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This article describes how to install LibreOffice 7.1 on Debian/Ubuntu-based Linux distributions, such as Linux Mint, MX Linux, Ubuntu and derivatives.

LibreOffice 7.1 was released on February 3, 2020
LibreOffice 7.2 will be released in the Summer 2021. Find more information on LibreOffice 7.1 & 7.2 release dates on the official release plan.

Resources for LibreOffice 7.1 & 7.2:
Detailed 7.1 release plan
Detailed 7.2 release plan
LO 7.1 Release notes (new features list)
LO 7.2 Release notes (new features list)

Summary

  1. There are two versions of LibreOffice that you can download. The latest version is recommended for tech enthusiasts and early adopters. However, if you prefer a tried and tested version, you might prefer version 6.4.7 even though it doesn’t have the latest features.
  2. Download LibreOffice 7.1.1 for Windows for free, without any viruses, from Uptodown. Try the latest version of LibreOffice 2021 for Windows.

After a surprise overtake of OpenOffice, LibreOffice has become the best freeware alternative when it comes to having an all-in-one for document management. Its new version 5.1 adds interesting changes and add-ons that refine all these concepts.

A. Install LibreOffice 7.1 via ppa
 1. Add the LibreOffice PPA
 2. Install language packs
 3. Install additional packages
 4. Uninstall / Downgrade LibreOffice

B. Install LibreOffice manually
 1. Remove previous LibreOffice installations
 2. Install LibreOffice 7.1 manually
 3. Uninstall LibreOffice

A. Install or upgrade LibreOffice 7.1 via PPA (Ubuntu-based distributions)

Warning: updating LibreOffice via PPA or manually can cause multiple problems. It is recommended to stick with the default LibreOffice version which comes with your Linux distribution.

If you are an advanced Linux user and want to update/upgrade LibreOffice anyway, the “LibreOffice Packaging” team recommends installing or upgrading via ppa over using the *.deb files provided by Document Foundation.

1. Add the LibreOffice PPA

The official LibreOffice PPA provides the latest “fresh” version. Run the following commands in Linux Mint or any Ubuntu-based distribution:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade

Some guides recommend using apt full-upgrade instead of apt-upgrade.

The full-upgrade is absolutely fine (and won’t upgrade your Linux distribution!), but in this case does the same as apt upgrade. The apt manual page describes the full-upgrade variant as follows: “full-upgrade performs the function of upgrade but will remove currently installed packages if this is needed to upgrade the system as a whole”.

If you wanted to install (vs upgrade) LibreOffice, run the command below:
sudo apt install libreoffice

Alternative PPA for the 7.1 branch

This PPA has not be updated to 7.1 yet (as of April 2021).

The “LibreOffice Packaging” team also provides a 7.1.x specific PPA. This one will NOT upgrade automatically to the next major LibreOffice version (7.2).

If apt (or apt-get) keeps installing an old libreoffice version, try using this repository instead of the “Fresh” PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-7-1
sudo apt update

Now install OR upgrade LibreOffice:
sudo apt upgrade
or
sudo apt install libreoffice

2. Install language packs

Language packages in LibreOffice are spread over different packages. The user interface, templates and autotext features are contained in the libreoffice-l10n-* packages.

Spelling dictionaries, hyphenation patterns and thesauri are available in separate packages: hunspell-*, hyphen-*, mythes-* and libreoffice-help-*.

Latest libreoffice ppa

To find LibreOffice language packs for a specific language, replace the asterisk with a two-letters language code (mostly). For example, the corresponding German packages are:

  • User interface: libreoffice-l10n-de
  • Spelling dictionary: hunspell-de-de-frami
  • Hyphenation patterns: hyphen-de
  • Thesaurus (synonyms): mythes-de
  • Help: libreoffice-help-de

Install all of them with the following command:
sudo apt install libreoffice-l10n-de hunspell-de-de-frami hyphen-de mythes-de libreoffice-help-de

For US-English, there is no libreoffice-l10n-en-us package as it is the default language. Spelling, hyphenation, thesaurus (synonyms) and help files still have to be installed:
sudo apt install hunspell-en-us hyphen-en-us mythes-en-us libreoffice-help-en-us

For British or Canadian English, replace all us occurrences with gb or ca.

