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Chapter: 11th Computer Science : Chapter 6 : Word Processor Basics ( OpenOffice Writer)

An Introduction to OpenOffice Writer

OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more.

An Introduction to OpenOffice Writer


OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an International open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. OpenOffice is easy to learn.


OpenOffice is a productive office suite with a collection of different software packages such as


·      OpenOffice Writer - Word Processor to create text documents


·      OpenOffice Calc - Spreadsheet to create worksheets


·      OpenOffice Base - Database


·      OpenOffice Impress - Presentation software


·      OpenOffice Draw - Drawing Software


·      OpenOffice Formula - Create formula and equations


OpenOffice Writer is the word processor component of OpenOffice. In addition to the usual features of a word processor (spelling check, thesaurus, hyphenation, autocorrect, find and replace, automatic generation of tables of contents and indexes, mail merge and others), Writer provides these important features:


·      Templates and styles.


·      Page layout methods, including frames, columns, and tables.


·      Embedding or linking of graphics, spreadsheets, and other objects.


·              Built-in drawing tools.


·      Master documents-to group a collection of documents into a single document.


·      Change tracking during revisions.


·      Database integration, including a bibliography database.


·      Export to PDF.


1. Download and Install openoffice


Download and Install the latest version of OpenOffice suite from http:// www.openoffice.org/download at free of cost.


2. Creating a new document in OpenOffice Writer


A new OpenOffice Writer document can be created by various methods. From windows, select


Start  -> All Programs  -> OpenOffice  -> OpenOffice Writer




From Star Center (Welcome Screen):


·      Double-click on “OpenOffice” icon the desktop


·      Now, a welcome screen appears as shown in Figure 6.1


The opening screen is called as “Star Center”. Writer is one of the components of OpenOffice. So, it may be invoked from the “Star Center” by simply clicking on the “Text Document” icon. (or)


A new text document can also be created by selecting File  -> New  -> Text Document from any OpenOffice Application. Ctrl + N keyboard short cut can also be used to open a new text document as shown in the Figure 6.2


3. Parts of Writer Window:


The Figure 6.3 shows the contents of OpenOffice Writer window such as Title bar, Menu bar, Standard Toolbar, Formatting Tool bar, Ruler, Work space and Status bar. The components of a openoffice writer window are explained below in Figure 6.3.


Title Bar


The title bar is displayed at the top most part of the window, which displays the name of the document and the name of the application. By default, the initial document is given the name as Untitled1.


Control Buttons:


In the right corner of title bar, (1) minimize, (2) maximize/restore and (3) close control buttons are available as shown in Figure 6.4


(1) Minimize button:

When you click minimize button, it shrinks your document window maller in size and shows it as a small button on the task bar. To restore it in its original size, place your mouse pointer on the OpenOffice button which is available in the Taskbar, you can view your document as miniature and when you click on the button, your document is restored to its original size.


(2) Maximize button :

When you click maximize button, your document window is displayed in full screen. When it is in full screen, the maximize button is changed as “Restore”.

When you click restore button, the document window regains its original size.


(3) Close button :


This button is called as “Close” button, when you click this button, the application is closed and OpenOffice returns back to the desktop. So, the red colored close button may be called as “Exit” or “Quit”.


There is another X mark on the right most corner of the menu bar. This is actually used to close your document. When you click this X mark, your document will be closed, OpenOffice will be still opened.


Menu Bar


The menu bar is just below the title bar which comprises of various menus consisting of various options.

File – The File menu contains various option for file management tasks: New, Open, Close, Save, Save As, Print, Export etc.


Edit –The Edit menu contains the editing options like, cut, copy, paste, Undo, Redo etc.


View –The View menu contains the options which are used to modify the environment of writer like display of toolbars, web layout, print layout, navigator etc.


Insert – The Insert menu contains commands for inserting various elements such as pictures, tables, charts, comments, headers, footers, special characters etc.


Format – The Format menu contains the options of various text and page formatting features like page size, layout, font characteristics, bullets and numbering etc.


Tables– The Table menu contains various tools to manage and manipulate tables such as create table, insert rows, insert columns, split cells, merge cells etc.


