LibreOffice Base

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As a longtime fan of Microsoft Access (mainly the Office 97 version, because after that I moved to Linux), I've been wanting a libre/FOSS equivalent for almost 2 decades now. When OpenOffice (LibreOffice's predecessor) first released Base, I tried it out. I tried it out again after LibreOffice forked the project. I tried it again several years later, thinking surely by now it would be usable.

2022-12-03 v7.3.7.2

LibreOffice Base form design view, showing a project I was trying to build

And just today, I tried it again.

It's never been quite functional for me – which may be partly due to just not knowing how it's supposed to work[1] – though it has gotten a little better each time.

It's still very sloppy and difficult to use, though. I should probably reboot and make sure that some of the weirdness isn't just due to my RAM being full up...


  • can't reorder fields in a table
  • form layout is awkward in multiple ways
    • there is no rubberband (or it's inaccurate) when dragging and resizing controls
    • no grid-snapping
    • no easy way to create a control and its label from a table field
    • The form is presented as a document, where you can add text (and presumably any other document element) in the background -- not sure what use that is. Is this accidental functionality?

There might finally be continuous forms, but I didn't need that for what I was currently trying to do; will have to play with that later.


  1. except I was always able to figure that out in Access...