Is it possible to change the font color of the symbols for hidden characters in Libreoffice Writer? The symbols are paragraph (¶), space (•), tab (→), and so forth. It seems the default font color is a light bluish color.

  • Note: These are called non-printing characters. Hidden characters are something else.
    – DavidPostill
    Apr 27, 2017 at 8:19

1 Answer 1


How can I change the colour of non-printing characters?

At the moment this is not possible without changing the source code and rebuilding LibreOffice Writer.

There is an open bug request to allow the colour to be customised.

Following the addition of feature https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/4.3#Light_Blue_for_Non-printing_characters which was a solution to Bug #68071

and after extensive discussion on the Design mailing list http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/Light-Blue-for-Non-printing-characters-tp4110478.html

I'm requesting that an option is added to allow the user to manually select any color (from the LO palette or from RGB, whatever is simpler). This would allow people to select a more visible color (or return to the previous black default if they so wish)


My request is that a separate setting is added under Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Appearance > Custom colors> General > Non-printing characters

Source Bug 80054 - Enhancement request: Add option to allow user to select color of non-printing characters

If you want to modify the source code:

As can be seen in https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/commit/?id=fb99a6b9958815eb1ad27179d252a379ce8b79fd the NON_PRINTING_CHARACTER_COLOR is now defined just once in /sw/source/core/inc/txtfrm.hxx; with one additional entry in inftxt.cxx for DrawTab.

So a simple hack for anyone wishing to change the color of NPC and roll their own.

Source Color of non-printing characters

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