Starting from the command line

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You may want to start Apache OpenOffice from the command line (using the keyboard instead of the mouse). Why? Well, by using the command line, you have more control over what happens when Apache OpenOffice is started. For example, using the command line, you can tell Writer to load a document and print it immediately, or to start without showing the splash screen.

Documentation note.png Most users will never need to do this.

There is more than one way to start Apache OpenOffice from the command line, depending on whether a customized version or the standard download from the Apache OpenOffice website has been installed.

If you installed using the download on the Apache OpenOffice website, you can start Writer by typing at the command line:

soffice -writer



Writer will start and create a new document. Likewise, you can start other Apache OpenOffice components from the command line:

Type of document Component Command-line option
Text Writer -writer
Spreadsheet Calc -calc
Drawing Draw -draw
Presentation Impress -impress
Formula Math -math
Web page Writer -web

To see a list of options you can use when starting Writer at the command line, type:

soffice -?

Below is a list of some of the more popular options.

Option Description
-help Get a complete list of options.
-nologo Do not show the startup screen.
-show <odp-file> Start presentation immediately.
-view <documents ...>    Open documents in viewer (read-only) mode.
-minimized Start OOo minimized.
-norestore Suppress restart/restore after fatal errors.
-invisible No startup screen, no default document and no UI. This is useful for third-party applications that use functionality provided by OOo.

If you have a customized version of Apache OpenOffice (such as the one provided by Linux Mandrake or Gentoo), you can start Writer by typing at the command line:

Documentation note.png Although the command syntax differs, the effect is identical: it starts Apache OpenOffice with an empty Writer document.

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