to facing Microsoft Office.

Despite this, it is compatible with multitude of formats, both native to Microsoft Office and the open formats themselves, which are the natives with which LibreOffice and other free office suites work. In addition, the possibilities in terms of functions of this suite and that of Microsoft are equivalent and the same work can be done. I insist, making self-criticism, there are still some details to touch up and improve, but it is one of the best alternatives that exist.

LibreOffice icons

But no software or operating system is good in the hands of someone who cannot take advantage of its capabilities, since you will be wasting the potential. Therefore, in this article we are going to give a series of tricks for the LibreOffice suite that will change the way you work with it, making its use more pleasant, simple, productive and efficient, which after all is what all users are looking for, in addition to taking advantage of its functionalities.

And what I have said in the previous paragraph is very important, since many of the complaints or disappointments that users take when landing in LibreOffice and that they come from Microsoft Office they are basically reduced to not knowing how to use or take advantage of the qualities of LibreOffice as they were doing in MS Office, making them crazy and making them go back to the Redmond suite. But if you know how to master it and get used to it, you may not miss commercial software.

Tips for LibreOffice

tricks keyboard mouse dolls working on it

Many tips and tricks that exist on the net for LibreOffice are mostly intended to improve its performance, but in this megapost we do not want to focus only on the performance tricks, but be somewhat more generic and cover other points that allow us to improve in our daily use when we work with office documents and provide agility.

Tips and tricks to improve LibreOffice performance

Performance settings panel

So that our LibreOffice be something faster, avoiding wasting valuable seconds that can add to our work time to increase productivity and efficiency, we can make some adjustments in the suite. If you open any of the programs integrated in the office suite, such as LibreOffice Writer, you can go to the Tools tab on the top menu and then click on Options.

On the right you will see that there are several items to select, within LibreOffice you will see an option called Memory. We are shown a series of memory related settings. What we should touch is:

  • Reduce Number of steps in the Undo parameter. This reduces the number of times you can hit the undo button to go back to the modifications you make in the text sheet. The higher this number is, the more flexibility it will allow you when it comes to going back, but the more memory it will occupy by having to store more steps ...
  • La Image Cache is another important part. You can set 256MB maximum if you don't use too many images in your text sheet, but if you use a lot, you may want to leave more. And if you only use it for text, you can lower it to the minimum to save memory.
  • Object Memory, you can set it to about 50MB. In this case, if your documents are not very "multimedia" you can download it without fear, since this space is reserved to handle elements that are not text or image, such as graphics, audio, etc.
  • Si we set the image cache memory after 00:05 min, time. I insist, all this will depend on the amount of memory you have in your system and the uses that you give to LibreOffice, these figures being indicative ... The same for the cache of inserted objects.

Another option that we can touch is if we want that LibreOffice starts with the system, something that I do not recommend. It can be good if you use it every day and it is a must-have for your work, but if the use is more random, the only thing we will do is overload the startup and slow it down.

Continuing with the items, within LibreOffice you can also find the option called Advanced. In it you can touch some values, such as technology Java, which you can disableas it is usually not used and the performance difference is quite obvious.

As for the the toolbars we see In the main menu, if there is one that you never use, better remove it and it will improve agility. For that, from the main screen, go to the View tab and then download the toolbars that you do not want to be seen. Anyway, you know that if you need them in the future you can reactivate them by reversing this step. More tips or tricks to improve performance are disabling rules and text limits from the View tab of the main menu, helping to have a cleaner and faster GUI.

If you wish you can also go to Tools, Auto correction options and in the Word Completion menu uncheck the Enable word completion box. If you don't want or don't use word autocompletion, which in my opinion is sometimes annoying, you can contribute to performance.

Finally I would recommend uninstall dictionaries you don't use. They are taking up space for nothing. To do this, go to Tools, Options and then in the Language Settings menu. From there you select the Writing Assistance option and review the modules you have available to remove the ones you don't need.

