I have been using Google's Chrome OS for a while now. I am trying to spend most of my Internet time on the Chromebook to see how good it is. Once in a while I come across a problem but the good thing is I am get solutions faster.
You are on your Chromebook and want to edit/view the documents that you created using LibreOffice on your PC? This files are in .odt format and the only way you can work on those files using Google Docs is by first downloading them and then uploading again to convert in Google Docs' format. The problem it creates is now you have two copies of the same file - one in gdoc format and other in .odt format. And there is no sync between these two files.
As I wrote in the previous article, if you are using LibreOffice then there is an excellent plugin which allows you to sync your files with Google Docs. Is there something similar for Chromebook that allows you to open and edit .odt files without having to convert them to gdoc format?
The short answer is, yes.
Just the way there is a LO plugin for Google Docs, there is an excellent app for Chrome which allows you to run LibreOffice within the Chrome browser. So, now Chromebook or Chromebox owners can run LibreOffice on their devices.
How To Get LibreOffice App In Chrome
Go to the Chrome Web Store and search for Libreoffice. You will find this app called 'InstallFree Nexus with LibreOffice', just install it. Now go to the .odt files that you have on your Google Docs/Drive. When you click on the file you will notice a new option 'InstallFree Nexus with Libreoffice'. Click on that option and your file will be opened in a LibreOffice instance running within the Chrome browser.
Libreoffice In Chrome OS
This is a cloud based instance of LibreOffice running on your Chrome OS. At the moment it is running the latest stable version of LO which is 126.96.36.199. The advantage of using this app is that you get full LibreOffice experience – including the keyboard shortcuts. You can save the files, export the files and create new files from this app. The files that you create using this app can be easily opened and edited by LibreOffice installed on your PC.
'InstallFree Nexus with Libreoffice' is a cloud based app which means you need the Internet to access and run the app. If you are in a no-Internet zone or on a flight you won't be able to access this app and thus won't be able to edit your documents. The app can be a game changer if they offer offline support as well. Another interesting thing that I noticed about this app is if you have your Google Docs open and running on other machines, the moment you open a doc in this app, it will open up on other logged in machines automatically. Which was scary at first. So, keep this point in mind.
Check out this video to see InstallFree Nexus with Libreoffice at work.
Editor's Note: With this article we are starting a section called 'Chromology'. Under this section we will write about Google Chrome OS, Chrome browser, Chromebooks and Chromebox. If you are a Chromebook, Chromebox user you must visit this page so that you stay updated with out Chrome OS special stories. If you have any questions you can always write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org.