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OpenOffice Writer User Guide
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Writer can be set to automatically format parts of a document according to the choices made on the Options tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box (Tools > AutoCorrect > Options). See Figure 56.

The online help describes each of these choices and how to activate the autoformats. Some common unwanted or unexpected formatting changes include:

  • Horizontal lines. If you type three or more hyphens (---), underscores (___) or equal signs (===) on a line and then press Enter the paragraph is replaced by a horizontal line as wide as the page. The line is actually the lower border of the preceding paragraph.

  • Bulleted and numbered lists. A bulleted list is created when you type a hyphen (-), star (*), or plus sign (+), followed by a space or tab at the beginning of a paragraph. A numbered list is created when you type a number followed by a period (.), followed by a space or tab at the beginning of a paragraph. Automatic numbering is only applied to paragraphs formatted with the Default, Text body or Text body indent paragraph styles.


If you notice unexpected formatting changes occurring in your document, this is the first place to look for the cause.


To turn autoformatting on or off, go to Format > AutoFormat (Figure 57) and select or deselect the items on the submenu.


  • While Typing automatically formats the document while you type.

  • If While Typing is deselected, you can select Apply to automatically format the file.

  • Apply and Edit Changes automatically formats the file and then opens a dialog box where you can accept or reject the changes.

OpenOffice Writer User Guide
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