"Replicated objects" (same object in multiple positions)

I wanted to ask about a functionality that I have been missing for a long time in powerpoint and other similar applications:
Being able to change objects that are replicated throughout a slide or the entire document.

I explain:

I don’t want to replicate an object in many places with possible different sizes, colors, etc. , but EXACTLY the same object, in many places. If I change that object, I change them all. Even if I change that object to something else, I change it EVERYWHERE it appears (even as a component of other groups).

Ideally, they even share size and rotation.

To replicate, could be a diferent than tipilcal “copy-paste”: something like “replicate in other place”.

There is no UI solution, i.e. no way for your requirement in LibreOffice.
Basically, objects are not logically connected.
Maybe there is a solution with a macro, with Basic or Phyton. (this isn’t my skill).

My little thought on the UI of objects:

Objects IMHO divide into three property areas.

  1. this is the shape of the object, which can only be created or changed by drawing.
    The geometric data for different shapes of objects are stored inside the object.
  2. the dimensions for width, height and angle of the objects.
  3. the appearance of the objects (colours, line width, filling).
    You can set it as direct formatting (this is not recommended) or as formatting with styles (recommended).

    You can set the property areas 2. and 3. together if you select the objects beforehand.
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Yes, I know it is not possible, and involves a new paradigm: “a multi position for one object”, but I think it could be the best thing I could have working with programs like this. I think I waste 30% of time changing “replicated objects”, and I think bulk users waste similar percentage.

This feature, and a “dynamic text from CSV” could make impress best app for graphic desing of all around.

PD. I waste a lot of time grouping and ungrouping and aligning and distributing, but I understand it is not possible to improbe this, but probably I could have to make less groups/ungroups/aligns if I could have “replicated objects”.

PD2. May be it could be an idea for future for the developer teams

Just out of interest, what is the reason for such frequent changes?

I should have pointed out that my use of Impress is like a pretty powerful mix of inkscape-gimp-scribus (just like a lot of people use powerpoint instead of adobe suit, although it’s not cool to admit it)

As designs, many times it would only be necessary to change logos, or certain drawings that are repeated many times in more complex compositions. Repeats of structures that only change certain icons.

Thanks for your description, but it is still very general.
Anyway, I wanted to point out in this context that the Gallery is a good solution for repetitions of finished objects.
Or simply duplicate a selected object with Ctrl+click-hold-drag and release.

The Gallery in LibreOffice

Hidden Functions in Draw (also valid for Impress)

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If it is the same object on every page that you want then you should add it to a Master page.

Otherwise, you can use Styles for colour, border, font, alignment. The trick then is to not manually change the attributes defined in the style; only by modifying the style. Because size, position, grouping and rotation are not defined in the style you can change those manually. It is easier to do this in the Sidebar in the Styles tab.

In the image below I have created red rectangle and with it selected, I am defining a style derived from it. After clicking the icon, a dialog box opens and I have named the style RedBox, in real life a name defining its purpose would be used.

After creating a new slide and copying the rectangle into it, I realise that I need to change some aspects. I then right-click on the style I created Redbox and select Modify from the context menu.


The Graphic Styles: RedBox dialog opens, I make my changes and OK. All objects based on that style will change to reflect the new attributes defined.

I realise that one didn’t change because it wasn’t RedBox style so I select that object then merely double-click the RedBox style in the Sidebar to apply the style to it and that will change too.

Note that double-clicking and adding text to an object might distort its size so when Modifying the style you might care to untick Fit height to text in the Text tab. Note that text will exceed the object size if too long.

Try right-clicking the RedBox style and Modifying it in the RedBox.odp below, you will see that objects on other pages, inside groups change too. Select the double-headed arrow then double-click the RedBox style to apply the style to that
Redbox.odp (17.0 KB)