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StartCenter makes LibreOffice great tool for multiple documents

LibreOffice has an element and feature that Microsoft Office doesn’t have. The feature is document centralization.

Users can open any recently created and opened documents from any of the applications. A spreadsheet that you created last week can be opened from Writer. You can open the Draw document that you worked on yesterday from Impress.

These documents are listed when you click the arrow next to the Open icon in the Standard toolbar and the Recent Documents sub-menu in the File menu of any of the six applications.

StartCenter LibreOffice

LibreOffice derived StartCenter from OpenOffice and StarOffice. It lists the past 25 documents you opened.

In addition to these applications, recent documents are also in the StartCenter. This tiny application acts as a central point for the office suite. Both OpenOffice and StarOffice, from which LibreOffice is derived, have StartCenters.

This makes these suites like Google Drive and other office suites that you access through your Web browser. Drive lists all the documents you store on it and all the documents that you have created with one of Google’s applications, like Docs.

Clicking a document created with a Google application opens it in a new tab. The list of documents \is still in the first tab, so it is easy to choose another one.

StartCenter is different from the online office suites’ applications because it lists documents that are stored in various locations, not just a hard drive or server. If you opened a document from a server or a USB drive, it will be listed in the StartCenter, if it was one of the last 25 documents opened.

Unlike Google Drive, it only will list the past 25 documents. Drive lists every document stored on it.

Microsoft Office doesn’t have the same centralization. Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint list recently opened documents from various locations. However, these applications only list their type of documents. If you are working in Word and want to work on a spreadsheet that you edited yesterday, you need to open Excel or find the document in your Windows directory.

LibreOffice’s centralization allows users to easily open another document without having to search for it or open another application. In the StartCenter, he can see the text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other types of documents that he recently edited or created, so it is easy for him to choose which document to work on first.

The Recent Documents (or drop-down arrow for the Open icon) in the application being used makes it easy for the user to open another document and work on it. He also can easily close the new document, return to the former one, and then open the new one again.

These are drop-down menus.

  1. Click the File menu (or Open arrow)

  2. Highlight the Recent Documents sub-menu. (This step is not required for the Open arrow)

  3. Click the desired document.

Open icon in Standard toolbar of LibreOffice

In Microsoft Office, it is not as easy to work on different types of documents at the same time or switch between two or more documents. The user cannot see all the documents he recently worked on, if those documents are different types.

If he is working on a text document, and wants to make a quick change to a spreadsheet, he needs to do the following:

  1. Launch Excel

  2. Click the desired document from the list.

The user also can use Windows Explorer to find the document and click on it. Either way, each time a that was recently opened and is of a different type needs to be opened, another application needs to be opened first, or the directories need to be searched first.

Even if the user is opening the same type of document, clicking the File menu in Word, Excel, and the other Office applications forces him to leave the contents of the current document to open another document.

  1. Click the File menu.

  2. Click the Open tab.

  3. Click the desired document.


The steps to open a recent document is the same in LibreOffice applications as it is in Microsoft Office applications. However, LibreOffice allows users to open different types of documents from the same lists, regardless of the application that the list is in. This makes it slightly easier to work with multiple documents than it is in Microsoft Office.

LibreOffice can open Microsoft formats, so it could be used as a more efficient tool for editing multiple documents at the same time. Many users will find that they can edit documents faster with LibreOffice.

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