Styles in Writer

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    The Video "Styles in Writer - LibreOffice" links to this page here, which offers further information and details.

    Link to the Video

    The order in the video is slightly different.

    Link to the Video:

    Styles in Writer - LibreOffice

    What are the advantages of styles?

    When using styles, we talk about indirect or "soft" formatting.

    This means that you don't apply the formatting to the text, but define it in the styles and then apply it to the text.

    In a style/paragraph style you can adjust several properties for your needs at the same time.

    For example, font, font size, font color, and much more. It is a whole package of properties.

    With the help of format styles, the protocol is quickly put into the best possible form and you thus receive good-looking documents.

    If you apply styles to all paragraphs, they will inherit the properties defined in the paragraph style.

    Now, at a later time, you remember that you want to change the text color.

    Then you change the text color in the assigned paragraph style and all paragraphs immediately adopt the new color.

    Sidebar Styles

    Where can I find the styles?

    The Sidebar

    All styles can be found in the sidebar, which can be turned on or off via View ▸ Sidebar menu or Ctrl + F5.

    Here you can find the

    • Paragraph styles
    • Character styles
    • Frame styles
    • Page styles
    • List styles
    • Table Styles

    The Menu "Styles"

    Here you can choose one from a selection of important styles to assign from the Styles menu.

    "Styles" menu

    The "Formatting" toolbar

    The paragraph style of the paragraph in which the cursor is located is displayed in the "Formatting" toolbar.

    "Body Text" means that the text has the "Body Text" style.

    However, the display of Style here depends on the position of the cursor and which Style was used at this position.

    "Formatting" Toolbar
    Legend to "Formatting" Toolbar
    1 Set Paragraph Style 2 Update Selected Style 3 New Style from Selection 4 Font Name
    5 Font Size 6 Bold 7 Italic 8 Underline
    9 Strikethrough 10 Superscript 11 Subscript 12 Clear Direct Formatting
    13 Font Colour 14 Character Highlighting Colour 15 Align Left 16 Align Centre
    17 Align Right 18 Justified 19 Toggle Unordered List 20 Toggle Ordered List
    21 Select Outline Format 22 Increase Indent 23 Decrease Indent 24 Set Line Spacing
    25 Increase Paragraph Spacing 26 Decrease Paragraph Spacing

    Styles - Built-in and Custom

    All Styles can be found in the Sidebar.

    If the Sidebar is not available, select View ▸ Sidebar ( Ctrl + F5 ) from the menu.

    An open Writer document always has at least one Style/Paragraph style associated with it.

    Styles - Built-in

    Once you have installed LibreOffice correctly, you will find the Styles in the open Writer document.

    You can find them in the Sidebar.

    You can customize the properties of Built-in Styles.

    However, you cannot rename or delete these Styles.

    However, you can hide most of these Styles.

    Styles - user defined

    You can create your own user-defined Styles or derive them from existing Styles.

    Right-click on an existing Style, for example "Default Paragraph Style" or "Body Text" and choose New.

    Then click the "Organiser" tab and enter a name for the new Style.

    Change the properties (for example Font size and color) that you want to assign to the text.

    Then click OK.

    The Paragraph Style tabs:

    Assign a Style

    Place the cursor in the text to which you want to assign the Style.

    If the sidebar is not visible, open it with ( Ctrl + F5 ) and double-click on the desired Style.

    Don't use the "Standard" paragraph style for your text; it is the source of all other paragraph styles.

    Normally, the "Body Text" paragraph style should be used for normal text.

    Exercise - Create, modify and assign styles

    The Originals "Aufgabe_Formatvorlagen" and "Protokoll_Übungsdatei" in German language
    come from the Author: Ellen Pape, E-Mail:

    Please refer: Writer-Übungen Teil 1, Arbeiten mit Formatvorlagen

    An already written "Protocol model school" protocol is used for this task.

    The protocol will be formatted with styles.

    It should look better after formatting.

