LibreOffice: Formatting tutorial – Part 01

Dear LO users,

We are going to learn some of the formatting tips about LO.

LibreOffice Writer – Empty Window

There are many ways to format text. If you are coming from MS-Word, the formatting bar on the top be familiar to you. It works well if your documents are simple and formatting is not very important to you.

Using Style and Formatting sidebar

The sidebar located on right side of LO and can be toggled by pressing F11 contains 5 different set of formatting options:

  • Paragraph styles
  • Character styles
  • Frame styles
  • Page styles
  • List styles
formatting styles toolbar
Hover on each style to see the details

As evident from the name, each set of style offers different level of control. Of these 5 styles, paragraph and character styles are the ones most frequently used.

We will use text from one of my old c# notes document and attempt to format the same. The text file is attached to the post. Based on the system and default setting, the document should now look something like this:


Set up basic formatting – use defaults

You can click anywhere on the text and take a look at the paragraph styles bar for its style. Right now everything is formatted using the default styles.

Create heading

  • Select the first line


  • Go to styles bar and expand the Heading section


  • Double click on the Heading 1 item and it should format the selected paragraph using the Heading 1 style. The text will look like


In a similay way, select appropritate parts of the page and apply heading style based on its relevance to the main topic. These headings not only format the text, but also provide a structure to the document which is used to assist in naviagating  within the document, automatically generate table of contents and create summaries. Press F5 to show the navigator bar. You can see the top level heading and then all the Heading2 under it. In later posts, we are going to add different heading levels to organize the document.

sidebar heading.PNG
Click on any heading to navigate to that section.

In the next post, we will cover more paragraph styles and character style.

Thanks for reading!


Download file here: LibreOffice Tutorial 01




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