Open Office Writer – Sidebar

This week, we’ve been exploring a great, free alternative to Microsoft Word called OpenOffice Writer.

To learn how to download and install OpenOffice, click here.

To start a tour of Writer, click here.

Click here to learn how to save and print from Open Office Writer.

Today we’ll look at the many useful tools you find in the Sidebar, which is located on the right side of the page.


We’ll start with your choices under Properties. You can change the font and the size plus apply styles like bold, italic, and underline.


Click the arrow next to underline and you can choose the style of the line.


You can also add shadow to your text. Click the little ruler icons next to the shadow icons to increase or decrease the size of your text.


Under Paragraph, you can change the alignment, spacing, and indentation options for your paragraph.


Choose from the spacing and indent options offered by the program or create your own custom spacing.


Click the three-dot menu icon next to Paragraph for more advanced options.


You can adjust things like drop-caps, borders, and backgrounds.


Click the plus sign next to Page if you don’t see all of your options.


Choose between Orientation, Margin, Size, and Column.


Click on the arrow next to each icon to see your choices.


Click the three-dot menu bar for more options.


Add headers and footers, and make adjustments to borders and columns.


Next, we’ll move on to your options for Styles and formatting. Open the menu by clicking the icon.


Or click the three-line menu icon at the top right of the Sidebar and select Styles and formatting from the menu.


Your choices from left to right are Paragraph, Character Styles, Frame Styles, Page Styles, and List Styles.


Under Paragraph, you can choose from a number of headings.


There’s an equally long list of Character styles. Select text and then double-click on a style to apply it.


Next week,  we’ll check out the rest of your Sidebar options.

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