Draw toolbar in LibreOffice Draw
The foundational shapes and tools used to create graphics and drawings in a Draw document can be found in the Draw toolbar that typically is open by default when you create a new document or open an existing one.
This toolbar slightly resembles one you might find in Adobe Illustrator. Most drawing applications and applications that have drawing features (such as Microsoft Word) have their common shapes and tools in a toolbar-like layout, so when you are staring at a blank canvas, a toolbar is the easiest and most intuitive way to give you access to the different items you will need to create a masterpiece.
On this page you will find an explanation of each tool and type of object in the order it appears in the toolbar. Here is an image of the toolbar.
It has numbers that are each associated with a description about the particular tool or object tool. These descriptions serve as an annotated table of contents for this page. There are links in each one to a more detailed description.
The select icon allows you to click on drawings and shapes. You can move them around on the canvas and resize, rotate, and slant them.
You do not need to actually click on the icon. Simply move the cursor over a shape or drawing until it turns into a hand. Then click the box or shape.
Click here to learn more about the Select tool.
2. Line Color
There is an icon and a drop-down menu. Clicking the icon after selecting a shape or text box will change the border color of text boxes, drawings, and shapes.
Click here to learn more about the Line Color tool.
3. Fill Color
Clicking this icon will fill shapes and drawings with closed lines with the color that is in the icon.
Click here to learn more about the Fill Color tool.
4. Quick-select shapes
The line, rectangle, and ellipse are commonly used shapes. By default the toolbar gives you easy access to them.
Click here to learn more about Quick-select shapes.
5. Drawing tools, Arrows, and Connectors
With these three categories arrows, connectors, or drawings can be placed on a Draw canvas and shaped to one’s desire.
Click here to learn more about the different Drawing tools, Arrows, and Connectors.
6. Basic Shapes
These seven drop-down menus have common shapes used in graphic designs.
Click here to learn more about the different Basic Shapes.
The select tool is different than the other tools in the toolbar in several ways. It cannot create a shape or a drawing. Select also does not need to be clicked to be activated. If you click an object, it will be activated.
This tool is used to move an object, resize it, or rotate and slant it. When you click an object, squares surround it.
- Hold down the left-mouse button and move the mouse to move the object.
- Release the button when it is in the desired position.
- Click one of the squares. The cursor turns into an arrow.
- Hold down the left-mouse button.
- Drag until the shape is to the desired size.
- Repeat the above three steps on other squares surrounding the object, if needed.
Rotate and Slant
Rotating an object requires you to click the object once more after you see the squares surrounding it. Now you will see ovals surrounding it.
The ovals allow you to rotate the object 365 degrees, slant it from left to right, or slant it so it from top to bottom. You can slant an object in many different ways by using the ovals and by changing the position of the midpoint handle.
There are eight ovals surrounding an object in a rectangular pattern. The four on the corners are for rotating. As you rotate the object, a ghost image appears as a guide
- Click one of the ovals on corners. The cursor turns into a curved arrow.
- Hold down the left-mouse button.
- Drag until the shape is rotated to the desired angle. Use the ghost image as a guide.
- If you do not like how the object is being rotated:
- Click on the midpoint and hold down the left-mouse button.
- Drag it to a desired location within the object. This will change the rotation axis.
- Retry the first three steps.
The four ovals that are not on the corners are used for slanting. Slanting an object is like flipping a flat piece of cardboard over. It will not only turn the object over but place it in a location next to the space it used to occupy.
While gravity does not allow you to partially flip the cardboard, an object on a Draw canvas can be slanted from its original position, to the point where it is a mirror of the original position, and any position in between.
When you click on one of the ovals, the opposite oval is used as the pivot point. A ghost image shows you the guide of the slant. The motion looks like a lid being opened.
- Click one of the ovals in the middle. The cursor changes to two arrows going in opposite directions.
- Hold down the left-mouse button.
- Drag until the shape is slanted to the desired angle. The ghost image will be the guide.
- You can use a combination of the top and bottom ovals and the left and right ovals to slant the shape so it looks completely different from what you originally drew.
The Standard icon will be selected when you perform any one of the functions covered in this section of the page.
LibreOffice has hundreds of standard colors to apply to the border of a shape or the lines of a drawing.
The color palette dialog has a drop-down menu with several different palettes to choose from. When you choose from the menu, the colors in that palette show up in the space below the menu in different squares.
Click the desired square. The palette dialog disappears, and that color appears in the in the Line Color icon.
- If you selected an object before clicking this icon, the border of the shape will be changed to that color. Or the lines that compose a drawing will change to that color.
- If you have not selected an object before clicking this icon:
- First click the desired object.
