In LibreOffice Writer, as in just about every word processing program currently available, templates are the basis for all documents you create. LibreOffice has two kinds of templates, for Writer (word processing) and Impress (presentation graphics), which are stored in adjacent folders. You can access Templates when you first open LibreOffice by selecting the Templates link, or you can access your templates in Writer by going to File–>New–>Templates & Documents. Either way you get this window:
This has 5 folders of templates:
- Business Correspondence
- Forms and Contracts
- My Templates
- Presentation Backgrounds
The last two we can skip for now, as they apply to Impress Presentations, which we will cover in a separate section.
As I said previously, Templates are the basis for all documents. What this means in practice is that when you create a document, Writer looks at the template and copies all of the settings, styles, and other information from the template and makes it part of the new document. If you have not specified a template to use, Writer will use the default template. Now, the default template that comes with Writer when it is first installed may not have the settings you want. No problem, just create template that has the settings you want, and make it the new default. so the process is:
- Create new template
- Give it all of your settings
- Save the template
- Make it the new default template
Of course, you don’t need to just modify the default template. You can create special purpose templates for a variety of uses. For example, if you run a small business you might want to create a template for your invoices that includes your company logo. Or create a template for faxes, or for memos, or…Well, you get the drift by now, I imagine.
The biggest gain from using templates, though, is when you combine templates with Styles. We’ll cover styles in some detail in a following section, but they need to wait because templates are the containers that hold styles. So you cannot use styles effectively until you know how to save your work in a template for re-use later.