How add 2nd language to IbreOffice once installed?

I have the standard installation of LibreOffice on my Librem13…English only language; I want to add a second language. Do I have to reinstall, and if so, how? The presently installed version is, which is VERY old. Thanks in advance for pointers. JAA84

In LibreOffice:

  • tools menu
  • –> Options…
  • –> Language Settings
  • –> Languages
  • –> Language of User Interface

There you should have a list of languages to choose from. It may happen that English is the only one shown, in that case you need to install some additional packages. I installed Swedish and Spanish like this:

sudo apt install libreoffice-l10n-sv
sudo apt install libreoffice-l10n-es

Then after restarting LibreOffice Swedish and Spanish appeared in the list of languages.

(I did not test this in PureOS but another Debian-based distro, there could be some difference but my guess is it works like this in PureOS also.)


I think the answer somewhat depends on what you want to do. If you wish to change the user interface, I defer to the above suggestion from @Skalman. For just doing documents, one does not need to install the language pack.

I normally use English, but I occasionally want to type documents in German (Germany). For that kind of thing, go to the same place as mentioned and select the language(s) you want in the list of Default Languages. You may also need to get addtional dictionaries for spellchecking. For example, in Writer, select Tools->Languages->More Dictionaries Online…, and pick the one(s) you need.

Once you have done this, for the document, select the Selection/Paragraph/All Text in Tools->Languages.

If you don’t mind having a Frankensystem with software from different repos, you can use buster-backports to get a more recent version of LibreOffice, which is how I do it. Add this line to your /etc/apt/sources.list file:
deb buster-backports main

Then do:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -t buster-backports libreoffice

If you don’t want a Frankensystem, then my recommendation is to install LibreOffice with Snap:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install snapd
sudo snap install libreoffice

Then update your launchers, menu and “Default Applications” to use the executable at /snap/bin/libreoffice instead of /usr/bin/libreoffice (or the executables localc, lowriter and loimpress in the same directories).