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OpenOffice 3.x Getting Started Guide
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This is Chapter 3 of Getting Started with 3.x, produced by the OOoAuthors group. A PDF of this chapter is available from Documentation at

What is a template?

A template is a model that you use to create other documents. For example, you can create a template for business reports that has your company’s logo on the first page. New documents created from this template will all have your company’s logo on the first page.

Templates can contain anything that regular documents can contain, such as text, graphics, a set of styles, and user-specific setup information such as measurement units, language, the default printer, and toolbar and menu customization.

All documents in (OOo) are based on templates. You can create a specific template for any document type (text, spreadsheet, drawing, presentation). If you do not specify a template when you start a new document, then the document is based on the default template for that type of document. If you have not specified a default template, OOo uses the blank template for that type of document that is installed with OOo. See Setting a default template for more information.

What are styles?

A style is a set of formats that you can apply to selected pages, text, frames, and other elements in your document to quickly change their appearance. When you apply a style, you apply a whole group of formats at the same time.

Many people manually format paragraphs, words, tables, page layouts, and other parts of their documents without paying any attention to styles. They are used to writing documents according to physical attributes. For example, you might specify the font family, font size, and any formatting such as bold or italic.

Styles are logical attributes. Using styles means that you stop saying “font size 14pt, Times New Roman, bold, centered”, and you start saying “Title” because you have defined the “Title” style to have those characteristics. In other words, styles means that you shift the emphasis from what the text (or page, or other element) looks like, to what the text is.

Styles help improve consistency in a document. They also make major formatting changes easy. For example, you may decide to change the indentation of all paragraphs, or change the font of all titles. For a long document, this simple task can be prohibitive. Styles make the task easy.

In addition, styles are used by for many processes, even if you are not aware of them. For example, Writer relies on heading styles (or other styles you specify) when it compiles a table of contents. Some common examples of style use are given in Examples of style use. supports the following types of styles:

  • Page styles include margins, headers and footers, borders and backgrounds. In Calc, page styles also include the sequence for printing sheets.
  • Paragraph styles control all aspects of a paragraph’s appearance, such as text alignment, tab stops, line spacing, and borders, and can include character formatting.
  • Character styles affect selected text within a paragraph, such as the font and size of text, or bold and italic formats.
  • Frame styles are used to format graphic and text frames, including wrapping type, borders, backgrounds, and columns.
  • Numbering styles apply similar alignment, numbering or bullet characters, and fonts to numbered or bulleted lists.
  • Cell styles include fonts, alignment, borders, background, number formats (for example, currency, date, number), and cell protection.
  • Graphics styles in drawings and presentations include line, area, shadowing, transparency, font, connectors, dimensioning, and other attributes.
  • Presentation styles include attributes for font, indents, spacing, alignment, and tabs.

Different styles are available in the various components of OOo, as listed in Table 1.

Table 1. Styles available in OOo components

Style Type Writer Calc Draw Impress
Page X X
Paragraph X
Character X
Frame X
Numbering X
Cell X
Presentation     X X
Graphics(a) X X

(a) Included in Frame styles comes with many predefined styles. You can use the styles as provided, modify them, or create new styles, as described in this chapter.

OpenOffice 3.x Getting Started Guide
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