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Working with text

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In this chapter we will be discussing very important part of the OpenOffice writer document regarding working with text such as selecting, copying, pasting, moving text. These functions in Writer are similar to working with text in any other program. OpenOffice writer has some convenient ways to select items that are not next to each other, select a vertical block of text, and paste unformatted text.

Cutting, copying, and pasting text

Cutting and copying text in Writer is similar to cutting and copying text in other word processing applications such as MS-Word. You can use the mouse or the keyboard for these operations. You can copy or move text within a document, or between documents, by dragging or by using menu selections, icons, or keyboard shortcuts. You can also copy text from other sources such as Web pages and paste it into a Writer document.

To move - cut and paste selected text using the mouse, drag it to the new location and release it. To copy selected text, hold down the Control key while dragging. The text retains the formatting it had before dragging.

When you paste text, the result depends on the source of the text and how you paste it. If you click on the Paste icon, any formatting the text has (such as bold or italics) is retained. Text pasted from Web sites and other sources may also be placed into frames or tables. If you do not like the results, click the Undo icon or press Control+Z.

To make the pasted text take on the formatting of the surrounding text where it is being pasted, choose either:

- Edit > Paste Special, or - Click the triangle to the right of the Paste icon, or - Click the Paste icon without releasing the left mouse button.

Then select Unformatted text from the resulting menu.

Find and Replace Text

Writer has two ways to find text within a document. You can use either the Find toolbar for fast searching and the Find & Replace dialog. In the dialog, you can: - Find and replace words and phrases - You can use wildcards and regular expressions to fine-tune a search - Find and replace specific formatting - Find and replace paragraph styles


If the Find toolbar is not visible, you can display it using View > Toolbars > Find


To display the Find & Replace dialog, use the keyboard shortcut Control+F or choose Edit > Find & Replace from the menu bar.


Find and Replace

- Type the text you want to find in the Search for box.

- To replace the text with different text, type the new text in the Replace with box.

- You can select various options such as matching the case, matching whole words only, or doing a search for similar words.

- After you have set up your search, click Find. To replace text, click Replace instead.

Kindly note that, if you click Find All, OpenOffice Writer selects all instances of the search text in the document. Similarly, if you click Replace All, OpenOffice writer replaces all matches.

Tab Setting and indents

Tab settings affect indentation of full paragraphs using the Increase Indent and Decrease Indent icons on the Formatting toolbar. It also affects parts of a paragraph by pressing the Tab key on the keyboard.

To define indents and tab settings for one or more selected paragraphs, double-click on a part of the ruler that is not between the left and right indent icons to open the Indents & Spacing page of the Paragraph dialog. Double-click anywhere between the left and right indent icons on the ruler to open the Tabs page of the Paragraph dialog. You can also do this by clicking Format > Paragraph > Indent & Spacing

You can also define tabs for the paragraph style by clicking Format > Paragraph > Tab.

In order to set the measurement unit and the spacing of default tab stop intervals, go to Tools > Options > Writer > General.


Tab Settings and Indents

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