When editing a text in LO writer I will often lose the typing cursor and have to enter text or move the direction keys to create movement on the page so that I can find the cursor. Is there a way of enlarging the typing cursor or making it more obvious?

The LO forum has fixes for Windows, but I haven't found one for Linux.

Note that I am not talking about the mouse cursor here. I can easily modify the size and color of the mouse cursor, and make it ripple with the control key, but this is not about the mouse cursor. This is the tiny little cursor that marks the editing position in the document.

@DK Bose Here's from the libreoffice About menu

Build ID: 1:6.0.3-0ubuntu1
OS: Linux 4.15; UI render: default; VCL: gtk3; 
Locale: en-CA (en_CA.UTF-8); Calc: group

Desktop MATE/Marco

Theme: GreenLaguna, text-editable css files


  • I just posted this question to ask.libreoffice as well. Apr 24, 2018 at 18:00
  • Please edit your question to include the OS version and the version of LibreOffice as well as the gtk theme you're using.
    – DK Bose
    Apr 24, 2018 at 18:23
  • 1
    The link for the other post is ask.libreoffice.org/en/question/153104/….
    – Jim K
    Apr 24, 2018 at 21:50
  • Thanks for providing the info. Could you also mention the gtk theme you're using and whether it's one you can edit or a newer type that isn't simple to edit? The latter type will have files like /usr/share/themes/Numix/gtk-3.0/**gtk.gresource. Also, is the difficult to see insertion cursor only in LibreOffice or in other text editors and text areas (such as those in your browser)?
    – DK Bose
    Apr 25, 2018 at 2:19
  • @JimK, please see my answer in case you have the same issue.
    – DK Bose
    Apr 25, 2018 at 5:32

3 Answers 3


In newer configurations with compiled gtk themes, you just need to add this to ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css. Create the file if it doesn't exist.

* { -GtkWidget-cursor-aspect-ratio: 0.2; }

I have LibreOffice in 16.04 via the fresh ppa.

GTK3 themes maybe easily modified by the user or they may not: the latter are compiled and will have files like /usr/share/themes/Numix/gtk-3.0/**gtk.gresource and a folder like /usr/share/themes/Numix/gtk-3.0/scss.

What follows isn't easily possible to do with compiled themes.

If you have a gtk3 theme you can edit, open its gtk-widgets.css with a plain text editor and, a few lines from the top of the file, look for something like:

/* default */
* {
-GtkArrow-arrow-scaling: 0.6;
-GtkButton-child-displacement-x: 0;
-GtkButton-child-displacement-y: 0;
-GtkButton-default-border: 0;
-GtkButton-image-spacing: 0;
***..... lines deleted .....***
-GtkTextView-error-underline-color: @error_color;
-GtkToolButton-icon-spacing: 6;
-GtkToolItemGroup-expander-size: 11;
-GtkTreeView-expander-size: 11;
-GtkWidget-focus-line-width: 0;
-GtkWidget-focus-padding: 0;
-GtkWidget-link-color: @link_color;
-GtkWidget-visited-link-color: @link_color;
-GtkWindow-resize-grip-height: 13;
-GtkWindow-resize-grip-width: 13;
-WnckTasklist-fade-overlay-rect: 0;
background-clip: padding-box;
outline-color: alpha(@theme_fg_color, 0.3);
outline-style: dashed;
outline-offset: 2px;
-GtkWidget-cursor-aspect-ratio: 0.2;

What is important is the last line with -GtkWidget-cursor-aspect-ratio: 0.2; which may not be present normally. You will need to add it. If you are modifying the theme in usr/share/themes, keep in mind, you'll need elevated privileges to edit the file and that an update to the theme may require you to edit the file all over again.

I prefer to copy over entire themes to ~/.themes and to rename the top theme folder to something convenient that I can tell them apart.

Without a line dealing with -GtkWidget-cursor-aspect-ratio, you'll have a thin insertion bar:


If you edit the value to 0.1, you'll have a thick bar:


And, if you edit the value to 0.2, you'll have an even thicker bar:


Note that this will affect all your applications that use gtk3.

Credit to: caret-color and caret-width


I found Mark's answer to work, however, I had to write the file to ~/.config/gtk-2.0/gtk.css.

I using Libreoffice Version: on Ubuntu 18.04 4.18.0-16 (64 bit)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.