Excerpt for LibreOffice/OpenOffice (LO/OO) Writer from the keyboard by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Smashwords Edition

LibreOffice/OpenOffice (LO/OO) Writer from the keyboard

By Visimpscot (http://tinyurl.com/visimpscot) Published by Pointsize Press at Smashwords 2018 Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/.

Other titles by Visimpscot:

  • MS Word from the keyboard

  • LibreOffice / OpenOffice Calc from the keyboard

  • MS Excel from the keyboard

  • NVDA digital skills



Contents

Introduction

Different keyboards

For tutors

LO/OO Writer some history

Target audience group

Conventions

Suggested approaches for effective learning with this guide

The aims of this guide

Keyboard access in general

Using LO/OO with screen reader programs

Working with the LibreOffice / OpenOffice.org user interface without mouse

Activating menu bar, toolbars, windows, and document

Calling a menu command

Executing an icon command

Special hints for toolbars

Selection from a combo box

Selection in tables

Size and Position of Windows and Dialogs

Docking and Undocking Windows and Toolbars

Selecting objects

Edit Objects

Edit the Anchors of Objects

Controlling the Help

Navigating the main help pages

Controlling the Insert - Special Character Dialog

How to start LO/OO Writer

Speech-friendly LO/OO Writer adjustments

Changing font settings

Specifying the font size

Changing the font face

Printing

Printing ranges of pages

Printing options: background and comments printing

The bookmark feature

Line spacing

Changing case

Formatting

AutoFormatting

Dividing lines

Asterisks/bullets

Ordinal number and fraction formatting

Quick table creation

AutoCorrect

Add a text entry to the AutoCorrect list

Columns

Setting out text in columns

Tables

Creating, formatting, using formulae in and entering text in tables

Table navigation shortcut keystrokes

Selecting table components

Default table characteristics

Creating a table and moving around in it

Inserting formatting attributes into a table’s text

Adding or Deleting a Row or Column to a Table Using the Keyboard

Sorting text in tables

Paragraph formatting

Word count

Customising LO/OO Writer

Creating your own keyboard shortcuts or changing existing shortcuts

Templates

Bulleted and numbered lists

AutoText

Creating an AutoText entry

Inserting an AutoText entry

Removing an AutoText entry

Mail Merge

Footnotes and endnotes

Styles

Creating and using hierarchical heading styles

Using LO/OO Writer’s own ‘Styles’

Style keyboard shortcuts

Inserting hyperlinks into a document

LO/OO Writer macros

Password protecting ODF format documents

Turning on protection

Turning off protection

List of LO/OO Writer hotkeys





Introduction

This guide was inspired in 2016 by another one on using Microsoft Word from the keyboard that was written by John Wilson in 2006, after ten years it was in serious need of updating. There are guides and tutorials to using LO/OO Writer but very few of them pay much attention to using LO/OO Writer relying on the keyboard, rather than a computer mouse or some other pointing device.

OpenOffice can be downloaded from http://www.openoffice.org, LibreOffice can be downloaded from http://www.libreoffice.org/. LibreOffice is also included in many of the popular Linux distributions such as Linux Mint (www.linuxmint.com)


This guide has been written by Visimpscot (http://tinyurl.com/visimpscot), we are based in the East of Scotland but have also worked in Asia, East Africa and the Pacific. Concentrating on delivering quality IT training, we specalise in helping the ‘not for profit sector’ and users with sensory, physical or cognitive impairments. You can contact us by emailing visimpscot@live.co.uk .


If you spot any errors that have slipped through editing and proof reading, please let us know and we will do our best to correct them.


This guide is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/. Basically it means that you can freely use or adapt this material so long as Visimpscot is acknowledged and that any resulting product uses the same license. If you do use or adapt this guide please let us know because shared ideas are better ideas. If you want to produce translations into other languages that would be great.


There are times when it is suggested that certain tasks are best carried out with sighted assistance, it is not that it is impossible to do them without but because it really will be easier.


