It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Free/Libre Open Source Software. With rare exception, all the software I run on my computer is Open Source (Brave, Bitwarden, to name a couple highly valuable and accessible favorites). Similarly, when I help friends and loved ones setup a new digital device, I always try to encourage them towards the free/libre and open source version of a given product, instead of the closed source versions they are normally used to.

One of these products that comes up often is the Office Suite. Many people use Microsoft Office, and pay monthly to get access to it. For a lot of those people, it’s the only office software they’ve ever known. They’ve never considered switching to something else.

When I offer alternatives like LibreOffice (or one of the other great open source office alternatives), they’re usually intrigued by the freedom and the better price tag, but when they first download it, they’re put off by the interface.

LibreOffice Default Interface

It’s not that the interface is an abomination or super difficult to navigate, per say. It is, however, an interface laid out much more like decades old versions of Microsoft Word than like the interfaces many people are comfortable with today.

Luckily, there’s a super quick and easy way to make the LibreOffice layout look a bit more more modern and accessible, more like current versions of Word.

Simply go to the top menu and click these options:

View -> User Interface -> Tabbed

Then, click either Apply to All if you want to make all of LibreOffice have this more updated interface, or just click Apply to Writer (or whichever other office app you’re in) if you just want to apply the change to that one app and not the whole office suite.

And that should do it!

More Modern look for LibreOffice

Now your LibreOffice now has a layout more like the modern “tabbed”/“ribbon” style of office software that most people today are used to.

It’s an extremely quick and easy tweak.

I didn’t know about it until this week, so I’m sharing it here in case you find it valuable, too!

P.S. There are lots more customizations you can do if you want to further tweak the way that LibreOffice looks and functions. Those will just take a bit longer than 5 seconds. :)