I am using Libre Office 5 Impress. This is the fresh install from upgrading from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04. The package info are

Version: Build ID: 1:5.1.4-0ubuntu1 CPU Threads: 4; OS Version: Linux 4.4; UI Render: default; Locale: en-US (en_US.UTF-8)

I want to print the handouts on A4 paper in portrait arrangement.

However the Print dialogue box (From the File > Print > Properties) holds different standards (Letter, landscape) and it does not allow me to customize these (the boxes are greyed out).

enter image description here

The settings that I wish are correctly in place in the printer's own properties. Previously, before the Ubuntu upgrade and LibreOffice update, this was understood by LibreOffice. In other words, this current version of LibreOffice appears to force such own internal standards and prevent the user to customize them.

How do I get back the permission to change paper size and orientation?

  • I have created the same post on ask.LibreOffice. I will take care of cross linking the answers. Please do not hesitate to post your answer here (and there too, if you like) Sep 11, 2016 at 6:32

1 Answer 1


You can modify an individual document by going to Format | Page, rather than the print properties, to set this. However, LibreOffice checks /etc/papersize for a user preference, so that would be the place to set a default value if you don't want to have to set every document or modify templates.

Ubuntu should already have the libpaper package (install it from the repository on the off-chance that your doesn't).

View /etc/papersize. If it contains something other than a4, you can edit it. You will likely need to do this as root. See the /etc/papersize link in the first paragraph for the format requirements (a4 should be the start of the file, no white space).

LibreOffice should now select A4 automatically as the default paper size (which you can override as described in the first paragraph.

  • Edited the Answer to make it easier to follow, hope this helps.
    – sen
    Oct 20, 2016 at 19:04
  • Your answer actually solved the opposite problem for me (LibreOffice defaulting to A4 when I need Letter). The edit is a serving suggestion. Feel free to roll it back or play with it. Your suggested papersize command apparently isn't universal, so I made the solution a little more generic. Anyway, thanks for your answer.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 20, 2016 at 20:17

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.