    - Used working documents -


    • P = protocol
    • TC = teachers' conference
    • IA = item of the agenda

    Style names:

    • P_Header (Protocol Header)
    • P_IA (Protocol item of the agenda)
    • P_Text (Protocol text)
    Note pin.svg

    For the following tasks ( Part 1 to 7 ), you need an overview of the styles in the sidebar that you receive via View ▸ Sidebar menu or Ctrl + F5.

    To do this, you first create the new styles.

    You change styles.

    Then you assign the styles to the Text and Headings.

    Open the File

    You can use the existing protocol ″Protocol model school″, see Used working documents.

    Now open the File.

    Part 1 – create style P-Header

    For the formatting of the protocol header, you will now create a new style "P-Header".

    Right-click on the style "Heading". Click then on New, then on tab "Organiser" and enter name P-Header.

    Give the new style the properties the header should receive:

    Font: Arial

    Fontsize: 14 pt

    Fontstyle: bold

    Font colour: black

    Spacing: Above paragraph 0,0 cm and Below paragraph 0,3 cm.

    Click on OK

    Part 2 – create style P-IA

    Create a new style "P-IA". (right-click on ″Heading″, then on New, then on tab ″Organiser″ and enter name P-IA)

    In style, specify the properties to be obtained for the item of the agenda:

    Font: Arial

    Fontsize: 14 pt

    Fontstyle: regular

    Font colour: Light Blue 2

    Spacing: Above paragraph 0,4 cm and Below paragraph 0,2 cm.

    Then click on OK

    Part 3 – create style P-Text

    Now, starting from style "Body Text", create the "P-Text" style.

    Click on "Body Text" with the right mouse button and choose New, then on tab ″Organiser″ and enter name P-Text.

    Give the new style the properties the text should receive:

    Font: Arial

    Fontsize: 11 pt

    Fontstyle: regular

    Fontcolour: black

    Spacing: Above paragraph 0.0 cm and Below paragraph 0.2 cm.

    Click on OK

    Part 4 – modify style P-IA

    The style "P-IA" should be provided with numbers:

    • Right-click on the style "P-IA".
    • Then select Modify…. Then in the Dialog "Paragraph Style: P_IA" choose the tab "Outline & Numbering":

    For Numbering/Numbering style, select: Numbering 123.

    As soon as you press OK, all items of the agenda change.

    Part 5 - Remove all hard line breaks

    Remove all hard line breaks feeds or returns, as they are unnecessary as a space between paragraphs.

    Part 6 - Clear Direct Formatting

    In the Menu click Edit ▸ Select All.

    The click in the Menu Format ▸ Clear Direct Formatting or with the keys Ctrl + M.

    Part 7 - Assign styles

    Now, the header, the items of the agenda, and the text are each assigned the style, as follows.

    Move the cursor to the header or paragraph (if the sidebar is not visible, open it with Ctrl + F5 and double-click on the desired style.

    Part 7.1 – P_Header assign to the header

    Mark the header.

    Double-click on the style ″P_Header″.

    Part 7.2 – P_IA assign to the items of the agenda

    Mark each items of the agenda. Double-click on the style ″P_IA″.

    Part 7.3 – P_Text assign to the text

    Mark each text. Double-click on the style ″P_Text″.

    Do exercises on your own

    Try applying alternative values in the styles.

    Especially for styles with Indents and Spacing - Spacing Above paragraph respectively Below paragraph.

    Note pin.svg

    The exercise is deliberately chosen in this process. In daily use, you can save some steps by first formatting the entire text with the "P-Text" style. And then bring the Protocol header and the items of the agenda into the appropriate form.

    Further Information

    Used working documents

    The working documents can be downloaded here:

    Related topics

    Professional text composition with Writer

    Inheritance in paragraph styles in Writer

    Character Styles in Writer

    Document templates Letter template in Writer

    Transfer Styles

    Documentation / Manuals

    Here you will find the Documentation / Manuals:

    Documentation / Manuals

    Any questions?

    For questions on this topic go to:


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