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Microsoft Office to OpenOffice Migration Guide
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When some text has a character attribute at the end of a paragraph (say bold or a hyperlink) but the new text does not require that attribute, press the right arrow key before typing.

Deleting paragraph marks: pressing Delete at the end of a paragraph effectively moves the text of the following paragraph into the current paragraph, and the paragraph formatting of the top paragraph remains. Press Backspace at the start of a paragraph and the format of the lower paragraph remains.


An aid to remember this is: the format of the paragraph that has the cursor will be the format of the combined paragraph, unless the current paragraph is empty; in that case, backspacing will leave the previous paragraphs formatting.

Control+Home when in tables: In Word, Control+Home always positions the cursor to the top of the document; in Writer Control+Home first positions the cursor at the start of the cell, then at the start of the table and then the start of the document. Control+End has similar behavior.

How to select multiple parts of the text

To copy, cut, format, or delete parts of the text in different areas of the document, use:

  • Control+selection with one click, double-click or sliding.


  1. Click once on the field “STD” (STanDard) in the status bar.
    The field now shows “EXT” (EXTended selection).

  2. Another click and it changes to “ADD” (ADD to selection).


The ADD mode is the equivalent to Control + click and EXT is equivalent to Shift+click.

Multiple selections and tables

The following limitations apply when selections involve tables:

  • It is possible to have multiple selections within a cell, or even parts of other cells, but only one selection is possible that involves at least one entire cell.

  • A selection that starts in a table cannot extend beyond the table.

  • A selection that starts outside a table will include the entire table (that is, a selection cannot start outside a table and also contain a portion of a table).

Comparison of shortcut keys

Table 1: Word vs Writer different default shortcut keys (incomplete)


Word standard shortcut

Writer standard shortcut

Underline words not spaces

Control + Shift + W

No equivalent


Shift + F7

Control + F7

Show/hide non-printing characters

Control + Shift + *

Control + F10

Hanging indent

Control + T

No standard equivalent

Unhang” indent

Control + Shift + T

No standard equivalent


Control + M

No standard equivalent


Control + Shift + M

No standard equivalent


Control + Shift =

Control + Shift + P


Control + =

Control + Shift + B

Remove character formatting

Control + Space bar

Right-click > Default

Remove paragraph formatting

Control + Q

Right-click > Default

Jump to previous edit point

Shift + F5

Need to use the reminders on the Navigator

Shift paragraph up

No equivalent

Control + Up

Shift paragraph down

No equivalent

Control + Down


Control + F

Control + F


Control + H

Control + F

See AltKeyHandler.sxw (available from for macros that extend Writers key shortcut ability – including the indent functionality similar to that provided in Word.

Microsoft Office to OpenOffice Migration Guide
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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire