I recently wrote a repport for school with a lot of code in it. The only way I found to wrok was to highlight it with STRONG and that is really quite ugly. So is there a code highlightning extension for libre office writer?

Like this one below:

<insert code here>

A syntax highlight with different colors is also ok.
I never enter a whole program so I need to be able to highligt what I think is code.

Like this one: echo "Hello World!";


I presonally didn't like this highlight since it formats the text and all the text that comes after. I want to mark some text then click on a highlight and that's it.
This one is too complicated and hard to use, I have to select programming language each time I highlight which will be about 100 times in one report, that's way too much.
I would like something similar to what they use on the site. simple code highlight if you will.

Code Colorizer Formatter

It installs for me, but I can't get it to work and it doesn't have PHP or HTML support, which I need.

  • added as an answer, glad it helped Commented May 29, 2013 at 14:10
  • 1
    I recommend using LaTeX (see example). Before I've used latex, I saved the source as HTML with KDE Kate and copied the rendered code from a browser to open office Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 12:51
  • @Moose why do you add this as a comment instead of an answer? explain all the steps too thanks.
    – Alvar
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 19:31

6 Answers 6


It's not a plug-in, but I put the code into a website that colors syntax for you. The site I use is tohtml. I don't use the html generated code however, I just copy the colored and highlighted code from the browser and paste it into my document and WYSIWYG.

  • Copying didn't work for me from Firefox to Libroffice, though saving as HTML and opening the file in Libreoffice then copying did work
    – Wilf
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 19:43
  • copy+paste worked on ubuntu from chrome to libreoffice! thanks!
    – rrosa
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 4:10
  • To format code in libreoffice-impress I followed Drake Clarris approach (tohtml) pasting first to a libreoffice writer document and then copy paste to the slide. Commented May 20, 2021 at 7:31

UPDATE 2: LibreOffice Extension

I have published my previous macro script as an extension: Code Highlighter which is available in LibreOffice Extensions store.

1. How to install?

Follow these steps to install the extension:

Step 1: Install libreoffice-script-provider-python:

sudo apt-get install libreoffice-script-provider-python

Step 2: Install pygments for Python 3:

sudo pip3 install pygments

Step 3: Download and add the codehighlighter.oxt extension to Libre Office

2. How to use?

  • Open LibreOffice Writer/Calc/Impress.
  • Insert a Text Box (Insert -> Text Box).
  • Copy and paste any code snippet into that Text Box.
  • Select the Text Box.
  • Highlight by Tools -> Highlight Code -> < Language-Name >

enter image description here

You can assign keyboard shortcuts for frequently used languages. To see how to assign keyboard shortcut, visit the Git Hub page: libreoffice-code-highlighter

I leave my original answer here since it is still valid for LO <= 5.

I had the same requirement and none of these solutions worked for me in LibreOffice 5 except 'Code Colorizer Formatter'. But Code Colorizer Formatter worked in Writer only (I also needed for Impress). Later I found another solution using Python macro which is tested in LibreOffice 5.


Step 1: Install libreoffice-script-provider-python:

sudo apt-get install libreoffice-script-provider-python

Step 2: Install pygments for Python 3:

sudo pip3 install pygments

Step 3: Download Highlight.py

Step 4: Copy the Highlight.py to /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/Scripts/python/

sudo cp Highlight.py /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/Scripts/python/

Step 5: Set the Read-Only permission to the script.

sudo chmod 0444 /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/Scripts/python/Highlight.py

Step 6: Open the LibreOffice Writer and goto Tools -> Customize -> Keyboard

  • Select the LibreOffice option button (Available on top left corner)
  • Select any desired shortcut
  • Select share/Highlight/Highlight_source_code under the Functions Category
  • Click on the Modify button to set the shortcut


LibreOffice Impress

  • Open LibreOffice Impress.
  • Insert a Text Box (Insert -> Text Box).
  • Copy and paste any code snippet into that Text Box.
  • Create a new Style (Right click on an existing style -> New...)
  • Name the Style as code-<language>
  • Apply the style to your code snippet Text Box.
  • Select the Text Box.
  • Use your shortcut keys to execute the macro.

LibreOffice Writer/Calc

  • Open LibreOffice Writer/Calc.
  • Insert a Text Box (Insert -> Text Box).
  • Copy and paste any code snippet into that Text Box.
  • Right click on the Text Box and select 'Description'.
  • Add a description in the following format: code-<language>
  • Select the Text Box
  • Use your shortcut keys to execute the macro.


I have added custom style support to this extension. Use code-<language> for default style and code-<language>-<style> for custom style. Available styles are listed in my Git Hub page.

For example, Code-Java-Emacs will color the Java code using Emacs style.

