LibreOffice Color Palette

Update 2015


The palette which I posted in 2012 (see below), was lacking in some respects. In terms of HSV (Hue, Saturation, Value), it either set Saturation to 100% and then stepped through Value, or set Value to 100% and stepped through Saturation. This meant that all the colors which had both Saturation and Value of less than 100% were left out. So, no colored-grays, no earth-tones, no darks, very limited pastels, etc.

To remedy this, and to fit the new LibreOffice 5 palette width of 12 blocks (instead of 8), I have put together a new palette. But before I explain more, here is a preview picture of it:


New LibreOffice Palette 2015


Download it here: standard.soc


The installation instructions are as already written below. I’m not 100% sure that the location for Ubuntu is still the same, as I’m stuck on Windows for the time being. Perhaps someone can confirm.


Since Color Palettes are an attempt to represent three dimensions (RGB, HSV, or CMY) in two dimensions, they are always challenging to create. That is why this palette uses a cascaded arrangement. I used HSV (Hue, Saturation, Value) to determine the colors. Value is also sometimes referred to as Brightness. Hue is calculated from 0-360 degrees of color, from Red to Orange to Yellow, etc…and back to Red. Saturation and Value use 0-100% scales.

Color Increments

For the Color increments, going left to right, each block in a given row represents a Hue change of 30. So in 12 steps it goes through the following:

  • Red (0)
  • Orange (30)
  • Yellow (60)
  • Chartreuse Green (90)
  • Green (120)
  • Spring Green (150)
  • Cyan (180)
  • Azure (210)
  • Blue (240)
  • Violet (270)
  • Magenta (300)
  • Rose (330)

This means that there are fine increments of color between these Hue values that are not included. But every palette must make some compromises, since there are millions of possible colors from which to choose! I have tried to aim at a palette which represents the major hues and shades while still retaining a reasonable size, and also not introducing lots of colors, whose differences cannot be distinguished by the human eye.

Palette Arrangment

  1. This Palette starts with the grays. I decided to use 22 shades of gray, plus black and white, to cover two complete rows of the 12-block width of the palette. I also decided to have the grays go lighter to the right on the first row, then double-back and go lighter to the left on the second row. This puts black and white right by each other for easier access.
  2. The first level of colors (10 rows) uses a Value setting of 100 (max) throughout. Then as the rows go down, the Saturation decreases by 10 (100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10). I didn’t go lower than 10 as it becomes difficult to distinguish the color change at such low Saturation (it is almost white).
  3. The second level of colors (10 rows) uses a Value setting of 80 throughout. As the rows go down, the Saturation decreases by 10 (100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10). Again, I didn’t go lower than 10 as the colors become so close to gray as to be almost indistinguishable.
  4. The third level of colors (7 rows) uses a Value setting of 60 throughout. Then as the rows go down, the Saturation decreases by 15 (100, 85, 70, 55, 40, 25, 10). There are bigger increments in the derease of Saturation solely because it becomes more difficult to discern finer differences with the human eye. The less the Value (or Brightness), the more difficult it is to discern changes in the Saturation level.
  5. The fourth level of colors (5 rows) uses a Value setting of 40 throughout. Then as the rows go down, the Saturation decreases by 15 (100, 85, 70, 55, 40).
  6. The fifth, and last, level of colors (3 rows) uses a Value setting of 20 throughout. Then as the rows go down, the Saturation decreases by 30 (100, 70, 40).

Color Names

I tried to look up the Color Names for the various shades in the palette, but not all of them have names. So I roughly followed a few naming schemes, and added adjectives to fill in where necessary. The basic Color Names are given in the Color Increments section above. The descriptive adjectives to distinguish each shade were applied as follows:

Section 1 (10 rows)
Luminous Vivid (ColorName)
Vivid (ColorName)
Brilliant (ColorName)
Light Brilliant (ColorName)
Light (ColorName)
Very Light (ColorName)
Pale (ColorName)
Very Pale (ColorName)
Whitish (ColorName)
(ColorName)ish White

Section 2 (10 rows)
Strong (ColorName)
Semi Strong (ColorName)
Semi Brilliant (ColorName)
Moderate (ColorName)
Light Moderate (ColorName)
Very Light Moderate (ColorName)
Semi Light Grayish (ColorName)
Light Grayish (ColorName)
Pale Light Grayish (ColorName)
Light (ColorName)ish Gray

Section 3 (7 rows)
Medium (ColorName)
Semi Medium (ColorName)
Pale Medium (ColorName)
Light Pale Medium (ColorName)
Grayish Pale Medium (ColorName)
Pale Medium (ColorName)ish Gray
Light Medium (ColorName)ish Gray

Section 4 (5 rows)
Dark (ColorName)
Semi Dark (ColorName)
Moderate Dark (ColorName)
Dark Grayish (ColorName)
Dark (ColorName)ish Gray

Section 5 (3 rows)
Deep (ColorName)
Semi Deep (ColorName)
Grayish Deep (ColorName)

Older Palette 2012


Note: As of October 2015, this palette has been superseded by the one above.

Here’s a better Color Palette for LibreOffice (or OpenOffice).


I obtained the original from a thread on the OpenOffice Forum, and re-arranged the colors so the black/white/grays were at the top, and all the colors were grouped according to base color. It looks like this:


LibreOffice Color Palette


Click on the image (or here) to download the palette.


Rename the standard.soc that already exists to standard.soc.old, and copy the new one in.

Note: with LibreOffice 5, there is the ability to load palettes on-the-fly, so there is no need to rename the extension. If you want this one as default, rename the old one to “standard-old.soc” or something like that. If you just want to load this one on-the-fly, and not have it show up as default, give it a new name (ie. “new-palette.soc”), and copy it into the folder specified below:

Where to put it?

(for LibreOffice 3.4 or lower):

/home/[your user folder]/.libreoffice/3/user/config/

(for LibreOffice 3.5 or higher):

/home/[your user folder]/.config/libreoffice/3/user/config/

(for LibreOffice 4.0 or higher):

/home/[your user folder]/.config/libreoffice/4/user/config/

Windows XP
(for LibreOffice 3.x or lower):

C:\Documents and Settings\[your user folder]\Application Data\LibreOffice\3\user\config\

(for LibreOffice 4.x or higher):

C:\Documents and Settings\[your user folder]\Application Data\LibreOffice\4\user\config\

Windows 7 and higher
(for LibreOffice 3.x or lower):

C:\Users\[your user folder]\AppData\Roaming\LibreOffice\3\user\config\

(for LibreOffice 4.x or higher):

C:\Users\[your user folder]\AppData\Roaming\LibreOffice\4\user\config\

LibreOffice 5 – New Location
This is on Windows 7, please double-check for other OS/Systems. Maybe this location has something to do with the installation (whether it was installed to be the same for All Users)?

C:\Program Files\LibreOffice 5\share\palette\

A Palette from Meaningful Color Names


Another user, Shannon Matthews (see comments below), created a palette with “meaningful color names”. He writes:

I just created another color palette for office. The names are based on a color chart from The list has meaningful color names. I’ve pulled the names of the colors from Pastels, Grays, the Works!


I’ve posted the palette here. It is much more extensive, but to my mind, has many colors that are almost the same, so it could be shortened somewhat. Here it is, if anyone wants to use it or work on it further:

Meaningful Color Names


Click here to download it. To install it, rename the file to standard.soc and copy it as per the instructions above.

You can email him by clicking here.

By practic on February 6, 2012 | | 18 comments