Starting LibreOffice Software With Parameters

By starting LibreOffice software from the command line you can assign various parameters, with which you can influence the performance. The use of command line parameters is only recommended for experienced users.

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For normal handling, the use of command line parameters is not necessary. A few of the parameters require a deeper knowledge of the technical background of LibreOffice software technology.


Starting LibreOffice Software From the Command Line

  1. Under Windows, select Run from the Windows Start menu, or open a shell under Linux, *BSD, or macOS platforms.

  2. Under Windows, type the following text in the Open text field and click OK.

  3. Under UNIX-like systems, type the following line of text, then press Return:

    Replace {install} with the path to your installation of LibreOffice software (for example, C:\Program Files\Office in Windows, or ~/office in UNIX)

Valid Command Line Parameters

Using without special arguments

Using without any arguments opens the start center.

{file}

Tries to open the file (files) in the components suitable for them.

{file} macro:///[Library.Module.MacroName]

Opens the file and applies specified macros from the file.


Getting help and information

Parameter

Meaning

--help / -h / -?

Lists the available command line parameters to the console.

--helpwriter

Opens LibreOffice built-in or online Help on Writer.

--helpcalc

Opens LibreOffice built-in or online Help on Calc.

--helpdraw

Opens LibreOffice built-in or online Help on Draw.

--helpimpress

Opens LibreOffice built-in or online Help on Impress.

--helpbase

Opens LibreOffice built-in or online Help on Base.

--helpbasic

Opens LibreOffice built-in or online Help on Basic scripting language.

--helpmath

Opens LibreOffice built-in or online Help on Math.

--version

Shows LibreOffice version and quits.

--nstemporarydirectory

(macOS sandbox only) Returns path of the temporary directory for the current user and exits. Overrides all other arguments.


General arguments

Parameter

Meaning

--quickstart[=no]

Activates[Deactivates] the Quickstarter service. It can take only one parameter no which deactivates the Quickstarter service. Without parameters this service is activated.

--nolockcheck

Disables check for remote instances using the installation.

--infilter={filter}

Forces an input filter type, if possible. For example:

--infilter="Calc Office Open XML"

--infilter="Text (encoded):UTF8,LF,Liberation Mono,en-US".

--pidfile={file}

Store soffice.bin pid to {file}.

--display {display}

Sets the DISPLAY environment variable on UNIX-like platforms to the value {display}. This parameter is only supported by the start script for LibreOffice software on UNIX-like platforms.


User/programmatic interface control

Parameter

Meaning

--nologo

Disables the splash screen at program start.

--minimized

Starts minimized. The splash screen is not displayed.

--nodefault

Starts without displaying anything except the splash screen.

--invisible

Starts in invisible mode.

Neither the start-up logo nor the initial program window will be visible. LibreOffice software can be controlled, and documents and dialogs can be controlled and opened via the API.

Using the parameter, LibreOffice can only be ended using the taskmanager (Windows) or the kill command (UNIX-like systems).

It cannot be used in conjunction with --quickstart.

More information is found in LibreOffice Developer's Guide.

--headless

Starts in "headless mode" which allows using the application without user interface.

This special mode can be used when the application is controlled by external clients via the API.

--norestore

Disables restart and file recovery after a system crash.

--safe-mode

Starts in a safe mode, i.e. starts temporarily with a fresh user profile and helps to restore a broken configuration.

--accept={UNO}

Notifies LibreOffice software that upon the creation of "UNO Acceptor Threads", a "UNO Accept String" will be used.

UNO-URL is string the such kind uno:connection-type,params;protocol-name,params;ObjectName.

More information is found in LibreOffice Developer's Guide.

--unaccept={UNO-URL}

Closes an acceptor that was created with --accept={UNO-URL}. Use --unaccept=all to close all open acceptors.

--language={lang}

Uses specified language, if language is not selected yet for UI. The lang is a tag of the language in IETF language tag.


Developer arguments

Parameter

Meaning

--terminate_after_init

Exit after initialization complete (no documents loaded).

--eventtesting

Exit after loading documents.


New document creation arguments

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The arguments create an empty document of specified kind. Only one of them may be used in one command line. If filenames are specified after an argument, then it tries to open those files in the specified component.


Parameter

Meaning

--writer

Starts with an empty Writer document.

--calc

Starts with an empty Calc document.

--draw

Starts with an empty Draw document.

--impress

Starts with an empty Impress document.

--math

Starts with an empty Math document.

--global

Starts with an empty Writer master document.

--web

Starts with an empty HTML document.


File open arguments

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The arguments define how following filenames are treated. New treatment begins after the argument and ends at the next argument. The default treatment is to open documents for editing, and create new documents from document templates.


Parameter

Meaning

-n

Treats following files as templates for creation of new documents.

-o

Opens following files for editing, regardless whether they are templates or not.

--pt {Printername}

Prints the following files to the printer {Printername} and ends. The splash screen does not appear.

If the file name contains spaces, then it must be enclosed in quotation marks.

If used multiple times, only last {Printername} is effective for all documents of all --pt runs.

Also, --printer-name argument of --print-to-file switch interferes with {Printername}.

-p

Prints following files to the default printer, after which those files are closed. The splash screen does not appear.

If the file name contains spaces, then it must be enclosed in quotation marks.

--view

Opens following files in viewer mode (read-only).

--show

Opens and starts the following presentation documents of each immediately. Files are closed after the showing. Files other than Impress documents are opened in default mode , regardless of previous mode.

--convert-to OutputFileExtension[:OutputFilterName] [--outdir output_dir]

Batch convert files (implies --headless). If --outdir isn't specified, then current working directory is used as output_dir.

If --convert-to is used more than once, last value of OutputFileExtension[:OutputFilterName] is effective. If --outdir is used more than once, only its last value is effective. For example:

--convert-to pdf *.doc

--convert-to pdf:writer_pdf_Export --outdir /home/user *.doc

--convert-to "html:XHTML Writer File:UTF8" *.doc

--convert-to "txt:Text (encoded):UTF8" *.doc

See the list of document filters for file conversion.

--print-to-file [--printer-name printer_name] [--outdir output_dir]

Batch print files to file. If --outdir is not specified, then current working directory is used as output_dir.

If --printer-name or --outdir used multiple times, only last value of each is effective. Also, {Printername} of --pt switch interferes with --printer-name. For example:

--print-to-file *.doc

--print-to-file --printer-name nasty_lowres_printer --outdir /home/user *.doc

--cat

Applies filter "txt:Text" to the following text documents and dump text content to console (implies --headless). Cannot be used with --convert-to.

-env:VAR[=VALUE]

Set a bootstrap variable. For example: to set a non-default user profile path:

-env:UserInstallation=file:///tmp/test


Ignored switches

Parameter

Meaning

-psn

Ignored (macOS only)

-Embedding

Ignored (COM+ related; Windows only)

--nofirststartwizard

Does nothing, accepted only for backward compatibility.

--protector {arg1} {arg2}

Used only in unit tests and should have two arguments.


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