Recently I’ve came across some “book writing software” that is supposedly able to help me write a book and enhance my productivity, I gave that software a try and felt it was too complicated, If I need to take an advanced course just to learn how to use the software, that’s a serious problem and some major down time spent learning a new software while I have a productivity suit that does everything required with ease!

Ease of use

Ease of use should be factored in whenever evaluating a new software, and that particular software bombed! Not even mentioning the name because it’s not worth it, and the price tag is also discouraging!

I’m giving today a good way to use LibreOffice as a writing software that you can use for anything and really count on!

Why LibreOffice?

LibreOffice is a jack of all trades and can be used for many uses you never thought a word processing suit could do, checkout this very popular post of mine to see how capable LibreOffice is!

  • Let’s Face it, we

already have too much tools!

Type Writer

We use something to write code (Sublime or Notepad++), something to do the daily work (LibreOffice or Microsoft Office) and a “book writing software”?

  • Way to go being minimalist! Lets look at the price tag, shall we?

We bought Sublime for 70$, Got office for 200$ and that “book writing software” for 40$ and you use a Mac book of course, very neat! That’s 310$ worth of writing software alone!

That’s a lot of money, I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but I think I have a more cost effective way of making this happen!


A minimalist dream!

You can’t write everything in one place, I wish that was possible, like Atom handling complex text layout or using LibreOffice to write code! It would be a dream come true! Some die hard programmers who think that memory foot print is everything and mostly prefer CLI over GUI would think this is a total waste, but I like to think I fall somewhere between a CLI nerd and an Apple fan!

Why LibreOffice? Because it’s simply awesome! I could write forever on how awesome LibreOffice is! You can find many posts in this blog that tell you exactly why it’s awesome and should be chosen over commercial and free software, you don’t have to learn new things, it’s the productivity suit you know and use daily! Just add the tips I’m about to tell you, and you are good to go!

1. Distraction free

Focus!An important tool for any writing software is to be able to eliminate all outside distractions and just focus on the piece of writing at hand, it’s a feature of LibreOffice that can be accessed from View Fullscreen, or by typing the shortcut Control + Shift + J. You will have the screen dimmed down to the horizontal ruler and the page only! (you can toggle the ruler by pressing Control + Shift + R) to have the document focused with nothing else on the screen.


2. Word count

Another important tool for writers is the word count, you need to know how much you have written and set daily goals for yourself, you can see that in the lower bar of LibreOffice and it’s updated as you write.

3. Writer’s Tools

Writer tools is a set of tools installed as a single extension for LibreOffice that adds a ton of functionality, so much it deserves a post on it’s own, once you install it, it adds an extra menu to the menu bar called Writer’s Tools, it adds a timer for how much time you spent on a document, a word count to see if you reached your goal (more advanced than the one at the bottom bar), a to do list, a data base to organize your text snippets. And many tools for backup, saving documents and many others. A total of 15!
It’s something you definitely need if you want to use LibreOffice as your main writing suit.

There is a fix for writer tools not working. You can find it here.

4. MultiDeff

This little extension gives you the ability to save in three different formats in one command, ODT, DOC and PDF.

With these tools you are good to go, my advice is yo implement a timer like  Instant boss if you are on Windows or Pomodro if you are on Ubuntu, to keep you healthy while writing the next best seller.


5. Master Document

I left the best for the last! Master pages are a great way to collect your individual documents into one, enabling you to control the style and position of each sub document based on the master document, creating a consistent document all around!

For more information check the detailed help document from here.
To create a master document, go to File New Master Document
How to create a master document
For complete help on working with master documents, check the

Libreoffice help section from here.

If you aren’t using the excellent native feature, then creating a book will be a problem for you! When you have a standard container for all of your chapters, you can control the style easily and be able to get a central view on all of your work!


Final words

If you aren’t a LibreOffice user already, go download it now! You can install it without changing your settings!

I hope you find this post useful! And I’d like to know what do you use for word flow!

If you are using LibreOffice then you don’t need much more!!
Do you have any other features to add? I’m waiting for your comments!
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