Applying paragraph and character styles

OpenOffice.org provides several ways for you to apply styles to paragraphs and characters:

  • Using the Styles and Formatting window
  • Using the Apply Style list (paragraph styles only)
  • Using Fill Format mode
  • Using keyboard shortcuts

To apply a paragraph style, position the insertion point in the paragraph, and then use one of the methods described below.

To apply a character style, select the text to be formatted, and then use one of the methods described below.

Using the Styles and Formatting window

Position the cursor in the paragraph, or select the text to be formatted, and then double-click on the name of the style in the Styles and Formatting window.

Tip
At the bottom of the Styles and Formatting window is a drop-down list. The example window shows Automatic, meaning the list includes only styles applied automatically by Writer. You can choose to show all styles or other groups of styles, for example only custom styles.

Using the Apply Style list

After you have used a paragraph style at least once in a document, the style name appears on the Apply Style list at the left-hand end of the Formatting toolbar, next to the Styles and Formatting icon.

You can open this list and click once on the style you want, or you can use the up and down arrow keys to move through the list and then press Enter to apply the highlighted style.

Apply Style list on Formatting toolbar

Apply Style list on Formatting toolbar

Tip
Select More… at the bottom of the list to open the Styles and Formatting window.

Using Fill Format mode

Use Fill Format to apply a style to many different areas quickly without having to go back to the Styles and Formatting window and double-click every time. This method is quite useful when you need to format many scattered paragraphs or words with the same style.

  1. Open the Styles and Formatting window and select the style you want to apply.
  2. Click the Fill Format mode icon Fill Format icon.
  3. To apply a paragraph style, hover the mouse over the paragraph and click. To apply a character style, hold down the mouse button while selecting the characters; clicking on a word applies the character style to that word.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you made all the changes for that style.
  5. To quit Fill Format mode, click the Fill Format mode icon again or press the Esc key.

Caution
When this mode is active, a right-click anywhere in the document undoes the last Fill Format action. Be careful not to accidentally right-click and thus undo actions you want to keep.

Using keyboard shortcuts

Some keyboard shortcuts for applying paragraph styles are predefined, including Ctrl+0 for Text body, Ctrl+1 for Heading 1, and Ctrl+2 for Heading 2. You can modify these shortcuts and create your own (see Customizing Writer).

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