The Writer interface

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The main Writer workspace is shown below. The menus and toolbars are described in Chapter 1 (Introducing

Some other features of the Writer interface are covered in this chapter.

The main Writer workspace in Print Layout view

Status bar

The Writer status bar provides information about the document and convenient ways to quickly change some document features.

Left end of status bar

Page number

Shows the current page number, the sequence number of the current page (if different), and the total number of pages in the document. For example, if you restarted page numbering at 1 on the third page, its page number is 1 and its sequence number is 3.

If any bookmarks have been defined in the document, a right-click on this field pops up a list of bookmarks; click on the required one.

To jump to a specific page in the document, double-click in this field. The Navigator opens. Click in the Page Number field and type the sequence number of the required page. After a brief delay, the display jumps to the selected page.

Page style

Shows the style of the current page. To change the page style, right-click on this field. A list of page styles pops up; choose a different style by clicking on it.

To edit the page style, double-click on this field. The Page Style dialog opens.


Shows the language for the selected text.

Click to open a menu where you can choose another language for the selected text or for the paragraph where the cursor is located. You can also choose None (Do not check spelling) to exclude the text from a spelling check or choose More... to open the Character dialog.

Insert mode

Click to toggle between Insert and Overwrite modes when typing.

Selection mode

Click to toggle between STD (Standard), EXT (Extend), ADD (Add) and BLK (Block) selection. EXT is an alternative to Shift+click when selecting text. See Working with text for more information about ADD and BLK.

Unsaved Changes

An asterix appears here if changes to the document have not been saved.

Right end of status bar.

Digital signature

If the document has been digitally signed, an icon [[Image:]] shows here. You can double-click the icon to view the certificate.

Section or object information

When the cursor is on a section, heading, or list item, or when an object (such as a picture or table) is selected, information about that item appears in this field. Double-clicking in this area opens a relevant dialog. For details, consult the Help or the Writer Guide.

View layout

Click an icon to change between single page, side-by-side, and book layout views. You can edit the document in any view.

View layouts: single, side-by-side, book.


To change the view magnification, drag the Zoom slider, or click on the + and – signs, or right-click on the zoom level percent to pop up a list of magnification values from which to choose. Zoom interacts with the selected view layout to determine how many pages are visible in the document window.

Zoom slider on status bar.

Changing document views

Writer has several ways to view a document: Print Layout, Web Layout, and Full Screen. To access these and other choices, go to the View menu and click on the required view. (When in Full Screen view, press the Esc key to return to either Print or Web Layout view.)

When in Print Layout, you can use both the Zoom slider and the View Layout icons on the Status bar. When in Web Layout, you can use the Zoom slider.

You can also choose View > Zoom from the menu bar to display the Zoom & View Layout dialog, where you can set the same options as on the Status bar. In Web Layout view, most of the choices are not available.

Choosing Zoom and View Layout options.

Moving quickly through a document

In addition to the navigation features of the Status bar (described above), you can use the main Navigator window and the Navigation toolbar as described in Chapter 1 (Introducing Apache OpenOffice).

In Writer, you can also display the Navigation toolbar by clicking on the small Navigation icon near the lower right-hand corner of the window below the vertical scroll bar, as shown below.

Navigation icons.

The Navigation toolbar shows icons for all the object types shown in the Navigator, plus some extras (for example, the results of a Find command).

Navigation toolbar.

Click an icon to select that object type. Now all the Previous and Next icons (in the Navigator itself, in the Navigation Toolbar, and on the scroll bar) will jump to the next object of the selected type. This is particularly helpful for finding items like index entries, which can be difficult to see in the text. The names of the icons (shown in the tooltips) change to match the selected category; for example, Next Graphic, Next Bookmark, or Continue search forward.

For more uses of the Navigator in Writer, see the Writer Guide.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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