Draw Guide 7.3

Chapter 12,
User Interface Variants


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To this edition

Peter Schofield

Kees Kriek


To previous editions

Peter Schofield

Jean Hollis Weber



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Publication date and software version

Published May 2022. Based on LibreOffice 7.3 Community.
Other versions of LibreOffice may differ in appearance and functionality.

Using LibreOffice on macOS

Some keystrokes and menu items are different on macOS from those used in Windows and Linux. The table below gives some common substitutions for the instructions in this document. For a detailed list, see the application Help.

Windows or Linux

macOS equivalent


Tools > Options on Menu bar

LibreOffice > Preferences on Menu bar

Access to setup options


Ctrl+click and/or right-click depending on computer setup

Opens a context menu

Ctrl or Control

⌘ and/or Cmd or Command

Used with other keys


⌥ and/or Alt or Option

Used with other keys



Open the Styles deck in the Sidebar


By default, commands and tools used in LibreOffice Draw are grouped in a user interface consisting of cascading menus and toolbars. The functions and use of these cascading menus and toolbars are described in previous chapters of this user guide.

This chapter describes the user interface variants that are available for LibreOffice Draw. A user then has the option to select the user interface that suits their requirements and methods of creating drawings in LibreOffice Draw.


When changing the user interface, the variant can be applied only to LibreOffice Draw, or applied to all the modules in LibreOffice.

Selecting user interface

To select a user interface variant or switching between the user interface variants:

1)  Go to View > User Interface on the Menu bar to open the Select Your Preferred User Interface dialog (Figure 1).

2)  In UI variants, select one of the variants. An example of the selected variant is shown in the Preview box, along with a short description.

3)  Click on Apply to Draw to apply the variant selection to LibreOffice Draw only, or click on Apply to All to apply the variant to all the LibreOffice modules. The LibreOffice window changes to match the selected variant.

4)  Click Close to close the dialog.

Figure 1: Select Your User Preferred User Interface dialog



If the option Enable experimental features has been selected in the Tools > Options > Advanced dialog, several more variants appear in UI variants. Being experimental, these variants are not described in this user guide.

Figure 2: Standard Toolbar user interface in LibreOffice Draw 7.2



In all the user interface variants, the Sidebar can be hidden or shown by clicking on the Hide/Show button on the left of the Sidebar,

Standard Toolbar UI

The Standard Toolbar user interface is the default view when LibreOffice is installed and the Workspace opened for the first time. Figure 2 shows an example of the default Workspace view in LibreOffice Draw, which normally consists of the following.

For more information on the Draw Workspace, see Chapter 1, Introducing Draw.

Tabbed UI

The Tabbed user interface provides a familiar interface for users coming from proprietary office suites, for example Microsoft Office. This user interface is divided into tabs, where each tab displays a set of tools grouped by context. The context changes depending on the object selected and the LibreOffice module being used.

It includes a Menu bar, a Tab bar, and tool icons grouped in context that would be normally used in LibreOffice Draw. If the tool icons on a tab page do not fit into the width of the Draw window, a double chevron >> appears at the right end of the row. Click the double chevron >> to display more commands.

Figure 3: Quick menu options


Figure 4: Icon bar


Figure 5: Customize dialog - Notebookbar page


On Windows and Linux operating systems, the Menu bar can be hidden or displayed by clicking on Menubar at the left end of the Tab bar.

On the right of the Tab bar, a Quick menu (≡) (Figure 3) is available giving access to some commonly used commands and links. Some of the Quick menu items have submenus, indicated by a triangle ► on the right. The Quick menu is the same for all tabs.

On the left of the Tab bar, an icon bar (Figure 4) is available giving access to some commonly used tools – Menu bar; Open (Ctrl+O); Save (Ctrl+S);Undo (Ctrl+Z); Redo (Ctrl+Y).

The Tabbed user interface can be customized using the Notebookbar page of the Customize dialog (Figure 5) to show or hide the individual tools on the various tabs. For more information on customization of LibreOffice, see the Getting Started Guide and the Writer Guide.


When using the Tabbed user interface, the Draw toolbars are removed from view. If it is necessary, toolbars can be opened and used by going to View > Toolbars on the Menu bar or Quick menu > Toolbars.

Fixed tabs

The fixed tabs in the Tabbed user interface for Draw are described on the following pages. The following figures show the left and right ends of the tabs separately so they are large enough to more easily see the commands.

File tab

The File tab (Figure 6) is a fixed tab providing commands to create new documents; open, save, print, and close documents; manage templates; export to PDF and EPUB; display document properties; add a digital signature; and sign an existing PDF.

The File tab has two menus (Figures 7 and 8): File and Help. The File tab menu contains the same commands as the tools available on the tab. The Help tab menu provides links to a variety of resources.

Figure 6: Tabbed user interface - File tab


Figure 7: File tab menu


Figure 8: Help tab menu


Home tab

The Home tab (Figure 9) is a fixed tab providing commands to cut, copy, paste, and format text; insert common items (for example images, tables, charts); apply, update, and edit drawing styles; and so on. The Home tab menu (Figure 10) at the right end of the Tab bar provides additional commands that are not on the tab.