 

Keyboard shortcuts for LibreOffice

Keyboard

Another of the things that can save us time, or rather save it, are keyboard shortcuts. Quick accesses by means of the combination of keys. For a better understanding for the reader, instead of explaining one by one using points, I put them in this table:

Keys Action
F5 Open the browser
F11 Open the Styles and Formatting window
F4 Open the data sources window
3xClick online Select the entire line
4xClick on text Select an entire paragraph
2x Click on word Select word
Ctrl + Select objects Apply some action on them
Ctrl + Home Go to the beginning of the document
Ctrl + End Go to the end of the document
Ctrl + Space Creates a space between words that allows them not to be separated at the end of the line
Ctrl + Arrows Move between words
Ctrl + Shift + Arrows Select text by words
Ctrl + Shift + V Paste without formatting
Ctrl + Del Delete text by words
Ctrl + E Select all text in the current document or cell in a table
Ctrl + G Save the document
Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel Modify the zoom

This in terms of more generic use of LibreOffice, but if you want shortcuts for a specific program, you can look at this table for LibreOffice Writer:

Keys Action
F2 Formula bar
Ctrl + F2 Insert field command
F3 Autofill text
Ctrl + F3 Edit automatic text
F4 Open data source visualization
Shift + F4 Select next frame
F5 Enable / disable Browser
Ctrl + Shift + F5 Browser activated go to page number
F7 Spell check
Ctrl + F7 Synonyms
F8 Extension mode
Ctrl + F8 Activate / deactivate marks
Shift + F8 Additional selection mode
Ctrl + Shift + F8 Block selection mode
F9 Update fields
Ctrl + F9 Show field command
Shift + F9 Calculate table
Ctrl + Shift + F9 Update input fields and lists
Ctrl + F10 Enable / disable non-printable characters
F11 Turn the Style and Formatting window on and off
Shift + F11 Create style
Ctrl + F11 Focus on the style box
Ctrl + Shift + F11 Update style
F12 Activate numbering
Ctrl + F12 Insert or edit tables
Shift + F12 Activate bullet
Ctrl + Shift + F12 Disable Numbering / Bullet
Ctrl + A Select all
Ctrl + J Justified
Ctrl + D Double underline
Ctrl + E Centered
Ctrl + H Search and Replace
Ctrl + Shift + P Superscript
Ctrl + L Align left
Ctrl + R To align to the right
Ctrl + Shift + B Subscript
Ctrl + Y Restore last action
Ctrl + 0 Apply default paragraph style
Ctrl + 1 Apply Heading 1 paragraph style
Ctrl + 2 Apply Heading 2 paragraph style
Ctrl + 3 Apply Heading 3 paragraph style
Ctrl + 4 Apply Heading 4 paragraph style
Ctrl + 5 Apply Heading 5 paragraph style
Ctrl + Plus key Calculates the selected text and copies the result to the clipboard.
Ctrl + - Optional scripts; manual word division.
Ctrl + Shift + -  Non-breaking script (not used for hyphenation)
Ctrl + * Run macro field
Ctrl + Shift + Space Non-separation space. Those spaces are not used in hyphenation and are not expanded if the text is justified.
Shift + Enter Line break without paragraph change
Ctrl + Enter Manual page break
Ctrl + Shift + Enter Column break in multi-column texts
Alt + Enter Inserts a new, unnumbered paragraph into a list. It doesn't work when the cursor is at the end of the list.
Left arrow Move the cursor to the left
Shift + Right Arrow Move cursor left with selection
Ctrl + Left Arrow Go to the beginning of the word
Ctrl + Shift + Left Arrow Select word by word to the left
Right arrow Move the cursor to the right
Shift + Right Arrow Move cursor right with selection
Ctrl + Right Arrow Go to the beginning of the next word
Ctrl + Shift + Right Arrow Select word by word to the right
Up arrow Move the cursor one line up
Shift + Up Arrow Select lines up
Ctrl + Up Arrow Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
CtrlShift + Up Arrow Select to the beginning of the paragraph. The next keystroke extends the selection to the beginning of the previous paragraph.
Down arrow Move the cursor down one line
Shift + Down Arrow Select lines down
Ctrl + Down Arrow Move the cursor to the end of the paragraph.
CtrlShift + Down Arrow Select until the end of the paragraph. The next keystroke extends the selection to the end of the next paragraph
Home Go to the beginning of the line
Home + Shift Go and select the beginning of a line
End Go to the end of the line
End + Shift Go and select the end of the line
Ctrl + Home Go to the beginning of the document
Ctrl + Home + Shift Go to the beginning of the document with selection
Ctrl + End Go to the end of the document
Ctrl + End + Shift Go to the end of the document with selection
Ctrl + Page Up Move the cursor between the text and the heading
Ctrl + Page Down Move the cursor between the text and the footer
Insertion Activate / deactivate Insert mode
Pág. Screen page up
Shift + Page Up Screen page up with selection
Page Av. Screen page down
Shift + Page Down Screen page down with selection
Ctrl + Del Delete the text to the end of the word
Ctrl + Backspace Delete the text up to the beginning of the word
Ctrl + Del + Shift Delete the text until the end of the sentence
Control + Shift + Backspace Delete the text up to the beginning of the sentence
Ctrl + Tab When completing a word automatically: Next proposal
Control + Shift + Tab When completing a word automatically: Previous proposal
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + V Pastes the contents of the clipboard as plain text.
Ctrl + double click or Ctrl + Shift + F10 Quickly dock and undock multiple windows.