  • This works quite nicely, thanks! How can I change the pygments theme?
    – greschd
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 8:36
  • Please check the updated post. I have updated my script to support custom styles. You need to upgrade the Highlight.py script, in-order to use this new feature.
    – Gobinath
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 12:35
  • Nice, thanks. One thing still bothers me -- when I just saved the file and then try to execute the macro, it resets the text to some earlier version. Do you know why this is and if it could be fixed easily?
    – greschd
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 12:48
  • I haven't faced such a problem. Could you please let me to know the exact steps to reproduce this issue?
    – Gobinath
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 14:43
  • (in Impress): I edit some code in a text box I had already formatted previously, save the document (Ctrl + S), select the text box, try highlighting (Ctrl + Shift + H), and it resets some of the text I wrote
    – greschd
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 20:16


COOder seems to be abandoned, and it can't be installed in LibreOffice

Code Colorizer Formatter

Code Colorizer Formatter installs and works correctly in LibreOffice. Code Colorizer Formatter has also added PHP support, but HTML support is missing completely and JavaScript didn't work when I tested it. The instructions for how to get it to work on the Code Colorizer Formatter website didn't work for me, however I've gotten Code Colorizer Formatter to work in LibreOffice the hard way, and here are my instructions:

  1. Download Code Colorizer Formatter from Code Colorizer Formatter project homepage and install it in LibreOffice Writer like any other LibreOffice extension.

  2. Open your code file in LibreOffice Writer. Code Colorizer Formatter supports Bash, Basic, C++, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, R, SQL, XML, C#, 8085 Assembler, and x86 Assembler.

  3. Select the code to be colorized.

  4. Select Tools -> Macros -> Organize Macros -> LibreOffice Basic.

  5. A new LibreOffice Basic Macros window will open. Under the Macro from heading, select My Macros -> MacroFormatterADP -> a supported programming language. In the screenshot below, Java is selected.

  6. Under the Existing macros in... heading, select HighlightSelLanguage where Language in HighlightSelLanguage is the same as the programming language that was selected in step five. In the screenshot below, HighlightSelJava is selected.

  7. Click the Run button to colorize the selected code.

    enter image description here

  • Seems abandoned, going to the extensions section in LibreOffice says it hasn't had an update in over a year
    – Purefan
    Commented May 4, 2015 at 7:51
  • The amount of work to use the CCF is not worth the result, IMHO. I thought the tohtml page did a better job with the results (e.g. colors dots, parentheses, etc). However, if someone wants to use this "the easy way"™, they can go to Tools >> Customize... >> Context Menus (Tab) >> Menu (dropdown list) >> Text >> Add... (button) >> LibreOffice Macros >> My Macros >> MacroFormatterADP >> (pick language) >> HighlightSel(language) >> Close. After this, simply highlight text, r-click, and find the new option in the context menu to format selected text; entry can be renamed.
    – code_dredd
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 6:30
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    @karel I'm using version in Kubuntu 16.10. I did this a few moments prior to my original comment.
    – code_dredd
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 7:03
  • @ray Thank you for your suggestion. I will install Kubuntu in VirtualBox and try it.
    – karel
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 7:06
  • @karel Does version in Windows not work the same? I'd think that just upgrading your version should work without having to go through a full-blown OS install.
    – code_dredd
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 7:07

I have to select programming language each time I highlight which will be about 100 times in one report, that's way too much

Actually there's a way to bind coloring in a given language to a hot key. Make the following sub and bind it to a hot key:

Go to Tools → Macros → Organaize macros → LibreOffice Basic. Select Module1 and press Edit:

enter image description here

Then copy-paste this code:

Sub COOoderInPython
End Sub

Sub ExecuteCOOoder(sLanguage As String)
  oLanguage = org.openoffice.coooder.theLanguagesManager.get(GetDefaultContext()).getLanguage(sLanguage)
  If NOT isNull(oLanguage) Then
    oHighlighter = CreateUnoService("org.openoffice.coooder.Highlighter")
    oHighlighter.Language = oLanguage
  End If
End Sub

Finally bind that to a hot key:

enter image description here


One that I know of, but seems to be abandoned, is Code Colorizer Formatter.

I don't know if it still works in LO 4, but it might be worth for you to give it a try (or to rescue and bring up to date!).

  • 1
    Code Colorizer Formatter was updated on March 1, 2015 with support up to LibreOffice 4.4 for many programming languages including PHP. I tested Code Colorizer Formatter on LibreOffice 4.2. The instructions on the official Code Colorizer Formatter website didn't work for me, so I put my own instructions for using Code Colorizer Formatter in my answer.
    – karel
    Commented May 4, 2015 at 10:19

I got tired of formatting my code on an online page and wanted to get my code styled inside LibreOffice or OpenOffice writer.

I found out that the extension "cooder" runs properly on my LibreOffice 5.* even if the install of it seemed to fail (My LibreOffice 5.* suspended while installation).

In the Extension-Manager you can activate the Cooder, restart LibreOffice/NeoOffice/OpenOffice an you should see a new Symbol that you can use to style your sourcecode inside LibreOffice.

You can download the extension at: http://extensions.libreoffice.org/extension-center/coooder

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