The guide is free but if you use it and want to make a donation please go to the NVDA screen reader web page (http://www.nvaccess.org/) and make a donation to support them.

Different keyboards

This guide assumes that you are using a standard layout desktop or laptop ‘qwerty’ keyboard. Some small keyboards on notepad computers or large keyboards for users with visual or motor control impairments may not have all of the keys mentioned. There may be ways around this problem by remapping the keyboard but that is not a task for the inexperienced.

For tutors

There are not that many tutorials, guides and books on using LibreOffice/OpenOffice programs to cover the features this guide does not, or only gives short treatment to. One web based resource that provides a large number of well structured free tutorials is the Goodwill Community Foundation (http://www.gcflearnfree.org/topics). There are no LO/OO tutorials but they do have tutorials on using MS Office (back to MS Office 2003, when the program interfaces still used menus, like LO/OO) that can be adapted for use with LO/OO.

If you study this guide and practise with the examples then what you need to do to customise learning material such as the Goodwill Community Foundation tutorials for keyboard only access will become apparent.

LO/OO Writer some history

For a long time Microsoft has dominated the market for word processing software with the Word component of the MS Office suite of programs. OpenOffice Writer was closely modeled on MS Word but this changed from MS Office 2007 onwards when the MS Word program interface underwent major changes, in terms of basic functionality the two programs are still similar. For various reasons Open Office has split into OpenOffice and LibreOffice, the two products share much of the same underlying program code and this guide can be used with either.

Why use LO/OO Calc

  • Both OpenOffice and LibreOffice are free. Microsoft Office is not a free program, to use it you should buy a license and Microsoft use a variety of annoying methods such as requiring product activation to remind you of this.

  • LO/OO Writer can read and write files in Microsoft file formats, so you can exchange information with people who use MS Word.

  • LibreOffice and OpenOffice are cross platform and work on both Linux and MS Windows computer operating systems

  • LibreOffice and OpenOffice are ‘open source’ programs while MS Office is closed source and owned by Microsoft, this has little practical effect for most users but there are good ethical reasons why people prefer open source over closed source software. You can find out more about this at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software.

Target audience group

The guide has been written for visually impaired computer users and their tutors, using LO/OO Writer with keyboard access methods and no mouse or other pointing device. The guide assumes a basic understanding of the MS Windows operating system and your particular screen reader’s general keyboard commands.

The guide was not written to be used with any particular screen reader program.

Conventions

Many people refer to the key in the bottom row of keys, usually between ‘FN’ and ‘ALT’ as the Windows key because it has an MS Windows logo on it. Libre Office / Open Office will run on both MS Windows and Linux computers and many Linux users have made a positive decision to switch from MS Windows. In this guide the ‘Windows key’ is called the ‘logo key’



The terms ‘hotkey’ and ‘keyboard shortcut’ are used interchangeably.

All keystrokes are formatted like this. In this guide all individual keys and combinations of keys you have to press during a procedure are in capital letters so that they stand out e.g. to bring up the Open dialogue box press CONTROL + O.


ALT + F AND A Means hold down the left ALT key and whilst still holding it down press the letter F, then release both and then press the letter A.


CONTROL + S Means hold down the CONTROL key and whilst keeping it held down press the letter S and then release both.


SHIFT + END means hold down the SHIFT key and whilst keeping it held down press the END key.


ALT + E,C, and press ENTER means hold down the left ALT key and whilst keeping it held down press the letter E key, release both and then press the letter C key followed by the ENTER key.


If, in a menu, your screen reader announces an arrow or says something like submenu, this means that pressing ENTER or right ARROW on this menu item will take you into a sub-menu where you can arrow up and down and make a choice.


If your screen reader announces a row of three dots or says something like dialogue, you will open up a dialogue box to work in if you press ENTER on it.


