Choosing options for Writer

Settings chosen on the pages in the OpenOffice.org Writer section of the Options dialog determine how your Writer documents look and behave while you are working on them.

If the Options dialog is not already open, click Tools > Options. Click the + sign by OpenOffice.org Writer in the left-hand section of the dialog. A list of subsections drops down.

OpenOffice.org Writer Options

Writer general options

The choices on the OpenOffice.org Writer – General page affect the updating of links and fields, the units used for rulers and other measurements, whether captions are automatically added to selected objects such as tables or figures, paragraph spacing, and tab stop behavior.

Choosing general options for Writer

The main items of interest on this page are in the Settings section: the measurement unit and the default tab stop interval.

The default tab stops affect two things: tabs within paragraphs and the indentation of entire paragraphs when using the Increase Indent button on the Formatting toolbar.

Using the default tab stops to space out material on a page is not recommended, because it may cause a major formatting problem, as illustrated below.

Default tab settings might be different

Default tab settings might be different

  • If you use the default tab interval and then send the document to someone—your editor, for example—who has chosen a different default tab interval, tabbed material will change to use the other person’s settings.
  • Any changes you make to the default tab stops affect existing default tab stops (in any document you open afterwards) as well as tab stops you insert after making the change.

To avoid these unwanted changes, do not use the default tabs. Instead, define your own tab stops in paragraph styles or individual paragraphs as described in Defining your own tab stops and indents.

You can also set or change the measurement unit of the ruler itself by right-clicking on the ruler to open a list of units, as shown below. Click on one of them to change the ruler to that unit. This change does not affect the measurement unit chosen in the Options.

Changing the ruler’s measurement unit

Changing the ruler’s measurement unit

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One comment on “Choosing options for Writer
  1. Steve says:

    Somehow I have managed to deactivate the “Increase Indent Button” on the Writer tool bar in Writer 3.1.

    When I click on the “Increase Indent Button” it no longer moves the text.

    How do I reset the “Increase Indent Button”?

    Thanks,

    Steve

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