SBL 2 LibreOffice Style Template

When I first began my seminary work, I didn’t know how to handle styling for my documents. Sure, the SBL Handbook had various bits of information, but did I really have to parse through it all for every document?

Yes, and no.

Yes, if I had not realized that LibreOffice’s main way of handling document formatting was intentionally built on creating a document template.

My first inkling was then to find a template document, but I could not find one. That meant I would have to slog my way through the handbook and create a template for my purposes.

SBL is a branch off of the Turabian or Chicago Style, and in 2015 the second version of SBL was released. I created the following template to handle all of my documents. I set my default LibreOffice template to this file and even use it to import styles for overwriting other documents, such as professors’ doc and docx files.

This document has been a work in progress over the past two years but I believe it is at a decent point for sharing. (11.7 KB)


Last modified: 20190902

Notes on the File

The document already has Zotero SBL 2 applied to the page and should be good to go for the first footnote and beyond. There are also styles in the document for the bibliography so that you shouldn’t have to mess with its formatting either.

The document is designed to have a Title Page (Format → Title Page) with its numbering to be reset after the first page to page number 1.

Footnotes are styled around having a superscript number, with nothing around that number, with a .5" indent. Footnotes are 10 pt font.

As a heads up, in order for lines to fit on pages nicely, the margins for the top and bottom are based on having an activated header and footer, you will not want to delete these. The Heading 1 paragraph style has a .38" height above the text, and the Footer in the default and first page styles have a spacing of .18". These allow lines to fit nicely on pages without leaving a strange blank space, but footnotes will negate this.

If you notice problems with the template, please feel free to let me know.