Enhance your documents with OpenOffice Writer

Discover all our tips for making good use of the word processor of the free office suite OpenOffice.

This is the first part of our research on the free OpenOffice suite.
This week, we will strive to detail the key tips and tricks of the word
processor Writer.

The second part of the research, on the Calc spreadsheet, will be published very soon.

A free office suite

As complete as the Microsoft Office Suite, OpenOffice has the added advantage of being free.

OpenOffice.org recorded more than 100 million downloads since the
release of version 3.0 in October 2008, and 3.1.1 a few weeks ago. A
great success due in large part by the free office suite, but its
effectiveness is comparable in many respects to that of Microsoft.
Besides, OpenOffice (OOo) has functions similar to Microsoft Office.

OOo, another name known for OpenOffice.org, includes a Writer, a word
processor similar to Word; Calc, a spreadsheet image of Excel; Base, a
management system relational database that is modeled like Microsoft
Access; Impress for creating presentations in the same way as
PowerPoint; OpenOffice Math who facilitates the writing of formulas,
and finally Draw which offers a range of drawing tools.

OpenOffice is also simplified version for children ages 8 to 12 (still
in testing) this suite is rather promising to introduce the kids to the
core functions of the office. The software suite OOo! For large and
small! can be installed on any computer, regardless of the operating
system (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Mac OS X) you just make sure to
download the correct version.

While Microsoft Office and OpenOffice even fight? Almost. But it is
also necessary to know the use. In this case, we will strive to detail
the key tips and tricks of word processing Writer and spreadsheet Calc.
Beforehand, here are some general functions for efficient use of OOo.

Minor changes

The publisher Sun Micro System has announced version 3.2 of OpenOffice
always free for download on 14 December. If we judge the version in
testing, no major changes planned. Improvements should nevertheless be
made for including the startup time and loading and saving ODF files.

Small reminder of the basic functions …

When downloading OpenOffice 3.1.1 you must choose between the Java
version which weighs 145 MB or without Java (131.1 MB). It is best to
install the first, some basic features of OOo requiring the use of this
computer language. Most PCs by default launches Microsoft Office to
open documents. But, in the absence of Word and Excel, files are then
available for reading only. To open these documents and spreadsheets
with OOo:

1. Right click on the file to open, drag the cursor to "Open With", and click on "Choose Default Program".
2. Click once on swriter.exe (or scalc.exe for a spreadsheet), and finally press "OK". All your files will then open directly in OOo.

Knowing that users of Microsoft Office are more numerous than those of
OOo its better to ensure that files can be played by these two

1. On Writer, in "File" menu, select "Save As" option. Click on the arrow in the Type box, choose "Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP" (.doc) in the list of formats.
2. Click the Save
button. A message appears stating that it is possible that some of the
formatting and content of the document is not kept; click "Keep the
current format". Your document will then be opened with Word or Writer.

3. Do the same to save a workbook to Calc. The Type area provides a
list of other formats, select "Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP" (xls).

Our advice: Do not change the layout using alternately Word and OpenOffice. Otherwise, some elements of the layout will not be retained.

To share a document or print from a computer without OOo export it to PDF. Go to the File menu, click Export to PDF.

Our advice:
To keep the layout of a document, it is better to export the file to
PDF instead of saving it in a format compatible with Word.

To avoid unexpected loss of file, OOo will automatically create backup copies of each document.

1. From a File Writer or Calc, go to the Tools menu, select + Load / Save, select "General", select "Always create backup copy".
2. By default, the software saves a copy every fifteen minutes. Use the small arrows to increase or decrease this time.

Our advice: This setting must be done in Writer and Calc.

Insert the numbering and page count of a document

To be able to classify the pages of a document when printed or to be
sure to forward a comprehensive document, it is important to number
each page.

1 – Open your document and begin inserting cartridges footer. Go for it in the Insert menu, then click Footer and select the Standard option.

2 – To display the page count, you put the cartridge in the bottom of the first page of the document and type the word Page followed by a space. Then go to the Insert menu and then click Field, and select Page Number. The number of each page is automatically throughout your document.

3 – To get the count of pages, you replace the cartridge on the first
page and after the number 1, type "on" or "/" followed by a space for a
formulation of type: page 1 on 10 or page 1 / 10. Note that if the term "page" does not seem necessary, you can remove it.

4 – Back in the Insert menu, click Fields,
but this time select number of pages. The compute performs
automatically. It will change without intervention, whether you
lengthen or shorten your document later.

Print only what is useful to you

Select only the passages that interests you and print them. Thus, over the waste! Your wallet and our planet will thank you.

1 – After opening the document, simultaneously press the Ctrl and P or go to the File menu, click Print.

2 – In the dialog box that appears, select the Pages heading in the printing area.

3 – In the entry field just to the right, indicate which pages you want
to print by typing their numbers separated by a semicolon. To print a
document section, for example on page 5 to 10, type 5-10. Of course you can combine the two formulations for both print single pages and complete sections.

Arrange text in multiple columns

It is very easy to switch to display multiple columns. This handling
applies to an entire document or part of previously selected text.

1 – Start by opening the document layout that should be amended. If
only part of the text must pass multiple columns, select in the

2 – In the Format menu, open the Columns option. In the window that appears in the Settings box, select the number of columns. Under the following in the Spacing field, adjust the gap between columns: 0.50 cm provides good readability. Below the menu Line you can add a net that will ensure a better separation between your columns of text.