Tools – The Tools menu contains various tools and functions such as spell check, macros, mail merge, end notes/ footnotes etc.


Window – The window menu shows display options such as New Window, Close Windows, Split and Freeze.


Help – The Help menu lists out the inbuilt help features available with OpenOffice .


Tool Bar:


Under the menu bar, there are two toolbars available by default. They are:


(1) Standard Toolbar


(2) Formatting Toolbar


Standard Tool Bar– This tool bar is just below the menu bar which consists of shortcut icons for frequently performed tasks. There are many shortcut icons like cut, copy, paste, undo etc…


Formatting Tool Bar– The formatting tool bar is below the standard tool bar which consists of icons used for formatting the text like bold, underline, italics, font type, font color etc.




The ruler is a scale below the formatting tool bar which shows the margins.There are two set of rulers (1) Horizontal ruler and (2) Vertical ruler. Horizontal ruler is used to set left and right margins of a page and vertical ruler for top and bottom setting.


Work Space


The work space is the blank area which is used to type the content of the file.A flashing vertical bar appears at the beginning of the screen which is called as “Insertion pointer”.


Status Bar


The status bar is at the bottom of the window which shows the current status of the document such as number of pages, current page number, default language etc.


4. Entering the Text


Once a new document is open, the text can be typed in blank area of the screen. To create a document the user can start typing straight away. As the text is typed they appear on the screen and the flashing vertical bar called the insertion pointer moves to the right. When the text reaches the end of the line, the word is automatically wrapped to the next line. This feature in any word processor is known as “Word Wrap”.


The Enter key must not be pressed at the end of the each line. The Enter key should be pressed only at the end of a paragraph or when a blank line is to be inserted. When a page is filled up, OpenOffice Writer automatically creates a new page.


5. Moving within a document


There are different ways of moving within a document. There are many shortcut keys given in Table 6.2 which are used to move easily within a document.


Table 6.2 Keyboard shortcut Keys


6. Saving the Document


The first time the document is saved, OpenOffice Writer prompts for a name. Naming the file enables the user to find and open that file again. One can select the drive and folder where the file will be stored. To save a document for a first time, the following steps are used:


Click File  -> Save (or) File  -> Save As (or) Ctrl + S


The “Save As” dialog box appears as on Figure 6.13.


·      Select location to store your document. The default location to store all documents is “Documents” folder in Windows.


·      Type your document name in the File Name box.


·      All documents in OpenOffice writer will be stored with .odt extension. You can store your OpenOffice document as Microsoft Word document or pdf. To do so, select file type from Save as type list box. This list box shows variety of formats to be saved.


·      Finally, Click “Save” button.


·              Once the file is saved, your document name will be displayed on the title bar.


Saving with password


In OpenOffice writer, a document can be protected with a password. You can set a password to protect your document while saving a file. To save a file with password, click on “Save with Password” check box and then click “Save” button. Immediately it shows “Set Password” dialog box as given the Figure 6.14.


In this dialog box, Enter a password in “Enter Password to open” text box and retype the same password in “Confirm Password” box for confirmation. Finally click “OK” button.


“More Options” button provides some more features to your protected document such as “Read only” and change password.


7. Closing a Document


After your document is saved, it is still open. So, you can continue typing your document. When the work is finished, you should save the document and then close document using File  -> Close command (or) Press Ctrl + W.


Closing Unsaved Document:


When you close an unsaved file using the close control button, Writer shows a warning message as shown in Figure 6.15.


If you accept the warning message, click the “Save” button. When you click the “Save” button, it proceeds to save the file. If you are not willing to save the file, then click “Discard”, or if you want to cancel this warning and continue working in the same document, click “Cancel”.


8. Opening an existing document


Once a document is saved, it can be opened at any time. To open an existing document, Click on the File  -> Open or Ctrl + O, the Open dialog box appears, enter the name of the file in the File Name text box and click on OPEN button as in Figure 6.16.

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11th Computer Science : Chapter 6 : Word Processor Basics ( OpenOffice Writer) : An Introduction to OpenOffice Writer |

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