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I know that LibreOffice is a bit like Microsoft Office, but I can't find the equivalent of OneNote, something that I used a lot before I moved over to Ubuntu, and I do miss the features that it had. Currently I use Evernote Web, or just nothing at all.

Does this not exist?

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    Close-voters: Too broad usually suggests there are virtually unlimited different possible answers or that a satisfactory answer would have to be extremely long. Neither applies here. Maybe the OneNote part of the question should be split off from the main what's-in-libreoffice question, but since there are no comments to that effect, I don't want to assume that's the reason for the close votes. I suspect that if this is closed as too broad, it will get five reopen votes shortly thereafter. Someone who thinks this really should be and stay closed should perhaps comment to explain why. Aug 19, 2014 at 1:06
  • IMHO Tim you should just change title to something like "Is there an equivalent for OneNote?" or similar. As a matter of fact, only the title is too broad, the question itself is pretty clear. Aug 21, 2014 at 11:38
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    I completely agree with @EliahKagan. How is this broad? It's a very concise question. What are the LibreOffice components -- there not that many -- and what are their Microsoft equivalents. And is one of the LibreOffice components equivalent to OneNote. +1 for the question, and I hope it gets reopened :) Aug 21, 2014 at 17:48
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    There are several other software that you can use. Look at [these alternatives][1] [1]: askubuntu.com/questions/19230/microsoft-onenote-alternative
    – Unique
    Apr 22, 2015 at 14:53
  • @Unique Thanks for the comment, and welcome to the site! I'd seen that post before, but thanks for the comment. Just a note - comments aren't multi line so to link you have to use this form: [text](http://example.com) . It looks like a normal link: text
    – Tim
    Apr 22, 2015 at 14:58

7 Answers 7

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LibreOffice Start page.

This doesn't exist in Microsoft office. From here you can:

  • Launch any of the 6 Office programs (create a new document)
  • Open a recent file, from the grid of recent files.
  • Open any file on your computer, from the Open File button
  • Edit your templates
  • Access Help and the Extensions webpage.

LibreOffice Start page


LibreOffice Writer.

LibreOffice Writer is the equivalent of MS Word. It has all of the basic functions, like Font, Text size, Alignment, and drawing functions, like Rectangles, Circles and various shapes, like Stars, Call outs (Speech Bubbles) and Arrows.

It can be launched with the command libreoffice --writer (creates a new document), searching the dash for "Writer", or clicking its icon on the launcher.

Here is the icon, and a cropped screenshot of the Writer window:

LibreOffice Writer

As you can see, in the top bar is the standard tool bars, File, Edit etc. and the formatting tool bar - Font + Size, Colour etc.

In the bottom, there is the Shapes toolbar with the Arrows etc.


LibreOffice Calc.

LibreOffice Calc is the equivalent of MS Excel. It has all of the basic functions, like Font, Text size, Alignment, and some more advanced ones, like Formula insertion, Charts, Cell Colouring and Conditional Formatting.

It can be launched with the command libreoffice --calc (creates a new document), searching the dash for "Calc" (often Calculator is the first result), or clicking its icon on the launcher.

Here is the icon, and a cropped screenshot of the Calc window:

LibreOffice Calc

As you can see, in the top bar is the standard tool bars, File, Edit, etc., and the formatting toolbar - Font + Size, Colour etc.

At the bottom is the Find search bar. This can be focused with the standard Ctrl+F shortcut.


LibreOffice Impress.

Libre Office Impress is the equivalent of MS Power Point. It has all of the basic functions, like Font, Text size, Alignment, and others exclusive to Impress, like Custom Animation, different Slide views and default text boxes for tiles that come with the templates.

It can be launched with the command libreoffice --impress (Creates a new document), searching the dash for "Impress", or clicking its icon on the launcher.

Here is the icon, and a cropped screenshot of the Draw window:

LibreOffice Impress

As you can see, in the top bar is the standard tool bars, File, Edit, etc., and the formatting toolbar. In Impress, it is a bit different, it has the colour and line settings for shapes you make. This changes to text when you are typing

At the bottom is the Shapes tool bar. It has all the shapes that Writer has, but also some extras, like certain freehand shapes, more like Draw (below).

