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OpenOffice Writer 3.x Guide
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Why use character styles?

Beginning Writer users often wonder, “Why use character styles?” or “How is this different from clicking the bold icon to change the font typeface?” The following real-life event illustrates the difference.

Jean is a technical writer from Australia. She learned the value of character styles after her publisher told her to unbold menu paths in her 200-page book. Jean had not used character styles. She had to edit all 200 pages by hand, with some help from Find & Replace. This was the last time Jean failed to used character styles.

Character styles do not have as many options as paragraph styles or page styles. Their benefits are of a different nature:

  • Formatting changes

As Jean’s story illustrates, the ability to make formatting changes throughout a document can be important. Character styles provide this.

  • Consistency

Character styles help ensure that typesetting guidelines are applied consistently.

  • Focus on content

Was I supposed to bold keystrokes? How about menus?” A writer should not have to remember the answers to these questions. Typesetting details distract you from the real content of your work. A properly named custom character style (such as OOoKeyStroke or OOoMenuPath) will remove this burden from you.


OpenOffice Writer 3.x Guide
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