Took me awhile to do it, and lots of searching to find Two suitable user friendly replacements, for mainly the Microsoft’s Word word processor, since I don’t actually use the whole Office Suite. See the Office Suites ‘n Word Processors page for what I went thru to reach this point. Basically:

Microsoft’s Word is impossible to replace…the best you can do is just to move on from it or pay their asking prices.

I started this post a couple days ago, using Apache OpenOffice, and just this morning have already switched to LibreOffice 7.1.6!? Had tried LibreOffice 7.2.1 the other day, but it failed early testing. 🙄 However, was testing LibreOffice 7.1.6 on another computer, and it was working great, so I installed it here on my main computer, ‘Apevia’. Yes, I now have 3 Office Suites on this computer, and have used two Open Source writers (word processors) to do this post. 🙃

  • Note: If this post sounds confusing at this point, then you should probably exit now, because it will get even more confusing before I publish it. 😉

There’s a *LOT* more than those 7 choices…however, I wanted an easy (for me) Offline word processor to use. Check out the Office Suites ‘n Word Processors page for tips, e.g. FreeOffice is not “Free”. Some of the PAID ones are OK, but I’d just use MS Word if I had to pay anything for another suite.

It basically boiled down to two Open Source Office Suites for me:

I am just a very basic word processor user – definitely no expert – even after using Word for over 20 years. These two Offline Open Source Office Suites are pretty much up front, without any surprises that show up after you have it installed for a few days or so. They are close, but each one has differences that are noticeable; however, when installing LibreOffice here this morning, it automatically took some of the settings I had already made wid OpenOffice.

Neither are as good as MS Word, but Apache OpenOffice Writer has been easy (for me) to customize, and fairly easy to use ‘n move around in – not perfect, but better than paying a yearly subscription fee on my 5 desktops & soon to arrive Dell XPS 13. The Pay only once plan still requires you ‘to pay again to upgrade‘ it, so paying never seems to end for MS Office anymore. Apache OpenOffice has in fact made it easier for me to now customize ‘n use LibreOffice. Like I said earlier, it can get confusing making the move to an Open Source Office Suite…

Making ‘Da Move to an Open Source Office Suite

First, went to the Apache OpenOffice site ‘n downloaded their installer (.exe) file. Installation was a breeze, I just went wid their defaults ‘n “Typical” options. They don’t have a 64-bit version for Windows, but it installs on my WIN10 64-bit systems, and has worked great on 3 computers I am testing it on. LibreOffice has a 64-bit version for WIN10 if you need it.

Second, I created a “WORD” folder to move all my .doc & .docx files into, since I would be using Apache OpenOffice Writer as my word processor from now on. There are over 5.18 GBs of those files, and I wanted them out of the way, but in a safe spot. Here is a pic of my folders:

  • UPDATE: I have started using LibreOffice Writer as my word processor now, but both are very similar; however, this LibreOffice 7.1.6 version does Copy ‘n Paste much better, and seems faster…maybe because it is a 64-bit version, which OpenOffice doesn’t offer for Windows. Also, most of the pics were made using Apache OpenOffice, but the processes they show are the same as LibreOffice, i.e. I just didn’t want to redo a bunch of pics for this post. Fact is, being able to ‘Switch Gears’ in mid-process of such a change from Open Source to Open Source Office products, from an original Proprietary source (MS Office) product, has made me even more confident in having made this move!

Converting files

From there, the “WORD” folder, I can convert the .doc & .docx files that I need, e.g. passwords ‘n info files. Apache OpenOffice ‘n LibreOffice writers (word processors) use the .odt (OpenDocument Text) file format. Like this:

I have selected a .docx file named ‘5 forms Govt‘, and then open it wid OpenOffice Writer:

I’m only wanting to save this .docx file in the .odt file format, so I can have easy access to it in the future, and I will save it to a different folder that is only for .odt files. Open “File” dropdown menu ‘n select “Save As”:

Then the Save As window opens, and now you choose location and .odt file format:

I’m not going to convert all 5.18 GBs of the .doc & .docx files…just the ones I’ll need in the future. Needed files ‘n all future files will be in the .odt file format, and the old .doc & .docx files will be safely tucked into the “WORD” folder if ever needed.

