Want to try LibreOffice

I’m getting tired of paying the monthly subscription for MS Office & someone recommended I try Libre. I really only use the word processor (Word) & Outlook. Since I’ve used MS Office for many years, all my saved docs are of course word docs. If I install Libre, will all my saved MS docs automatically convert over to Libre? Also, once I install Libre, can I uninstall MS Office or is that not a good idea?


A Summary on the TDF wiki.

Want to try LibreOffice

You are welcome to do this.

Download LibreOffice

System Requirements

Installation Instructions

I really only use the word processor (Word) & Outlook

LibreOffice has a very good word processor (Writer) with which you can also open your documents from M$-Office.

A supplement, such as Outlook does not exist in LibreOffice.
But you can install an opensource, such as Thunderbid.

If I install Libre, will all my saved MS docs automatically convert over to Libre?

You can open all your documents from M$-Office direct.
You should then save them in ODF format (for Writer this is ODT). Some format adjustments may be required. On this website here experienced users can help you with almost all questions.

Also, once I install Libre, can I uninstall MS Office or is that not a good idea?

As long as you don’t have to pay for additional licenses and M$-Office works, you should still keep it in parallel.

Good luck with the conversion. And welcome to the club of LibreOffice friends.

LibreOffice Mainpage

Further to @Hrbrgr answer, I have LibreOffice and Microsoft Office (2010 on one, 2019 on another) installed on the same computers without problem.

Your Word documents will be untouched on installation. When you open them in LibreOffice there will be some sort of conversion, most documents will open the same but some more complex documents might not be exactly the same, don’t save over the top if you don’t like what you see. Look through your documents to see if you are happy with their appearance before lapsing Microsoft Office. I think that if you don’t uninstall MS Office then you can continue to use it as a document viewer after the subscription has lapsed, you just can’t edit anything with it.

LibreOffice should install with ODF (,odt, .ods, .odp, etc.) as its default file associations. Microsoft should keep its default file associations but some or all can be changed to LibreOffice in Windows 11 in Start menu > Settings > Apps > Default Apps > Set defaults for applications > LibreOffice 7.x (the trail is similar for Windows 10).


The first answer by @Hrbrgr gives most of the scenario, but I’d like to hint some important points:

  • Keep a backup of your MS-Office files, wich you will not touch. So you have this, in case you find out you have to go back for some reason.
  • Every document .docx you open in LibreOffice will be translated to the world of Libre internally (compare to Languages german to french). Avoid saving back in MS-files, because this doubles translation an possibilities for error. Save as .odt instead and you have your old .docx also unchanged.
  • Often misunderstood: The Symbol shown by Windows is not representing the format of the file, but the program to be called on double-click. If you tell LibreOffice to register all MS-Office files on itself you will find all icons changed, but the actual files are not changed at all.

Outlook is a complete other case.
You may replace it by thunderbird, but a lot of detail has to be done. If you use IMAP on your server, you can test Thunderbird but be patient: It will have to sync your Mails on first contact. If you have an archive of only locally saved mails, you will have to export them to something Thunderbird can read. I don’t know of any automatic conversion.

Careful, if you use POP3 with your mails. Maybe only one client will get the mails.

If you use the calender of outlook, expect some work until everything is running smoothly again. Depends, uf you use your own calendar or external ones on a network.

Neither LibreOffice nor Thunderbird were designed as drop-in replacements. So sometimes different approaches apply…

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