I've been a student far too long and doing properly formatted citations is one of the banes of my existence. I tend to work in LO or Google Docs, then move my files over to Microsoft Word to do pesky things like 'formatting' and adding citations. Word has a lovely, automatically updating system for this that makes life a lot easier. This, however, means I'm limited to systems with a full fat, or, at least, half fat version of MS Office, like home and student while I have LO and starter installed

I'd like to be able to create citations in LO, by adding the basic information, and picking a format for it to be formatted in (such as APA) and save them in at the very least a plain text format. Ideally, I'd like office compatible markup so I can just send this over to someone with MS Office, they can add references the MS Word way and send it back to me.

What software or plugins exist for LibreOffice/OpenOffice that would allow me to do this?


2 Answers 2


LibreOffice actually has a good bibliography feature built in. I'm not sure how it compares to Word's since I've never really used either. However, the first thing you need to do is update your LibreOffice installation. The latest version is; you're a long way behind!

The first thing to do is to make sure that the bibliography database is installed, go to Tools -> Bibliography Database and make sure you don't need to install any extra packages. You can also edit the database from here.

You insert bibliography entries from Insert -> Indexes and Tables -> Bibliography Entry. You will be presented with a nice dialog like this:

LibreOffice Insert Bibliography Entry

From here you can either pick an entry from the database or add a new item to the database and the document with the "new" button.

Once you're done adding your entries, open Insert -> Indexes and Tables -> Indexes and Tables. Choose the "Bibliography" type, change any other settings you'd like and click OK.

LibreOffice Insert Index/Table

I found a good YouTube video that illustrates this much better.


Zotero sounds perfect for you.

It is free and open source and, while it takes a little bit of getting used to, it has a LibreOffice plugin, so you can enter citations at the press of a button. It also has excellent import facilities from your browser, so you can save all your references with PDFs in one place and it renders a huge number of citation styles.

I've used it for years and it never goes wrong for me.

Other advantages are cloud sync and storage (paid once you go over a certain volume of PDFs) and that it's cross-platform.

  • 1
    Zotero looks great but the doco says i686 only so us oldies using perfectly good legacy systems are shut out. Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 4:57

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