Introduction to Draw

What is Draw?

LibreOffice Draw is a vector graphics drawing program, although it can also perform some operations on raster graphics (pixels). Using Draw, you can quickly create a wide variety of graphical images.

Vector graphics store and display an image as an assembly of simple geometric elements such as lines, circles, and polygons. In contrast, bit-mapped (raster) graphics store an image as table of pixels (points on the screen). Vector graphics allow for easier storage and scaling of the image while raster images can yield better complex and realistic images such as photos. Note that even vector graphics before being displayed on a screen are converted into a raster image.

Draw is fully integrated into the LibreOffice suite, and this simplifies exchanging graphics with all components of the suite. For example, if you create an image in Draw, reusing it in a Writer document is as simple as copying and pasting the image. You can also work with drawings directly from within Writer or Impress, using a subset of the functions and tools from Draw.

Draw main window

The main components of the Draw main window are shown in the image below.


The large area in the center of the window (Workspace) is where you create your drawings and insert all drawing objects (shapes, text boxes, images). Every drawing contains at least one page which takes the workspace area.

Pages pane

You can split drawings in Draw over several pages. The Pages pane gives an overview of the pages that you create in your drawing. If the Pages pane is not visible, go to View on the Menu bar and select Page Pane. To make changes to the page order, drag and drop one or more pages.

Layers bar

A layer is a workspace where you insert your drawings elements and objects. The layers bar is located on the bottom of the workplace and contains the guides for layer selection and layer editing commands such as create, move or delete. Using layers we can organize complex design into logical groups of drawing objects.


The Sidebar has four main sections in Draw. To expand a section, click on its icon. Only one section at a time can be open.


 Opens sub-sections for object properties that you can change to suit your requirements. The sub-sections are Character, Paragraph, Area, Line, and Position and Size.

Styles and Formatting

 Here you can edit and apply image styles to objects within your drawing. When you edit a style, the changes are automatically applied to all of the elements formatted with this image style in your drawing.


Opens the LibreOffice Gallery where you can insert an object into your drawing. The Gallery haw a collection of graphics and media that you can use in your drawings.


Opens the Drawing navigator, in which you can quickly move between pages in your drawing or select an object on the drawing. It is recommended to give pages and objects in your drawing meaningful names so that you can easily identify them when using the Navigator.

Status bar

The Status bar is located at the bottom of the workspace as in all LibreOffice components. In the case of Draw, it includes information such as the dimensions of the selected object and the location of the mouse pointer in the drawing area.


By default Draw displays the Basic and Drawing toolbar. To display or hide the various Draw toolbars, go to View > Toolbars on the Menu bar. On the View menu, select which toolbars you want to display.

Standard toolbar

The Standard toolbar has similar functionality to other LibreOffice components. By default, it is located just under the Menu bar.

The left part contains basic functions for file management, exporting, copy, paste, and undo.

In the right part there are commands for inserting and editing objects and other design related commands.

Drawing toolbar

The Drawing toolbar is the most important toolbar in Draw. It contains all the necessary functions for drawing various geometric and freehand shapes and for organizing them on the page. By default, it is docked vertically on the left side of the Draw window. In another lesson we will show in detail all the commands of this toolbox.

Exporting graphics

Draw saves graphics and images in the open document format ODG. To save a graphic or the entire file in another format, use File > Export and select a format from the list displayed. You can export Draw files to PNG, HTML, PDF, and other formats.

Last modified: Monday, 2 April 2018, 8:03 PM