Find the right LibO language packs

How to find the letter code for your language packs? One option is to check the output of the following command:
apt search libreoffice-l10n-

Please note that spelling packages may have a different language code! In fact, there are more different spellcheck packages than user interface packages:
apt search hunspell-

Here are two examples for installing panguage packs in French and Spanish:

sudo apt install libreoffice-l10n-fr hunspell-fr-comprehensive hyphen-fr mythes-fr libreoffice-help-fr

sudo apt install libreoffice-l10n-es hunspell-es hyphen-es mythes-es libreoffice-help-es

3. Install additional packages

If the LibreOffice UI looks broken/old/ugly/awful, the GTK integration package may be missing. Install it and restart LibreOffice:
sudo apt install libreoffice-gtk3

Now LibreOffice should look more or less like in this screenshot (with the new default Colibre theme):

You may want to install additional icon themes. The new Colibre theme is installed by default. You could install all available icon themes with the following command (not recommended):
sudo apt install libreoffice-style*

The themes HiContrast, Industrial and Oxygen do not include SVG variants of the icons and are not actively maintained. Karasa Jaga was introduced as an alternative to Oxygen.
sudo apt install libreoffice-style-karasa-jaga

To change the active icon theme, go to:
Tools > Options > View > Icon style

The Sukapura theme by Rizal Muttaqin was introduced with LibreOffice 7.0 and is a default theme for LibreOffice installations on MacOS. Here is what it looks like and how to install it:

sudo apt install libreoffice-style-sukapura

Finally, here are a few more icon themes for LibreOffice worth installing: Breeze, Elementary and Sifr.
sudo apt install libreoffice-style-breeze
sudo apt install libreoffice-style-elementary
sudo apt install libreoffice-style-sifr

4. Uninstall / Downgrade LibreOffice

To go back to the default LibreOffice version provided by your Linux distro, you’ll have to remove AND purge the LibreOffice PPA.

The following command only removes the PPA. Your system will no longer receive updates from that PPA, but it doesn’t affect the packages installed from that PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:libreoffice/ppa

Now purge the PPA to downgrade to the stock LibreOffice version:
sudo apt install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:libreoffice/ppa

If you used the dedicated LibreOffice 7.1 PPA, run these three commands insteads:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-7-1

sudo apt install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-7-1

B. Install LibreOffice manually

This installation method is based on the official .deb packages.

1. Remove bundled LibreOffice

LibreOffice 7.1 can be installed alongside older LibreOffice versions, but conflicts may occur.

To remove prior installations of LibreOffice:
sudo apt remove libreoffice-common

If you also want to remove LibreOffice configuration files, use the purge switch:
sudo apt purge libreoffice-common

Note that you could also use remove --purge, which is is equivalent to the purge command.

Remove unused dependencies:
sudo apt autoremove

2. Install LibreOffice manually

Latest

Step 1 of 3 – Download compressed packages

Download LibreOffice 7.1 from the official download page:
www.libreoffice.org/download/

Select Linux x86 (deb) for 32 bits systems or Linux x64 (deb) for 64 bits systems.

This how-to supposes that the downloaded file (and language packs) is saved in the “Downloads” directory situated in your home directory.

Download as many language packs as you need.

Step 2 of 3 – Extract the .deb packages

The downloaded files are compressed and have a .tar.gz filename extension. In case you want to learn more on these extensions, please follow these links: tar, gzip. To extract these juicy archives, open the “Downloads” directory. Look for a file named:

LibreOffice_7.1.2_Linux_x86_deb.tar.gz or
LibreOffice_7.1.2_Linux_x86-64_deb.tar.gz

Then, right-click on the file name and select “extract here “. Repeat the extraction process for all language packs. The .tar.gz archive(s) can now be deleted.