Figure 9: Tabbed user interface - Home tab


Figure 10: Home tab menu


Insert tab

The Insert tab (Figure 11) is a fixed tab providing tools to insert many commonly used items. The Insert tab menu (Figure 12) at the right end of the Tab bar provides some of the same tools.

Figure 11: Tabbed user interface - Insert tab


Figure 12: Insert tab menu


Layout tab

The Layout tab (Figure 13) is a fixed tab providing tools to create a drawing layout. The Layout tab menu (Figure 14) at the right end of the Layout tab bar provides some of the same tools.

Figure 13: Tabbed user interface - Layout tab


Figure 14: Layout tab menu


Review tab

The Review tab (Figure 15) is a fixed tab providing tools for spell checking text; inserting and deleting review comments; and redaction. The Review tab menu (Figure 16) provides additional text editing commands. Some of these commands appear only if Asian or Complex Text Layout are selected in Tools > Options > Language Settings > Languages.

Figure 15: Tabbed user interface - Review tab


Figure 16: Review tab menu


Figure 17: Tabbed user interface - View tab


Figure 18: View tab menu


View tab

The View tab (Figure 17) is a fixed tab providing tools to display a drawing on screen. The View tab menu (Figure 18) provides additional tools relating to the display on a drawing on screen.

Extension tab

The Extension tab (Figure 19) is a fixed tab containing only the command to access the Extension Manager allowing the installation of extensions that are compatible for use in LibreOffice.

Figure 19: Tabbed user interface - Extension tab


Tools tab

The Tools tab (Figure 20) is a fixed tab providing several tools for macros; color replacer; media player. The Tools tab menu (Figure 21) provides some of the same commands, plus extra tools for organizing macros and dialogs; image map; data sources; filter settings; extension manager; and options.

Figure 20: Tabbed user interface - Tools tab


Figure 21: Tools tab menu


Additional tabs

Additional tabs appear when an object in Draw is selected and are displayed between the View and Extension tabs. The illustrations show the left and right ends of the tabs separately so they are large enough to more easily see the commands.

Draw tab

The Draw tab (Figure 22) is only available when a draw object is selected in a drawing. It provides commands for editing, transforming, grouping, aligning, and distributing draw objects. The Draw tab menu (Figure 23) provides a similar set of commands for editing, transforming and converting draw objects.

Figure 22: Tabbed user Interface - Draw tab


Figure 23: Draw tab menu


Image tab

The Image tab (Figure 24) only becomes available when an image is selected in a drawing such as a photograph, Fontwork, OLE object, or QR code. It provides tools for working with these images, including captions, cropping, borders and area styles and colors, anchors, wrapping, positioning, and filtering. The Image tab menu (Figure 25) provides links to dialogs for working with images.

Figure 24: Tabbed user interface - Image tab


Figure 25: Image tab menu


Figure 26: Tabbed user interface - Object tab


Object tab

The Object tab (Figure 26) only becomes available when an object, such as a chart, is selected. It provides tools to position, resize, choose colors and borders for the selected object. The Object tab menu (Figure 27) provides extra tools to match the type of object selected.

Figure 27: Object tab menu


Table tab

The Table tab (Figure 28) only becomes available when a table is selected in a drawing. It provides tools to format a table to the drawing requirements. The Table tab menu (Figure 29) includes extra tools for editing a table.

Figure 28: Tabbed user interface - Table tab


Figure 29: Table tab menu


Media tab

The Media tab (Figure 30) only becomes available when a media object is selected in a drawing. It provides tools for positioning and running an audio or video file. The Media tab menu (Figure 31) includes extra tools for editing a media object.

Figure 30: Tabbed user interface - Media tab


Figure 31: Media tab menu


Single Toolbar UI & Sidebar UI

When selected, the Single Toolbar and Sidebar user interfaces only show the Menu bar with no toolbars. However, toolbars can be added to either of these user interfaces by going to View > Toolbars on the Menu bar and selecting the required toolbar from the options available. For more information on toolbars, see Appendix B, Toolbars in this guide and the Getting Started Guide.

Tabbed Compact UI

The Tabbed Compact user interface has the same tabs as the Tabbed user interface, but the commands on each tab are arranged as a single row of tools. Some of these tools have drop‑down menus with extra options. Figure 32 shows an example of the File tab in the Tabbed Compact user interface.

The tab menu on the right of the Tabbed Compact user interface provides the same options as the tab menus in the Tabbed user interface, see “Tabbed UI” on page 1 for more information.

Figure 32: Tabbed Compact user interface - File tab


Groupedbar Compact UI

The Groupedbar Compact user interface (Figure 33), with a Draw object selected, is divided into groups that contain commands organized as sets of tools and menus. The tools and menus that are available change to suit the type of object selected. Clicking on the double chevron >> displays more tools for editing an object.

The Groupedbar menu (Figure 34) on the right-hand end of this interface provides extra tools for working with LibreOffice Draw, including convenient ways to change the user interface and access toolbars.

Figure 33: Groupedbar user interface with Draw object selected


Figure 34: Groupedbar menu


Contextual Single UI

The Contextual Single user interface displays a single toolbar to suit the type of object that has been selected. Figure 35 shows an example of Contextual Single user interface when a draw object is selected. Clicking on the double chevron >> displays more tools for editing an object.

Figure 35: Contextual Single user interface with Draw object selected