I write words for a living, which means I don’t generally have any issue cranking out sentences, paragraphs, posts, chapters, and books.
But every once in a while, I have to craft a letter. Usually, I have no problems with that. But sometimes, I have to write something significant and I want to make sure to get it right. When that’s the case, every once in a while I’ll turn to the LibreOffice Letter Wizard to create a personalized letter template that I can use over and over.
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What in the name of Merlin’s beard…
Okay, before you get all Tolkein-esque on me, the Letter Wizard is not a wizard in the D&D sense, but a tool that walks you through the creation of your letter. You’ll get help with:
- Page design
- Letterhead layout
- Printed items
- Recipient and sender
- Name and location
In the end, the Letter Wizard doesn’t help you compose the body of the letter, but it does help you with everything else, so your letter can look as professional (or personal) as possible. In other words, when the usual templates won’t work, this might be the way to go. As far as the type of letters you can create with this, consider it a means to craft personal, formal personal, and business missives without having to strain the creative side of your brain too much.
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And, best of all, like LibreOffice, the Letter Wizard is free to use and is built right into the LibreOffice office suite (which is available for Linux, MacOS, and Windows).
For anyone who struggles to find just the right template for letters, this is a great way to go and I’m going to show you how it’s done. One thing to keep in mind is that the Letter Wizard doesn’t just create a one-time letter. Instead, it creates a template you can use any time for your personal or professional correspondence.
How to use the LibreOffice Letter Wizard
The only thing you’ll need for this is the LibreOffice office suite installed on your computer. It doesn’t matter what operating system you use, as the feature is the same on each.
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That’s it. Let’s get to the wizardry.
Within the new Document, click File > Wizards > Letter.
When the Wizard opens, you’ll first have to configure the page design. In this step, select the type (Business, Formal Personal, or Personal), and then select the page design for that type. With the type, there are only three options: Elegant, Modern, and Office. Each of those types isn’t all that different (different font, slightly different spacing, and arrangement). Once you’ve made your selections, click Next.
The Wizard will most likely skip the Letterhead Layout and land you on the printed items section, where you can select what to include in your letter. Make your selections and click Next.
In the next section, you configure both the sender and recipient. If you select Use user data for return address, you must have configured your user information in Tools > Options > User Data.
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Once you’ve taken care of this, click Next.
If you want to add a footer to the letter, you can do so here, as well as a page number. Type whatever text you want in the footer and click Next.
Finally, you can name your letter template and create a new letter from it. Give the template a name and, if necessary, change the folder that will house the template. Once you’ve taken care of that, click Finish, and (when prompted) give the template file a name, and click Save.
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A new LibreOffice document will open with your new template, created from the Letter Wizard. You may be prompted to enable macros for the template. If so, click Enable macros and you’re ready to work with your new letter.
Congratulations, you’ve just created a new personal or professional template that can be used to create letters for your correspondence. After you’ve used the letter template the first time, you can reuse it by clicking File > Templates > Manage Templates and select the new letter template you just created.
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Although this Letter Wizard won’t write your letters for you, it will certainly make it easier for you to create a personalized template for your letters that you can reuse over and over. Once you get the hang of creating these templates, you’ll find it to be a feature that can greatly enhance your productivity.