If you’re looking to create a letter, fax or agenda in OpenOffice.org Writer, then you might want to take a look at this…

OpenOffice.org has included Wizards (a series of dialog boxes where you choose settings in a step-by-step manner to create whatever type of document that particular wizard produces) that will allow you to create a document in a way that is similar to using a template, and yet it’s different.

With a template, you get the setup that it comes with and that’s that.

But with the wizard, you’ll be able to build the document… the dialog boxes allows you to mix and match elements to create the look that you need.

To truly understand what a wizard can do for you you’ll need to give it a try… so we’re off to the File menu.


As you can see, you’ll find the Wizards sub-menu contains several choices.

To give you an idea of how they work (and hopefully to inspire you to give them a try) I’m going to take a look at the Letter Wizard.

Here’s what you’ll see when you start the Letter Wizard:


On the left, you’ll see a complete list of the steps for that particular wizard. (If a step is grayed out then it isn’t available unless you make certain decisions along the way.)

You have two choices for navigating a wizard.

1. You can choose to go in the prescribed order using the Next button after you’ve finished making decisions for each step.

2. You can choose to jump directly to whatever step you need or want by clicking on the name of the step in the list on the left side of the dialog box.

Either way, the idea is to go through each area and make the changes needed to create the finished product.

Once you complete the process and click Finish, a document will open that is in essence a template set up, using the specifics you set when using the wizard.

Basically, it’s like building your own template!

Now all you have to do is give it a try to see for yourself how easy and useful this hidden gem can be.

~ April

OpenOffice includes applications for word processing, spreadsheets, diagrams, databases, and presentations. Click here to download this free office suite.