Character Styles in Writer

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    The video shows how "Character styles" can be used in Writer and links to this page here, which provides further information and details.

    Styles of the type Character styles are used to format the font for letters, individual words or groups of words within paragraphs of a document uniformly differently.

    You will learn how to optimally format paragraphs with Character styles.

    With the use of Character styles, the formatting of your documents will be easy for you.

    Link to the video

    Link to the video (in German [DE]):

    Zeichenvorlagen in Writer

    Writer has powerful style management

    Styles in the Sidebar

    Overview of the types of Styles available in Writer

    Different types of Styles are already integrated in LibreOffice.

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

    Most Styles can be changed or created.

    Table Styles are an exception.

    LibreOffice already comes with Styles of every type of format that can be used.

    Paragraph Styles

    Paragraphs are formatted with Paragraph Styles.

    You may use your own Paragraph Styles or Document templates for your Paragraphs, in which you have created customized Paragraph Styles.

    Character Styles

    Character Styles (CS's) general

    The Character Styles can have changed attributes compared to Paragraph Styles.

    You can only assign one Paragraph Style to a paragraph.

    If you want to have something different within a paragraph, such as font, size, color, background, and so on, use Character Styles.

    Note pin.svg

    It is recommended to derive self-made Character styles from the "No Character style". In the derived Character styles, you can adjust the attributes you want to have differently.

    The manually entered attributes in Character Styles are applied with priority over the attributes of Paragraph Styles.

    Example with a derived Character style (CS)

    What is meant by derived Character style?

    Open the sidebar from the View ▸ Sidebar menu ( Ctrl + F5 ).

    For Character Styles, click the Character Styles icon 741 Writer Sidebar IconCharacterStyle.png.

    Right-click on the Character Style (CS) "No Character Style" Style and select New….

    The dialog opens with an "Untitled1" Character Style.

    Enter a meaningful name for the Character Style.

    All attributes (values) in the new Character Style are taken from the "No Character Style" Character Style.

    You can now change the attributes you need and click OK, see "Derived Character Style simple - Scheme".

    You can create as many different CS's as you need.

    Example of a derived Character style

    Enter "A_Light Purple 3" for the name in the new CS.

    Change the attributes as shown in the this figure.

    Click on OK.

    The CS "A_Light Purple 3" now has all changed attributes and all others like the CS "No Character Style".

    To add letters, words or word groups to the new Character style, select them and double-click on the Character style "A_Light Purple 3".

    The CS "A_Light Purple 3" can be used as required.

    Note pin.svg

    In the CS "A_Light Purple 3", "Based on" means "- None -". As soon as you have saved a new CS derived from "No Character Style", this entry is automatically entered.

    Example hierarchically derived Character styles

    Schematic representation of hierarchically derived Character styles, see "Derived Character style Hirarchical - Scheme".

    Create Hierarchically Character Styles

    If you need more than one CS's, which for example should have changed the same font and each of these CS's should also have changed a different attribute, you can proceed as follows, see this figure.

    Right-click on the Character style (CS) "No Character Style" and select New….

    The dialog opens with a "Untitled1" Character style.

    Give the CS a meaningful name, e.g. "A_Default Bold".

    All attributes (values) in the new CS are taken from the CS "No Character Style".

    Set the font as "Liberation Sans" and the font style to "Bold".

    Now click on OK.

    Now derive two more CS's from "A_Default Bold" ( "A_Emphasis" and "A_Menu" ) and change the attributes in the respective CS according to this representation.

    Note pin.svg

    In addition to the font attributes shown in the illustration, you can change all attributes in new CS's according to your wishes.

    Hierarchical representation of the CS's

    You can set a hierarchical display in the sidebar at the bottom under "□ Show Previews", see Displayed Hierarchically Character Styles.

    Undo formatting of CS's

    Don‘t use Direct formatting

    If you want to undo the formatting for a text that has been formatted with a CS, you should never do this manually using the Formatting toolbar.

    Do not perform formatting directly.

    This can lead to major problems in further text editing.

    To remove formatting of Character styles from the text

    Open the Sidebar ( F11 ) and click the Character styles icon.

    Select the text for which you want to remove formatting.

    In the window, double-click the "No Character Style" Character style.

    Use the button Reset

    (German original text by Robert Grosskopf)

    Like Paragraph styles, Character styles can always be undone in certain areas (tabs).

    In the tab "Organiser" you can see the definitions of the respective Style.

    For this Style the selection of Small caps + Green would have been sufficient.

    Western text: Liberation Sans + normal should therefore be removed.

    Character style DB Yes 05.png

    Note pin.svg

    A click on the button Reset does not create a change at this point!

    In the tab "Font" only the properties displayed under this tab are reset by clicking the button Reset.

    Note pin.svg

    Button Reset revert any changes made on current tab to the settings that were present when this dialouge was opened, or after the last use of "Apply".

    Since the basic font was different here, the dialog now shows the default font "Times New Roman" instead.

    But this is a bit deceptive, because the font is no longer specified by the Character style.

    The font from the Paragraph style is passed through again.

    The font color as well as the setting of Small caps has been left.

    The Character style now only shows the conditions that should really be defined:

    Small caps + Green.

    Character style DB Yes 06.png

    Use the Button Reset to Parent

    Values in this tab are set to the corresponding values of the style specified in "Inherit from" in Organiser.

    In all cases, also when "Inherit from" is "None", the current tab values specified in "Contains" are removed.

    Further information

    Working files

    Template Examples CharacterStyles in Wiki EN+DE.odt

    CS + ZV Values in Table EN+DE.ods

    Character Styles in Writer V6-4.odt

    Related topics

    Professional text composition with Writer

    Styles in Writer

    Inheritance in Paragraph styles in Writer

    Document templates Letter template in Writer

    Documentation / Manuals

    Here you will find the Documentation / Manuals:

    Documentation / Manuals

    Any questions?

    For questions on this topic go to:


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