For, LibreOffice Calc, you can use:

Keys Action
Ctrl + Home Moves the cursor to the first cell on the sheet (A1).
Ctrl + End Moves the cursor to the last cell that contains data.
Home Moves the cursor to the first cell of the current row.
End Moves the cursor to the last cell in the current row.
Shift + Home Select cells from the current to the first cell of the current row.
Shift + End Select cells from current to last in current row.
Shift + Page Up Select cells from current to one page above current column or extend current selection up one page.
Shift + Page Down Select cells from the current one to one page below the current column or extend the current selection one page down.
Ctrl + ← Moves the cursor to the left edge of the current data area. If the column to the left of the cell that contains the cursor is empty, the cursor moves to the left to the next column that contains data.
Ctrl + → Moves the cursor to the right edge of the current data area. If the column to the right of the cell containing the cursor is empty the cursor moves right to the next column that contains data.
Ctrl + ↑ Moves the cursor to the top edge of the current data area. If the row above the cell that contains the cursor is empty, the cursor moves up to the next row that contains data.
Ctrl + ↓ Moves the cursor to the lower edge of the current data area. If the row below the cell that contains the cursor is empty, the cursor moves down to the next row that contains data.
Ctrl + Shift + arrow Selects all cells that contain data from the current cell to the end of the continuous range of data cells in the same direction as the clicked arrow. If used to select rows and columns together a rectangular cell range is selected.
Ctrl + Page Up Shift one sheet to the left.
Ctrl + Page Down Shift one sheet to the right.
Alt + Page Up Scrolls one screen to the left.
Alt + Page Down Scrolls one screen to the right.
Ctrl + Page Up Adds the previous sheet to the current sheet selection. If all the sheets in a worksheet are selected this key combination only selects the previous sheet. Converts the previous sheet to the current one.
Ctrl + Page Down Adds the next sheet to the current sheet selection. If all the sheets in a worksheet are selected this key combination only selects the next sheet. Converts the next sheet to the current one.
Ctrl + * Selects the data area where the cursor is located.
Ctrl + /  Selects the array formula area where the cursor is located.
Ctrl + plus key Insert cells (as inside menu Insert - Cells)
Ctrl + -  Delete cells (as in the menu Edit - Delete Cells)
Enter key (in a selected range) Moves the cursor down one cell in the selected area.

