Create new documents in LibreOffice

There are several ways to create new documents in LibreOffice. The instructions on this page work on every operating system that LibreOffice runs on. The ones demonstrated in certain applications also can be performed in the other applications.

  • StartCenter
  • Through the File menu and Standard toolbar in all applications
  • Keystrokes
  • Individual application icon in Windows and Linux distros


LibreOffice StartCenter has two ways of creating new documents: through the Create section in the left column or through the New sub-menu in the File menu. The New sub-menu in the File menu is also in all six applications. The screenshot was taken in Linux Mint.

The StartCenter is the document management center in LibreOffice. In it there is a list of applications and their document types in the left column in the create section.

Simply click the desired one to create a new document.

New documents also can be created through the File menu in the New sub-menu. This is the same menu in all six applications.

File menu and Standard toolbar

The New sub-menu in StartCenter and the six applications lists different document types that can be created. For the StartCenter and the six applications, the New sub-menu is in the File menu. In the six applications, these are in the drop-down men associated with the New icon in the Standard toolbar.

Simply click the desiredundefined one to create one of the following documents:

Text document

This is a word processing document that will be created using Writer. These can be saved in the OpenDocument Text (ODT) format, several Microsoft Word formats, and a few other formats.


This is a document for presenting numbers and other data in columns and rows and performing calculations on that data. Microsoft Office will create these kinds of documents in Excel. LibreOffice creates them in Calc. These documents can be saved in OpenDocument Spreadsheet (ODS) format, several Excel formats, and several other formats.


LibreOffice creates these documents in Impress. They are used to accompany speeches and used with a large screen, but they also can be used to curate small nuggets of information and into slides and share them with others. The documents can be saved in the OpenDocument Presentation (ODP) format, several PowerPoint formats, and several other formats.


This creates a blank canvas on which vector graphics can be placed. Vector graphics can be created in Microsoft Office applications, but the suite doesn’t offer a separate vector graphics application. The documents will be saved in OpenDocument Graphics (ODG) format. Documents can be exported in other formats, such as SVG.


This document is used for writing formulas. They are saved in OpenDocument Formula (ODF) format, and they can be exported to PDF. The application can stand alone, but it also can integrate with Writer and Calc. This is an advantage the formula editor gives Writer and Calc over their Microsoft counterparts.


A database in LibreOffice is created through Base, the relational database application, creates either a Firebird database or an HSQL database. In databases, users create tables to store data. HSQL databases require a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to be installed to create tables. Firebird databases do not require a JRE.

Documents are saved in OpenDocument Base (ODB) format. It cannot be saved in other formats.

HTML Document

Web pages can be created in Writer, and this is the item that will do it. The new document will appear

without margins outside the content area. The area where content is inserted and created takes up the entire window.

Content will run edge to edge in the window. Documents can be saved as an HTML document, HTML template, or as a text document.

XML Form Document

LibreOffice will create a form based on extensible markup language (XML). Clicking this will create this type of document through Writer. The document can be saved in all the formats that a Text document can be saved in. The key difference is that instead of the standard sidebar, Writer will launch with an “Instance bar” The sidebar also can be revealed like in other documents, but it is hidden by default.

Master Document

This creation is designed to connect other documents to create a multiple document book. It has a dialog that allows you to insert other documents or create an index of documents.


Clicking this item launches a label dialog that allows users to create a document for various sizes of labels.

Business Cards

This launches a Business Card wizard to create a business card. Either one label or an entire sheet can be created.


This item does not create a new document. It launches a dialog that allows you to apply a template to the document.


Keystrokes to save a document are as follows:

  • Windows and Linux distros: Ctrl + N
  • Mac: Cmd + N

This will create the same type of document that the keystroke is performed in. For example, if it is performed in Writer, a new Writer document will be created. If the keystrokes are performed in a Calc spreadsheet, a new spreadsheet will be created.

If the keystrokes are pressed in StartCenter, a new Writer document will be created.

Individual icons in Windows and Linux distros

The LibreOffice applications for Windows and Linux distros have there individual icons. The Mac instance does not have icons for the individual applications. It only has the one icon that when clicked launches the StartCenter.

When one of the icons is clicked in Windows and Linux distros, a corresponding document will be created:

  • Clicking the Writer icon creates a new text document
  • Clicking the Calc icon creates a new spreadsheet
  • Clicking the Impress icon creates a new presentation document
  • Clicking the Draw icon creates a new vector graphics canvas
  • Clicking the Base icon creates a new relational database
  • Clicking the Math icon creates a new formula document