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Writer: how to create/mod custom color palette with graphic interface?

asked 2021-03-01 07:18:38 +0200

skyhook gravatar image

updated 2021-05-26 19:41:58 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

Another way of stating the same question might be: Is there a way to create or modify the custom color palette without editing SOC files manually?

In practice, it doesn't appear possible within Writer, but I'm holding off on the file edit because file edit feels unnecessary. There are many custom colour palette questions here, but the dozen or so I just read are incomplete, stale, or broken, with the exception of manually editing the SOC--not attempted yet.

  • Tools/Option/LibreOffice/ dialogue is gone
  • selecting OK inside the color picker doesn't add identified colour to the custom palette
  • can't drag'n'drop anything that I've tried, notably swatches
  • color picker "Recent" expires and swatches can't be moved
  • "Document colors" palette doesn't have pre-named colours from non-LO documents, so existing hues may not be identifiable, e.g., if there are several visibly close hues, I can't delineate visually inside the color picker
  • if it comes up again, those German links appear to be broken
  • eye-dropper feature would be nice but isn't directly related to my question

I'm getting that user-error feeling again. Am I missing something obvious?

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Do you mean Menu => Tools => Options => LibreOffice => Application Colors? Everything works for me. You may have the wrong user profile or installation.

Astur gravatar imageAstur ( 2021-03-01 09:04:50 +0200 )edit

No, not about application schemes. I'm asking about adjusting document content colours, using the toolbar button to access color palette tool and colour picker. The menu you mentioned is present with my install, but unrelated.

skyhook gravatar imageskyhook ( 2021-03-01 09:47:12 +0200 )edit

You can't - you need to create a .soc on your own and place into your user profile(<profile_path>/user/config). There is no way via UI.

Opaque gravatar imageOpaque ( 2021-03-01 18:54:08 +0200 )edit

Thanks; that is hugely disappointing. I accept your comment as confident, but with only a couple of views I'll leave this open a while to see if anything else is offered. Please don't be afraid to put it up as an answer.

Meantime, I found my install palettes at "/opt/libreoffice7.0/share/palette". I won't belabour that share path, but I finally resorted to the command line to find .soc and I'm seriously confused about why every help file I've read assumes .soc are in my user profile, "/home/<username>/.config/libreoffice/4/user/config". Is this easily explained? I could also ask what search term would be used in Files, as that didn't work as expected either.

skyhook gravatar imageskyhook ( 2021-03-01 20:55:57 +0200 )edit

why every help file I've read assumes .soc are in my user profile, "/home/<username>/.config/libreoffice/4/user/config"

Multiuser-Systems may have multiple users having all their own customization and hence there are (almost) always two options:

  • Make it available to all users on a system in one go: put it to installation directory (which requires administrative privileges)
  • Make it available for the current user: Install it to the user specific configuration (which can be done by the user himself)
Opaque gravatar imageOpaque ( 2021-03-02 00:20:43 +0200 )edit

Thanks. You're implying most people install to only the current user out of habit or need? I tend towards the opposite, installing system-wide unless I have a specific reason not to. I mean, every LInux I've seen was on personal computer, not a server.

skyhook gravatar imageskyhook ( 2021-03-02 00:41:03 +0200 )edit

You're implying most people install to only the current user out of habit or need?

No. I don't imply anything but refer to the design of a multiuser-system. And if we talk about a "custom palette" then "nomen est omen" it is custom and belongs to the user. Installing into installation directory is ok, if you are aware that next upgrade may delete your file there. And for security reasons and stability of systems: I tend to minimize modifcations of directories, where applications are being installed and which require administrative privileges (almost every system admin could tell a story about rm -r * at the wrong directory to too high level of privileges)

And regarding I mean, every Linux I've seen was on personal computer, not a server.: This is your personal view and experience. From my experience working in large datacenters I'd turn it the other ...(more)

Opaque gravatar imageOpaque ( 2021-03-02 00:55:33 +0200 )edit

Opaque: okay, you're not implying anything, and you've described your experience. I understand the basic differences between single-user and multi-user, local, served, terminals, virtual machines, etc.; not an issue. Of course I'm presenting my personal view, and if I'm ever presented with an installer dialogue to select system-wide versus user, I usually select system-wide even though I'm the only user account on my Linux box, in case I need to add new accounts.