- Then click the Line Color icon. The border or line then changes color.
When you click the arrow to the right of Line Color, the Line Color dialog appears.
The choices of palettes in the drop-down menu are as follows:
- chart palettes
- Document colors
As mentioned previously, select one of the squares that appear to change the icon. If these palettes do not have a color you want, you can be more specific in your selection in the Pick a Color dialog that can be accessed through the Custom Color button. It is at the bottom of the Line Color dialog.
To learn more about the Pick a Color dialog, click here to visit the page.
Fill Color works the same way as Line Color:
- If you selected an object before clicking this icon, the space within the border of the shape will be changed to that color. This is also true of drawings that are closed..
- If you have not selected an object before clicking this icon:
- First click the desired object.
- Then click the Fill Color icon. The inside of it changes to that color.
The arrow next to the icon opens the Fill Color dialog. This is exactly the same as the Line Fill dialog, except it says Fill Color on top.
Also, like in the Line Fill, if none of the palettes have the color you want click Custom Color, to open the Pick a Color dialog.
To learn more about Pick a Color, visit this page.
The next section has three common elements that are used in drawing: lines, squares, and ellipses. These elements are the foundational pieces of any graphic and piece of artwork. This is the reason why LibreOffice makes them easily accessible in the toolbar.
Lines are the essence of any piece of artwork. This tool allows you to draw vertical lines, horizontal lines, and lines at any angle. Lines can intersect with each other, and they can be combined with other shapes. The possibilities are endless for creating graphics and artwork.
Click the line icon.
- Move the cursor to the point where you want to start the line.
- Then hold down the left mouse button. Move the cursor in any direction on the canvas until the line ends where you want it to end, and it is angled the way you want it angled.
- Release the left-mouse button when the line end is at the place you want it.
If you need to resize it or change its angle, click the line. Then use hold down the left-mouse button and drag the line. Or click and hold on one of the squares to change the angle.
A rectangle can be created with the line tool, and the line tool is more flexible than the rectangle one. However, most people who want to create one of the most common shapes in design, will find the rectangle tool more convenient. Rectangles can be resized, moved, and combined with other shapes, like a line.
Unlike a line, a rectangle can be can be slanted. Lines cannot be slanted unless they are grouped together with other lines to form a polygon. Slanting and rotating were covered in the Selection tool section.
- Click the rectangle icon.
- Move the cursor to the point where you want a corner of the rectangles to be.
- Hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse in a direction. When one is selected, there are eight squares around. One of those squares
will be at the starting point, depending on which direction you move the mouse.
- If you drag the mouse down and to the right, the top, left square of the rectangle will be at the starting point.
- If you drag the mouse down and to the left, the top, right square of the rectangle will be at the starting point.
- If you drag the mouse up and to the right, the bottom, left square of the rectangle will be at the starting point.
- If you drag the mouse up and to the left, the bottom, right square of the rectangle will be at the starting point.
- After you finish drawing the rectangle, you can resize it or reshape it with the squares.
- You also can slant and rotate a rectangle by clicking it a second time. Use the ovals discussed in the Standard tool section.
An ellipse is not as foundational as a line in design, but almost every graphic contains them. Like the line, you can position and shape the ellipse as you wish and combine it with other ellipses and shapes to crate artwork. It also can be rotated.
In addition to being rotated, ellipses can be slanted. Slanting was covered in the Selection tool section.
- Click the ellipse icon.
- Move the cursor to the point where you want a corner of the ellipses to be.
- Hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse in a direction. When one is selected, there are eight squares around. One of those squares will be at the starting point, depending on which direction you move the mouse.
- If you drag the mouse down and to the right, the top, left square of the ellipse will be at the starting point.
- If you drag the mouse down and to the left, the top, right square of the ellipse will be at the starting point.
- If you drag the mouse up and to the right, the bottom, left square of the ellipse will be at the starting point.
- If you drag the mouse up and to the left, the bottom, right square of the ellipse will be at the starting point.
- After you finish drawing the ellipse, you can resize it or reshape it with the squares.
- You also can slant and rotate an ellipse by clicking it a second time. Use the ovals discussed in the Standard tool section.
