I really like LibreOffice however I'm having issues with it freezing up and I can't seem to start a new instance of the writer on multiple desktops (I'm using dwm and want several documents open).

For this reason, I need a writer application (don't use spreadsheets or presentations that much) that has all the features of LibreOffice but can be launched independently of other instances.

The features I require the most would be:

  • Rich text editing (bold/italics/fonts/font sizes/etc)
  • Ability to add headers and footers to pages
  • Ability to add formulas to pages (I'm sure this can be accomplished with a LaTeX plugin of some sort)
  • Portrait/Landscape view
  • Split text into columns
  • Export to pdf (not essential but makes it easier if its integrated)

I've tried alternativeto.net without much success. Any ideas? Maybe my problem with LibreOffice can be fixed.

3 Answers 3


I'd recommend trying to fix the LibreOffice problem, but if that doesn't work, have you heard of Abiword? It's older than the OpenOffice.org project and is similar to MS Word (pre-ribbon versions) or Writer from the LibreOffice suite.

Another idea, if you are familiar with LaTeX, is to try one of those near- (or not quite so near-) WYSIWYG editors like Kile (KDE), LyX (Qt dependencies), or Texmaker (Qt).

Caveat: I have not used any of the above pieces of software because LibreOffice and straight pdflatex have been enough for everything I've needed to do so far.

  • 1
    I've started using Texmaker and absolutely love it!
    – nopcorn
    Oct 19, 2011 at 18:11

Texmacs will do 2 columns, and is relatively lightweight and provides rich text:

enter image description here

That seems to imply that you don't get three or more columns, but... that is the cost of asking for "lightweight".

Mind you, I just use LaTeX.


You would probably be able to start a new instance of Writer if you create a separate user. Also, try KWord.

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