Step 3 of 3 – Install .deb packages

Open a terminal.
Change the current directory to the location of the .deb packages:
cd ~/Downloads/LibreOffice_7.1.x.x_Linux_x86_deb/DEBS

or for the 64 bits version:
cd ~/Downloads/LibreOffice_7.1.x.x_Linux_x86-64_deb/DEBS

(You don’t need to write everything: use Tab ↹ to autocomplete the command line, or copy and paste with the middle-click mouse button)

Finally, install all .deb packages:
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

In case you’re installing language packs, repeat the cd and dpkg steps for each language pack.

You’re done! No need to restart, LibreOffice is ready to be used.

If you have problems launching LibreOffice, try out the following command:
libreoffice7.1
or
/opt/libreoffice7.1/program/soffice

If you’re installing a development release (Beta) of LO 7.2, you can launch it with the following command:
lodev7.2

3. Uninstall LibreOffice

If you want to remove LibreOffice, use the following command:
sudo apt purge libreoffice7.1*

Alternatively, or for any other version, use:
sudo apt purge libreoffice?

If you want to remove a development (beta) version of LibreOffice, use the following command:
sudo apt remove lodev*

By Johannes Eva, January 2011 – April 2021

Read also:
How to install Firefox on any Linux distribution (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, …)
How to set default programs on Linux Mint or Ubuntu

Too many spelling or grammatical errors?

The author of this article is French and German, and obviously not a native English speaker. Any correction will be gladly accepted. Please send an email to

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If you're looking for a Microsoft Office alternative, don’t want a monthly subscription, or prefer to download your software, LibreOffice is an excellent choice.

As open-source software, LibreOffice is continually updated with new improvements and doesn’t need an internet connection to run. In this LibreOffice review, you’ll learn how the software functions and how it differs from other office suites.

Who is LibreOffice for?

LibreOffice is for individual users and small businesses who want free, downloadable tools, without worrying that their software will become obsolete and unsupported in years to come. Although some large enterprises use LibreOffice, the lack of support is an issue.

Companies with developers may prefer LibreOffice because, by the nature of open-source software, you can configure the code to fit your needs. Moreover, several partners sell enterprise versions with customer service and service level agreements (SLA). You may prefer LibreOffice if:

  • Your team uses various operating systems, such as Linux, macOS, or Windows
  • Internet access is spotty or unavailable at remote business locations
  • You want software installed on your computer without worrying about it going extinct
  • Mobile apps and online accessibility aren’t important to you
  • You need extensive language support in your documents
  • You’re familiar with Microsoft Word and are looking for a free version

There is a cloud-based version of LibreOffice available through third parties under names such as Collabora Office and LibreOffice Online powered by CIB. However, the web-based version doesn’t include a file storage system and isn’t supported by The Document Foundation, so this LibreOffice review doesn’t include information about the cloud version.

LibreOffice also gets updated frequently. For example, LibreOffice 5.0 came out in 2015, version 6.0 appeared in 2017, and 7.0 was introduced in 2020.

LibreOffice’s features

Like other Zoho Office Suite, LibreOffice comes with the main tools you need to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. It also provides a database comparable to Microsoft Access.

However, it doesn’t offer any communication or collaboration tools. Nor does it offer cloud storage, so you can use document management best practices using any existing file solution.

Libreoffice For Windows 10

Windows

The main features of LibreOffice are:

  • Writer: An easy-to-use word processing application
  • Calc: A spreadsheet program similar to Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.
  • Impress: A presentation platform to create slideshows
  • Draw: An integrated graphic editing program
  • Base: A database program that integrates with all LibreOffice applications
  • Math: A formula editor used to create intricate formulas for use in all LibreOffice apps
  • Charts: A standalone tool to create and edit charts and graphs
  • Extensions: Hundreds of add-on tools to suit nearly any business need

LibreOffice Writer

LibreOffice Writer is a word processing tool offering standard features found in other similar programs, including an autocorrect dictionary and autocomplete feature.

Writer is compatible with many document formats. However, there may be formatting errors or non-compatible fonts when opening a Word document in LibreOffice, which can pose a problem if you work with clients or team members who use Microsoft Office.

