A word processor is like a text editor but has several
additional features that allow you to format, design, and print
your documents without the need to memorize complex formatting
tags or codes. OpenOffice.org Writer
is a powerful word processor that features
WYSIWYG formatting - what you see in
the OpenOffice.org Writer window is
what you get if you print or share the document.
8.2.1. Overview of OpenOffice.org Writer
Writing documents using
OpenOffice.org is similar to other
word processing applications you may have used before. To
start OpenOffice.org Writer, you
can either start it from the Applications by
selecting Applications =>
Office => OpenOffice.org
Writer, or start it from a shell prompt by
When OpenOffice.org Writer opens,
you are presented with a blank document. The margins of the
document are represented by the gray box drawn on the main
screen. You can start entering text immediately.
You may notice as you type that OpenOffice.org
Writer fills in the rest of a word you are
typing. OpenOffice.org Writerguesses the word you are typing
based on longer words used earlier in the document. This
auto-complete text is highlighted. To accept the suggested
word ending, press the [Enter] key. If,
however, this is not the word you wish to type, keep tying
as normal. To turn off this feature, go to
Tools => Autocorrect /
AutoFormat. This opens a dialog box. Click
the Word Completion tab and un-check
the Enable Word Completion box.
To create a new file in OpenOffice.org
Go to File =>
New => Text
Document or click on the
New document icon in the upper left.
(The small arrow in the upper right of the icon allows you
to select the type of document to create.)
Begin entering text.
To open an existing file:
Go to File =>
Open, click on the folder icon,
A file browser window opens.
Use the navigation icons in the upper right or click
through the folders in the window pane to find the file
you wish to open.
Either double-click on the file or click once to highlight
it and then click on the Open
button to open the file.
To save a file:
Click on the floppy disk icon, go to
Save, or go to
File => Save
A window opens that shows your file system. If you have
already saved this file before, you will not have to do
Navigate to the location where you would like to save your file.
Enter a name for your file in the File
Select the format for your file from the File
type drop down menu.
Click on the Save button.
To save a document in a format other than
OpenOffice.org Writer's native
format (.sxw), you must select the file type from the
File type drop down list. If you also
check the Automatic file name extension
box, OpenOffice.org Writer will
automatically add the correct extension (such as .doc or
.txt) to the end of your file name. If you do not choose a
file type from the drop down list,
OpenOffice.org Writer will save
in it's native format, even if you type in the extension you
would like for your file.
To save your document as a .pdf file, go to
File => Export as
pdf. While OpenOffice.org
Writer can save as a .pdf, it cannot read or
edit them. To view a .pdf file, see FIXME.
To print a document:
Click on the printer icon or go to
Print or press
A window opens with print configuration options.
Select the options you would like.
Click on the OK button.
To preview a file before printing:
Go to File => Page
A new window opens, displaying your file.
Examine your document: zoom in and out with the magnifying
glass icons or scroll through the pages with the page icons
near the upper left.
You may print from this screen the same way as from the
When you are finished examining your document, click the
Close Preview button to return to
the main screen.
To change text formatting:
Highlight the text you would like to format.
Either apply a style to the text with the
Stylist (refer to FIXME) or
Choose formatting options from the toolbar, such as bold,
alignment, line spacing, font color, etc.
To add lists to your text:
Either highlight existing text you would like to make into
a list or move your cursor to the blank line where you
would like to start the list.
Click either the Numbering icon or the
For existing text, your list will automatically be created
and formatted. For new text, enter each list item and
To exit the list, press [Enter] twice.
To format a page:
Go to Format =>
A window opens with several tabs of page options. The
Page tab allows you to change your
Select the formatting options you would like to change for
Click on the OK button to apply the
To undo changes:
Click on the Undo icon, go to
Undo, or press
If you click on the blue arrow at the top right of the
Undo icon, a list of the previous
actions apprears. Choosing one of these items undoes all
actions back to that point.