DIY: Import templates into LibreOffice

Jack Wallen responds to a TechRepublic member's question about whether it's possible to import Microsoft Word templates into LibreOffice.

Read my answer to TechRepublic reader Stann Chanovsky's question, and then please post additional tips for the member in the discussion.

Q: Is it possible to import Microsoft Word templates into LibreOffice? A: Although it is possible to import templates into the LibreOffice Writer application, the template conversion often isn't 100%. Those inconsistencies can lead to more work than necessary, which is why I always suggest starting from scratch. Since templates aren't usually that difficult to create (and especially since they have already been created once before), it shouldn't take too much time to re-create said templates.

However, if you want to try the import, I highly recommend either of these two methods.

Open and Save As

Open the Microsoft Word template in LibreOffice Writer and then do a File | Save As and save the file as an .ott file (OpenDocument Template). This will automatically save the template in the proper directory so the template is available for use.

Use the Template Organizer

Open the Template Organizer by going to File | Templates | Organize and then follow these steps:

  1. Select Templates from the drop-down under the right pane.
  2. Right-click the folder you want to import the template into and click Import Template.
  3. Navigate to where the template lives.
  4. Select the template to import and click OK.

The template should now be available to use.


Templates are strange beasts that certainly make repetitive work far easier than having to recreate similar documents over and over. And although importing templates is far from foolproof, it can work. Before you start using this imported template, be sure to check the formatting properties once it has been imported into LibreOffice.

Ask Jack: If you have a DIY question, email it to me, and I'll do my best to answer it. (Read guidelines about submitting DIY questions.)

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