Does LO's gui rely on gtk for its fonts?

Hi, I’m running LO on debian stretch with fluxbox.

I would like to change the LO gui’s fonts, specifically I would like to make them bigger. In case it’s not clear what I mean by the gui’s fonts, it’s the ones for the text circled in red in the image:

I realize that LO does not support changing its gui’s fonts independently and instead gets them from its environment. I would imagine that if LO cannot find compatible fonts in the proper locations it falls back on some font that was baked-in into its code.

My conjecture is that this may be my circumstance. Fluxbox does not use gtk; predictably changing fluxbox’s fonts has no effect on LO. Likewise, changing X’s font with xfontsel has no effect on LO either.

I don’t mind installing gtk libraries if it’ll help me with this.

So my first question is: Does my version of LO in fact rely on gtk for its fonts? If so, does the version matter?

My second question is: Assuming LO does rely on gtk for its fonts. Which config files does it read? The one in /usr/share? Or the one in /etc? Or the local user’s?

Thanks very much for any help.

This is a very interesting question. It is not restricted to Writer. You rightfully tagged it common. Please retag to remove writer which is already included in common.


yes, but its not font only rather than the complete look & feel including font settings. Standard elements (like menus) rely on a Visual Class Library (VCL) and on Linux there are 3 of 'em (leaving off counting various sub-versions existing in earlier version of LibreOffice)

  • generic x11 ( which you obviously are using, aka “pretty ancient Windows like look’n feel” ;-))
  • GTK gtk3 (which would be standard on Debian)
  • KDE Frameworks 5 kf5

If you want your LibreOffice to look like the same as any other GTK application on Debian, install package libreoffice-gtk3 using sudo apt install libreoffice-gtk3 -y. But: I got no experience with Fluxbox, hence I can’t tell whether kf5 or gtk3 could be hooked in (Changing X11 default fonts for applications should be possible via .Xressources / .Xdefaults, but the times requiring to fiddle with such settings are gone and the how-to details left my brain long time ago)

BTW: That’s one of the reasons to add information from Help -> About LibreOffice on any question, since it tells the reader, which VCL you are using and will avoid to ask back.


Checked Debian site for Fluxbox and it states:

...  It has support for KDE and Gnome applications.

Therefore it should be up to you, which VCL you want to use.

Hope that helps.

To be complete there 4 of them. The omitted one is kde5. I don’t know the difference between kde5 and kdf5 but I met trouble when I installed kf5 and had to back up to kde5. To add to confusion, both read kf5 in Help>About LibreOffice (I know because only kde5 is installed here).

I Wrote: “(leaving off counting various sub-versions existing in earlier version of LibreOffice)

kf5 is the new name for kde5 (starting with 6.4.x) - and of course you get in trouble if you install kf5 on an older KDE Frameworks release (as usual: I refer to what TDF delivers and not what distrbution packagers do and VCL:kf5 now appears when installing package libreoffice-kde-integration)

Side remark: IMO the name kf5 much better is adapted to what it is really about, since restructuring of Qt/KDE Applications/KDE Frameworks in 2013

Fedora 32 is under KDE Frameworks 5.70.0, not the latest one but pretty recent. According to your comment above, I should use kf5. Then why the problems? (Don’t try to answer, I’m not asking, just thinking aloud - thanks for the info).

Dear @ajlittoz

I used to report many TDF’s upon VCL KDE5 of KDE Desktop Spin.

After I made a U-Turn to Cinnamon Spin for Fedora 32 Workstation, all problems were gone.

@lonk Thanks for the trick. Unfortunately, I don’t like Cinnamon look and feel. Also I heavily depend on KDE for my development.

Thank you @anon73440385 and @ajlittoz for your comments and replies.

I re-tagged as per @ajlittoz’s suggestion.

Re: Fluxbox - as far as I can tell, Fluxbox supports gtk and kde apps but does not interact with their configurations as such. Maybe that could be achieved, but it wouldn’t be high on my priority list, as I am just as likely to replace Fluxbox with a different wm.

Help->About Libreoffice confirms what’s plain to see: “pretty ancient Windows like look’n feel” :slight_smile:
Build ID: 1:6.1.5-3+deb10u5
CPU threads: 8; OS: Linux 4.19; UI render: default; VCL: x11;
Locale: en-US (en_US.UTF-8); Calc: group threaded

I will attempt to install and configure libreoffice-gtk3 and report on the results. I’ll apologize in advance that it will probably take me a few days due to the fact that I’ll be changing residences shortly.

Thanks for the help.

Update: July 20, 2020

I am now able to modify the gui font (and whole look and feel for that matter).

I installed libreoffice-gtk3 as suggested by @anon73440385.

After the installation Help->About LibreOffice reported that the VCL is now gtk3.

According to the ArchLinux page on GTK, look and feel settings have to be defined in /etc/gtk-3.0/settings.ini for all users and $HOME/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini for individual users. In my case neither file existed, so I created /etc/gtk-3.0 and, to experiment, put the following in it (also from the above web page):

gtk-icon-theme-name = Adwaita
gtk-theme-name = Adwaita
gtk-font-name = DejaVu Sans 11
gtk-application-prefer-dark-theme = true

I tested with LO Writer and sure enough, after an app re-start, Writer’s gui reflected these settings.