Videos/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.

This description refers to the version LibreOffice 6.4 under Windows 10.

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 writerl

Writer has powerful style management

Sidebar Styles

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.

See also: Styles in Writer

Character styles

Sidebar Styles Character Styles

Character styles (CS's) general

The character styles can have changed attributes compared to paragraph styles.

You can only assign one style/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:  It is recommended to derive self-made character styles from the default 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?

Scheme: Derived character style simple

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

For character styles, click the character styles icon 202005 LOENHB Symbol Character Style.png.

Right-click on the character style (CS) Default Style and select New….

The dialogue box 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 Default Style character style.

You can now change the attributes you need and click OK, see Scheme: Derived character style simple.

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 Default 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:  In the CS A_Light Purple 3, "Based on" means "- None -". As soon as you have saved a new CS derived from Default Style, this entry is automatically entered.

Example hierarchically derived character styles

Scheme Derived character style hirarchical

Schematic representation of hierarchically derived character styles, see Scheme: Derived character style hirarchical.

Create Hierarchically Character Styles

Displayed 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) Default 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 Default 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:  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

Sidebar Character Style Default

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 Default Style character style.

Use the button Standard

(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:  A click on the button Standard 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 Standard.

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

Further information

Working files

Character Styles in Writer V6-4.odt

Template - Character Styles in Writer V6-4.odt

Character Styles for documentation EN.ods

Documentation / Manuals

Here you will find the Documentation / Manuals:

Documentation / Manuals

Any questions?

For questions on this topic go to:


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