How do I make a custom style available in all my documents?

I do a lot of editing of .doc and .docx files sent to me by all kinds of people from all kinds of computers. I want to be able to ensure that everything I’m adding to the document is a different color, so it is clearly distinguished from the original. I can get close enough by defining a custom character style and just applying it to everything I add, but I can’t seem to figure out how to make my “editorial input” character style permanent for all documents. How do I do that?

I disagree … the accepted answer here is not very helpful. The best thing is to create all the styles you want in a document, save that document as a template (you can change the path of where your templates are located in Tools → Options → LibreOffice → Paths). Then you can set that template to be the default template. Every new document you create will have everything inside it. You can also change the template of an existing document to use this new default template.

Styles are contained in a document, be it an ODT file or a OTT template file. Therefore, the application itself does really not contain styles independently of any document, apart from the ones that are automatically generated for each new document and are part of LibreOffice’s structure (e.g. standard, text body, headings 1 to 10, etc.).

That being said, you could define your custom “editorial” style in a template or document along with any other styles you might need and, in each document that you receive and must work on, import the styles instead of recreating them each time. To import a style, go to File > Templates > Organize, choose the document or template that contains the styles and copy the wanted styles from this document to the document you are currently working on. Using this method, you can quickly add the styles to many documents.

For more information, see the LibreOffice Writer Guide, page 192 and the following pages (the Writer Guide is a very comprehensive resource and I heartily recommend it).

For LibreOffice 4.0.x see

Bug 60589 - [Template manager]: Can not copy styles between different files and templates.

For others who have come here: In LO, there is no “Organize” menu item but rather it is “Manage Templates”. Once you select this, a window of list of template would be displayed. Click button “Import” at bottom right corner of the window, select category “My Templates” and click “OK”. This allows you to select template file. Once this is done, this template would be available with LO for use with any of your documents. To use styles present in the template in any other document, open it, use option “Styles > Load styles” and select the template you loaded from a displayed pop-up. Make sure you select “My Templates” as category, your template (file)name and appropriate check boxes of styles you want to make use of in the document and click “OK”. Once this is done, styles stored in the template would be available for use in the document.

I guess the answer is … I don’t. I’d love to be wrong.

An easy workaround: “Copy-Paste text with the appropriate style from source document to target one. Even after removing the pasted text, the style remains in the target document.”


Hi @amandabee,

@CyanCG’s answer describes what’s possible right now in LibreOffice. If you’d like to see a new feature added to make it easier to re-use styles across document (e.g. in your editing work), then please feel free to file an enhancement bug and provide as much information as possible in your report.

The QA team will be happy to help you triage your feature request in the bugtracker and may ask you for additional information about how you’re using LO and what particular improvement(s) could help to speed up your workflow.