Open Office Tips

DaveK's picture

Open Office is a free MS Office clone. It runs in MS Windows, Linux, freeBSD, and MacOS. The web site is . It can read and write MS Word and Excel formats. It may be able to read PowerPoint but I don't use that. It can also write PDF files.

My first tip is finding single spaces after a period. In OO start the find via the menu or <ctrl>f . Select the check box - Regular expressions. In the search for box enter - \. [A-Z] . That is back slash, space, open brackets, capital A, dash, capital Z, close brackets. If you select find all, then all instances of a period followed by a single space and a capital letter will highlight in your document. Change the period to a question mark or quote and you will find those. Put in three spaces and you can find those.

Is this useful? Should I continue these tips? Do you have any problem in particular that you can't figure out how to fix? Please let me know.

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camidon's picture


If you don't mind posting them, keep the tips coming. You never know when one might come in really handy.


Life is a lot like caving: Most of the time you grope around in the dark.

DaveK's picture

Manuscript Formating in OpenOffice

The proper format for submitting a manuscript is pretty standard. In OO this is a bit involved by once you do it it is done for all time.

You have your story in the form:

by Name

Paragraphs and paragraphs of Hugo winning text. Not in my case but I don't let that stop me.

In the Edit menu do a "Select All". The change it to Courier (new) and 12 pt font. Go to the Format menu and Page and set the margines to 1.25 inches all around. With all the text selected go to the Format and Paragraph menu and change to double space.

Go to Format - Styles - Catalog - Page Styles (on the top pull down)- New . Enter in "Body" in the name and next style fields. Press OK. Press New again and make a style called Page 1 with a next style of Body. Then press OK. With the cursor in page one of your story go to Format - Styles - Catalog - Page Styles and select Page 1.

Select Format - Page. In the Organizer tab you should have Page 1 and Body as the next style. Go top the Header tab and turn the header on and make the height 5 inches (adjust it later). Click OK and you should had a 5 inch space at the top of page one. Move the cursor to page two and select Format - Page - Header. Turn the header on and leave the size as is 0.2 inches. From Page two on you will had a small header.

Mover the cursor to the Header in the first page and type you name, address, phone, email left justified. To the right of your name on the same line type in the story length - 3500 words. Space it over until it is right justified. Next line down to the right of your address you can type in Disposable if you don't want the manuscript back. Again space it over to the right margin.

In the header on page two type in your last name / title fragmet / page number. To get dynamic page numbers when the cursor in in the right position Select Insert - Fields - Page number. Use the right justify button to right justify this. Save the file.

A lot of work you may think but you can reuse it for all documents. Open your next story. Select - Format - Styles - Load. Make sure Pages is checked at the bottom. The select From File and choose the file where you did all the work above. Now chose Format -Styles - Catalog - Page Styles and Page 1. The margins, address and header info will be there. Don't forget to change the word count on page one and the title on page two. It will carry over to other pages.

This does not change the font or the spacing. You can Edit - Select all and change these by hand. If you want to get rid of the headers temporarily just go to Format - Styles - Catalog - Page Styles - Default.

That's it. Now all your manuscripts will have the same look, the page numbers will be correct and you don't have to worry about typo's in your address. I check the last page to see if there is only one or two lines. If so I change the top and bottom margins a little to see if I can make it fit on the previous page.