OpenOffice Frequently Asked Questions



1. How do I create a new document?

a.  How do I use bold, italics, underline?
b.  How do I change the font style and color?
c.  How do I justify or indent the text?
d.  How do I change page margins?
e.  How do I insert headers and footers?
f.   How do I add page numbers?
g.  How do I add special characters? (e.g. ©, ®, £, etc.)

2. How do I open and edit a document in OpenOffice that I created using Microsoft Word?

a. Open a document from a flash drive
b. Open a document from a floppy disk

3. How do I save my document?

a. To a jump/flash/thumb/usb drive
b. To a floppy disk drive

4. How do I save my document so I can use it with Microsoft Word?

a. Which version of Word should I use to save my document?

5. How do I print my document?

6. I noticed a PDF icon, what is it and how do I use it?

a. Save as PDF to a jump/flash/thumb/usb drive
b. Save as PDF to a floppy disk drive

7. A light bulb just popped up in the corner of my document, what is it?

8. How do I attach the document I am working on to an e-mail message?

9. How do I insert an image from a file into my document?

a. How do I insert an image from the web into my document?

10. How do I use bullets or make lists?

11. How do I set or use tabs?

12. How do I know how many words are in my document?

13. Can I view the changes of a Microsoft Word document I opened in OpenOffice?

14. Does Writer have any résumé templates?

15. I have to do a tri-fold brochure, is there a template for that?

16. I have a WPS or DOCX document - how can I open it in OpenOffice?


1. How do I create a new document?

  • Click on Start (bottom left hand corner).
  • Select OpenOffice.org Writer (word processor).
  • If opening OpenOffice for the first time it may take a few moments to appear.
    OpenOffice will automatically open with a fresh blank document page.
  • Begin typing.

OR

  • If already in OpenOffice, click on File.
  • Select New.
  • Select Text Document.

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A. How do I use bold, italics, underline?

openoffice toolbar

OpenOffice, just like Word, has icons on the toolbar for bold (B), italics (I), and underline (U).

You can click on the icon and then type (click on the icon again when you are done) OR highlight letters/words then click on the icon on the toolbar.

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B. How do I change the font style and color?

font

OpenOffice has drop down menus on the toolbar (just to the left of the bold/italics/underline icons) that allow you to select different fonts and the size of the font.

You can select them before starting your document OR go back and highlight letters/words and then select the font and size.

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C. How do I justify or indent the text?

openoffice toolbar

OpenOffice has justify (to the right of the underline icon) and indent (icons with red arrows pointing left to decrease indent or right to increase indent) icons on the toolbar.

You can click on left, center or right justify and then start typing OR you can highlight the words you wish to justify and then click on the corresponding icon. The final icon (Justified) aligns the paragraph to the left and to the right page margins.

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D. How do I set or change page margins?

You can use the ruler on the toolbar to adjust the margins.

openoffice toolbar

OR

  • Click on File.
  • Select Format.
  • Select Page.
  • From here you can change the left, right, top and bottom margins by using the up/down arrows.

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E. How do I insert headers and footers?

  • Click on Insert.
  • Select Header or Footer.
  • Select Default.
  • Header or Footer will appear.

OR

  • Click on Format.
  • Select Page.
  • Click on the Header or Footer tab.
  • Check the box for Header On or Footer On.
  • Header or Footer will appear.

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F. How do I add page numbers?

  • Click on Insert.
  • Select Footer.
  • Once footer is in place, click on Insert again.
  • Select Fields - Page Number.
  • If you want a page count (2 of 12) instead, Insert - Fields - Page Count.

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G. How do I add special characters? (e.g. ©, ®, £, etc.)

  • Place your cursor in the spot where the special character will be.
  • Click on Insert.
  • Select Special Characters.
  • Scroll through the list of characters until you find the one you want, click on it.
  • Click on OK.

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2. How do I open and edit a document in OpenOffice that I created using Microsoft Word?

OpenOffice can handle documents created in many different software programs including Microsoft Word 95, 6.0, 97/2000/XP.

To open document from a flash drive:

  • Insert flash drive flash drives into USB port usb ports.
  • Open OpenOffice Writer.
  • Click on File.
  • Select Open.
  • Double click on usbdrive.
  • Select document file name and click Open.
  • Once document is opened you may begin typing or editing your document (just place cursor in document where you wish to make changes/edit). OpenOffice can handle Microsoft Word documents and can even save them as a Word doc (See FAQ # 4).

To open a document from a floppy disk:

  • Insert floppy disk into disk drive.
  • Open OpenOffice Writer.
  • Click on File.
  • Select Open.
  • Double click on floppy.
  • Select your document file name and click Open.
  • Once document is opened you may begin typing or editing your document (just place cursor in document where you wish to make changes/edit). OpenOffice can handle Microsoft Word documents and can even save them as a Word doc (See FAQ # 4).

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3. How do I save my document?

OpenOffice can save documents as Microsoft Word 95, 6.0, 97/2000/XP, among others.

To a jump/flash/thumb/usb drive:

  • Insert flash drive flash drives into USB port usb ports.
  • Click on File.
  • Select Save As.
  • Double click on usbdrive.
  • Type the name of your document and accept default Microsoft Word file extension or select from the drop down menu select the corresponding file extension.
  • Click Save.
  • Exit out of OpenOffice Writer to ensure full save of document.
  • Now remove jump/flash/thumb/usb drive.

To a floppy disk drive:

  • Insert floppy disk into disk drive .
  • Click on File.
  • Select Save As.
  • Double click on floppy.
  • Type the name of your document and accept default Microsoft Word file extension or select from the drop down menu select the corresponding file extension.
  • Click Save.
  • Exit out of OpenOffice Writer to ensure full save of document.
  • Now remove floppy disk drive.

