Starting Writer

From Apache OpenOffice Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

If you are reading this document in, you already know how to start Writer. However, if this is a printed version or a PDF version, you may not know how to start Writer. So let’s look at three ways to do that:

  • From the system menu
  • From an existing document
  • From the command line

Starting from the system menu

The most common way to start Writer is by using the system menu, the standard menu from which most applications are started. On Windows, it is called the Start menu. On GNOME, it is called the Applications menu. On KDE, it is identified by the KDE logo. On Mac OS X, it is the Applications menu.

When was installed on your computer, in most cases a menu entry for each component was added to your system menu. (If you are using a Mac, see note below.) The exact name and location of these menu entries depends on the operating system and graphical environment.

Note for Mac users

You should see the icon in the Applications folder. When you double-click this icon, a text document opens in Writer. To open the other components (Draw, Calc, Impress, Base), go to the File menu of the Writer window and select the component you want.

OOo does not automatically put a shortcut icon on the desktop, but you can add one if you wish. If you don’t know how to add shortcut icons for launching programs, please consult the help for your operating system.

Starting from an existing document

All Writer documents are associated with the Writer application. This means that you can start automatically, simply by double-clicking a Writer document in a file manager such as Windows Explorer.

You can spot an Writer document by its icon: Writer-icon.png.

Note for Windows users

If you have associated Microsoft Office file types with OOo, then when you double-click on a *.doc (Word) file, it opens in OOo Writer.

If you did not associate the file types, then when you double-click on a Microsoft Word document, it opens in Microsoft Word (if Word is installed on your computer).

You can use another method to open *.doc files in OOo and save in the *.doc format from OOo. See Opening an existing document for more information.

Using the Quickstarter under Windows

The Quickstarter is an icon that is placed in the Windows system tray during system startup. It indicates that has been loaded and is ready to use. (The Quickstarter loads library *.DLL files required by OOo, thus shortening the startup time for OOo components by about half.) If the Quickstarter is disabled, see Reactivating the Quickstarter if you want to enable it.

Using the Quickstarter icon

Right-click the Quickstarter icon in the system tray to open a pop-up menu from which you can open a new document, open the Templates and Documents dialog box, or choose an existing document to open. You can also double-click the Quickstarter icon to display the Templates and Documents dialog box.

Quickstarter pop-up menu

Disabling the Quickstarter

To close the Quickstarter, right-click on the icon in the system tray and then click Exit Quickstarter on the pop-up menu. The next time the computer is restarted, the Quickstarter will be loaded again.

To prevent from loading during system startup, deselect the Load During System Start-Up item on the pop-up menu. You might want to do this if your computer has insufficient memory, for example.

Reactivating the Quickstarter

If the Quickstarter has been disabled, you can reactivate it by selecting the Load during system start-up option in Tools > Options > > Memory.

Using the Quickstarter under Linux

Some installations of under Linux have a Quickstarter that looks and acts like the one described above for Windows (the option on the Memory page is labelled Enable systray quickstarter).

Preloading OOo under Linux/KDE

In Linux/KDE, you can use KDocker to have OOo loaded and ready for use at startup. KDocker is not part of OOo; it is a generic “systray app docker” that is helpful if you open OOo often.

Starting from the command line

You may want to start Writer from the command line (using the keyboard instead of the mouse). Why? Well, by using the command line, you have more control over what happens when Writer is started. For example, using the command line, you can tell Writer to load a document and print it immediately, or to start without showing the splash screen.

Documentation note.png Most users will never need to do this.

There is more than one way to start Writer from the command line, depending on whether you have installed a customized version or the standard download from the OOo web site.

If you installed using the download on the OOo web site, you can start Writer by typing at the command line:

soffice -writer



Writer will start and create a new document.

To see a list of options you can use when starting Writer at the command line, type:

soffice -?

Below is a list of some of the more popular options.

Option Description
-help Get a complete list of options.
-nologo Do not show the startup screen.
-show <odp-file> Start presentation immediately.
-view <documents ...>    Open documents in viewer (read-only) mode.
-minimized Start OOo minimized.
-norestore Suppress restart/restore after fatal errors.
-invisible No startup screen, no default document and no UI. This is useful for third-party applications that use functionality provided by OOo.

If you have a customized version of OOo (such as the one provided by Linux Mandrake or Gentoo), you can start Writer by typing at the command line:


Documentation note.png Although the command syntax differs, the effect is identical: it starts OOo with an empty Writer document.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
Personal tools
In other languages