LibreOffice Documentation Team blog

June 21, 2012

9 Tricks for Using List Styles

Filed under: Styles & Templates, Tips & HowTos, Writer — Jean @ 8:16 pm

List styles are powerful but many people do not understand how to use them. This article by Bruce Byfield on the WorldLabel blog describes nine tricks for using them effectively.

April 23, 2012

Printed copy of LibreOffice 3.4 Getting Started guide now available

Filed under: Base, Books, Calc, Draw, Impress, Math, Styles & Templates, Writer — LibreOffice Documentation Team @ 9:33 am

Cover of LibO 3.4 Getting Started guidePrinted copies of LibreOffice 3.4 Getting Started guide are now available from

If you would like a printed copy of this book, now is a good time to buy, because is having a sale. Between now and Friday 27 April 2012 at 11:59 pm (in some US time zone), the homepage will have the name of a savings coupon that you can add to your cart to save on the cost of this book — or any other book at

May 14, 2011

What are templates?

How does LibreOffice know what settings to use for styles, margins,  headers, and even text when you start a new document? The answer by using a template for those settings.

But templates are more useful than that. Templates allow you to reuse a document’s fixed content over and over without editing a saved document. Opening a template creates a new document from the template’s content. Every time you use the template you get the exact same content. You do not need to worry overwriting another document or not editing all the inappropriate references in previous document. Have you ever seen a letter that had obviously wrong references? Any document you reuse most of the text or structure often to make another document is an excellent candidate for a template.

Templates can be used in Writer, Impress, Calc, and Draw. Templates can be very simple or very complex depending on your needs. Examples complex documents are a proposal in Writer or spreadsheet in Calc that contains all the calculations, formulas, and other data needed to calculate financial data when you enter in new data. With Draw you can create a custom sheet with whatever images and text you want to reuse often. For Impress create a presentation with predefined styles, titles, intro slides, or other predefined slides. Most any document that you reuse often is a good candidate for creating a template. Templates can be created by editing an existing document or by creating a document specifically as a template.

To save your template, click on FILE>TEMPLATES>SAVE and you will be prompted for a name. After naming the template click OK. Then close the template. This avoids accidentally overwriting your new template. I have forgotten to do this step and found myself accidentally overwriting my new template.

To use a template you can do it from the may open them the main start screen by simply clicking on the TEMPLATES and selecting the one you want. In Calc, Impress, Draw, and Writer you can open a new document using a template by FILE>NEW>TEMPLATES AND DOCUMENTS. A window will open and you can select your template. When you open Impress you have the option to create a new presentation using a template by selecting the template button. You then will go through a wizard to select your template. Once the template is opened in a new document you can edit the entire document including anything that was in the template. This allows changes for a specific document that do not warrant a creating new template.

With Writer you can even insert fields that allow you enter information at specific places in the document, allowing to enter custom data. To insert an entry field, you click on INSERT>FIELDS>OTHER . A dialog box opens. Select the Function Tab then select Input Box. Enter the name of the field in the Reference text box. Then click insert and enter some placeholder text. This text allows you to see where the insertion points are in your text. I like to use is the field name. When you open the template you will be prompted to enter text at each insertion point in the order the insertions were created. After all insertions are done you will be in a new document with the insertions already entered that you can edit further.

May 12, 2011

What are styles in LibreOffice and why would I use them?

Filed under: Styles & Templates, Tips & HowTos, Writer — Tags: , , , — Tyree @ 5:32 am
Typeface: Thesis from Lucas de Groot

Image via Wikipedia

You use Styles in LibreOffice to define the layout of pages in your documents. In Writer, the word processing module, you use styles to define your margins, fonts, font types, font effects, text flow including widow and orphan control and hyphenation. You can create or modify styles for single documents or choose to automatically update styles in all your LibreOffice documents created from the same template.

Styles come in handy when you are creating long documents with many sections or chapters like when writing a book, thesis or business report. Using styles consistently will allow LibreOffice to automatically create a table of contents.

You can even assign styles to individual paragraphs. Suppose you want to have certain paragraphs indented or vice versa, you want all paragraphs indented but other paragraphs like notes or explanations blocked to the margins. You would need two styles. One for the regular paragraphs with their margins or centering defined and another for your block text. Simply select your text and double-click the style you want to use for it.  You can find more detailed information in the Instructions for Using Writer at

The User Guides are here:

Chapters 6 and 7 of the Writer Guide are especially helpful for styles and working with styles.

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