How to change text size/color of italic font?


italic font is hardly discernible from normal text, as it is dark black and same size. Is there a way to give all italic text in a document a custom color/ text size?


Thank you very much for your comments.
I don’t think you can learn such a complex procedure as using styles in a crash course here via this site.

@ajlittoz offered you to read the documentation and I also offered you helpful links.

But anyway, we can leave it up to you to see how capable you are of learning.
Please upload a reduced and anonymized document showing the problem here.
Use the “Comments” function in this document to make your concern clear in the document, or what the underlying issue is. Thank you.

Please always keep in mind that we cannot look over your shoulder and provide your information step by step.
Define exactly what you want to achieve.
Thank you.

If you formatted your text with styles, it is very easy. On the contrary, if you formatted your document with manual actions (Ctrl+i or toolbar button), there is no other way than hunting for your italics and applying changes on every occurrence.

Assuming you used built-in character style Emphasis for your italics, all you have to do is customise said Emphasis style in Font tab for size and Font Effects tab for colour.

It is likely you don’t know what styles are and how they can be used to ease your work. In this case, I recommend you read the Writer Guide for an introduction and a description of how to create or customise them.

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OK so I go styles/edit style/font and choose italic from drop down menu and hit apply. Yet when I select italic and write, it is the same size. Font Effects I don’t even know how to change it for italic, as there is no way to select text style!

Note: i am using same font type and if I got back to setting there is 12pt, but it writes italic with 14 pt!

@empleat , Please,
you should set all the font properties using the style only.
All direct formatting should be removed Ctrl+A (select all) Ctrl+M (delete direct formatting).
If you want only single words or groups of words e.g. in Italic, use character styles.

Professional text composition with Writer

Before embarking modifying styles blindly, read the mentioned Writer Guide. There are many styles categories: paragraph character, page, list and frame. The two main categories of interest are paragraph and character (the most frequently needed).

Also take care that direct formatting always overrides style formatting. So to format reliably a document, don’t mix direct and style formatting. Choose one or the other (styling is preferred because it is much more versatile and powerful). Take good note of @Hrbrgr’s advice about removing direct formatting once you’re on the style track.

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I thought I just did that. If you mean right panel, there is no italic!

There is no “italic” because style names don’t describe the typographical effects but the semantic intent. Italic may be used for several different “values” or meanings: emphasis, irony, foreign word, … These values should be translated by different styles even if the visual result is the same. Thus you can tune separately emphasis and foreign words.

Note also that the style side pane displays styles per category. By default, paragraph styles are listed. To see the character styles (among which you’ll find Emphasis) click on the second icon from left in the pane toolbar.

in addition to @ajlittoz :

Example with a new drawing style:

So strange, if I right click emphasis there. And select arial italic12pt, now it writes 12pt even as normal text! Previously it was 14! And I don’t know what is normal font from this menu! Also if I change color to grey under emphasis it applies even for normal text!

See my comment under your question.

? It is strange google doesn’t give any relevant hits…

Google is too generic. Question must be very carefully asked to get relevant answer. Better to ask directly here on a site dedicated to LO.

But to get really useful and targeted answers, attach your file or a “sanitised” version of it as recommended by @Hrbrgr.

Well I think Google is suitable for simple question.
You can hardly narrow down complex contexts with a question there and certainly not hope for an adequate answer.
You should take some time to read and understand how the context of styles is.
Feel free to play around with a test file.
Once you understand, you will be glad to know how to use these tools.
There is a learning curve at the beginning that will pay off in your future documents.


A font like liberation serif might show a bigger difference between regular and italic.
If you cannot see any difference between regular and italic font then possibly there is a corruption problem.

If you open LibreOffice in safe mode, Help - Restart in Safe Mode - Continue in Safe Mode can you see the difference between italic and regular? If the difference becomes obvious in safe mode then you might need to reset your user profile, read this page carefully and look at what can be lost when resetting your profile, LibreOffice user profile - The Document Foundation Wiki

If there is no change then it could be an operating system font issue. Do other programs like your email editor show a difference between regular and italic fonts?

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It is not a document. Even if I create a new document and change text size under emphasis, it doesn’t change text size, if I switch to italic!

I don’t understand your procedure. Using Emphasis character style suppresses the need to “turn on italics” because italic is already in the style. If it doesn’t work, you’re probably not applying Emphasis character style correctly.

Well I was told to do that to change font size for italics globally. So when I switch to italics it has different font size so I don’t have to change it every time and I would also like to change font color. guess I was told wrong…

As explained by the other authors there are two possibilities for formatting characters:

  • hard formatted (as you surely did)
  • character style formatted

In my sample text lorem I set 3 words in italic as hard formatted and one word formatted in character style.
SEARCH & REPLACE can find each hard formatted text and can mark it. If you leave SEARCH & REPLACE tool: The italic characters remain marked and you can apply size/color/other properties to them. You can do it as hard formatting but better as character style(s) as proposed by the other helping specialists.

How to find the italic faced text?
Edit menu | Find and Replace | Format | Font | Style | Italic (OK) | Find all
(it will find and mark different character sizes, e.g. 12p and 16p)

SEARCH & REPLACE tool: Be advised that text in italics can’t be found if it was formatted by a character style…

Note: To find hard formatted and by character style formatted characters you could use the AltSearch.oxt extension. It will find both kinds of italic character text…

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