LibreOffice Writer Paragraph Styles in Templates

In the last tutorial we looked at how you can change styles within a document. And as we have been saying, all styles live inside of templates. So what if you need styles that you have already developed that are in another template? You have a couple of options depending on how many styles you need and where they are now.

If you needed to take an existing template and just change one or two styles the easiest thing to do is to open the existing template and save it with new name. Then make any changes you need to make to the new template.  But sometimes you need to grab just a few  styles. You can do this using the Template Organizer.

Copying Styles From Another Template

In the File menu, go Templates, and select Organize. This will bring up the Organizer window.

Template Organizer

Template Organizer

You may remember that this is where we went earlier to create our Default template. Now we can use this to move styles from one template to another. At the bottom of the first column is drop-down that says “Template”, and for the second column says “Document”. So change the second column drop-down to also say Template. If the two templates you want use are ones you have created, they should both be in “My Templates”. Double-click on “My Templates” to expand it, and again in the other column. Select the Template you want to copy the style from, and double-click it to expand it, You should then see “Styles” underneath the template name. Double-click that you will get a list of all of the styles you have in that template. Find the one you want to copy, hold down the Control key, and drag it to the other Template.

Note: If you do not hold down the control key while dragging the style, you will move the style from one template to another, and it will no longer be in the original template. So if you want to copy the style it is very important that you hold down the Control key.

Copying Styles From Another Document

This is very similar to what we just did. The key is to open the document you want to copy the style from first, before you try to copy it. Then change the drop-down at the bottom from Template to Document, find the document with the style(s) you want to copy, and double-click to open it up as before. Find the style(s) you want, hold down the Control key, and drag them. You can copy styles into a template, or into another document as you choose.

Changing Templates

This is another approach you can take. You can assign a whole different template to a document. But to do this we need to mention the topic of Extensions, about which we will go into more detail later. Extensions let you add capabilities to your LibreOffice program, and the one we need for this is called the Template Changer, which you can get at the LibreOffice Extensions site. Make sure that any extension you download has the “*.oxt” file extension, or add it yourself if it is missing. Then go to Tools–>Extensions and add it. You then need to close LibreOffice Writer, and re-open it. If you have been successful you will see two more options when you go to File–>Templates.

  • Assign template (current document)
  • Assign template (folder)

The first option, Assign template (current document) let’s you choose a template to assign to your document. When you choose this, you get a window that has all of your templates and you can choose which one to assign. The second option will let you assign a template to an entire folder in one operation. This can be very useful if you have documents from multiple authors that need to have a uniform appearance.

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