Another program that comes installed in the Ubuntu 13.10 standard install is LibreOffice Writer.
If you are accustomed to any of the Windows word processing programs there should be a high comfort level with LibreOffice Writer. You have a rather large font and styles selection and many more fonts that can be added. Additional included standard word processor functionality is colors, formats, alignments, indentions, tables, and hyperlinks among many others. Some relatively modern functions, also included in most word processors, are templates, sending the document as an email, spellcheck, and the ability to save the document as a PDF file. Another standard function that you have probably become accustomed to would be toolbars, included here and easily customizable.
Since the main purpose of these articles is to compare the views between Windows and Ubuntu we will view a document as it was created in LibreOffice Writer
And compare that same document as it appeared after being saved as a Word 2007/2010 docx file.
As you will see some of the font formatting has been lost so you cannot carry a presentation quality document for LibreOffice into Word for editing purposes without some loss in formatting. Of course, if the purpose is to transfer presentation quality documents between platforms, you should use the “save as PDF” option.
You will notice that this looks exactly like the original even though it has been viewed on a Windows machine. That is the beauty of the Portable Document Format – it looks the same regardless of whether it is viewed on Windows, Linux, Mac, or Chrome OS.
Since we have covered saving in different formats, you may be wondering how many formats are supported by LibreOffice Writer. I am glad that you were thinking about that question. You can save a document as ODF Text Document, ODF Template, OpenOffice Text Document, OpenOffice Template, OpenDocument Text, Unified Office Format, Word 97/2000/xp/2003/2003 XML/2007 XML/2010 XML, DocBook, HTML, Rich Text, plain text, Text Encoded, and OpenOffice XML. This is, of course, in addition to PDF. The disadvantage is that a PDF file cannot generally be edited without software beyond your standard word processor.
An automation provider, called macros, may be something that you have become dependent upon. You may also be a connoisseur of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). LibreOffice will not let you down in that area either. You have the ability to record and run macros in addition to creating your own functionality using LibreOffice Basic. We will go deep into conversion from VBA to LibreOffice Basic in a future offering.