There are also a lot of different file formats that OpenOffice and LibreOffice can “Save As”:

LibreOffice may actually be the better of the two Open Source Office Suites, and I have already switched to using it in this post.

There’s probably better ways to do all this, for the experts out there, but for a simple blogger like me this works fine.

Main reasons I have increased my research ‘n testing in order to find a suitable word processor recently is: 1) Windows 11 is coming out around 10/05/2021, I will be moving to it, and want to have a free new workable Office Suite ready for it. 2) I had recently purchased a Dell XPS 13 9310 laptop (new arrival date is now 10/02/2021) and it will need a new ‘n reliable Office Suite.

Options ‘n Customizing ‘n Tweaking

OK…at this point, I have now made LibreOffice the default word processor for .odt (OpenDocument Text) file format. The following pics are from Apache OpenOffice, which I had made earlier in this post, but the processes for making changes are very similar, and in some cases automatic on one *IF* the other one already had the settings. Basically, Apache OpenOffice was easier for me to tweak at first, and then I was able to do the same wid LibreOffice. Confusing? Good! 😉

I like a clean looking Untitled word processor window to start wid, i.e. no sidebars, no boundary lines all over it, no rulers on the sides (top is OK)…like this:

Yeah, clean like ‘Dat! Most of the cleaner settings can be found in the “View” dropdown:

LibreOffice automatically took on that clean look, with the exception of a top “Ruler” that I have left in.

Lots of changes can be made under the “Tools” dropdown, and then selecting “Options”:

Making the move to an Open Source Office suite hasn’t been easy for me; however, it has been worth the effort, tho I will probably never bother to learn all the workings of any word processor, i.e. sorta like I did whilst using Word for over 20 years. 😉 Get it looking ‘n feeling right so I can then just open what I want ‘n save what I want after typing in or pasting in what I wanted.

Getting the right default font setup is another ‘Thang that took time ‘n effort to for me to achieve – hey, I’m just a basic word processor user, but I do like to have a default font of my choice. 20 years ago, it was Times New Roman (??) at 12 pt. Now it’s Calibri @ 11 pt. “Options” has been a big discovery for humble me!

Yeah, that was easy once I found out how to do it in an Open Source word processor!

Load/Save” was another big discovery I found under “Options”!

With LibreOffice now my ‘Go-to’ word processor, it needed to handle the .odt file format, and I have now updated that change.

Conclusion

Most people could’ve probably made the move from Microsoft Office to an Open Source Office Suite a lot quicker ‘n easier than than I did, especially if they understood the workings of Microsoft Office beyond the mere basics.

I have finally made the move, and still have access to some MS Word files that are 20 years old or so. Most will never need to be converted, but that option is available if needed.

I am especially happy at how the “slightly older” LibreOffice 7.1.6 version is now working out, especially after the failure I had wid the ‘cutting edgeLibreOffice 7.2.1 version the other day. Point is, I kept trying ‘n testing until I felt confident in the move to an Open Source word processor.

Microsoft’s Word is impossible to replace…the best you can do is just to move on from it or pay their asking prices.

MS Office is going places I have no interest in (‘Da Cloud) at this time, and the financial costs have become just too high for me to pay. Its ‘Been a Great Ride’…

This post was started wid Apache OpenOffice Writer ‘n ended wid LibreOffice Writer. I could be wrong, but it seems that the Calibri @ 11 pt font in OpenOffice is slightly different than Calibri @ 11 pt font in LibreOffice!? I’ll have to see if I need to change to another font in LibreOffice.

Will add this post to the Office Suites ‘n Word Processors pages.

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!