Using automatic functions

Writer provides several ways to automate some of your work. You may love these automations or hate them. If you hate them, then you’ll be relieved to know it’s easy to turn them off.


Writer’s AutoCorrect function has a long list of common misspellings and typing errors, which it corrects automatically. For example, “hte” will be changed to “the”. Select Tools > AutoCorrect to open the AutoCorrect dialog. There you can define what strings of text are corrected and how. In most cases, the defaults are fine.

AutoCorrect is turned on when Writer is installed. To turn it off, uncheck Format > AutoFormat > While Typing.

To stop Writer replacing a specific spelling, use Tools > AutoCorrect > Replace, highlight the word pair and click Delete.

To add a new spelling to correct, type it into the Replace and With boxes and click New.

See the different pages of the dialog for the wide variety of other options available to fine-tune AutoCorrect.

AutoCorrect can be used as a quick way to insert special characters. For example, (c) will be autocorrected to ©. You can add your own special characters.

AutoCorrect dialog in Writer

AutoCorrect dialog in Writer

Word completion

If Word Completion is enabled, Writer tries to guess which word you are typing and offers to complete this word for you. To accept the suggestion, press Enter. Otherwise, continue typing.

Many people prefer not to use Word Completion. If you do not want to use it, select Tools > AutoCorrect > Word Completion and uncheck Enable word completion.

You can customize word completion from the Tools > AutoCorrect > Word Completion page.

  • Add (append) a space automatically after an accepted word.
  • Show the suggested word as a tip (hovering over the word) rather than completing the text as you type.
  • Change the maximum number of words remembered for word completion and the length of the smallest words to be remembered.
  • Delete specific entries from the word completion list.
  • Change the key that accepts a suggested entry—the options are right arrow, End key, Return (Enter), Space bar, and Tab.
Customizing word completion

Customizing word completion

Note: Automatic word completion only occurs after you type a word for the second time in a document.

Using AutoText

AutoText allows you to assign text, tables, graphics, and other items to a key combination. For example, rather than typing out “Senior Management”, you just have to type “sm” and press F3. Or you can save a formatted table as AutoText and then insert a copy by typing “tip” and pressing F3.

To insert AutoText, type the shortcut and press F3.

To assign some text to an AutoText shortcut:

  1. Type the text into your document.
  2. Select the text.
  3. Go to Edit > AutoText (or press Control+F3).
  4. Enter a name for your shortcut. Writer will suggest a one-letter shortcut, which you can change.
  5. Click the AutoText button on the right of the AutoText dialog and select New (text only) from the menu.
  6. Click Close to return to your document.

Tip: If the only option under the AutoText button is Import, either you have not entered a name for your AutoText or there is no text selected in the document.

To insert AutoText, type the shortcut and press F3.

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

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