Along the side are the tools exclusive to Impress, like Custom Animation, Master Slides and Slide Transitions.


LibreOffice Draw.

LibreOffice Draw is the equivalent of MS Publisher, a program that doesn't come in the basic MS Office package. It has all of the basic functions, like Font, Text size, Alignment, and others exclusive to Draw, like freehand drawing and better shape manipulation.

It can be launched with the command libreoffice --draw (creates a new document), searching the dash for "Draw", or clicking its icon on the launcher.

Here is the icon, and a cropped screenshot of the Draw window:

LibreOffice Draw

As you can see, in the top bar is the standard tool bars, File, Edit, etc., and the formatting toolbar. In Draw, it is a bit different, it has the colour and line settings for shapes you make, as text is less often used.

At the bottom is the Shapes tool bar. It has all the shapes that Writer has, but also some extras, like certain freehand shapes.


LibreOffice Math.

LibreOffice Math has no equivalent to an MS product. It is very different to all the others, it hasn't got the font tools.

It can be launched with the command libreoffice --math (creates a new document), searching the dash for "Math, or clicking its icon on the launcher.

Here is the icon, and a cropped screenshot of the Math window.

LibreOffice Math

As you can see, in the top bar is the standard tool bars, File, Edit, etc., but in the standard bar there are unique tools like zoom and special Greek symbols.

At the bottom is not a toolbar, that is where you enter the formula. The point of Math is to present your formula in a professional way, instead of trying to get / and + aligned, and formulas over each other. As an example it converts this:

{π} over { 2 } = sum from { { i = 0 } } to { infinity } { k!} over { (2k +1)!! }

to this:

rendered math equation


LibreOffice Base.

LibreOffice Base is the equivalent of MS Access. It is a very specialised tool, and is designed completely around creating databases.

It can be launched with the command libreoffice --base (Creates a new document), searching the dash for "Base", or clicking its icon on the launcher.

Here is the icon, and a cropped screenshot of the Base window:

LibreOffice Base

As you can see, in the top bar is the standard tool bars, File, Edit, etc., however in this view most features are disabled, as this is the navigation window, with links to the base wizard.

In the bottom, there is a status bar with details about what you are working on (not included in the screenshot).


Keyboard shortcuts.

Ctrl+C - Copy

Ctrl+X - Cut

Ctrl+V - Paste

Ctrl+Z - Undo

Ctrl+Y / Ctrl+Shift+Z - Redo

Ctrl+P - Print

Ctrl+A - Select All

F7 - Spell Check (Check spelling as you type is an option, which I think is enabled by default.)

Ctrl+S - Save

Ctrl+Shift+S - Save as

A list of general keyboard short cuts. Here are the specific ones for Writer and Calc.


Compatibility

Compatibility with other document types is fairly good. MS Office is not as good at decoding .odt documents, but LibreOffice is quite good at saving in that format. Some features (especially formatting of tables, for me) are a bit hit and miss. If compatibility is key, I suggest using the built in export feature to export it to a .pdf. Normally however, just saving as a .doc or .docx is enough for windows users to access it.

They do use different methods to create the same thing, which is why you get issues.

The Wiki.

Most of this came from my memory and experiences. The wiki is:

  1. Less biased.
  2. More reputable.
  3. Has more info, and the info is more accurate.

So I would suggest you have a look in it for information I have (accidentally or purposefully) left out.


So, essentially, no, there is no alternative to OneNote built-in; you need to look outside of LibreOffice for this.

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    nice one :) 1 thing that might need some emphasis: documents are almost 100% exchangeable between MSO and OO/LO though the 2 might have a different approach to get something done. Biggest difference:MSO uses VBasic, OO/LO uses (mainly) Python.
    – Rinzwind
    Aug 15, 2014 at 8:48
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    @Rinzwind 100% exchangeable in theory, but there're lots of cases when LibO shows MSO documents (doc/docx in particular) garbled. And MSO sometimes doesn't like ODF docs.
    – Ruslan
    Aug 15, 2014 at 13:37
  • I thought Draw was analogous to MS Visio
    – SSumner
    Aug 16, 2014 at 11:27
  • ** This answer is out-of-date! **
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Oct 15, 2014 at 8:32
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    @Tim The current question is about a OneNote alternative. This answer is about different LibreOffice programs. I do know that this question was originally designed around "What different LO Programs are there?"
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Oct 15, 2014 at 21:10
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Give Zim a chance!

