How to Change Default Template in LibreOffice and OpenOffice


A simple guide on changing the default template in LibreOffice or OpenOffice Writer.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice Writer are widely used applications for creating documents, reports, and other written content. The Writer program has a default template that opens up when creating a blank document. Usually, it is a portrait page with default font and styles. But if you want to change this default setting, you must use and configure the templates properly.

Here’s how.

Understanding the Default Layout

Before diving into customization options, it’s essential to understand the default layout of LibreOffice or OpenOffice Writer. The default layout encompasses various elements such as fonts, page margins, line spacing, and paragraph formatting. These elements collectively contribute to the appearance and structure of your documents.

Why Change the Default Layout?

The default layout might not be ideal for everyone, and customizing it can offer several benefits. By changing the default layout, you can:

  • Create a consistent look and feel for all your documents.
  • Increase readability by adjusting fonts and spacing.
  • Optimize page margins to ensure proper formatting.
  • Save time by setting up predefined styles and templates.
  • Customize headers, footers, and other document elements.

Let’s see how you can change the default template with an example.

Changing the default template from portrait to landscape in Writer

Consider an example where you want to open Writer always as the landscape mode. By default, it opens in portrait mode using the “default” template.

  • Open LibreOffice or OpenOffice Writer.
  • Right-click and open the page style dialog to change the style.
  • Choose orientation to Landscape.
  • Click Apply and OK.
  • From the file menu, select Templates > Save As Templates.
  • Give a unique name to your template and choose “My Template” category.
  • Click Save.
Changing default page style to landscape
Changing default page style to landscape
Save as templates menu option
Save as templates menu option
Save as template dialog
Save as template dialog
  • Go to the “Manage Templates” option using CTRL+SHIFT+N.
  • Right-click on the template that you have just created.
  • Select set as default.
  • Close the document. And open LibreOffice or OpenOffice Writer.
  • You should see the landscape format as default.
  • Similarly, you can create any default template with your own custom margins, fonts, colours or styles. And use the same method above to set it as default.
Set as default
Set as default


Customizing the default layout in LibreOffice or OpenOffice Writer allows you to create documents that align with your unique style and requirements. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily modify fonts, adjust page margins, customize styles, and more.

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I believe that the real aim of libreoffice help is to convince people to do things Their way, because They understand it better than the average non-technical user.
If a non-understanding user wants to say, change the default template in a simple way, they give a long-winded but educational way that They want you to follow.

It is free, and They get righteously indignant when users suggest the interface is often not intuitive, because They know that Their way is the best way, irrespective of the users’ wishes. It cannot be clunky, because it is free!