After upgrading from 14.04 to 16.04, I have a number of issues with LibreOffice. See this screenshot:

illustration of LibreOffice problems

Regarding the circled numbers on the screenshot:

  1. Some interface elements, such as these tabs, the font color is nearly invisible.

  2. The icons are difficult to see against the dark background. The default icons were much worse, but changing to Tango icons improved, but didn't fix, the problem.

  3. The automatic font color is worse than before. See number 4.

  4. Text using the automatic font color appears maroon. Previously, it was nearly black, which caused its own issues. This, though, is just ridiculous.

I'm using the default Ambiance theme. How can I fix these issues?


A bug report contains a solution for issue 1: Launch LibreOffice as follows, possibly via a wrapper script:


This does not solve the other issues I pointed out.

  • Do you see similar issues with themes other than Ambiance/Radiance? Have you tried Greybird or Numix from the shimmer-themes package? – DK Bose Apr 30 '16 at 0:12
  • @DKBose: I've tried the other default themes. Radiance is better because it's a light theme and thus avoids most of the issues. However, I prefer a dark theme. I haven't installed any third-party themes. – Scott Severance Apr 30 '16 at 5:28
  • bugs.launchpad.net/df-libreoffice/+bug/1527053 ... btw, Greybird is the default theme for Xubuntu and, to that extent, I wouldn't regard it as "third-party". – DK Bose May 1 '16 at 15:24
  • Your bug report led me to a workaround for issue 1, edited in above. Thanks. The other issues remain outstanding. – Scott Severance May 1 '16 at 18:45
  • By using that, you've dropped back to gtk2 from gtk3. It's surprising that Ambiance doesn't play nice even with the gtk2 version! Have you tried a new user profile? It's just possible that your LibO profile is somehow corrupted. – DK Bose May 2 '16 at 10:45

These issues can be related to LibreOffice issues with gtk3. You can end up with screens that look like this:

enter image description here

Or this

enter image description here

You can fix this by using gtk2 with LibreOffice. To force LibreOffice to use gtk2 instead of gtk3 uninstall the libreoffice-gtk3 package.

sudo apt-get purge libreoffice-gtk3

This worked for me on Ubuntu 16.04.4 with LibreOffice version:

NOTE: This is not the same as one of the other answers. The other answer instructs you to purge the libreoffice-gtk package. This answer instructs you to purge the libreoffice-gtk3 package.

This answer was originally found on ubuntuforums.org on this thread marked [SOLVED] Color scheme with LibreOffice


Trying to fix a similar problem with Libreoffice 5.0.3 in my Ubuntu 16.04 install I ran across this post:

The solution was to uninstall libreoffice-gtk. When I uninstalled libreoffice-gtk apt-get removed libreoffice-gnome as well. After the packages were removed I exited libreoffice-calc and restarted it, came back with the default icon/color layout.

(20:21:41)--> apt-get purge libreoffice-gtk
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  libreoffice-gnome* libreoffice-gtk*
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] 
(Reading database ... lots of files and directories currently installed.)
Removing libreoffice-gnome (1:5.0.3~rc2-0ubuntu1~vivid2) ...
Removing libreoffice-gtk (1:5.0.3~rc2-0ubuntu1~vivid2) ...
  • This solution does not work for me on stock 16.04.4 with LibreOffice Version: nor does the solution added to the OP via edit. Neither one makes any change. – frederickjh May 15 '18 at 13:57

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.