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How To Enhance Your Documents With LibreOffice

We walk you through some of the most efficient tips needed to enhance your use of LibreOffice

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Key Takeaways:

  • LibreOffice is a free alternative to paid productivity suites, offering similar functionalities, and is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux systems.
  • LibreOffice offers various applications, such as Writer for word processing, Calc for spreadsheets, Impress for presentations, and Draw for vector graphics to enhance your documents.
  • The suite contains pre-designed templates for various document types, like resumes, reports, and presentations, to save the time required to create them yourself.

Key Feature of LibreOffice to Enhance Your Document

LibreOffice offers functionalities similar to other productivity suites like Microsoft Word and does this for free. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. It has some valuable features to enhance your document, such as:

  • Templates: To streamline the document creation process, providing consistency and compliance with formatting guidelines.
  • Styles: To effortlessly create professional and uniformly formatted documents.
  • Tables, charts, and graphs: For presenting data clearly and effectively within your documents.
  • Images and graphics: To enhance the visual appeal of documents and convey information more dynamically.
  • Formulas and calculations: To create documents with dynamic data and automated computations.
  • Table of Contents: It provides a clear and organized overview of your document’s structure.

Method 1: How to Enhance Documents with LibreOffice Templates

LibreOffice contains pre-designed templates that support various document types, like resumes, reports, and presentations. It helps you save the time required to create them yourself. The following steps will help you to use these templates:

  1. Open the LibreOffice Writer on your computer, then click the File tab.
  2. When it opens, hover over the New option and click Templates, or simply use the Ctrl + Shift + N hotkeys.
    Create new Templates
  3. Once the templates window opens, click the Filter drop-down to select the document type.
    Use Templates filter to Enhance Documents With LibreOffice
  4. Then, select the desired template and click Open.
    Select template and click open to open template documents and Enhance it With LibreOffice
  5. Finally, edit the template and remove or add elements as desired.
    Edit template as desired to Enhance Documents With LibreOffice

Method 2: How to Customize Styles

Various styles are available to enhance your documents, making them accessible and neat. Use the following steps to enhance your documents with Styles on LibreOffice:

  1. Open the LibreOffice Writer on your computer and type your document.
  2. Then, click the Styles tab at the top of the screen and select the desired style.
    Access Styles tab to Enhance Documents With LibreOffice
  3. You could also click the Styles drop-down menu and select your desired style to achieve this.
    Use Style drop-down to enhance Documents With LibreOffice
  4. For more styles, select the More Styles option.
    Use More styles option to enhance Documents With LibreOffice
  5. When the Styles window opens, select the desired style. Scroll down to see all the available styles.
    Use Styles menu to Enhance Documents with LibreOffice

Method 3: How to Insert Tables, Charts, and Graphs

LibreOffice offers various table, charts, and graph options to enhance your documents. These options help to add a clear visual representation of what your document intends to communicate. The following steps will help you access this functionality:

  1. Open the LibreOffice Writer on your computer.
  2. Then, click the Table tab and select Insert Table.
    Insert table into LibreOffice documents to enhance them
  3. When the table dialog opens, enter the table name, specify the numbers of columns and rows your table should have, and you may also select a desired table style.
    Specify table columns and rows in LibreOffice to enhance the documents
  4. After that, click Insert to insert the table into the document.
    Insert button
  5. Finally, the table displays on your document and you may enter the appropriate information.
    Created table

Method 4: How to Add Images and Graphics

LibreOffice Writer also offers powerful features like formatting, visuals, and advanced functionalities beyond simple text editing. Incorporating them can create professional and impactful documents, engaging readers and enhancing communication. Adding graphics like graphs and charts follows the same processes.

Here is how to do it:

  1. On the document you wish to add images and graphics, click the Insert tab and select Images in the options.
    Insert image to enhance documents with LibreOffice
  2. Once it opens your Windows Explorer, navigate to the folder that contains the image of interest and double-click it.
    Select image
  3. Finally, it will appear on the document. Place your cursor on any of the boxes on the edge, click and drag to resize.
    Resize image

Method 5: How to Incorporate Formulas and Calculations

LibreOffice Writer offers limited built-in functionality for formulas and calculations. The tables do not allow extensive functions and features a dedicated spreadsheet application like LibreOffice Calc will provide. However, we will explore two workarounds to achieve calculations within your document:

5.1. Using Tables:

  1. Firstly, insert a table into the document.
    Created table
  2. Then, populate your table with the values you intend to perform the calculation on.
  3. Afterward, click the cell you want to have the result after applying the formula.
  4. Begin the formula with an equal sign (=), a formula bar will appear at the top of the Writer window, then, enter your calculation.
    Start with equal to sign and use formulas
  5. Use cell references (e.g., A1, B2) to reference values in other cells, or click the cells with the values with the operators in between.
  6. Writer accepts basic arithmetic operators (+, -, *, /) and parentheses to define the order of operations.
    Operators in LibreOffice Writer
  7. To do a simple addition of a column or row, highlight the cells having the values you want to sum and click the AutoSum button (Σ) on the table toolbar.

5.2. Using the Calculate Tool:

  1. Highlight the value you want to calculate.
    Highlight the values
  2. Then, click the Tool tab and click the Calculate option, or simply do this with Ctrl + + keys.
    Click the Calculate tool
  3. Afterward, place your cursor where you want the result and press Ctrl + V to paste the answer.
    Paste the answer

Method 6: How to Create a Table of Contents

Creating a table of contents in LibreOffice Writer helps readers quickly find precise sections within their document, saving time and effort, adding a polished look, demonstrating attention to detail and organization, and making your document appear more professional. Here is how to do it:

  1. Firstly, ensure your document chapters and sections are formatted as headings with the appropriate heading styles (e.g., Heading 1, Heading 2).
    Setting Heading in LibreOffice to enhance your documents
  2. The styles inform LibreOffice what content to include in the Table of Contents.
    Table of Contents, Index or Bibliography
  3. Then, click the Insert tab, click Table of Contents and Index, and select Table of Contents, Index or Bibliography.
    Table of Contents, Index or Bibliography
  4. In the Table of Contents, Index or Bibliography dialog box, under the Type tab, enter the settings as desired, but ensure you set Type as Table of Contents, then click OK.
    Table of Contents Window
  5. Finally, LibreOffice will insert the Table of Contents at your current cursor location. You can reposition it later by cutting and pasting it in the desired position.
    Position your Table of Contents

Tips and Best Practices for Using LibreOffice to Enhance Documents

The LibreOffice Writer tool goes beyond making simple documents. You can elevate your documents and make them impressive using the following tips:

  • Use built-in styles for headings, subheadings, paragraphs, and character formatting to ensure consistency and allow for easy global changes.
  • Use clear and consistent numbering or bullets to lists for better organization and visual flow.
  • Modify line spacing and paragraph settings to enhance readability.
  • Create informative headers and footers to add page numbers, document titles, or even your name and contact details.
  • Use LibreOffice’s built-in cross-referencing elements to link tables, figures, or sections within your document, improving navigation for readers.
  • Add footnotes for brief explanations or references without disrupting the document flow and endnotes for more comprehensive citations.
  • Include charts, graphs, or drawings created in LibreOffice Draw directly into your Writer document for a cohesive visual expression.
  • Link external images or spreadsheets instead of embedding them to reduce file size and ensure the linked files remain up-to-date.
  • Add comments to precise sections for discussions or feedback without changing the main text.
  • Ensure your documents are accessible to everyone by using proper heading structures, alternative text descriptions for images, and logical reading order.

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