But let me ask: You're installing desktop applications like LO in large data centers?

If so, I accept; I've never doubted Linux capability as multi-user or server. Sorry, it wasn't my intention to get into a utilization debate in the lunchroom, but I'd really like to understand what I'm missing about your description.

skyhook gravatar imageskyhook ( 2021-03-02 02:01:18 +0200 )edit

Of course I'm presenting my personal view, and if I'm ever presented with an installer dialogue to select system-wide versus user

Last comment on that: I have not been talking about software installation. Of course I do install software into the system, so it is available to *all users. What I'm talking about is "configuration/settings* of that software per user preferences (and I'm pretty sure, you don't want a system administrator to make a decision for you, which icon set you want to see in an application(.

Opaque gravatar imageOpaque ( 2021-03-02 11:23:30 +0200 )edit

1 Answer

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answered 2021-03-01 20:47:53 +0200

Astur gravatar image

You can define one custom palette which will be saved as "custom". To do this, open Draw and then Format => Area… => Area => Color. Here you can modify the colors and then save them to the "custom" palette with the button that you will see in the lower left corner: Color

The contents of the "custom" palette will be available in all LibreOffice modules.

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Wotwot! I've found nothing about this and it's 95% of what I was hoping for! It's good enough, if a little anti-drag by design. I can paste hex from Gpick to save steps. Works as advertised and result is immediate in Writer without relaunching.

I'm in shock though, somewhat rhetorically; is this grab from LO documentation? Is it a Writer cross-reference I missed? And aside, why does everybody think I need to manually edit .soc files?

skyhook gravatar imageskyhook ( 2021-03-01 23:19:51 +0200 )edit

And aside, why does everybody think I need to manually edit .soc files?

because the method used in the answer creates a custom palette, which is lost in case you need to reset your user profile and you will need to recreate that palette from scratch. In fact this palette is stored in file registrymodifications.xcu within your user profile, together with all other settings you made, not following the palette definition format and there is no simple method to recreate without ... yes, extracting from that file and editing a file in case of a restore. You cannot simply transfer the color definition to another system if you want to work with the same colors on a different system. You cannot share your definitions with other users of the same system. All other palettes exist as .soc files, while this one doesn't.

Opaque gravatar imageOpaque ( 2021-03-02 00:05:26 +0200 )edit

Opaque, this is significant, a huge part of what I'm not getting; it didn't occur to me this Draw process wasn't creating an .soc file, a big letdown from wotwot. I created a test "custom" pallet using Draw and it works, but I just looked and can't find a "custom*.soc" in my file system.

Your comment explains clearly why I'd want a text-based .soc file. So, back to the original problem, would the user profile "/home/<username>/.config/libreoffice/4/user/config" be a good spot to put my manually created soc? Alternatively, or additionally, would it work from the share location "/opt/libreoffice7.0/share/palette" alongside its default install XML brethren?

skyhook gravatar imageskyhook ( 2021-03-02 02:25:54 +0200 )edit

I found help on this topic via Help => LibreOffice Help; I entered the color in the index and chose the custom color option in the DRAW section

I searched a bit and saw that it can also be done right away in Scripture, using Format => Paragraph => Area. In my tip, I suggested Draw because in earlier versions only it was able to change colors and add new bitmaps.

Astur gravatar imageAstur ( 2021-03-02 04:08:09 +0200 )edit

To summarize, Astur has my answer to the question as written.

Multiple approaches and dependent methods confused me. Two scenarios here, application and user profile, both correct:

  • Application: The LO application integrates its default custom palette, which can be modified with the Astur LODraw method above, details also available in LO help docs. Edits don't change the file system. My list of default ".soc" files are in "/opt/libreoffice7.0/share/palette" and a modified default custom palette will not appear there.

  • Profile: A user profile palette is flexible and portable as a manually created XML text file saved in the user profile LO config. Mine is at "/home/<username>/.config/libreoffice/4/user/config". It will display in the application palette list with the default palettes. "your palette name.soc" details are available at Videos/Create color palette.

skyhook gravatar imageskyhook ( 2021-03-02 11:48:40 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2021-03-01 07:18:38 +0200

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Last updated: Mar 01