Saving a document in LibreOffice

This page gives an overview of saving a document and the Save dialog. There are several different functions that launch the Save dialog. They are covered on this Web page. There are several ways to save a document. These ways apply to all six applications.

Quick Instructions

The following quick steps are how you save a document for the first time or create a new document from the document you are working on:

  1. Click Save, Save as, or Save a Copy. See Ways to Save and Other ways to make the dialog appear below, if you are unfamiliar with where Save items are located.
  2. In the dialog, give the document a new name
  3. Use the folder listings in the middle and in the left column to select a storage location.
  4. Use the drop-down menu to change the file format.
  5. Click the Save button in the dialog.

Ways to Save

For performing the basic save function, there are several ways to perform this. These ways are the same in Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, and Base.

Save items and icons in LibreOffice
The File menu and the toolbar are two ways to perform Save, Save as, or Save a copy in all the LibreOffice applications. This is the Mac version of LibreOffice.


Save can be performed quickly with a keyboard by pressing two keys at the same time.

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

File menu

Save is an item in the File menu of all six applications and StartCenter. Simply click the File menu, then click the Save item.


The Save icon is the third icon from the left in all six applications. Simply click it to save the document.

Click here to learn more about the save icon in various toolbars.


There is a icon in the taskbar. It is either a disk, a square with a downward arrow, or a square. When changes are made to the document, these icons turn red.

Other ways to make the save dialog appear

Perform any of the above for the first time and the below dialog appears. Save As and Save a Copy also will launch the dialog. These two functions are explained below and in the video near the top of this page.

Save As

Save As will make a copy of a document. When Save as is performed, the original document will be closed, and the new document will replace the original document on the user’s screen.

There are three ways Save As can be performed:

  • In the File menu of all six applications
  • It is in the main toolbar of all the user interfaces. It is in the drop-down menu for the Save icon
  • Keystrokes:
    • Shift+Ctrl+S for Windows and Linux distro users
    • Mac users press Shift+Cmd+S

Save a Copy

Save a Copy is almost identical to Save As. However, the difference is that Save a Copy will store the document in the designated place, and the original document will still appear on the user’s screen.

Save Dialog

The Save dialog that appears has several parts. The dialog is based on the operating system’s theme, so the dialog will differ from operating system to operating system.

This is the Save, Save as, or Save a Copy dialog for LibreOffice. The depicted dialog is from Windows 10. In addition to the sidebar folder, the main window for folders, and other common features to the dialog across all operating systems, the Windows version has several unique features.


This text box is found either at the top of the dialog, or it is located below the sidebar and main part of the dialog. It is called different things in different operating systems. In Windows, it is File Name; in Mac, it is Save As, even when Save or Save a Copy is being performed; most Linux distros call it Name.

When the dialog first launches for a newly created document “Untitled # (1, 2, 3, etc.)” will appear in the text box. It will be highlighted in blue. If Save As or Save a Copy is performed, the name of the document being used to create will be in the text box.

  1. When the dialog first launches the text in the box will be selected. Typing the desired name of the new document can be your first step.
  2. If you don’t want to do this first, move on to the File Type section or the Folders and Documents section.

Spaces and a variety of characters are allowed in file names. Some characters, such as forward slashes are not allowed. They will be changed to another symbol, or an error message will appear. A forward slash will be changed to a colon in some operating systems, like Mac.

LibreOffice Save dialog Title text box
The text box to enter a title for the document is at the top of the dialog in some operating systems, like in Ubuntu (pictured). In most of them, however, it is below the main part of the dialog, where the files and folders can be viewed.

File type

This drop-down menu is a list of file formats. The list contains only those formats which pertain to the document types that the application can read and edit.

For example, if it is a Writer document, the list will not contain spreadsheet or presentation formats. It will contain OpenDocument Text (ODT) and DOCX.

When the dialog is first launched, using Save as or Save a Copy, the drop-down will be in the format of the document being used to create the new document. If the original document was in a Word format, the drop-down will be in that Word format when the dialog is launched using Save as or Save a Copy.

Click here for a list of formats.

  1. Click the drop-down menu.
  2. Click the desired format.
File format drop-down menu in Save dialog of LibreOffice
The drop-down menu that allows users to select a file format for the document they are creating, has different labels, depending on the operating systems. In Manjaro, which is pictured, it is Filter. Mac calls it File type. Simply click it and then click the desired format in the list that appears.

Folders and Documents

The center part of the Save dialog is a list of documents and folders contained in the operating system’s directory and the file system of any connected external or virtual drives.

Most operating system’s Save dialog has a left column of popular and most accessed folders that can be added to and subtracted from.

Click the desired folder where you want to store the document. Double-click folders that are displayed in the middle to open them.

Folders and files in LibreOffice Save dialog
The middle part of the dialog and the left column contains folders in the operating system’s directory. Users click the desired one to store the document. Double-click the folders in the main part of the window to open it to access sub-folders. The main part also has documents. Click a document, and the name in the title text box will change to it. The dialog can be used to replace a document in the selected folder.

NOTE: The Save dialog can be used to replace a document in storage with the one that is open. Click here to learn how.


The Save dialog has three checkboxes. The Windows’ version has four.

Encrypt with GPG key

This is the a way of encrypting a document. It does this through the combination of a private key and public key. The private key is used to decrypt the message. The public key is used to encrypt the message, and it is given out.

Edit filter settings

This check box becomes active when you select Text – Choose Encoding (.txt) from the File type drop-down menu. When you put a check in the box and press the Save button, a ASCII Filter Options dialog opens.

The dialog allows you to pick which standard you use to translate numeric values into corresponding characters.

Save with password

Clicking this and this clicking this will launch a Set Password dialog that allows users to create a password that must be entered to open and/or edit a document.

Automatic File name extension

The Windows version has Automatic file name extension in addition to the three listed above. If this box does not have a check in it the extension selected, the document will not be able to simply be opened directly from Windows’ file system by double clicking it. A dialog will appear, asking which application should open the document.

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