LibreOffice documentation official template

Hi all,

I downloaded the Writer Guide sources in order to write a few “cheat sheets” which could answer many questions about Writer in AskLO.

Unfortunately, I find no .ott in the zip archive. There is one odm master and many .odt chapters.

I wonder then how consistency can be maintained across all files without a common template. It may also be that the template was omitted from the Zip archive but, as a consequence, the archive is not self-sufficient since the template is missing.

I could not locate the template on the publicly visible downloads.

Where can I find the “official” documentation template and perhaps a short manual describing the styles and their intended use?

Hello Andre

What template do you mean?
LibreOffice has a default template that is opened when you open the Writer module.
The template for the LO user guide chapters is in the folder Contributor Resources on NextCloud. Look for and it does contain instructions on how to create a user guide chapter.

Peter Schofield
Technical Writer, LO Documentation Team

Thanks, found it in the end. I queried the Wiki and was sent to a page with links. But it is not obvious to navigate in the TDF NextCloud.

In addition, the Wiki gives name while the template is in fact

I opened it and superficially looked at it and its comments. I disagree with the use of sections as they are in the template. They have no justification except for unnamed Section3 and Section4 (3-column list of contributors) or Section5 (a 2-column numbered list).

SEC_DISPLAYAREA could have a potential use if Endnotes are gathered at end of chapter (section). But the guides I’ve read have no endnotes, ever.

From my experience, unnecessary sections are a cause of instability (always) and loss of performance (on huge documents).

I’ll send feedback when I start using it. Person in charge seems to be Olivier Hallot (according to comments).

The sections are there to be able to

  1. Create a master document with the chapter copyright section omitted in the final export to PDF. The visibility is controlled by a condition “book eq 1” in the section settings.

  2. Export the sections into <div>s for display in a browser, as we do in Chapter 1, Introducing Writer The sections layout is handled in the browser with javascript and CSS.


PS: The whole export of ODT to HTML was presented in the 2021 conference and is available at

@ohallot Thanks for the clarification. Is there somewhere a specification about all the possible outputs and the consequences on the structure and styling?

I remember having designed a complex scheme with several templates in a master/sub-docs context to be able to create standard ODF, EPUB and PDF. Since layout and structure were different between the three (page size, header or not, TOC or not, …), I solved the contradictory requirements by a substitution of template with TemplateChanger at time of output.

Perhaps, this technique could also be applied here since the output step is probably done “centrally” at TDF without contributors involvement (their task is now done; it’s a publishing step). This would have the advantage of simplifying document structure.

Hi @ajlittoz

Yeah, not easy, huh?

I don’t have a specification on all possible outputs. I have some ideas (e.g. an ODT “grid”…) but I miss time and arms. In my presentation of 2021 conference, I mention a “web output” which is more than just file export.

The changes I provided were transparent to current chapters and changes nothing to the ODT and PDF output. Beyond that, HTML export requires changes that must be handled with scripts, either at ODT level (basic or python, template changer) and at HTML level (javascript + CSS).


Hello Andre

I do agree about using sections, but there must be some reason as to why they have been used. Olivier is the person to ask why sections have been used.

I have been updating the template and that is why it has been named as LO-UG-Chapter-Template-7-4. It distinguishes the template version from the previous issues. There was a problem with retaining the document format when chapters were published, PDF files created and then used to create the complete user guide. With my experience in printing and publishing before software, hopefully I have removed the formatting problems.

There will be another update, but that only concerns the code colours for inserted lines of code. This I am still sorting with the help of coding experts.

Any questions or help required on the template, please contact me.


Peter Schofield
Technical Writer, LO Documentation Team