I don't fully know MS One Note but maybe you could try zim.

Zim is a graphical text editor used to maintain a collection of wiki pages. Each page can contain links to other pages, simple formatting and images. Pages are stored in a folder structure, like in an outliner, and can have attachments. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a nonexistent page. All data is stored in plain text files with wiki formatting. Various plugins provide additional functionality, like a task list manager, an equation editor, a tray icon, and support for version control.

From the Zim webpage.

My use

I use it as a repository of information I need to use in a daily basis or for some code I need if something goes wrong.

Because it saves the information in TXT files, I put the notes folder in my OwnCloud. So I can read it even I don't have a Zim installed or I'm in another PC. Dropbox or other cloud software that puts a synchronization folder in your filesystem will do.

If you have more than one machine, you could use the same notes in all of them by doing the above.

Put your hands on it

It looks like this (A little better in Ubuntu with small icons):

Image of Zim itself

For more, take a look at a screencast and screenshots.

You will find it in the USC, in the download page or by adding the PPA (From the Launchpad):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jaap.karssenberg/zim  
sudo apt-get update  
sudo apt-get install zim

Edit:

Also interesting is the Zim Wiki Community Documentation page at Github.

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  • That looks good!
    – Tim
    Aug 15, 2014 at 19:58
  • It's so late but just wanted to say I also use it, it's great, but if you want something even more advanced, you can try emacs/spacemacs org-mode.
    – SdSaati
    Jul 16, 2021 at 3:12
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Libreoffice does not have an equivalent to Onenote, but nobody says you should use only Libreoffice on your PC. Along with some of the very good alternatives already pointed out by Sardinha 94410 and muru, you may want to use a program with sync capabilities. In that case you should keep in mind that:

  • Evernote works great for taking notes and syncing across devices, and there are two clients which run on Ubuntu (NixNote and Everpad)
  • There is a free online version of OneNote which you can use with a Live account

I personally prefer using the Evernote web interface, but it's a matter of taste.

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    Yeah, I already use Evernote in wine. I actually prefer it to One Note, but one note still has it's uses! I really like the look of that on-line version, especially for my W8 machine, because I refuse to pay for MSO! This has been accepted I really like that, thanks!
    – Tim
    Aug 17, 2014 at 13:41
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For OneNote, you might have to look outside LibreOffice. There are a few alternatives, and none that I use, so no recommendations. I think each Desktop Environment (GNOME, KDE, etc.) has their own notes app.

  • Tomboy - I think this used to be available by default on Ubuntu. This is the GNOME notes app.
  • Gnote - And I think this replaced Tomboy as the default.
  • KNotes - from KDE.
  • XFCE4 Notes - from XFCE4.

In addition, depending on your DE, their might be other options, such as applets for MATE, extensions for GNOME Shell, desklets for Cinnamon, etc.

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  • Xournal would probably be a closer equivalent to OneNote. Aug 15, 2014 at 13:49
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I have recently started using cherrytree. It is exactly what I would look for as an alternative to OneNote. Also other people have good reviews about it on Ubuntu One. You can install it from the Software Center. I have also tried Zim-wiki, but I am liking cherrytree more.

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You can try Springseed, which is a very handy note taking app for Ubuntu and you can sync to your Dropbox account.

Visit the Springseed Site for more details.

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  • Normally I'd ask for more info but the page says nothing either!
    – Tim
    Mar 21, 2015 at 16:49
  • You're not missing much. I just tried it and the application is extremely minimalistic. May 28, 2015 at 19:26
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As you can see in previous posts, LibreOffice doesn't offer something like Microsoft OneNote. I lost a lot of time trying and comparing alternatives and my choice is Joplin. It is an open-source note app with support for Linux/Windows/macOS/Android/iOS and many synchronization options.

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