Applying styles

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Applying styles: several methods

In order to use a style in, you need to apply it. OOo provides several ways to apply styles:

Using the Styles and Formatting window

  1. To open the Styles and Formatting window, do any one of the following:
    • Click on the StylesFormattingIcon.png icon located at the left-hand end of the object bar.
    • Choose Format > Styles and Formatting.
    • Press F11.
    Tip.png You can move the Styles and Formatting window to a convenient position on the screen or dock it to an edge.

    Styles and Formatting window
    Styles and Formatting window for Writer.

  2. Click on one of the icons at the top left of the Styles and Formatting window to display a list of styles in a particular category, such as paragraph or character.
  3. To apply a character style to existing text, select the text and then double-click on the name of the style in the Character Styles list. To apply any other style, put the cursor in the paragraph, frame, or page you want to modify and double-click on the name of the style. You can select more than one paragraph or frame and apply the same style to all of them at the same time.
Tip.png At the bottom of the Styles and Formatting window is a drop-down list. In Figure 1 it shows Automatic, meaning the list shows only the styles that are applied automatically by OOo. You can choose to show all styles or other groups, such as custom styles.

Starting with OOo2.3, your selection here is saved when you close OOo (previously this window always opened with Automatic showing).

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 useful when you need to format many scattered paragraphs, words, or other items with the same style, and it may be easier to use than making multiple selections first and then applying a style to all of them.

  1. Open the Styles and Formatting window and select the style you want to apply.
  2. Click the Fill Format mode icon FillFormatIcon.png. The mouse pointer changes to this icon.
  3. To apply a paragraph, page, or frame style, hover the mouse over the paragraph, page, or frame and click. To apply a character style, hold down the mouse button while selecting the characters, Clicking on a word applies the character style for that word. Repeat this step until you made all the changes for that style.
  4. To quit Fill Format mode, click the Fill Format mode icon again or press the Esc key.
Documentation caution.png 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 the Apply Style list

When a style is in use in a document, the style name appears on the Apply Style list at the left end of the formatting bar, to the right of the Styles and Formatting icon.

Apply Style list
The Apply Style list.

To apply a style from this list, click on the desired style or use the up or down arrow keys to move through the list, then press Enter to apply the highlighted style.

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

Assigning styles to shortcut keys

You can configure shortcut keys to quickly assign styles in your document. Some shortcuts are predefined, such as Ctrl+1 for the Heading 1 paragraph style and Ctrl+2 for Heading 2. You can modify these shortcuts and create your own.

  1. Click Tools > Customize > Keyboard.
  2. On the Keyboard page of the Customize dialog box, choose the shortcut keys you want to assign a style to. In this example, we have chosen Ctrl+9.
  3. Defining keyboard shortcuts
    Defining keyboard shortcuts for applying styles.

  4. In the Functions section at the bottom of the dialog box, scroll down in the Category list to Styles. Click the + sign to expand the list of styles.
  5. Choose the category of the style. The Function list will display the names of the available styles for the selected category. The example shows some of OOo's predefined paragraph styles.
  6. To assign Ctrl+9 to the Text Body paragraph style, select Text Body in the Function list, and then click Modify. Ctrl+9 now appears in the Keys list.
  7. When you are done assigning shortcuts, click OK to close the dialog box.

Currently, the only way to use Alt key or multi-key combinations is through a macro. See AltKeyHandler.sxw and KeyHandler.sxw, available from

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