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4. How do I save my document so I can use it with Microsoft Word?

A document created or edited in OpenOffice can be saved as Microsoft Word (.doc). When saving your document Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP (.doc) is the default file type.  Just click on Save.

Which version of Word should I use to save my document?

If you are unsure which version of Word you use at home, school or work the best bet is to save multiple copies of your document.
First - save as the default Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP.
Second
- save as Rich Text Formt (.rtf). This format will work in Word and save any graphics, pictures or clip art you may have in your document.
Third - if you just care about saving your words (not the formatting or images) you can always save your document as Text (.txt). This file can be read even using Notepad which is installed on all Windows machines or Mac Notepad on MacIntosh machines.

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5. How do I print my document?

  • Click on the print icon print icon on the toolbar.
OR
  • Click on File.
  • Select Print.
  • At print dialog box, click OK.

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6. I noticed a PDF icon, what is it and how do I use it?

OpenOffice will export your document and convert it into a PDF (Portable Document Format) which can be viewed by anyone having Adobe on their pc. This is a great option if you aren't sure what word processing software someone has on their computer. Most machines come with Adobe Reader already installed. If not it is a simple program that can be downloaded from the Adobe web site.

Save as PDF to a jump/flash/thumb/usb drive:

  • Insert flash drive into usb port.
  • Click on PDF icon in toolbar.
  • Double click on usbdrive.
  • Type the name of your document.
  • Click on Export.

Save as PDF to a floppy disk drive:

  • Insert floppy disk into drive.
  • Click on PDF icon in toolbar.
  • Double click on floppy.
  • Type the name of your document.
  • Click on Export.

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7. A light bulb just popped up in the corner of my document, what is it?

This is OpenOffice's help help (just like the paper clip in Word). By clicking on it it will bring up help related to what you are working on.

help
On the left hand side you can type a search term. What appears on the right hand side are suggestions and actual steps to take in regards to your search term. If you don't need the Help box, just click on the X in the upper right hand corner to close it.

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8. How do I attach the document I am working on to an e-mail message?

You can save your document (see FAQ #3) then from there attach it to any web based email service (e.g. Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.)

  • Save document to flash or floppy disk.
  • Log into your email account using Firefox browser.
  • Compose email.
  • Click on Attach/Attach Files/Attach a File, etc.
  • Click on Browse.
  • Double click on usbdrive or floppy (depending on which you used to save file).
  • Select document.
  • Click on Open.
  • Once all files are attached, send email.

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9. How do I insert an image into my document?

You can insert an image/picture if already saved on your flash or floppy drive.

  • Place cursor where you'd like image to appear.
  • Insert flash or floppy disk.
  • Click on Insert.
  • Select Picture.
  • Select From File.
  • Select image from drive.
  • Click Open.

A. How do I insert an image from the web into my document?

  • Right click on the image and select COPY IMAGE.
  • Right click in your OO document.
  • Select PASTE.
  • Voila! At this point you can adjust how the image is anchored on the page/paragraph and how it wraps through another right-click on the image itself.

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10. How do I use bullets or make lists?

You can use either bullets or numbered lists in OpenOffice.

  • Place cursor where you want your list to begin.
  • Click on the bullet or numbering icons on the toolbar.
  • Bullet will appear or number will appear 1.
  • Type your information and hit the Enter key to create your next bullet line.
  • Click on bullet or numbering icons on the toolbar when finished with list.

You can also select the look of the bullets or the numbered lists before you start making your list(s).

  • Click on Format.
  • Select Bullets and Numbering.
  • Using the tabs across the top you can select bullets or numbering as well as colored bullets (Graphics) or even outline style numbering.
  • Select style.
  • Click OK.

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11. How do I set or use tabs?

tabs

Using the Ruler, set the tabs by clicking on the ruler where you want the tab stops to appear. A dark L will appear under each spot where you set a tab stop.

OR

  • Click on Format.
  • Select Paragraph.
  • Click on the tabs tab.
  • Click on New.
  • Under Position, type in the number (e.g. 0.48").
  • When done setting all the tab stops, click OK.

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12. How do I know how many words are in my document?

If creating a document for a school assignment and you need to make sure you've hit the minimum (e.g. no less than 200 words), OpenOffice can help.

  • Type your document.
  • Click on Tools.
  • Select Word Count.
  • Box appears and in the lower section will tell you how many words and characters are used in the whole document.
  • If you want to know how many words are on just one page - highlight that page and then click on Tools - Word Count. Upper section will tell you how many on just that page and the lower section will give you total for whole document.

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13. Can I view the changes of a Microsoft Word document I opened in OpenOffice?

Yes, to keep track of changes you make to your document:

  • Click on Edit.
  • Select Changes.
  • Select Show.
You should then see all the changes that have been made. You can accept or reject changes by choose Edit > Changes > Accept or Reject, and you'll see a list of all the edits. Double-click each and it will be highlighted in the document.

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14. Does Writer have any résumé templates?

Yes. To access one of the three résumé templates in Writer:

  • Click on File.
  • Select New.
  • Select Templates and Documents.
  • Double click on writer.
  • Select Rsme 1, Rsme_2 or Rsme_3.
  • Click on Open.

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15. I have to do a tri-fold brochure, is there a template for that?

Yes. To access this template in Writer:

  • Click on File.
  • Select New.
  • Select Templates and Documents.
  • Double click on writer.
  • Select Trifold_Brochure.
  • Click on Open.

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16. I have a WPS or DOCX document - how can I open it in OpenOffice?

Convert your documents. To do this you may visit either one of these 2 web sites. Both sites will email your document converted into a format that OpenOffice or MSOffice97 can use.