Welcome to the OpenOffice/LibreOffice Writer Tutorials

Writer is the word processor module of the OpenOffice/LibreOffice suite. It is similar to Microsoft Word 2003. Users of MSWord would not have too much difficulty adapting to Writer's basic features and likewise Writer users should be able to adjust to MSWord 2003 basic features with little difficulty.

File Compatibility

All files end in a "file extension", usually a 3 or 4 letter extension. For example an Writer file ends in a 3 letter ".odt" file extension. Therefore every Writer document will end in this extension. (You won't see the file extension unless you turn on the Windows file extension view). MS Word 2003 ends in a ".doc" extension. Even though both programs are word processor type programs, their different file extensions mean they are different types of files. A common mistake is to assume that all word processor type programs can open each other's files. In order for one program to be able to read and open another program's file extension it needs to have a "filter" that does work of reading and opening that file. Without that filter programs can not read each other's files.

OpenOffice/LibreOffice uses a world standard Open Document Format (ODF), which means any program that supports the ODF format will be able to read and open OpenOffice documents. However, Microsoft Office didn't support the ODF format until the MS Office 2010 version was released. What that means is that all MS Office programs below MS Office 2010 will not be able to open OpenOffice/LibreOffice documents.

Fortunately, OpenOffice/LibreOffice has built in filters that can read MS Office files. The filters work best on MS Office 2003 and below, but each new version of OpenOffice adds new filters and purportedly are able to open the newer versions of MS Office. Writer can also save its files in the MS Word format with the .doc extension. This is something to consider if you are emailing your Writer document to a company that only uses MS Word. A better solution is to convert your Writer document into a PDF format. This will be covered in one of the Writer topics.

Writer Topics/Projects

The Writer topics are shown on left under the heading "Writer Topics". Choose your topic, you will always know which topic page you are reading because the topic link will be white indicating you are on that topic.

The Writer Projects are approached as a Graphic Design project not a word processor project. The concept being that if you approach a design project as word processor project it will have have look and feel of a word processor project. However if you approach the project from a different perspective, from the view of a graphic designer, then the project will have a different slant to it and the final result will not look so much like word processor document.

Comments or suggestions: lincpark@hotmail.com.