Disable direct formatting

I am aware that I can replace the Formatting toolbar with the Formatting (Styles) one. But is there any way to completely disable direct formatting?

Select all the text, Ctrl+A.
From the menu, choose Format>Clear Direct Formatting; Ctrl+M.

I mean I should not be able to use Ctrl + B or click on Bold icon on standard toolbar or should not be able to use Format - Text (or character) - Bold. Using style should be the only available option.

I refer to the comments of @ajlittoz ,

If you want to internalize the principles, here are a few pointers:

Professional text composition with Writer

You can’t “disable” direct formatting as a whole (notably because some forms of direct formatting are sometimes necessary like inserting a manual break or restarting list numbering).

However if your goal is to prohibit use of Ctrl+B, you can replace this shortcut in Tools>Customize by a reference to an “equivalent” character style like Strong Emphasis.

There is no way to disable toolbars apart from not using them or removing them with View>Toolbars.

Adopting a work discipline where you refrain from using direct formatting is relatively easy. But, if you’re some manager and want to promote a formatting approach unto your colleagues, this might be difficult because you’ll have to configure/customise LO on every PC. And even in this case, result is not guaranteed as there are many workarounds to revert to previous configuration.


The LO interface is very customizable. You can create and edit toolbars, you can rearrange the menus, you can change shortcuts. So yes, it is possible, but you will need some spare time.