Automating Libreoffice with macros

Office Automation

Article from Issue 149/2013

in addition to its comprehensive tool set, Libreoffice packs a built-in Basic-like scripting language that can be used to automate repetitive tasks and extend the suite’s default functionality.

In skilled hands, the LibreOffice Basic scripting language can do wonders, but you don’t have to be a programming expert to write simple or more advanced macros that perform useful tasks. Whether you are a Linux home user or an IT specialist, you can use the built-in scripting powers of the LibreOffice/ OpenOffice suite to automate recurring tasks. This article provides some examples you can use as building blocks for your own LibreOffice Basic coding projects.

Looking up Words

Traditionally, an introduction to a programming language starts with a simple example that displays the “Hello world!” message. It’s cute, but not particularly useful. So instead, I’ll start with something more practical, like a simple macro to look up the currently selected word in Wikipedia. The key element of the macro is the Shell command, which is used to call external programs.

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