Drawing tools, arrows, and connectors
This section has three different types of drawing tools: arrows, pencils and freeform drawing tools, and connectors. Each one is associated with a drop-down menu that gives you the various choices.
|Line Ends with Arrow:||The end of the arrow without the point is at the starting point. The arrow side of the line is at the end point.|
|Line with Circle/Arrow:||The side with the circle is at the starting point. The side with the arrow is at the end point.|
|Line with Square/Arrow:||The side with the square is at the starting point. The side with the arrow is at the end point.|
|Line with Arrows:||This is a line with an arrow on both sides.|
|Line Starts with Arrow:||The end of the arrow with the point is at the starting point. The other side of the line is at the end point.|
|Line with Arrow/Circle:||The side with the arrow is at the starting point. The side with the circle is at the end point.|
|Line with Arrow/Square:||The side with the arrow is at the starting point. The side with the square is at the end point.|
|Dimension Line:||This is a line with arrows on both sides. It will give the length of the line in inches, from the starting point to the end point. As you draw the line, the dimensions change until you stop dragging the mouse and release the left-mouse button.|
|Line (45º):||This is a line without arrows or circles/squares. When you are drawing it, you can adjust its angle 45 degrees at a time. As you move the mouse up or down, the angle of the arrow will change 45 degrees. After you release the left mouse button and the line is set, it can be re-positioned but it will no long be angled at the next 45 degree angle. It moves incrementally, like any other line.|
|Insert Line:||This allows you to draw a line without arrows and circles/squares. It can be adjusted incrementally either wile you draw it or after it is set.|
There are eight tools that allow you to draw a curved line.
|Freeform Line:||This allows you to draw a single line and shape it as desired.|
|Curve:||This line allows you to start off by drawing a straight line. Move the cursor to the desired starting point. The hold down the left-mouse button and drag the mouse to the desired end point. When you release the mouse button, it creates a curve point. Move the mouse in a different direction, and the line continues, but it curves the entire line.|
|Polygon:||This tool allows you to draw a straight line. Move the cursor to the desired starting point. The hold down the left-mouse button and drag the mouse to the desired end point. When you release the mouse button, it starts another line that you can move in another direction by dragging the mouse.|
|Polygon (45º):||This icon allows you to draw a line, and while you are drawing it you can move the line at 45 degree angles. Drag the mouse to a desired starting point. Hold down the left-mouse button and start drawing the line. As the line is being drawn you can angle the line at any of the four 45-degree angles. When you release the left-mouse button, a new line is started that is connected to the end point of the previous line. Click the left-mouse button to start each new line that is connected to the previous line’s end point.|
|Freeform Line, Filled:||This icon allows you to draw a line that is a closed loop. Hold down the left-mouse button and move the mouse in a desired direction to create the shape. Release the left-mouse button when you are done.|
|Curve, Filled:||This icon allows you to draw a close-looped line where you can create fixed points. First move the cursor to a desired starting point. Hold down the left-mouse button and drag the mouse to the desired end point. Release the button and move the mouse. The line becomes a loop. Move the mouse to a place on the canvas where you want there to be and end point. Click the left-mouse button. A point is created. Drag the mouse more to continue the line.|
|Polygon, Filled:||This icon allows you to draw a close-looped line where you can create fixed points. The lines are not curved. First move the cursor to a desired starting point. Hold down the left-mouse button and drag the mouse to the desired end point. Release the button and move the mouse. The line becomes a triangle. Move the mouse to a place on the canvas where you want there to be and end point. Click the left-mouse button. A point is created. Drag the mouse more to continue the line.|
|Polygon (45°), Filled:||This icon allows you to draw a right triangle, and then change it into a polygon. First move the cursor to a desired location on the canvas. Hold down the left mouse button. Then drag the mouse to a desired location on the canvas. With the left-mouse button held, you can angle the straight line at the four different 45-degree angles. When you release the button, a right triangle is formed. You can adjust the size and angle of the triangle by moving the mouse. When it is at the desired size and angle click the left-mouse button. This will create a fixed point at the angle point where your cursor is located. Then you can continue to draw lines and form a polygon.|
A connector is a line that links two shapes. They are typically used in flow charts. There are 12 in the connectors drop-down menu. Click the icon to draw the one in the icon. To change the icon click the arrow then click the desired one in the menu.
When you draw a connector to link two shapes, click the icon then drag your cursor to the shape you want the line to start with. The shape will change, revealing different connection points. Drag your cursor to the one where you want to connect the line to. Click the left-mouse button. Then start to draw the connector to the other shape. It will also reveal connector points. Release the left-mouse button on the desired point.
|Connector Ends with Arrow|
|Curved Connector Ends with Arrow|
|Connector with Arrows|
|Curved Connector with Arrows|
|Straight Connector ends with Arrow|
|Line Connector Ends with Arrow|
|Straight Connector with Arrows|
|Line Connector with Arrows|
Basic shapes are building blocks for graphics design.
Insert Basic Shapes
There are 28 shapes in the drop-down menu.
To draw a shape, click on the one in the icon. Hold down the left-mouse button. Then drag the mouse to create the shape. Release the left-mouse button when the shape is at the desired size.
