Modifying styles

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To modify a style, right-click on its name in the Styles and Formatting window and choose Modify. Make the changes in the Style dialog and click OK to save the changes.

You can also modify a current cell style by selecting an already formatted cell and clicking the Update Style button on the top right hand corner of the Styles and Formatting window.

Style organizer

Right click on the name of a style in the Styles and Formatting window and click Modify to open a Style dialog similar to the one shown below.

The Style dialog has several tabs. The Organizer tab, shown below for cell styles, is found in all components of OOo. It provides basic information about the style. The Organizer tab for page styles is similar to the one shown for cell styles.

Organizer tab of Cell Style dialog.


This is the style’s name. You cannot change the name of a built-in style, but you can change the name of a custom style.

Linked with

This option is only available for cell styles; page styles cannot be linked. If you link cell styles, then when you change the base style (for example, by changing the font from Times to Helvetica), all the linked styles will change as well. Sometimes this is exactly what you want; other times you do not want the changes to apply to all the linked styles. It pays to plan ahead.
For example, you can make a new style called red, in which the only change you want to make is for the cell text to be red. In order to make sure that the rest of the text characteristics are the same as the default style, you can link red with default. Then, any changes you make to default will be automatically applied to red.


In Calc, the only option in this drop-down box is Custom styles.

Cell style options

When editing or creating cell styles, you can set several options, which are similar to those for directly formatting cells. A more detailed coverage of cell formatting is given in Chapter 2 (Entering, Editing, and Formatting Data). A brief summary is provided here.


On the Numbers tab, you can control the behavior of the data in a cell with this style. This includes specifying the type of data, the number of decimal places, and the language.


Use the Font tab to choose the font for the cell’s contents.

Font effects

The Font Effects tab offers more font options including underlining, strikethrough, and color.


Use the Alignment tab to set the horizontal and vertical alignment for the data in the cells, and rotate the text.


Use the Borders tab to set the borders for the cells, along with a shadow.


Use the Background tab to choose the background color for a cell.

Cell protection

Use the Cell Protection options to protect cells against certain types of editing.

Page style options

Several of the page style options are described in more detail in Printing, Exporting, and E-mailing, because manually formatting a sheet at print time (using Format > Page) actually modifies the page style.


Use the Page tab to edit the overall appearance of the page and its layout. The available options are shown below.

Page Style: Page tab.

Paper format

Here you can set a generic paper type to be used. Letter or A4 are most common, but you can also use legal, tabloid, envelope sizes, or user-defined paper types. You can also define the orientation of the page and which print tray for the paper to come from (if your printer has more than one tray).


Here you can set the margins for the page.

Layout settings: Page layout

Here you can specify whether to apply the formatting to right (odd) pages only, left (even) pages only, or both right and left pages that use the current page style.

Mirrored formats the pages as if you want to bind the printed pages like a book.

The first page of a document is assumed to be an odd page.

Layout settings: Format

This area specifies the page numbering style for this page style.

Layout settings: Table alignment

This option specifies the alignment options for the cells on a printed page, either horizontal or vertical.


The Border and Background tabs for pages duplicate the tabs of the same name on cell styles, and are over-ridden by the cell style or manual settings. You may choose to ignore the Border and Background tabs altogether in page styles. Both tabs are illustrated with helpful diagrams.

Similar to formatting a cell style, use the Borders tab to choose whether the page should have borders, how large the borders should be, and how far the text will be from the borders.


Use this tab to specify the background for this page style. You can apply either a solid color or a picture as a background.


Use this tab to design and apply the header for this page style. For more detailed instructions on how to format the header, see Printing, Exporting, and E-mailing.


Use this tab to design and apply the footer for this page style. For more detailed instructions on how to format the footer, see Printing, Exporting, and E-mailing.


By far the most important settings for Calc page styles are on the Sheet tab. Although the Sheet tab includes an option that sets the first page option, most of its settings involve exactly how your spreadsheet will print. See Printing, Exporting, and E-mailing.

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