Can one use variable fonts in LibreOffice?

Can one use variable fonts in LibreOffice?

re: variable fonts see
(1) Variable font - Wikipedia

What is a variable font?
You can use different fonts, of course, and there are attributes you can set for any textrange.

You tagged libre-writer (which should have been simply writer) and common which is contradictory. common is a shortcut for writer+calc+impress+draw+math in case the problem occurs in all components.

Please retag to receive meaningful answers or edit to explain the issue in the components.

Anyway, edit your question to make it less cryptic. As is, we can’t understand.

A reference to Variable Fonts might have been useful.

More Variable fonts at Fontesk.

Variable fonts were partially supported in LibreOffice versions prior to 7.5. In 7.5 support for variable fonts is much improved and should generally work including PDF export. Support, however, is still limited to predefined font instances (the styles that appear in the menu), support for manipulating variable font axes is still missing.

My experience with this:

Linux Mint Vera 21.1
Libre Office installed using ppa

Bahnschrift displays properly as Regular and Bold in writer
PDF export has only Regular, Bold text is completely missing from PDF

If you are using LibreOffice from Ubuntu PPA or some other build that links to system libraries, see Bug #2006113 “Incomplete variable fonts export to PDF” : Bugs : libreoffice package : Ubuntu. LibreOffice 7.5.1 will require a recent enough HarfBuzz to avoid this kind of issues. If you are using builds from Download LibreOffice | LibreOffice - Free Office Suite - Based on OpenOffice - Compatible with Microsoft, then it is a bug and please report it on

Yes, sorry. Edited my comment.

Oh brilliant, thank you!
Yes I faced issues with LibreOffice installed from Ubuntu PPA.
After removing that and installing the 7.5.0 DEBS directly from there is no issue with missing bold Bahnschrift from PDF export.
Can’t talk about other variable fonts, but Bahnschrift exports fine into PDF

I think the answer is no for some fonts.

I installed Georama font but it appears overlapping in Windows 10 LO and in LO although it does list eight variations. In Linux Mint 19.3 LO the font is clearly readable in the list but only one entry and is so fine that it appears grey.

Thanks for question, I upgraded to version 1.01 of Inkscape. Cheers, Al

I thought Inkscape was working for variable but it stopped working soon after. NB font sample in font menu is garbled so Windows OS/Font designer might be to blame for some of this.

2020-09-11 10:56

Some fonts like Quicksand (from Google) and Bahnschrift work, some others (like Georama) don’t. In any case, you can’t get the intermediate weights, or the intermediate widths where offered by the font.

Inkscape shows Georama font properly after restart with the sliders for weight and width

With the resolution of Bug 108497 for LibreOffice 7.5 Georama now displays correctly and exports to pdf same as normal font.

This still seems to be true. To use fonts like Saira in both Inkscape and LibreOffice, I had to install both the static and the variable versions. But then, apps get confused. So I have a renamed (not just the file name, also the font name) version of the static font installed in parallel to the variable version. Ugly.

There does not seem to be a bug open about variable fonts, does it?

Quite a few bug reports, most specific to particular issues, e.g. tdf#108497 or fonts, e.g. tdf#11673. A more general one appears to be tdf#103596 which depends on tdf#35538. I don’t know if there is META bug for variable fonts. Note that some variable fonts, or parts of some variable fonts, work.

Thanks to @anon73440385 for the link offered in his comment on the OQ!

My system:
LibreOffice v7.0.1.2 on Win 10, screen Samsung P2270HD (1920x1080, >10 yeras old, NVIDIA chips > 8 years old)
Use anti-aliasing, Use Skia, Force Skia all enabled.

Having learned that the first variable font implemented for Windows™ was Bahnschrift following a German standard (DIN 1451 - Wikipedia) of 1931, I tested some of the 12 variants of Bahnschrift accessible on my system using CharHeight settings from 2 pt to 28 pt, and everything showed as expected. It wasn’t too surprising that the 2 pt examples weren’t readable and also not guessable on my screen at 100% zoom, but above 300% everything was clearly readable.

Since I don’t know anything about the technical background, I can only report these test results.