Opening documents in LibreOffice

Open dialog for LibreOffice
The Open dialog is the way to access a document in LibreOffice that has never been opened before or that hasn’t been opened in awhile. The dialog is part of StartCenter and every application. Here it is in Manjaro.

Page Contents

Open dialog

Open Dialog
The dialog is different in each operating system, but it contains common features, regardless of what it is running on. On the left, there is a list of main, top-level folders. The contents of a selected folder will be displayed in the main part of the dialog. The contents that you see can be controlled by what you select in the drop-down menu. The parts of the dialog are covered below.

The Open dialog can be opened in two ways:

  • Two ways in the StartCenter
  • several ways in the applications


The two ways are

  • Click the Open File in the left column
  • Click Open in the File menu
StartCenter in LibreOffice overview

Six applications

The six applications have three ways to open the Open dialog.

  • Click Open in the File menu
  • Click the Open icon in the toolbar. The icon is in all user interfaces except Contextual Single
  • Ctrl + O (Windows and Linux distros). Cmd + O (Mac)
LibreOffice user interfaces Open dialog

using the Open dialog

As shown in the image above, there are several parts to an open dialog. Most of the dialogs have these parts: Windows, Mac, and most Linux distros.

  • The left column contains key and top level folders. It may also contain virtual drives connected to the operating systems and external drives connected to the computer.
  • The documents and sub-folders contained in a selected folder can be seen in the large middle part of the window.
    • Double-click sub-folders in the middle to enter them
  • Double-click documents or click the document. Then click the Open button.

Read-only checkbox

Opening a document with a check in this box will open the document, but you won’t be able to edit it. There is a ribbon across.

Read-only checkbox
  • Click the Edit Document button, and then you will be able to edit the document
Edit Document button in Read Only mode

Click the drop-down menu at the bottom of the dialog and a list of about 100 file formats will appear. Click one, and only documents with that format will appear in the main part of the dialog.

It is a way of finding a document in a folder with a lot of documents and a variety of formats.

File Format drop-down menu in Open dialog


In Windows and most Linux distros, you can organize the documents by several different criteria.

Sorting in LibreOffice Open dialog (Windows 10)

For example:

  • In Windows 10, the Open dialog will have Name, Date modified, Type, and Size above the main window. Click one of these and the documents will be organized according to that criterion.

    Clicking Size will cause and the largest file will be on top of the list, and the smallest will be on the bottom. Click it again.The smallest will be on the top, and the largest will be on the bottom.
  • In Ubuntu, the items are Size, Type, and Modified.

    Click Type, and all the text documents will be grouped together, and the documents will be on top, while spreadsheets will be grouped together on the bottom. Click it again, and the spreadsheets will be on top.

Opening a document video