Learn LibreOffice

Updated on 2020-09-20

I made two wonderful learning discoveries two to three weeks ago. I decided to learn database technology using LibreOffice Base. I currently use spreadsheets for many of my data storage and manipulation needs, but I wondered if putting some of the data in a database would be more beneficial. I didn’t know much about LibreOffice Base other than that it was the database component of the LibreOffice suite. So, I did a quick Internet search and came across a site called The Frugal Computer Guy with video tutorials on many of the LibreOffice components.

I’ll make a quick diversion to briefly explain what LibreOffice is for those who may not know. LibreOffice is an office software suite similar to Microsoft Office, but it doesn’t cost a dime to use. However, you should consider donating to the project to help defray server, hosting, marketing, and other costs if you use the program. LibreOffice is cross platform, so it will run on Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD, and possibly other operating systems. LibreOffice consists of the following main components: Base (database frontend), Calc (spreadsheet), Writer (word processor), Impress (presentation), Draw (drawing), and Math (math equation creation).

LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice and OpenOffice became the open source version of StarOffice. LibreOffice was forked from OpenOffice when Oracle acquired Sun. There was concern about what might happen to OpenOffice under Oracle, so it was forked by some of the developers to LibreOffice. OpenOffice still exists as Apache OpenOffice, but many Linux distributions come with LibreOffice by default.

Back to The Frugal Computer Guy…the LibreOffice video tutorials are a bit dated, but I think they’re still very useful. I’m currently going through the LibreOffice Base video tutorials. The Frugal Computer Guy also has a YouTube channel if you’d prefer to use that platform to view his video tutorials.

While video tutorials are nice, it can be quicker to look up something in a book. Just over a week ago I discovered that the LibreOffice project has a documentation team that puts out books on LibreOffice in ODT (open document template) and PDF formats, as well as ePUB format for some newer editions. Some of the books are a bit dated, but should still be useful. If you’d prefer an actual hard copy book, then you can purchase those at Lulu.

If you’ve been thinking about trying out LibreOffice, but have been put off by the lack of books and how-to’s, now you have the resources to get up-to-speed on using LibreOffice. I’ve been using LibreOffice components exclusively since 2012.

Post header image is courtesy of user terrance8d at DeviantArt; used with permission.


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