I am using LibreOffice (Ubuntu 12.04) and the buttons to switch tabs in Calc are written with small fonts. They're so small I can't even read what is written on them.

I could not find a way to increase font size. Is this problem happenning only with me? Does anyone know a way to increase the font size of sheet names?

  • I was using Orta as my system theme... I liked it very much, but it was the cause of sheet titles being in such small fonts. I changed the theme and now things are fine. Unfortunately I wont be able to continue using Orta theme. – Rafael May 18 '12 at 0:41
  • Did you try to modify the theme's font size or the LibreOffice UI font size? In both cases you can continue using the Orta theme. – tohuwawohu May 18 '12 at 11:48

Different themes can have different effect on applications. Sometimes this can cause serious problems as shown below. Sheet tabs are hardly readable in first theme but are very clear in second theme.

enter image description here

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So changing your system theme can solve this problem.

  • 5
    Please note that this problem has been solved in LibreOffice by moving the tabs below the scrollbar, so that themes stop messing with the tabs’ size. The change is available since LibreOffice 4.4. – fitojb Jan 4 '15 at 0:28

I had similar problem with elementary theme. Although the problem was that the scrollbars were too thin. The fix was to modify the scrollbar width in gtkrc file, in my case:

/usr/share/themes/elementary Dark/gtk-2.0/gtkrc


GtkScrollbar            ::slider-width

and set the value to something like 10

  • Thanks for this answer. It worked best for me (as opposed to above options which I also tried) because: 1) it allowed me to keep my theme as is 2) and only altered the problem of small sheet names - although of course all my scroll bars got thicker - but that was good for me. My theme was Ambiance so my gtkrc file was in /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/. It is also worth noting that I had to find the line with GtkScrollbar - there are a number of lines with slider-width. I am on Ubuntu 12.04. – birdsarah Jun 19 '12 at 13:50
  • 1
    This works for me on 14.04 too. Thanks! – Ikon Aug 25 '14 at 13:54
  • On 14.04 LTS it was already 13! I doubled the value to 26 and it did the trick. The accepted answer did not work on 14.04 LTS! Backup the file before to change the value so you can restore it if necessary. – Rudy Vissers Jan 13 '15 at 9:53
  • I am not able to get this to work on 14.04. I changed GtkScrollbar::slider-width to 26, but nothing. – HRJ Sep 29 '15 at 6:24
  • Update: changing the slider-width did affect Firefox, but not LibreOffice (on Ubuntu 14.04). – HRJ Nov 18 '15 at 13:43

If your preferred theme shows too small fonts in the UI components of LibreOffice, you could just scale the textual UI elements (between 80% and 130%) while keeping the theme. LibreOffice has an option for scaling in Menu Options -> LibreOffice -> View:

View Options

So, you can modify the font size between

80pro (80 percent)


130pro (130 percent).

Note: This will affect all textual UI elements, also menu entries and so on - not only the sheet labels.

Another alternative would be to keep the theme but modify the font settings system-wide. Gnome's appearance settings allow for modifying the font even if a certain theme is selected.

More Info:

  • Thank you for this answer... it'll be very helpfull when I shift back to Orta theme. – Rafael May 21 '12 at 19:57
  • That did not work for me. It looks like the tabs are still very small and the rest becomes huge... not feasible for me. – Alexis Wilke Oct 21 '14 at 0:32

I found this in a file called ~/.themes/Zen-bicolor/gtk-2.0/apps/libreoffice.rc and I copied it to ~/.themes/Zen-bicolor/gtk-2.0/gtk-widgets.rc

            style "large_scrollbar"
            GtkScrollbar::slider-width = 15
            GtkScrollbar::trough-border = 3
            widget_class "*" style "large_scrollbar"

Seems somebody already fixed the problem, just had to move it to a file where it would get picked up. It should affect everything but so far nothing else seems mis-sized and libreoffice is useable again.


Open any of the Libre Office programs, the go to:

Tools / Options, then select LibreOffice / View, and Change User Interface / Scaling to more than 100%.

This will change the environment proportionally.


A quick fix is to click on view, zoom, zoom, change the 100% to 150%.

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