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Documentation Contributors’ Guide
Chapter 5 Using the Chapter Template
Previous: Chapter 4 Up: Preface


This chapter describes the procedure for downloading and installing the LibreOffice user guide chapter template, and the formatting styles needed when writing the chapters. Always apply the styles provided by the chapter template. Never apply manual formatting by using the icons on the formatting toolbar, or by using keyboard shortcuts (for example, Ctrl+B for bold text)

Please read Chapter 2 Producing LibreOffice User Guides in this book, especially the section How to set up LibreOffice for working with user guides.

How to download and install the chapter template

The template we use when writing chapters of the user guides is located in the Contributor Resources folder in TDF NextCloud. It is named, where N is the LO version number. The LO 6.x template is here: [LO 6.x template].

  1. Download the template and save it anywhere on your computer.
  2. In LibreOffice, import the template into a template folder:
    1. Choose File ▸ Templates ▸ Manage Templates.
    2. In the Templates dialog, on the bottom right, click the Import button.
    3. In the Select Category dialog that pops up, select the required template folder. Usually this is My Templates, but you can choose or create any folder you wish.
  3. A standard file browser window opens. Find and select the template that you just downloaded. Click Open. A thumbnail now appears in the list of templates.

How to create a new chapter from the template


In most cases you will be updating a chapter from one version (minor release) of LO to another. You do NOT need to create a new chapter to do this. Use this procedure only if you are writing a completely new chapter, or if a different template is required. For example, the template may be changed for a new major release such as LO v7.

To create a new document from the chapter template:

  1. Open the Templates dialog, for example by File ▸ New ▸ Templates.
  2. Find and double-click the required template, or choose the template and click Open. A new document based on this template opens in Writer.

The new document includes all the text and graphics contained in the template. Much of this material must be modified or deleted, as follows:

  1. Choose File ▸ Properties.
    • On the Description page, in the Title field, replace LO Chapter Template with the name of the chapter, for example Chapter 1 Introducing LibreOffice. Delete the template revision information in the Comments box.
    • On the Custom Properties page, in the Guide Name Value field, type the name of the book, for example Getting Started Guide. In the LibreOffice Version Value field, ensure the final digit is correct.
    • Click OK' to save the changes.
  2. On the title page of the chapter:
    • Change n to the chapter number. Do not delete the two blank space after the chapter number; it is required for correct spacing of text in the footer in a compiled book.
    • Change Type Chapter Name Here to the name of the new chapter.
    • Change Type Optional Subtitle Here to the chapter’s subtitle. If the chapter does not have a subtitle, delete the text but DO NOT delete the paragraph.
  3. On the Copyright page:
    • Make sure the Copyright date field shows the current year.
    • Add your name in the Contributors section.

Before you continue, save the file using the naming convention for draft chapters given in Chapter 2.

Just before uploading a chapter for review, update the table of contents: hover the mouse cursor over the TOC, right-click, and choose Update Index from the context menu.

Page styles

This template uses three page styles:

First Page
Used for the chapter’s title page. The following page style is Front Matter.
Front Matter
Used for the copyright and contents pages. The following page style is Default Style.
Default Style
Used for all other pages.

First page, front matter, and heading paragraph styles

Guide Name
Use for the name of the user guide on the cover page.
Use for the title of a chapter in a user guide. The following paragraph style is Subtitle.
Use for the optional subtitle of a chapter. This paragraph style has a page break after the paragraph to force the Copyright section to start on a new page. If the chapter does not require a subtitle, delete any text, but DO NOT delete the paragraph because it is used as a page break to start the Front Matter page style.
Contents Heading
Used automatically by LibreOffice for the word “Contents” on the Table of Contents page. This style prevents the heading from appearing in the table of contents.
Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3
Headings 1, 2, and 3 are Included in the Table of Contents.


See “How to insert images into ODT files” in Chapter 2 Producing LibreOffice User Guides of this book.

Figures (images and other graphics) and their captions use the following styles.

Used for paragraphs that places a frame for a graphic in the horizontal center of a paragraph. This type of paragraph does not contain any text and is used to position the graphic frame and the figure caption. It is to be used for all graphics. The following paragraph style is Text Body.
Used for all captions and is positioned below a figure, which is the default setting, using Insert > Caption. Figure captions are automatically numbered using the category Figure.
This frame style is the default style for the frame when a Caption is added to a graphic. It is aligned centrally for horizontal placement when inserted next to the Figure paragraph style. Anchor the frame to the Figure paragraph style using the option Anchor as Character.


Tables are used to explain data in a tabular format. A sample table is shown in Table 1. It is saved in the chapter template as a table style named LO User Guides. Please use this style for most tables of data in user guide chapters.

To use this table style, create a table, then go to the Table Styles list on the Styles deck in the Sidebar and double-click on LO User Guides.

You can also use the Default Style, especially when the table is small and does not need a heading row.

The heading row can be set to repeat on following pages if the table is split across more than one page.

For clarity when using tables, table rows do not break across pages and columns. If a table cell in a row contains too much data that forces a row onto the next page leaving a large blank space if there was no break in the row, then rethink the data.


Table 1: Sample table. The Caption style is used for this paragraph.