To choose a shape, click the arrow. Then click the desired shape. The icon will become that shape, so it can be clicked and drawn.
Here are the 28 shapes:
There are 18 symbols in the drop-down menu.
To draw a symbol, click on the one in the icon. Hold down the left-mouse button. Then drag the mouse to create the symbol. Release the left-mouse button when the symbol is at the desired size.
To choose a symbol, click the arrow. Then click the desired symbol. The icon will become that symbol, so it can be clicked and drawn.
There are 26 arrows in the drop-down menu.
To draw a arrow, click on the one in the icon. Hold down the left-mouse button. Then drag the mouse to create the arrow. Release the left-mouse button when the arrow is at the desired size.
To choose a arrow, click the arrow. Then click the desired arrow. The icon will become that arrow, so it can be clicked and drawn.
|Left and Right Arrow|
|Up and Down Arrow|
|Up and Right Arrow|
|Up, Right, and Down Arrow|
|Corner Right Arrow|
|Striped Right Arrow|
|Notched Right Arrow|
|Right Arrow Callout|
|Left Arrow Callout|
|Up Arrow Callout|
|Down Arrow Callout|
|Left and Right Arrow Callout|
|Up and Down Arrow Callout|
|Up and Right Arrow Callout|
|4-Way Arrow Callout|
|Right or Left Arrow|
Draw is LibreOffice’s application for creating flowcharts, so it can be used by engineers, programmers, and mathematicians as well as graphic designers and artists.
The table lists the basic flowchart symbols that are in the drop-down menu.
|Flowchart: Process||Represents a process, action, or function. It’s the most widely-used symbol in flowcharting.|
|Flowchart: Alternate Process||This symbol is used when a substitute process can be used in a step.|
|Flowchart: Decision||Indicates a question to be answered—usually yes/no or true/false. The flowchart path may split into different branches depending on the answer.|
|Flowchart: Data||Represents data that is available for input or output as well as representing resources used or generated. The paper tape symbol also represents input/output but is outdated and no longer in common use.|
|Flowchart: Predefined Process||Indicates a complicated process or operation that is well-known or defined elsewhere.|
|Flowchart: Internal Storage||Represents data stored in random-access memory (RAM).|
|Flowchart: Document||Represents the input or output of a document. Examples of input are a report, email, or order. Examples of output are a presentation, memo, or letter.|
|Flowchart: Multidocument||Represents multiple documents or reports.|
|Flowchart: Terminator||Terminators show the start and stop points in a process. When used as a Start symbol, terminators depict a trigger action that sets the process flow into motion.|
|Flowchart: Preparation||Differentiates between steps that prepare for work and steps that actually do work.|
|Flowchart: Manual Input||Represents the manual input of data into a computer, usually through a keyboard.|
|Flowchart: Manual Operation||Indicates a step that must be done manually, not automatically.|
|Flowchart: Connector||A Connector shows a jump from one point in the process flow to another.|
|Flowchart: Off-page Connector||Off-Page Connector shows continuation of a process flowchart onto another page.|
|Flowchart: Card||This is the companion to the punched tape flowchart shapes.|
|Flowchart: Punched Tape||This symbol is used for input into old computers and CNC machines.|
|Flowchart: Summing Junction||Sums the input of several converging paths.|
|Flowchart: Or||The logical Or symbol shows when a process diverges – usually for more than 2 branches.|
|Flowchart: Collate||The Collate flowchart shape indicates a process step that requires organizing data, information, or materials according into a standard format or arrangement.|
|Flowchart: Sort||Indicates the sorting of data, information, materials into some pre-defined order.|
|Flowchart: Extract||Shows when a process splits into parallel paths. Also commonly indicates a Measurement, with a capital ‘M’ inside the symbol.|
|Flowchart: Merge||Combines multiple paths.|
|Flowchart: Stored Data||Represents data housed on a storage device.|
|Flowchart: Delay||The Delay flowchart symbol depicts any waiting period that is part of a process.|
|Flowchart: Sequential Access||Although it looks like a ‘Q’, the symbol is supposed to look like a reel of tape.|
|Flowchart: Magnetic Disc||The cylinder shape can represent a computer’s magnetic disk.|
|Flowchart: Direct Access Storage||A hard drive is referred to as direct access storage since any sector on the drive can be accessed.|
|Flowchart: Display||Indicates a step where information is displayed to a person through a computer monitor, etc.|
|Rounded Rectangular Callout|
|Line Callout 1|
|Line Callout 2|
|Line Callout 3|
|6-Point Star, Concave|
LibreOffice Draw gives you tools to easily create three-dimensional objects to incorporate in your drawings. The below table is lists basic shapes that are in the last drop-down menu in the toolbar.