LibreOffice Writer table tips


LibreOffice Writer is better than Microsoft Word. If you are a web developer, you should understand that there are class and style. Using LibreOffice is tended to using class-like style, instead of direct formatting, which causes a lot of inconsistent, troublesome, and time consuming modification throughout the word processing. And this is happened when the newbies are using Microsoft Word to create templates for the advanced user like me, and causes me full of trouble as being tortured.

The worst thing in Microsoft Word is the Numbering format. Microsoft Word sets the numbering format as properties of a paragraph. But LO Writer differentiates the paragraph style, character style, frame style, page style, and the list style. Thus, it is much more easier to use the list style in LO Writer.

I admit that LibreOffice Writer still has some limitations comparing to some features of Microsoft Word, but for the styles and formatting, it is much more easier than using Microsoft Word.

Now, let me go into the tips of the table in LO Writer. The LO version I am using is 5.0.

Table at the same line of paragraph

In Writer, unlike image, table by default cannot anchor as character. Therefore, it cannot have some text at the left or right of a table. This can be solved by using frame.

Table in the paragraph line
Table in the paragraph line

So, create a frame and set the properties,

  1. Type > Anchor as character
  2. Type > Vertical Top to Row (depend on your preference)
  3. Wrap > Spacing four sides to zero
  4. Borders > Set no border
  5. Insert table inside the frame.

Remove/add the empty line after table

As the image above, you can see within the frame, there is an empty line after the table. This line, you cannot delete or “backspace”. So, in order to solve this, at the last cell of the table, press Ctrl+Shift+Del will delete the empty line. In order to add the empty line, Alt+Enter.

Vertical text in the table

To create a vertical text, it has to create a new style (it can be based on the Table Contents). Then at the new style properties,

  • Position > Rotation / Scaling > 90 degrees or 270 degrees (based on your preference)

After creating this style, just select the content of the cell you want to have a vertical align, apply the created style, than it will work.

Vertical text in the table
Vertical text in the table

There are several things have to take note when using the style to rotate the text. The image above shows two different ways to rotate the text. The left bottom cell is using the method mentioned above, the right bottom cell is using the following method,

  1. Select the text in the cell, and go to Table Properties,
  2. Text Flow > Text orientation >Vertical

By using the Text Flow method, we cannot change the rotation direction as shown in the left bottom cell. But using this way, we can change the alignment and indent easily. When we choose align to the centre, the text will be centre as usual.

However, using the Style method, it is quite confusing. When using Style, if we align the text to centre, it is based on the view of the table, instead of make the text centre itself.

Centre text problem
Centre text problem

As the image above, the first cell has the following properties

  • Table Properties > Text Flow > Alignment > Top
  • Paragraph Properties > Alignment > Options > Centre

The second cell has the same properties as above.

In order to make our text at the left cell start from the left bottom corner, then we have to set

  • Table Properties > Text Flow > Alignment > Bottom
  • Paragraph Properties > Alignment > Options > Left
Align the table
Align the table (they left and bottom).

Padding in a specific cell or customise a cell

As the image above, we want to adjust the left cell of the text, so that the text and the bottom border has some spacing, this have to customise the cell specifically. However, LO Writer does not show any clue for you to edit the properties of a cell, and it only shows you “Table Properties”.

It is actually possible to customise a certain cell.

  1. Select a cell by highlight the content inside,librlibr then hold and move the cursor to next cell. We will discover that the cells are highlighted, instead of the text within.
  2. Since there are two cells being selected, we move our mouse back to the original cell. And we will get something like this,
Select a cell
Select a cell

Now, the cell can be edited with Table Properties (which is actually selected cell properties).


So, these are a few tips which are useful to manage the table in the Writer.


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