And finally, for LibreOffice Base:

Keys Action
F6 Jump between areas of the query design.
Delete Removes a table from the query design.
Tab Select the connection line.
Shift + F10 Open the context menu.
F4 preview
F5 Run query
F7 Add table or query
Alt + down arrow Open the combo field.
Alt + Up Arrow Close the combo field
Shift + Enter Insert a new line
Up arrow Place the cursor on the previous line.
Down arrow Place your cursor on the next line.
Login Complete the entry in the field and place the cursor in the next field.
Ctrl + F6 Places focus (if not in design mode) on the first control field. The first field corresponds to the first field in the form browser list.
Ctrl + Page Down Jump between the tabs.
Ctrl + Page Down Jump between the tabs.
F6 Jump between the windows.
Tab Selection of control fields.
Shift + Tab Selection of the control fields in the opposite direction.
Ctrl + Enter Inserts the selected control field.
Ctrl + Home  Shifts the selected control field in 1mm steps in the respective direction.
Ctrl + Tab In Edit Point mode it jumps to the next handle.
Shift + Ctrl + Tab In Edit Point mode it jumps to the previous handle.
Esc Leave the current selection.

There are many more keyboard shortcuts for LibreOffice, but these are the most used, especially navigation. For more information you can access the LIbreOffice help website.

 

Other tips for everyday LibreOffice use

LibreOffice WRITE 5.1

Some other interesting tools that LibreOffice integrates and that you should know about are the option to Export to PDF that you can find in the File menu, allowing you to save the document in PDF format, something that is appreciated and that in the past was not available in Microsoft Office and you had to install other programs or extensions to be able to do so. It is integrated into LibreOffice from the start and can save a lot of work to convert documents to PDF.

You should also know that LibreOffice has a large number of Extensions to install, something like the plugins or addons that you can find in some browsers to extend their capabilities. Many of them are very interesting and that you can find here by categories. Select the one you want or the ones you want and you can download and then install the .oxt that is downloaded by double clicking on it.

More details that you should know, the possibility of changing the appearance of your workspace. Although you can modify it more deeply, but you can change background color of the program to make it more pleasing to the eye according to your taste. To do this, go to the Tools menu, then Options, and in LibreOffice you can select Appearance. In this section you can modify the colors to your liking, but also, in the Personalization option that is just above Appearance, you will also find a tool to install your own or ready-made themes ...

 

If you have any questions or suggestions, you just have to leave a comment. Some contributions of tricks that you know and have not been included in the list will also be welcome, so we will help all readers to improve their daily work.


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  1.   mircocaloghero said

    I love these notes… thank you

  2.   manuel ramirez said

    Excuse me but could you help me with what to do with the command ctrl + shift + o

  3.   nelson cea said

    There are problems with the shortcut shift + f3, since when locating in a word of a phrase, not only does the word change from uppercase to lowercase or vice versa, but also other words in the phrase are changed and not only what is required change. Is it possible you can help me with this situation?

  4.   hector angle said

    none of that works for me, thank you

  5.   Quique said

    There is a subject that they have not finished solving, and that is writing a long script for a novel. Okay, you can substitute two short dashes for the long dash, but you HAVE to give them room to convert. It happens that after a long dash NEVER gets space, so then you have to hit back. So to create a long dash you have to do the following:
    Word: Two short dashes. (2 clicks in a row, very dynamic)
    Open Office: Two short dashes, space, backspace key. (4 cumbersome clicks)
    In a novel with a lot of dialogue this is simply not feasible.
    Thank you.

  6.   Miguel said

    Uff, this article is really old, but since the publication date is nowhere to be found, one wastes time entering LibreOffice trying to configure something that is no longer in the options menu: memory. It would be good if the pages that offer these "tricks" update the content as the versions of the programs modify the configurations, or at least, put the date in which these articles are published. A total waste of time ...

  7.   Chepo said

    Libreoffice is garbage

  8.   Silvia said

    Good afternoon,
    I would like to know if there is any shortcut to set the date (current day), not the formula since it changes depending on the day you open the file. Before I used (CTRL + ,)

    Thank you