Using Styles on Draw

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Sometimes, it is necessary to be sure that a set of object all have the same set of properties, like same background, same line width/color, same font for the associated text, etcetera. This coherence in formatting object can be easily attained with the use of styles.

The tool to manage and apply styles is the Stylist, available either on the Sidebar or as standalone panel that opens with  F11  or Format → Styles and formatting. Both versions of the Stylist, the standalone panel and the corresponding deck on the sidebar, work the same way.


The Stylist

On top of the Styles and Formatting deck/window, it is possible to find five buttons. The fist one is for graphic styles. The second one, "Presentation Styles" is greyed out because those styles can only be used on Impress: on Draw, there is only one kind of style. The last three buttons are:

  • Fill format mode: Selecting a style from the list and then this button, it is possible to apply the style to several objects without the need to select the style again each time.
  • New style from selection: applying manual formatting to an object and then clicking on that button, a new style will be created with the selected characteristics.
  • Update style: If you manually modify the properties of an object and then click that button, the style associated with that object will be updated with the changes.
Documentation caution.png By updating a style this way, the formatting of all object that use that style will be updated too.

The area below those buttons show a list of the available styles. With a right click it is possible to either edit an existing style or to create a new one.

Below the list of styles, a menu offers the possibility to "filter" the styles:

  • Hierarchical: As in Writer, styles can depend on others, sharing some characteristics. This filtering mode will show all the available styles evidencing which style depends on which one.
  • All Styles: will display all existing styles. This is the default view.
  • Applied Styles: display only the styles actually used on the document.
  • Custom Styles: display only those styles created by the user.

Applying Styles

Selecting an object and double clicking the style name on the stylist, the style will be applied to that object. It is also possible, as commented above, to select a style from the list, then click on the "Fill format mode" button and then clicking on the selected objects. To exit the fill mode, just press  ESC  or again the "Fill format mode" button.

Editing Styles

Either by editing an existing style or by creating a new one, a window with several tabs is presented.


Organizer Tab

Here it is possible to give a name to the style and define to which style it is linked. The linking of styles is useful when it is needed to have several styles that share some options (for example, font used and its size for the associated text, line style and color) but not others (for example, background color). Selecting a "parent" style and only modifying those parameters that need to be different a high coherence can be attained. If afterwards we need to change some of those shared settings, we only need to edit the parent style and all the "child" styles will be updated automatically.

Line Tab

To define all properties of lines, either for line objects (Bézier curves, lines, etcetera) as well as boundary lines for two dimensional objects like squares, ellipses, etcetera. Here it is possible to set the line color, its transparency, its width or its style (continuous, dotted, etcetera).

For open lines it is possible to set arrowheads on their extremes or set if the line will end flat or round (under "Corner and cap styles" → "Cap style").

If a line show an angle, it is possible to decide if that angle will be rounded, mitered or bevelled (under "Corner and cap styles" → "Corner style").

Area Tab

For closed objects like squares, ellipses, closed polygons, etcetera, it is possible to define a background.

The menu "Fill" permits to select between several options

  • None: No background. The object will behave as "empty.
  • Color: A solid color as background. All colors defined on Apache OpenOffice are available to be selected.
  • Gradients: One of several predefined gradients.
  • Hatching: Select a pattern. It is possible to also set a background color to be combined with the pattern.
  • Bitmap: Set a picture as background.

Shadowing Tab

It is possible to set a "shadow" for Draw objects. This shadow is build as a copy of the original object with a different color and shifted in position. Here it is possible to set default shadows for objects using the style, select the color for the shadow, the displacement from the object, its transparency, etcetera.


Transparency for all object using the style. The transparency can be set as an uniform value or as a gradient, with different values of transparency for different points of the object.


This menu is identical to the corresponding menu for paragraph and character styles on Writer.

Font Effect

This menu is identical to the corresponding menu for paragraph and character styles on Writer.

Indents & Spacing

This menu is identical to the corresponding menu for paragraph and character styles on Writer, except for the "Register true" option that it is not present.


The options available on this tab were already described on a previous section

Text Animation

The options available on this tab were already described on a previous section.


The options on this tab are exactly the same you find by manually editing the properties of a size line. This options are then described on detail on the corresponding section for Draw tools.


As the name suggests, connectors are used to connect two objects in Open Office Draw using a simple tool called a connector. They can be found in the lower tab of a draw software:


There are 12 different types of connectors in Draw. One can use them in whichever style suits best. They are as follows:


To use a Connector:

  1. Go to the connector tool.
  2. Select from the various styles options in the box
  3. Bring your cursor to the page and draw it out.

Connectors can be dragged and stretched in any direction to get the maximum customization for connecting two objects no matter how close or far apart they may be.


Connectors can be used as they are given and can also be modified and customized to a large extent with the help of tools available in draw. Following are the different tools used to customize them.

Shadow Effect

The shadow effect is essentially that. It provides a shadow to the connector for added graphics/design purposes. It is on the top right side of the toolbar.


For the shadow effect:

  1. Click on the image of connector.
  2. Find the shadow tab on the top right of the draw toolbar and click on for the desired shadow effect to show up.

In the image below red and green connectors have been given the shadow effect.


Line Style

A line style is a way of styling the connector line which is either continuous, dotted, combination of both, dashed, etc. Line style tool can be found on the top left side of the toolbar in Draw.


Draw has 13 different line styles.


One can choose from among any of these and apply it to the connectors as follows:

  1. Select the connector to be styled
  2. Go to the line style tool and select desired style
  3. See the effect show up


Line Width

Line width can be found on the top left of the Draw toolbar:


Line width changes the width of the connector line to suit one's specifications. To change the width of aconnector:

  1. Select the connectors
  2. Increase or decrease width using top and bottom arrows respectively to get the desired width


Corner and Cap Styles

Corner and cap styles is present in the line tool on the top left of the toolbar. They have different attributes to choose from and can be applied to the connector depending on the user's preference.


Line Color

Line color tool can be found on the top left side of the top toolbar:


Line color tool changes the color of the connector to match colors of connecting objects.

  1. Select the connector to be colored
  2. Click on the line color tool and choose the desired color.
  3. The color will show up on the connector.



Once the color has been decided. The transparency a connector can be changed in the amount of percentages. Transparency tool can be found in the Line function on the top left of the tool bar



The above image is changed to allow 50% transparency.

Arrow Styles

This tool can be found on the top left side of the the top toolbar:


Draw offers 15 different arrow styles for connectors. They are as follows:


While a connector can have the same arrow style for both its endpoints, it can also have two different styles at the same time. Select the connector to be styled. Select an arrowhead. The arrowhead of one point of the connector will be changed. To change the other; follow the same procedure and the result will show up.

Adding Text in Connectors

Any amount of text can be added within connectors to give more information about how the two objects are related /connected. For adding text, simply double click on the connector and a cursor will appear blinking. Start writing your text and it will automatically align it to the center as you fill in more characters. Text between connectors can be given the same attributes that a normal text is entitled to. For e.g. Bold, underlined, italicized, change of font color, change of font size, etc.


Connectors can be styled endlessly using all of the above given tools.





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