Open Source

How to change the LibreOffice Interface

The LibreOffice suite of tools finally has new interface options. Jack Wallen walks you through the process of making these layouts available.

For years, LibreOffice has insisted the only interface of value was the traditional drop-down menus. And why not? It worked for a very long time. However, it's now 2017 and every UX designer has to modernize their thinking. That's why LibreOffice has finally brought about a few new options to make LibreOffice look at bit more clean and modern as well as work with a bit more efficiency.

Unfortunately, at the moment, you can't get to those shiny new interfaces out of the box. In order to gain access to the new layouts, you must enable an advanced option. Here's how. Open up one of the LibreOffice tools (such as Writer) and click Tools | Options. In the resulting window, expand the LibreOffice section and click on Advanced. In the resulting window, click to enable experimental features and then click OK.

At this point, the new options are now available. Click on View | Toolbar layout and you can select from Default, Single Toolbar, Sidebar, and Notebookbar. You'll have to play around with each layout to decide which best suits your needs. For my taste, the Sidebar is the best ratio of form and function. Thank you, LibreOffice developers, for finally bringing the interface into the modern era.

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Image: Jack Wallen

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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