In contrast, if you work with international clients and teams using open document formats, you’ll appreciate the native support for this file type.

LibreOffice Writer also offers pre-built templates for documents such as faxes, business cards, meeting minutes, or conference agendas.

Although the interface is similar to Microsoft Word, completing some tasks, like changing your header style, takes more clicks than with other word processing programs. However, there are some neat built-in features and extensions, such as:

  • An option to export documents as an eBook, which isn’t available without a third-party integration on Microsoft Word
  • A redaction tool to hide sensitive data either one word at a time or automatically by selecting words or phrases to sanitize
  • An out-of-the-box grammar checker in four languages, including English, Brazilian, Hungarian, and Russian
  • Additional extensions for grammar checkers in more than 30 languages, a quick response (QR) code generator, and an emoji toolbar
Latest libreoffice ubuntu 18.04

LibreOffice Writer uses a familiar interface and toolbars. Source: LibreOffice software.

LibreOffice Calc

LibreOffice Calc is a user-friendly spreadsheet program with a wizard that helps you pull in content from databases or ask 'what if' questions from its Scenario Manager.

You can have up to 1,024 columns and 1,048,576 rows per worksheet. Both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace spreadsheet programs allow over 15,000 columns but offer a similar number of rows per spreadsheet. Calc also offers 508 spreadsheet functions, which is comparable to Microsoft.

Although the software lets you create charts, there is a lag time to update your spreadsheet with a new chart and fewer chart options than other spreadsheet programs. Furthermore, software bugs exist with things like patterned or gradient cell background colors.

To get functionality similar to Microsoft, you’ll need to download extensions. For example, LibreOffice Calc doesn’t come with the function to remove duplicate cells. You can add this feature by downloading the Remove Duplicates extension and restarting Calc. You also won’t find templates for Calc, but a few are available for download as an extension.

Easily get totals for your columns using the sum function. Source: LibreOffice software.

LibreOffice Impress

LibreOffice Impress is a slideshow-creation tool offering several views including, normal, outline, notes, handout, and slide sorter.

It provides 3D imaging tools, downloadable templates from extensions, animation functions, and a presenter console. Use your phone or tablet as a remote during presentations by downloading an app from Google or App.

Create, import, or edit presentations in LibreOffice Impress

.

Source: LibreOffice software.

LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw is a graphic-editing program perfect for designing flowcharts, network diagrams, and other technical drawings. It offers freehand tools, object grouping functions, and displays dimension lines. You can also use Draw to edit photos and PDF files.

.

Source: LibreOffice software.

LibreOffice Base

LibreOffice Base is a database management system that lets you build a custom database for all LibreOffice suite programs.

Unlike Microsoft Access, which only works on the Windows operating system, LibreOffice Base is fully functional on all operating systems. However, it’s not nearly as visually appealing as Airtable.

Base comes with wizards and pre-defined table definitions, which help you design forms, tables, and reports used for tracking customers, invoices, or assets. Base supports:

  • MySQL
  • MariaDB
  • Java database connectivity (JDBC)
  • Open database connectivity (ODBC)
  • Mozilla Thunderbird address book
  • KDE address book
  • Evolution lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) and storage
  • Windows system address book
  • Microsoft Outlook address book when using Microsoft Windows

Use the table wizard to quickly build a database in LibreOffice Base.

Source: LibreOffice software.

LibreOffice Math

LibreOffice Math is an advanced formula editor used by researchers or data scientists. You can use Math on its own or within Writer, Impress, Calc, or Draw. You can create scientific and mathematical formulas with various elements, including:

  • Integrals
  • Matrices
  • Systems of equations
  • Fractions
  • Inequalities
  • Terms with exponents

Create advanced formulas in LibreOffice Math. Source: LibreOffice software.

LibreOffice Charts

LibreOffice Charts can be used as a standalone application or within any other LibreOffice programs. It allows you to create embeddable pie charts, 2D and 3D charts, dot charts, and trend graphs.

Extensions

All LibreOffice programs allow you to add an unlimited number of extensions or templates to improve your software’s functionality. You can find extensions via LibreOffice or OpenOffice, with more than 1,100 available options.

