Adding useful features (also known as add-ons) to web browsers – such as ad blockers, search bars, and password managers – has changed the way we use the internet. But, despite the likes of Microsoft Office and LibreOffice offering their own extra tools, few of us do likewise with our office software.
Here, we’ll reveal where you can find these handy extras (which Microsoft in their wisdom calls add-ins) for your office software.
We’ll also explain how to install (and remove) add-ins, and tell you about those we simply can’t-do without.
Microsoft Office Add-ins
The first step is to visit Office’s online store. Some add-ins cost money but those we
recommend here are free. Use the Product and Category options on the left to target the available add-ins for specific Office software (such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc) or browse them by function.
Alternatively, use the URLs we provide in this feature to access our favorite add-ins directly. Once you click an add-in you’ll be
To install an add-in, click the green Add button, then choose a Microsoft (MS) product from the list. For example, click the ‘Open in Word’ option. A pop-up window will appear
prompting you to confirm you want to open the file – click Yes and the relevant program (Word in our example) will open.
Click the Enable Editing button in the yellow bar at the top, and click the ‘Trust this app’ button in the column that appears on the right. You will be prompted to sign into your MS account in Office if you aren’t already logged in.
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My favorite MS Office add-ins
Microsoft Translator ( Download Now )
You can convert a single word or an entire novel from one language to another with this brilliant add-in. Highlight the relevant word or passage of text, right-click it and click Translate.
Symbols and Characters ( Download Now )
Say goodbye to Office’s cumbersome Symbols tool and use this nifty little add-in instead. Its best feature lets you search for specific punctuation marks (such as the copyright symbol).
It also handily groups similar symbols together, so you can browse all available
mathematical marks or currency symbols.
Wikipedia ( Download Now )
Wikipedia has become the online fact-checker of choice for many of us, so it’s handy to have instant access to it when working on an Office document.
The Wikipedia add-in lets you search for and insert entire entries from the online encyclopedia without moving away from your document.
Pickit Free Images ( Download Now )
Pickit puts thousands of free images at your fingertips – even if it does make you click
‘No thanks, not right now’ to dismiss the annoying advert that launches with the add-in . Once you’ve done that, enter a search term in the search bar to find an image, or scroll through the Collections, which include everything from cityscapes to religion.
To add an extension to LibreOffice, click it to open its web page and scroll down until you see the Current Release section. Click the download link (usually next to a large green arrow –) to download it to your PC.
Go back to the Extension Manager in LibreOffice and click the Add button, then locate the file you’ve just downloaded (it will be in your Downloads folder by default) and double-click it.
MultiFormatSave Download Now
LibreOffice users will know how annoying it can be to email a document to a friend, only for them to tell you Microsoft Word can’t open it.
MultiFormatSave fixes this by letting you save a LibreOffice document so that it’s compatible with practically any word processor or PDF viewer. Just click the extension’s icon (see screenshot below), choose the formats you want and click Save.
AltSearch Download Now
Click the green binoculars icon (or click Tools, Add-Ons, and Alternative Searching)
to open this advanced search-and-replace tool. It searches even deeper than LibreOffice’s default tool and will find and replace words in footnotes, endnotes, tables and text frames.
Pepito Cleaner Download Now
Getting someone to proof-read your document isn’t always easy, but with Pepito Cleaner you can have your work scanned for errors. Don’t confuse this with a spell-checker, however. Instead, Pepito looks for inconsistencies in the document’s layout, such as double spaces and missing full stops.
Installing it is slightly different than normal as the download isn’t on LibreOffice’s site. Instead use the URL above and click the PepitoCleaner.oxt link (in blue) at the top of the page. To scan a document, click Tools, Add-Ons, then Pepito Cleaner.
Also, Check Best Alternatives of your Default Windows Tools
Hope my article “How to get Most from Your Office Suite” helps you to identify most of the office.