Documentation/FAQ/Writer/AutomaticFunctions

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This is a user FAQ for OpenOffice.org Writer.

This page has FAQs about the automatic functions in OpenOffice.org Writer, including AutoFormat, AutoCorrect, and others.

Back to main Writer FAQ page.


If I click in the middle of a table cell or in an empty paragraph, OpenOffice.org inserts tabs in front of the cursor position. How do I stop this?

This is caused by a setting in the OpenOffice.org interface called 'Direct Cursor'. To change this behavior:

  1. From the main menu bar, select Tools -> Options.
  2. In the dialog that appears, select OpenOffice.org Writer - Formatting Aids.
  3. Change the 'Insert' value to 'Left Paragraph Margin' (it was set to 'Tabs').
  4. Click on OK.


A series of '#' characters on a line by themselves has generated a bold black double line. How can I remove this line?

A series of # symbols is a keyboard shortcut to creating a solid line below a paragraph in a text document. To remove this line, click anywhere in the paragraph just above the thick line and choose Format -> Paragraph. The line set will appear on the Borders tab. To remove the line, keep the cursor in the paragraph above the line and choose Format -> Default.

Learn more about automatisms.


OpenOffice.org is changing my decimals into fractions. How do I reverse this setting?

To reverse this setting:

  • select Tools-AutoCorrect/AutoFormat-[Replace].
  • near the top of the list, find the replacement choice for '.5'
  • select this replacement description and click on the 'Delete' button to the right of the dialog
  • click 'OK' at the bottom of the dialog to apply the change.

Learn more about automatisms .


URLs (Uniform Reference Locators) appear underlined and in a different color from the rest of my text. How do I reverse this setting?

To reverse this setting:

  • Select Tools-AutoCorrect/AutoFormat-[Options]
  • Scroll down in the list that appears to the choice called 'URL recognition'.
  • Click the box to the left of this choice to turn the behavior off.
  • Click 'OK' at the bottom of the dialog to apply the change.

URL recognition also recognizes anything with the '@' symbol as an email address. Turning this option off will cause email addresses to remain unrecognized.

To selectively determine which addresses should be treated as links, leave URL recognition on, but turn off recognition by one of the following two methods:

  • Drag select the entire address
  • Hold down the context (right mouse) button
  • Select 'Default'

An address which has converted to a link may be converted back to normal text by entering Ctrl-Z before the text cursor is moved.

Learn more about automatisms.


When lower case text is typed, OpenOffice.org changes the first letter to uppercase. How do reverse this setting?

This setting is designed to correct sentences mistakenly typed starting with a lower case letter.

To reverse this setting:

  • Select Tools-AutoCorrect/AutoFormat-[Options].
  • Near the top of the list, uncheck the box next to "Capitalize the first letter of every sentence"
  • Click 'OK' at the bottom of the dialog to apply the change.

Learn more about automatisms.


When using asterisks [ asterisk = * ], OpenOffice.org removes the asterisks [ * ] and presents the text in bold. How do reverse this setting?

Typing an asterisk [ * ] before and after a word or words allows for words to be made bold without using the mouse. Similarly, typing an underscore [underscore = _] before and after a word or words allows for words to be underlined.

To reverse this setting:

  • Select Tools-AutoCorrect/AutoFormat-[Options]
  • Near the top of the list click the checkbox next to "Automatic *bold* and _underline_" to deselect this choice.
  • Click 'OK' at the bottom of the dialog to apply the change.

Learn more about automatic formatting.

How do you turn off the automatic word completion behavior?

Open a text document. From the pulldown menus, select: Tools->AutoCorrect/AutoFormat. Select the "Word Completion" tab. Deselect the check box to the left of "Complete Words". Click on OK.

How do you turn off automatic correction and automatic formatting?

OpenOffice.org is configured by default to perform certain automatic formatting and correction as you type. This can be very useful, but can also lead to unexpected results.

You can learn to use this feature, or if you prefer you can turn all or some of the automatic formatting off. You can either:

  • Turn ALL off/on: under Format->AutoFormat->While Typing.
  • Turn some off/on: under Tools->AutoCorrect.

The table below describes some of the default behaviours and which AutoCorrect setting controls them.

When I type

I get

caused by

Note:

module

DNA

And

the replacement table

(3)
(1)

All

XImport

Ximport

 

(3)

All

coordination

Coordination

Capitalize first letter of every sentence

(3)

All

It was excl. on this day

The lowercase 'o' is not capitalized even though it is preceded by a full stop and the option "Capitalize first letter of every sentence" is selected in AutoFormat.

the exceptions table

(2)

Writer only

*Hello* _world_

Hello world

Automatic bold and underline

(3)

All

www.openoffice.org
john@sun.com

www.openoffice.org
john@sun.com

The URL recognition

(3)

All

1st, 2nd, 4th

1st, 2nd, 4th

The AutoFormat of the cardinal numbers

(3)

All

1/2 1/4 3/4

½ ¼ ¾

The AutoFormat of

(3)

All

The man -- yes, him!
The man--yes, him!

The man – yes, him!
The man—yes, him!

Replace dashes

(3)

All

<2_spaces>

The second space doesn't appear

Ignore double spaces

(3)

All

1 bottle of milk <Return>

1. bottle of milk
2.

Apply numbering

(3)

Writer only

---<Return> ===<Return>

          ___<Return>

horizontal lines created

Apply border

(3)

Writer only

+---+---+

a table

Create table

(3)

Writer only

My title
<Return>
<Return>

My title

Use styles

(3)

Writer only

one

*one> *test

Replace bullets

(3)

Writer only

"

« or an other typographical quote

Custom quotes

(4)

Writer only

Int

Int|roduction|
(the word is completed)

Word completion

(5))

 

1.1
in a table

01/01/03
(a date)

Number recognition

(6))

Writer only

Documentation note.png 1
Menu Tools-AutoCorrect/AutoFormat, tabpage [Replace]
Documentation note.png 2
Menu Tools-AutoCorrect/AutoFormat, tabpage [Exceptions]
Documentation note.png 3
Menu Tools-AutoCorrect/AutoFormat, tabpage [Options]
Documentation note.png 4
Menu Tools-AutoCorrect/AutoFormat, tabpage [Custom quotes]
Documentation note.png 5
Menu Tools-AutoCorrect/AutoFormat, tabpage [Word completion]
Documentation note.png 6
Menu Tools-Options-Text document-Table-Input in table-Number recognition
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