Popular extensions include:

  • OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs: Lets you import, export, and update documents from Zoho, Google Docs, and WebDAV.
  • Language support: You’ll find an extensive list of dictionaries, grammar checkers, and thesauruses for tons of languages.
  • Clipart: None of the LibreOffice tools come with clipart, but there are more than 30 different clipart extensions.

Choose from hundreds of extensions in the LibreOffice extension center. Source: extensions.libreoffice.org.

Latest Libreoffice Version

LibreOffice’s ease of use

Latest Libreoffice Version

If you grew up using Microsoft Office products, then you may find LibreOffice easy to use. The interface resembles older versions of Microsoft, although the latest update offers a Notebook bar design view, closely resembling Google or Microsoft interfaces.

Regardless, there is definitely a learning curve with the LibreOffice suite. Some functions are hidden under submenus, meaning you’ll click more times to get the results you want.

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LibreOffice’s pricing

As an open-source software, LibreOffice is free to download and use on as many supported devices as you want. New updates come out frequently; you simply download the latest update without uninstalling the current version or losing any saved files.

However, there isn’t any type of technical or customer service options. The Document Foundation recommends using an ecosystem partner for assistance and new features.

Ecosystem partners include:

  • Collabora: Offers a free version for up to 20 users, a paid plan for up to 99 users that costs $18 per user per year, and an Enterprise version available for a custom quote.
  • CIB: Provides LibreOffice software and support for $14.99 for installation on up to 10 Windows devices. It’s unclear if this is a subscription or a one-time fee.

LibreOffice also has a certification program and can direct you to various professionals for support services. Professionals include developers, migration experts, and certified trainers.

LibreOffice’s support

Unlike other platforms, LibreOffice doesn’t provide any direct support. There aren’t phone, live chat, or email customer services. To get help with LibreOffice, you can:

  • Join a group mailing list and pose your question to the group
  • Use the LibreOffice support site by posting a query to the message board
  • Purchase LibreOffice through an ecosystem partner offering support services
  • Search online to find answers through various blogs and help forums

Benefits of LibreOffice

LibreOffice can be a great alternative to Microsoft or Google products if you want free software that won’t ever require you to upgrade and pay.

Your company can use LibreOffice with the peace of mind that it’ll still be around and be able to open your old documents, even a decade from now. Other advantages of using LibreOffice include:

  • Zero cost to download and use the software on an unlimited number of devices
  • Frequent updates and extensions added to improve functionality
  • Works well on older operating systems, laptops, and desktop computers
  • Language support for 191 languages and counting
  • Cross-platform use, as it works equally well on Linux, macOS, or Windows devices
  • No internet connection required
  • Most file types are compatible with LibreOffice
  • Unlike legacy programs, you won’t lose functionality or access during upgrades
  • No privacy or data collection concerns as it only exists on your computer

Best open-source office software

If you’re tired of per-user or per-device subscription fees or are worried about losing access to documents when using outdated software, then LibreOffice is a good alternative. It provides basic office tools that work without an internet connection. Although there’s a learning curve for simple word processing documents and spreadsheets, this tool is relatively easy to use.

Frequently Asked Questions for LibreOffice

For basic word processing and spreadsheets, LibreOffice works as well as Microsoft Office does. However, the Microsoft 365 office suite provides cloud storage, real-time collaboration, and a friendlier user interface.

Yes, using LibreOffice is as safe as using any other type of software. Since it’s developed using the open-source method, any type of malicious code would be caught quickly. Furthermore, LibreOffice doesn’t store your files online or collect your personal data, so using it is as safe as using your office computer’s hard drive.

If you download LibreOffice through The Document Foundation, there is no online version. However, ecosystem partners offer online LibreOffice versions, which usually have less functionality than downloaded programs.

Decide if switching to open-source software is right for you by downloading the free LibreOffice platform today.

Latest Libreoffice

Decide if switching to open-source software is right for you by downloading the free LibreOffice platform today.

Latest Libreoffice Download

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