LibreOffice: Backup Up and Share Your User Profile

Sun, Jul 19, 2020
2 min read

Like Microsoft Word, LibreOffice is quite messy to configure: some settings and options are hidden in odd places and menus, while others are using unexpected names. There is nothing complex in configurating it but there is nothing straightforward either. And it always ends up being time-consuming to make it look and act like you want it to.

But LibreOffice makes it very easy to backup your User Profile — aka the folder that contains all your settings, extensions, tweakings, dictionaries, auto-text, and so on.

That is great not only because a backup will save you the pain to ever have to redo your configuration from scratch, but also because it makes it simple to share it between computers, or users. Be they running Windows, macOS or Linux, since they all use the same settings it doesn’t matter.

Depending on your operating system, your User Profile will be stored in a different location:

  • Linux: ~/.config/libreoffice/4
  • macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/LibreOffice/4
  • Windows: %APPDATA%\libreoffice\4

Note that, for some reason, the macOS version is named LibreOffice, with capital L and capital O, not libreoffice like the Linux and Windows versions. Since Unix (Linux and macOS, not Windows) is case-senstive you can’t just copy this folder from one machine to the other. It won’t work. Solution? Only copy the 4 folder it contains, ignore the parent libreoffice folder.

Content of the User Profile folder

There are a lot of things I’m not a fan of in LO, but the simplicity of backing up its settings is not one of them. This is neat.

And this has made me wondering if I could not devise some simple way to easily switch between profiles, depending what I’m working on or what pen name I’m writing under. But that is another story ;)