Working with text

Selecting text

Before you can do anything with text, you need to select it. Selecting text in Writer is similar to selecting anything in other applications.

In addition to selecting blocks of text, you can select items that are not consecutive, and columns (vertical blocks) of text.

Selecting nonconsecutive text

Selecting nonconsecutive text

Selecting nonconsecutive text

To select nonconsecutive items using the mouse:

  1. Select the first piece of text.
  2. Hold down the Control (Ctrl) key and use the mouse to select the next piece of text.
  3. Repeat as often as needed.

Now you can work with the selected text (copy it, delete it, change the style, or whatever).

Macintosh users: substitute the Command key when instructions in this chapter say to use the Control key.

To select nonconsecutive items using the keyboard:

  1. Select the first piece of text.
  2. Press Shift+F8. This puts Writer in “ADD” mode. The word ADD appears on the Status Bar.
  3. Use the arrow keys to move to the start of the next piece of text to be selected. Hold down the Shift key and select the next piece of text.
  4. Repeat as often as needed.

Now you can work with the selected text.

Press Esc to exit from this mode.

Selecting a vertical block of text

You can select a vertical block or “column” of text that is separated by spaces or tabs (as you might see in text pasted from e-mails, program listings, or other sources), using OOo’s block selection mode. To change to block selection mode, use Edit > Selection Mode > Block Area, or press Control+Shift+F8, or click several times in the status bar on STD until it changes to BLK.

Now highlight the selection, using mouse or keyboard.

Selecting a vertical block of text

Selecting a vertical block of text

Cutting, copying, and pasting text

Cutting and copying text in Writer is similar to cutting and copying text in other applications. You can copy or move text within a document, or between documents, by dragging or by using menu selections, icons, or keyboard shortcuts. You can also copy text from other sources such as Web pages and paste it into a Writer document.

To move (cut and paste) selected text using the mouse, drag it to the new location and release it. To copy selected text, hold down the Control key while dragging. The text retains the formatting it had before dragging.

The result of a paste operation depends on the source of the text to be pasted. If you simply click on the Paste icon, any formatting the text has (such as bold or italics) is retained. Text pasted from Web sites and other sources may also be placed into frames or tables. If you do not like the results, click the Undo icon or press Control+Z.

To make the pasted text take on the formatting of the surrounding text where it is to be pasted, choose either:

  • Edit > Paste Special
  • or click the triangle to the right of the Paste icon
  • or click the Paste icon without releasing the left mouse button

Then select Unformatted text from the resulting menu.

The range of choices on the Paste Special menu varies depending upon the origin and formatting of the text (or other object) to be pasted.

Moving paragraphs quickly

With the cursor anywhere in the paragraph:

  1. Press and hold the Control+Alt keys.
  2. While holding the Control+Alt keys down, press the up-arrow or down-arrow key.

The paragraph will move to a new location either before the previous paragraph or after the next paragraph in your document. To move more than one paragraph at a time, select at least part of all the paragraphs (including the end of the first paragraph you want to move and the start of the last) before pressing the Control+Alt+arrow keys.

Tip: If your paragraphs suddenly jump from one place to another, the most likely reason is that you have accidentally pressed one of these key combinations.

Note: In some machines the Control+Alt+arrow key combination is reserved for screen flipping. You have to deactivate or assign different key combination for screen flipping (usually through display / graphics adapter settings in your computer) before using this feature.

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This book is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, version 3.0.

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