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.

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

    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.

    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.

    Where can I find the styles?

    The Sidebar

    Sidebar Styles

    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

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

    The "Formatting" toolbar

    There in the ″Formatting″ toolbar is showing the "Default Paragraph Style" style.

    "Default Paragraph Style" means that the text has the "Default" style.

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

    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, e.g. "Default Paragraph Style" or "Text Body" and choose New.

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

    Change the properties (e.g. font size, color) that you want to assign to the text.

    Click OK.

    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.

    Exercise - Create, modify and assign styles

    The Originals "Aufgabe_Formatvorlagen" and "Protokoll_Übungsdatei" in German language
    come from the Author ( License CC-BY-SA.png ): 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 ″Text Body″, create the "P-Text" style.

    Click on "Text Body" 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 box ″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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