How to Save LibreOffice Files in the Microsoft MS Office Format

Quickly turn those LibreOffice files into Docx files

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You can configure LibreOffice to default to the MS Office formats, so that when you save a document in LibreOffice, it will automatically save in the MS Office format. Best of all, this is quite easy to configure.

LibreOffice is one of the most popular open source office suite tools on the market. And with good reason. LibreOffice is as user-friendly as any of the competition, is free, and offers all of the features you have grown accustomed to with Microsoft Office.

The one caveat to using LibreOffice is that, by default, it saves in the open file formats. Whereas Microsoft Office saves as .docx (for documents), .xlsx (for spreadsheets), and .pptx (for presentations), LibreOffice saves as .odt (for documents), .ods (for spreadsheets), and .odp (for presentations). Although many office suite applications can work with one another’s files, you might run into someone who doesn’t know how to work with the open format. Or, even more important, you might need to submit a document to a business (or school) that only accepts the MS Office formats.

LibreOffice Version

For this tutorial, we used LibreOffice 6.2.2. However, this process hasn’t changed much over time, so it should work with any version of the office suite. The biggest difference will be how you reach the Options window.

Configuring LibreOffice File Formats

The entirety of this configuration is handled in a single location and can be reached from any one of the LibreOffice tools (Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, or Math). To switch LibreOffice from saving as the default open formats to the more universally accepted MS Office default formats, follow these steps:

  1. Open LibreOffice Writer.

  2. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner and click Options.

    Screnshot of opening the LibreOffice Options window.
  3. In the resulting window, double-click Load/Save and then click General.

    Screenshot of the LibreOffice Options window.
  4. Select Text Document from the Document Type drop-down and select Word 2007-2019 (*.docx) from the Always save as drop-down.

    Screenshot of setting the LibreOffice Writer default.
  5. Select Spreadsheet from the Document Type drop-down and select Excel 2007-2019 (*.xlsx) from the Always save as drop-down.

    Screenshot of setting the LibreOffice Calc default.
  6. Select Presentation from the Document Type drop-down and select PowerPoint 2007-1019 (*.pptx) from the Always save as drop-down.

    Screenshot of setting the LibreOffice Presentation default.
  7. Click Apply.

  8. Click OK.

Finding Options in older versions.

If you’re using an older version of LibreOffice, to get to the Options window click Tools > Options.

Once you click OK, the Options window will be dismissed and you’re ready to go. When you go to save a new LibreOffice document, you’ll see that the MS Office format is now the default.

Word 2007-2019 (.docx) format in LibreOffice

You no longer need to concern yourself with using the Save As function in LibreOffice, as your documents will automatically save in the MS Office formats.