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Writing Snazzy Documents using Styles

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip

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Posted: 6 Aug 2004

If you are used to producing dazzling documents in MSOffice, and have been moved to OpenOffice, check this out. If you need to write complex reports, white papers, or other documents with many different heading levels, you should get acquainted with the Stylist in Writer. The Stylist helps you control all of the styles in your document with a simple clear interface.

Remember that the mechanism and philosophy behind styles is quite different between and MSOffice, so don't expect things to behave exactly the same. But the Stylist dialog provides something very similar to the functionality you can get with MSOffice.

Here are a few excellent resources to print and study, so you can bring the quality of your written reports up to the level you used to have when you used Office.

How to Change the Paragraph Style with the Stylist
This is part of the documentation project, and provides an excellent starting point for any newbie.

Writing Complex Documents
Aimed at students, but widely applicable to any kind of report writing.

The Stylist: How to Write and Manage text documents using Common Features and Styles
Also part of the documentation project, this section is very helpful. Here's an excerpt from the introduction:
Imagine that you have written a long composition with many sections with different headings style, and then at 4:55 PM, your office boss comes in and says: "I prefer Arial, instead of Verdana, as heading font style and Georgia, instead of Times New Roman, for the normal text. Please, change it before going home..." Oh, yes, you have 5 minutes to change tens of headings and paragraphs!

It would be a terrible nightmare, if you had not written this in your OOo Office Suite. In fact, in Writer, you can use the Stylist tool to speed your changes up!

If you have any other resources to recommend, or if you have a cool OpenOffice tip to share, let us know. We'll send you a free t-shirt for anything we publish!

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