LibreOffice Color Palette

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/greys 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.

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
(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\

A Palette from Shannon Matthews
Another user (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, Greys, 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.

16 responses to “LibreOffice Color Palette”
  1. Luckily someone has done the hard job. I found a beautiful color palette from Finally I can has more caluurz!

  2. Ian says:

    Brilliant – thanks for this excellent pallette. The default colours are terrible compared to MS office or Google docs. However I prefer this pallette over both what MS and Google offer. It would be so much better to have this pallette as the default.

    • practic says:

      Yes, I use it regularly as well. The only thing I miss are the pastel colors. I’d like to add some of those in, then it would be perfect!

      • Shannon Matthews says:

        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, Greys, the Works! You will have to use the other one above to do the pure whites, black and greys.

  3. Thanks! I had been pasting in the X11 colors sorted by luminosity, but your HSL order makes even more sense.

  4. LO user says:

    Very thanks! I consider the default palette as a bug, your palette is much much better 😀

  5. Dita says:

    I can’t thank you enough for this. I hope the devs incorporate this into v4; can’t think of anyone who’d prefer the present illogically-ordered color palette.

  6. Mark says:

    Many thanks for your work and skillz and for taking the trouble to post this here. I just had occasion to use a large number of different background colors in a spreadsheet and the default palette in LO 4.1 is still the same illogical mess. This one is MUCH better.

  7. Susan says:

    I love using this palette and have been doing so for months, however the bottom 5 rows don’t display. I can select a bottom row color somewhat blindly by using the arrow key to move down and across past what is visible on my screen, but the scroll bar stops at the last row of dark magenta and will not show me the reds or pinks. Would love to know how to fix this issue!

    • practic says:

      I’ve never seen such behavior, neither in Linux or Windows. Perhaps your color palette file has some corruption near the end? Try downloading a new copy and replace the one you are currently using.

    • Susan says:

      I figured out the problem — I use the Window’s display option to increase the size of everything to 125%. With this setting everything else in LibreOffice looks and functions just fine, all the other toolbars menus display great except the color palette. As soon as I switched to the default display setting (100%) I was able to see the entire color palette but it’s very hard for me to use my computer with everything so small, I end up with eye strain.

      • practic says:

        I was wondering if it wasn’t a scaling problem under Windows, although you didn’t initially state what OS you were using.

        I understand the problems with scaling. I use both Kubuntu (Linux) and Windows 7, and the scaling is handled much better in Linux. Initially I set my Windows 7 desktop to 125%, but recently the Firefox browser uses this setting to scale web pages, which is really annoying! So I dropped it back to 100%, and I also agree with you that everything is too small at this setting.

        What I did then was to increase the sizes of the Fonts. In Windows 7, this is in:

        Control Panel->Personalization

        or Right-click Desktop, then Personalize,


        Window Color->Window Color and Appearance->Advanced Appearance Settings.

        This brings up an old dialog from Windows XP days, wherein you can individually adjust the Font Sizes for each element. It still doesn’t change some of the System font settings in Explorer, but it does make them tolerable. I usually go for 11 point size on most items, and 10 point on Palette Title, and Tooltip.

        If you have Windows 8, the Font Size settings are a bit easier to find:

        Right-click on Desktop, choose Personalize, then click Display in the lower left corner of that dialog. There’s an option at the bottom called “Change only the Text Size”. There you can bump up the sizes of the individual elements.

        You might want to try that and see if it stops the problem in LibreOffice, but still makes the fonts big enough to be readable.

      • practic says:

        One other thing you could try. Instead of using the drop-down box in the toolbar, try editing the properties for the element you are trying to change. So for text, select it, right-click, choose Character, and you can change the color in the Font Effects tab. Perhaps all colors show up there.

        For other elements, such as boxes, lines, etc, color settings can be found in the Area properties, or Line settings. You can also change the color of an entire Style, if you have the Style dialog open (press F11 to see it). Right-click the Style for the element you are on, choose “Modify”, then change the color in Font Effects, Background, or Borders…whichever you are trying to change.

  8. shannon matthews says:

    ack! My color list file is long! I think I might need really to edit my chart. How many steps should it be and what colors should go. I have to buy a new keyboard but let me know, How is the color soc file working out?

  9. shannon matthews says: Check it out! It has a lot of colors and in different table styles!

  10. Pawel says:

    Thanks a lot! The colour system in Libre Office is a disaster, but this palette is WAY better than the default. If I can’t edit colours directly (without having to predefine them), at least the palette should be usable (the default one is hopeless). Very much appreciated!

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