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Change Measurement Unit to Pixels (px)?

asked 2015-02-14 18:23:46 +0200

updated 2015-02-14 18:24:41 +0200


Is it possible to change the measurement units in LibreOffice, or at the VERY least in Calc, to pixels (px)? It seems the only options are "centimetre", "millimetre", "inch", "pica", and "point".


  1. LibreOffice v4.4.0.3, en_GB
  2. Win7 Pro SP1, en_GB
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answered 2015-02-15 13:33:29 +0200

petermau gravatar image

You do not say why you might want to use pixels as a type of measurement in LibO.

I cannot see a way of using pixels as a measurement unit for any text in LibreOffice. Text font size can be defined, as you say in "centimetre", "millimetre", "inch", "pica", and "point". Pica and point are based on the inch. These are all absolute measurements. You can incorporate images which can be defined in pixels. However when you display the image, the actual number of pixels used will depend on the display manager and your view settings. ..Peter

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As petermau indicates, using pixels will give display dependent results. However, if you are consistent, then it should not cause trouble with internal changes. You could use a conversion factor from an absolute dimension. Common values are 72 and 96 pixels per inch, so you might be able to use inches but divide by the ppi before selecting the value. I have not tried this and can foresee issues with very small values.

JKEngineer gravatar imageJKEngineer ( 2015-02-16 21:22:31 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-05-16 17:31:09 +0200

No, LibreOffice does not have an option to use pixels as measurement units.

So if you are doing web design, for instance, and want to create a quick mockup with Impress you're out of luck.

The basic problem is that LibreOffice developers believe they're smarter than normal users, and they refused to include pixels as unit of measure for years now. The exact bug report is this and, as you can see, was opened in 2004, nine years ago.

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"Designing" by pixels is broken anyway, good there's no such option.

erAck gravatar imageerAck ( 2017-05-16 17:44:51 +0200 )edit

2017 - 2004 = nine ? ;-)

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2017-05-17 08:10:19 +0200 )edit

Great answer! Thank you. So I may have to use "Windows ™" to get a site right for a client who insists on sending Docs an the images being Exactly the size she sends, but. i have used Linux for over 10 years now :( Oh wait I just remembered another office suite I used years ago ( a pre fork) IF it is still being updated. And today's update somehow broke the package manager anyway! I still have to resolve so I am ready to end my long relationship with L.O. .anyway :)

webmonger gravatar imagewebmonger ( 2017-10-09 17:05:55 +0200 )edit

erAck You don't take in mind that some people doing something display oriented. That's for Writer and Calc. With Draw it's even far worse. You can't do any computer graphics at all with the app. So lack of pixels is a large flow by design.

regs gravatar imageregs ( 2018-01-08 19:29:26 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-03-14 00:04:01 +0200

updated 2015-03-14 00:06:39 +0200

@petermau: It would be nice if you would just try to answer the question instead of questioning why I need to ask a question. If I ask it, then it means I must have a reason. Please don't use this as a medium through which to attack my decision to ask a question.

Regarding your question, on the other hand, I'd like to use them as ruler measurements, not font measurements; nor did I ever mention anything about font sizes. The nature of these other units as absolute units is exactly the problem: because they are absolute, they are not consistent with certain elements other than font; pixels though are relative units, and thus anything a distance of 5px will be 5px and a proportional distance across any user's screen (since it is relative to screen resolution, not absolute physical lengths), while 2 cm may easily be any distance depending on the screen size/type/etc.

Therefore, pixels are superior units for my needs, which are measuring column & row widths in spreadsheets. You could even test this out on your own, if you want: x points for column width is not the same as x points for row height; on the other hand, x pixels is exactly the same on both the column width and row height. To reiterate, it's exactly the non-absolute, but relative, nature of the pixel unit that benefits me; to use anything else is frankly a pain.

I do appreciate both of your responding. Thank you. :)

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It is currently not possibly to use relative units in the general settings. Note that not all pixels are square, so the idea that X pixels is the same linear length for width and height seems inaccurate.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2015-03-14 03:14:19 +0200 )edit

Overall, though, for the purposes of row heights/column widths in spreadsheets, they're typically close enough. nods But I do see your point. Thank you for telling me that; I did not know that.

In any case, that really sucks. I wish it could be done with relative units. Do you think there's any chance of it being added as a feature sometime in the future?

SarahTehCat gravatar imageSarahTehCat ( 2015-03-16 18:34:22 +0200 )edit

Related enhancement request is fdo#86856.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2015-03-17 13:54:45 +0200 )edit

Cool, thanks.

SarahTehCat gravatar imageSarahTehCat ( 2015-04-25 22:08:21 +0200 )edit

Pixels are like assembly language, almost no one uses them anymore. Everything now is virtual and scaled to fit. I know that seems strange, as I designed many things in pixels back in the day. And they're still needed in hardware drivers. But in the real world of screen displays, web browsers, and printers all of this stuff is scaled, because like w/ higher level languages it turns out the key factor to consider is portability. But you can use something like gimp and still set pixels I think.

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2017-05-16 18:00:04 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2015-02-14 18:23:46 +0200

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Last updated: May 16 '17