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Business Freedom and Privacy Life Skills

Starting a Company Right with LibreOffice Docs

If you are at a company at the startup phase, and you want to make sure that the company isn’t plagued by proprietary office documents, and to make sure that everyone knows the reason *why* this matters, I have created the attached documents. I will also paste the raw text into this post so you can know what’s in the documents.

You may need to send a very stern and heartfelt email with these documents (edited to your liking) to the Founders of a company to show them that you aren’t trying to make life hard but actually better. Many people who are wrapped up in closed software simply don’t understand they are victims.

I hope these prove to be valuable to you and your startup and that free software is further advanced as a result.

WORKING WITH OFFICE DOCUMENTS AT NEWCO

Working with office documents such as spreadsheets and text documents is fundamental to every business. Here at NewCo, we only work with office document software that respects our privacy and the privacy of those with whom we communicate on a day-to-day basis. By operating in this way, we assure that no one at NewCo (or outside) is forced to purchase expensive or unethical software to perform the task at hand. It also future-proofs NewCo against needs that may require wholesale adjustments to documents and / or implementations of business systems.

What this means on a practical level is that every spreadsheet and text document created, is done so in LibreOffice. LibreOffice is distributed on your Ubuntu operating system distribution and also on many other distributions in the world. LibreOffice also has the capability of opening proprietary software and saving to their formats.

Creating a New Office Document

  1. Open LibreOffice
  2. Select the type of document you want to create from top left icon in menu
  1. Click File / save or ‘control + s’ and it will automatically save in the correct (and ethical) format

Converting Proprietary Documents to LibreOffice

If someone sends you a document in a closed/proprietary format (such as Microsoft’s ‘Word’ or “Excel”) which is to be used for any business purpose whatsoever, especially on an ongoing basis:

  1. Open the document in LibreOffice
  2. Save the document ‘file / save’ or ‘control + s’
  1. If /when a warning appears, accept the ODF option. This will instantly convert the document to a format that works in LibreOffice. Most of the time there is no material damage to the formatting but if there is it is usually a quick fix.

Outbound Company Documents

Default to PDF – Every Time

In the event that someone needs a document from us, we should, unless asked otherwise, always provide the information / document in PDF format. There are three major reasons for this:

1. Security: this is a step way to help make sure information sent from NewCo is not manipulated on the other side (it’s an image file life a photo at its core).

2. Branding and Marketing : companies and their employees who send information in editable documents display their lack of professionalism to the recipient which is something we never want to do from the first day. Sending an editable office document . When someone in business sends a ‘Word or Excel” document, it screams “mom & pop operation” and immediately shows they are not a serious operation which will put NewCo in an inferior brand position.

3. Supreme Accessibility: PDF is one of the only formats that is able to be opened and viewed reliably, and with good formatting on any device on earth.

The good news is that in LibreOffice, this is dead easy: there is a one-button PDF creation tool in the menu. 

Creating a PDF Office Document

  1. Open Document in LibreOffice
  2. Click the one-button PDF creation tool
  1. Name it and save it

Increase the PDF Security with a Password (Optional)

The greater news is that by choosing ‘file’ and ‘export’ (instead of the one-button option above) you can easily export the same PDF with a password so that the person opening can only open it with the password you provide them, which further protects the data we send out and puts NewCo a further step above other companies in terms of quality presentation in front of others and in terms of security.

Outbound Company Documents As LibreOffice Only

In the event an external party needs a document that they need to manipulate:

  1. Attach the appropriate LibreOffice document in the LibreOffice format (ie. .odt, .ods)
  2. Copy and paste the following message into the body of the email which explains what’s going on and why:

+++++

I have attached the document you requested in LibreOffice format – a free, robust and ethical office document software suite. If you don’t already have the software, you can download it (for free) here and you and your company can benefit from it: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/

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Outbound Company Documents as LibreOffice and Proprietary

If absolutely needed and you deem the recipient to be a ‘lost cause’ (there are many out there) then you can also pre-convert the document to a Microsoft format using LibreOffice and attach that as well with a modified version of the comments.

  1. Attach the appropriate LibreOffice document in the LibreOffice format (ie. .odt, .ods)
  2. Convert the LibreOffice formatted document to Microsoft’s proprietary format by performing a ‘file / save as’
  1. Attach the proprietary format to the email as well
  2. Copy and paste the following message into the body of the email which explains what’s going on and why:

+++++

I have attached the document you requested in LibreOffice format – a free, robust and ethical office document software suite that our company has embraced. If you don’t already have the software, you can download it (for free) here and you and your company can start benefiting from it: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/. I have also attached the document as a Microsoft format for the sake of time as I realize many companies out there are still paying for and using it.

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