3 – By default, the text of your documents Writer is displayed on the
right, ie aligned on the left side of the document. To balance your
pages visually, pass mode justified by clicking on this icon in the

Alternate page sizes in a document

To view a document containing text, tables and charts, you can switch pages with portrait and landscape formats.

1 – Place the cursor where should be inserted a page in landscape format. Go to the Insert menu, click Manual Break.

2 – In the window that appears, select Page Break and in the Style drop-down menu, choose View and press the OK button.

3 – Back on your document, make your chart or table. When done, place
the cursor where you want to return to the portrait. Back in the Insert menu, then Manual Break. Pull down the menu style to Standard and click OK.

Enrich your writing

Writer has a toolbox that allows you to highlight parts of the text to
enhance the presentation or simply draw the reader’s attention on
specific issues.

1 – Uppercase sentences allow, for example, visually structured text
highlighting the titles of various parties. To switch between uppercase
and lowercase inversely to recover without a text, select the text to
edit, and then right click the mouse for the appearance on the shortcut
menu. In the menu Broken/Font, choose the format that suits you.

2 – To highlight some text or a word, select it, then again do right click and go to the Font menu. In the dialog box that appears, scroll to the Font Effects tab. Many options are available for stress bar, highlight or to color certain words.

Protect against a paragraph change

In a document circulating among several people, you want to fix portions of text that should not be altered without permission.

1 – Select the portion of text to be protected, and then go to the Insert menu and then Section. In the window that appears, name the paragraph in the protected area New section. Then check the box next to Protect. By checking, With a password, you add a password to be sent to authorize users.

2 – To delete or edit a protected section, open the Format menu, and then select Section option. Select in the left window, the title of the relevant text portion. Then click Delete, and then enter your password when prompted.

Insert an image watermark

Customize your stationery by inserting a photo or logo watermark.

1 – Open a Writer and go to the Insert menu, click Image and then From a file. Select the image to import and confirm with Open.
The image appears in your page. See it by catching one of the handles
located on the corners. For the position, move it with the arrow

2 – To transform the image watermark, go to the Image toolbar. If it is not displayed, select it in the View menu, then stop to Toolbars and click Picture. In the first drop-down menu that appears, select Watermark. Nearby, in the Transparency menu, change the opacity for your watermark to less visible.

3 – Double-click your watermark. Then, go on Wrap, select Continuous and check in the background. You can then type text over the image.

Replace one word with another

There may be some terms that you use very often or which must always be
written in the same way. Make Writer corrects them automatically each
time it encounters them.

1 – You want, for example, techarena be automatically replaced by
TechArena. In a Writer document, type the term "techarena", then select
it. Go to the Tools menu and AutoCorrect options.

2 – On the Replace tab, techarena appears. In the right field Replace in the By field, enter the expression that should be automatically corrected by "TechArena", then click New and click OK.

Remove the line breaks and tabs

In recovering the text of an email or a web page, it may happen that
one finds with newlines or tabs inadequate. Here’s how to fix this.

1 – Open the Search & Replace panel by simultaneously pressing the Ctrl and F or by clicking on the binocular icon in the toolbar.

2 – To remove newlines misfits, type the "$" symbol in the search field. To remove the tab, type ".". Leave blank the Replace by field a suppressive effect. Click on Browse and when back on line to delete appears, click Replace. To move to the next without deleting, click again on Search.

Boost up your documents with hypertext links

Placing links in words or phrases can call functions such as opening the browser or sending an email.

1 – To insert a link to a web page in your text, select the word that
will trigger the action. For example, TechArena for opening the site http://www.techarena.in. Then go to Insert menu, then Hyperlink.

In the dialog box, select the Internet tab, then select Web and enter the address in the Target field. Confirm with Apply and then Close. The word appears in blue underlined text. To follow the link cache, you will click it by pressing Ctrl key.

2 – To bind a proper name with an e-mail, follow the same way, but this time, select Mail & News tab in the dialog box and enter the email address in the Recipient field.

3 – According to the same procedure, you can call the opening of another document (text, picture, image …) via the Document tab and the target object to open in the field labeled Path.
Warning, this is valid locally only on your computer. These links will
not be functional if you send your document by e-mail or if you move or
delete files targeted.

Use of working papers

The notes of comments are collaborative, that is to say that several
people can work on a document and talk them through these notes. This
system is particularly useful to indicate passages to modify or clarify.

1 – Put yourself in the place of the text you want to annotate. On the Insert menu, choose Notes or simultaneously press the Ctrl, Alt and N.
The note appears in the margin of the document with the name of its
author. This is the name you have filled in the software installation.
To change it, go to the Tools menu, then Options. Unfold the tree by clicking the plus sign in front of OpenOffice.org and go to Data ID.

2 – To delete a note, click the black triangle at its lower end. You
can delete the notes during all those of the author or the notes text.

Add notes

To clarify your text, enrich it with notes in a footnote.

1 – Place the cursor that refers to a note and go to the Insert menu and Footnotes page/end. In the dialog box, select Automatic and Footnote page and click OK.

2 – If your notes are long, choose instead to gather at the end of the paper and number them with Roman numerals.

Avoid one word that is cut at the end of line

Certain group of words, such as proper names or names linked by a
hyphen, make reading difficult if they are cut in half during a
newline. To avoid this, use so-called non-breaking spaces.

1 – If you want, for example, that the terms India and Gate never be separated when crossing the line, select the space that lies between the two words.

2 – Enter on the keyboard combination of Ctrl and Shift keys to make this non-breaking space. To enter a non-breaking space as you type, press the Ctrl and Shift and then the Spacebar. The breaking spaces appear as a small gray bar in the text.


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