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A style is a set of formats that you can apply to selected pages, text, frames, and other elements in your document to quickly change their appearance. When you apply a style, you apply a whole group of formats at the same time.

Styles are logical attributes. Using styles means that you stop saying “font size 14pt, Times New Roman, bold, centered”, and you start saying “Title” because you have defined the “Title” style to have those characteristics. In other words, styles mean that you shift the emphasis from what the text (or page, or other element) looks like, to what the text is.

Styles help improve consistency in a document. They also make major formatting changes easy. For example, you may decide to change the indentation of all paragraphs, or change the font of all titles. For a long document, this simple task can be prohibitive. Styles make the task easy.

OpenOffice.org supports the following types of styles:

         Page styles include margins, headers and footers, borders and backgrounds. In Calc, page styles also include the sequence for printing sheets.

         Paragraph styles control all aspects of a paragraph’s appearance, such as text alignment, tab stops, line spacing, and borders, and can include character formatting.

         Character styles affect selected text within a paragraph, such as the font and size of text, or bold and italic formats.

         Frame styles are used to format graphic and text frames, including wrapping type, borders, backgrounds, and columns.

         Numbering styles apply similar alignment, numbering or bullet characters, and fonts to numbered or bulleted lists.

         Cell styles include fonts, alignment, borders, background, number formats (for example, currency, date, number), and cell protection.

         Graphics styles in drawings and presentations include line, area, shadowing, transparency, font, connectors, dimensioning, and other attributes.

         Presentation styles include attributes for font, indents, spacing, alignment, and tabs.


Applying styles

OpenOffice.org provides several ways for you to select styles to apply.

Using the Styles and Formatting window

1)      Click the Styles and Formatting icon located at the left-hand end of the object bar, or click Format > Styles and Formatting, or press F11.

The Styles and Formatting window shows the types of styles available for the OpenOffice (OpenOffice.org) component you are using.

Figure 1.1 shows the window for Writer, with Page Styles visible. 


       Figure1.1: The Styles and Formatting window for Writer, showing paragraph styles 

You can move this window to a convenient position on the screen or dock it to an edge (hold down the Ctrl key and drag it by the title bar to where you want it docked).

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.

3)      To apply an existing style (except for character styles), position the insertion point in the paragraph, frame, or page, and then double-click on the name of the style in one of these lists. To apply a character style, select the characters first.

 Using Fill Format mode

Fill format mode is used 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, cells, or other items 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.

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 step 3 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. An important point to note here is that 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.

 Creating New (Custom) Styles

You may want to add some new styles. You can do this in two ways:

Creating a new style from a selection

You can create a new style by copying an existing manual format. This new style applies only to this document; it will not be saved in the template.

1.        Open the Styles and Formatting window and choose the type of style you want to create.

2.        In the document, select the item you want to save as a style.

3.        In the Styles and Formatting window, click on the New Style from Selection icon (refer Figure 1.2).

Figure 1.2: Naming a new style created from a selection 

4.  In the Create Style dialog, type a name for the new style. The list shows the names of existing custom styles of the selected type. Click OK to save the new style. 

Dragging And Dropping To Create A Style

You can drag and drop a text selection into the Styles and Formatting window to create a new style.

Select some text and drag it to the Styles and Formatting window. If Paragraph Styles are active, the paragraph style will be added to the list. If Character Styles are active, the character style will be added to the list.


Modifying Styles

OpenOffice.org provides several ways to modify styles (both the predefined styles and custom styles that you create):

         Updating a style from a selection

         Load or copy styles from another document or template 

Any changes you make to a style are effective only in the current document. To change styles in more than one document, you need to change the template or copy the styles into the other documents.

Updating A Style From A Selection


To update a style from a selection:

1.     Open the Styles and Formatting window.

2.     In the document, select an item that has the format you want to adopt as a style.

3.     In the Styles and Formatting window, select the style you want to update (single- click, not double-click), then long-click on the arrow next to the New Style from Selection icon and click on Update Style(Refer Figure 1.3).

Figure 1.3: Updating a style from a selection 

Loading Styles From A Template Or Document

You can copy styles by loading them from a template or another document:

1.     Open the document you want to copy styles into.

2.     In the Styles and Formatting window, long-click on the arrow next to the New Style from Selection icon, and then click on Load Styles. 

Figure 1.4. Copying styles from a template into the open document

3.     On the Load Styles dialog (Figure 1.4), find and select the template you want to copy styles from.

4.     Select the categories of styles to be copied. Select Overwrite if you want the styles being copied to replace any styles of the same names in the document you are copying them into.

5.     Click OK to copy the styles. You will not see any change on screen.


To copy the styles from another document, click the From File button to open a window from which you can select the required document. 


1.     Write your resume/ Bio Data and apply different styles on it,

2.     Create a pamphlet on Cyber Awareness. Apply different styles on it 


1.                 What are Styles ?. What are the advantages of using styles

2.                 Give any four styles supported by OpenOffice.org

3.                 How can we create our own styles

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