Windows or Linux macOS equivalent Effect
Tools > Options menu selection LibreOffice > Preferences Access setup options
Right-click Control+click and/or right-click Open a context menu
Ctrl (Control) ⌘ (Command) Used with other keys
F5 Shift+⌘+F5 Open the Navigator
F11 ⌘+T Open the Styles deck in the Sidebar
Table Contents
This paragraph style uses a slightly smaller font size than the Text Body style used. It allows more data to be entered into a table cell. As can be seen in the sample table, you can use character styles with Table Contents.
Table Heading
This paragraph style is used in the heading row of a table and is the same font size as Table Contents, but uses Bold Italic for emphasis.
This is the same as the caption used for figures, but is positioned above the table. The position is automatic when you place the cursor in the table and choose Insert > Caption on the Menu bar. Table captions are automatically numbered using the category Table.

Notes, Tips, and Cautions

To create a Note, Tip, or Caution:

  1. Type the word (Note, Tip, or Caution) and apply the appropriate style. Then press the Enter key.
  2. The next paragraph style will automatically be Text Note. After you type the text of this paragraph and press Enter at the end of it, the next paragraph will also be in the Text Note style. If you do not need another paragraph in this style, change it to Text Body or another required style.
  3. Only the last paragraph in a series of Text Note paragraphs will include the line (border) below the paragraph. This occurs automatically.

A note is used when something has to be drawn to the attention of the user and possibly prevent any user errors. A note begins with the paragraph style Heading Note. The text of a note uses the paragraph style Text Note and automatically follows Heading Note.


A tip is a suggestion that could make it easier for a user to do something easier and better in LibreOffice. A tip begins with the paragraph style Heading Tip. The text of a tip uses the paragraph style Text Note and automatically follows Heading Tip.


(Called "Caution" in user guides) A caution is only used when there could be serious damage to the file or software if the user does not follow the correct procedure. Some cautions in the user guides could really be reclassified as notes. A caution begins with the paragraph style Heading Caution. The text of a caution uses the paragraph style Text Note and automatically follows Heading Caution.


Numbered lists

At the start of each level of every numbered list in your document, you have to right-click on the first step in that level and select Restart Numbering from the context menu. Be sure to do this for the first list as well as later lists, to ensure correct numbering when chapters are combined into a book.

Numbered lists use the paragraph style Numbering 1. This paragraph style uses the list style also named Numbering 1. The list style allows for several levels of nesting in a numbered list.

We are no longer using Numbering 1 Start, Numbering 1 Cont., Numbering 1 End or the equivalents for Numbering 2, Numbering 3, List 1, List 2, List 3, etc.

An example of a numbered list with three levels of numbering is as follows:

  1. Numbering 1
  2. Numbering 1.
    1. Numbering 2.
    2. Numbering 2.
      1. Numbering 3. Only used when really necessary.
      2. Numbering 3.
    3. Numbering 2
  3. Numbering 1

Bullet lists

An example of a bullet list is as follows:

  • List 1
  • List 1.
    • List 2
    • List 2.
  • List 1

Simple lists

Simple lists use the Text Body Indent paragraph style and do not have bullet points or numbers. Use simple lists only when all of list items are no longer than one line of text. At the end of each item in a simple list use Shift+Enter to insert a line break and move to a new line. After entering the last item in a simple list, use Enter to create a new paragraph and change the paragraph style.

An example of a simple list is as follows:

Text Body Indent
Text Body Indent

Default Text Body.

Definition lists

Definition lists are used mainly for short explanations of terms that may not be familiar to a user, for example fields or options in dialogs. Each item in a definition list consists of two parts: the definition term, which uses Definition Term as the paragraph style, and the definition itself, which uses Text Body Indent for the explanation of the definition term. An example of a definition list is as follows:

Definition Term
Text Body Indent used to explain the definition.
Definition Term
Text Body Indent used to explain the definition.

Other paragraph styles

Text Body
The default for any paragraph not otherwise styled.
Text Body List Intro
The same as Text Body, with a “keep with next paragraph” attribute, to avoid having it separated from at least one list item at the bottom of a page.
Text Body Indent
The same as Text Body, with a 1cm indentation.
Code and Code End
Used when an entire paragraph is computer code, for example a command line or lines of computer code. This paragraph style uses a monospace font – Liberation Mono. See also the Code character style, which is used when only part of a paragraph needs to have this style applied. Code End has extra spacing after the paragraph.

Character styles

For additional formatting within a paragraph, use an appropriate character style. Do NOT use the italics or bold formatting buttons on the Formatting Toolbar, sidebar Properties deck, or keyboard shortcuts.

This italics character style is built in to LibreOffice. Use it for the following:
Chapters referred to, for example Chapter 1 Introducing Impress
Books and user guides referred to, for example Impress Guide
Options in LibreOffice dialogs, for example As character, Format
Other terms that are commonly italicized in English usage
Strong Emphasis
This bold character style is built in to LibreOffice. Use it for terms that are commonly printed in bold and for the following:
Menu paths, for example File > Save
Context menu options when you right-click, for example Font, Style
Dialog buttons, for example Add, OK
Icon names, for example Gallery, Undo
Use this custom character style for keyboard shortcuts, key presses, and key combinations, for example ↵ Enter, ⇧ Shift+Tab ↹. Apply this style only to the actual keys to be pressed, not to the + between them.
Use this custom character style within a paragraph that is in standard font, but the text written, for example, is for computer folder path or file name in your text (C:\Program Files\LibreOffice\). This character style uses the same Liberation Mono font as the paragraph style Code.