Some of the keyboard access methods make extensive use of the TAB key and the up, down, left and right arrow keys, at times ‘tabbing’ and ‘arrowing’ are used as verbs, apologies to English language purists.

Suggested approaches for effective learning with this guide

It is up to the individual how they work through this guide, but a few suggestions might assist the learner who is relatively new to computers. Read through the whole of a section before attempting to practise it to get an overview of what is being done.

A number of approaches can be taken to reading the guide and simultaneously carrying out the instructions. You can try one of these methods:

  • Ideally, if you have two computers (physical or one physical and one virtual), you can load the guide into a web browser on one PC and have LO/OO Writer running on the other. You can then listen to the guide on one computer whilst practising the procedures on the other.

  • If you only have the one computer, open the guide into in a web browser for reading and then launch LO/OO Writer. You would have to keep cycling between each running program by pressing ALT + TAB.

  • Another approach might be to record a screen reader reading the contents of a section or sub-section as an audio file. You could then play the file back and follow the instructions on your PC without having to keep moving from one program to another.

  • Other options would be to print out a copy of the guide in large print if you can use this and work from the hard copy, or get your local library or resource centre (if there is one) to produce a Braille version for you to work from if you are a Braillist.

The aims of this guide

This is not a comprehensive guide to using LO/OO Writer but after working through it learners will be equipped to follow other guides or courses on LO/OO Writer (of which there are many) with little adaptation needed.

The guide aims to take a learner new to LO/OO Writer through the beginner’s level concepts and practical stages of LO/OO Writer from the keyboard or to help an experienced computer user unused to relying on keyboard commands.


If the guide does not meet your particular needs the Creative Commons License means that you are free to adapt it, so long as the source is acknowledged and any derivative work uses the same license.


Unless you are an experienced computer and screen reader user work through the guide systematically, as the sections build on one another and jumping straight to a middle or end of a section may not make sense if you have not read and practised earlier sections. Experienced computer users may not need to spend much time on basic concepts.

Keyboard access in general

This is not specific to LO/OO Writer but should work in any well designed program.

Most computer programs have some ‘hotkeys’ / ‘keyboard shortcuts’ to access commands quickly and easily, an example would be CONTROL N for create a new file. many of these are general hotkeys that will work whenever the program is open, others will only work after a specific group of controls (such as a menu or ribbon tab) has been activated.


In tandem with ‘hotkeys’, most visual program interfaces can be operated (or should be able to if the program designers have done their job properly) with keystrokes.

  • Only one control can ‘have focus’… be the active control at a time. In a group of controls, such as a program menu pressing the TAB key will move the focus forward through the controls in a set order, SHIFT TAB will move the focus backwards through the controls.

  • Pressing the up or down ARROW keys generally has the same effect as TAB and SHIFT TAB while pressing the left or right ARROW keys will move the focus into a submenu.

  • For button controls, when they have focus, pressing ENTER is the equivalent of clicking on the button with a computer mouse

  • For check box controls, when they have focus, pressing SPACEBAR will check or uncheck the control depending on its’ current state.

  • For tabbed controls, when they have focus, pressing CONTROL PAGE down will move to the next tab, pressing CONTROL PAGE up will move to the previous tab.

  • For radio button controls, when they have focus, pressing SPACEBAR will select or clear the control

Using LO/OO with screen reader programs

From version 4 of both Libre Office and Open Office, accessibility is standard. Earlier versions of Libre Office and Open Office may require adaptations. Information on how to do this is available at http://accessibilitycentral.net.

Working with the LibreOffice / OpenOffice.org user interface without mouse

Activating menu bar, toolbars, windows, and document

Repeatedly pressing F6 switches the focus (changes the active control) and circles through the following objects:

  • menu bar,

  • every toolbar from top to bottom and from left to right,

  • every free window from left to right,

  • document

If the focus is on a menu bar or a toolbar, and you press CONTROL + TAB, you switch through the previously mentioned objects just as with F6, but without switching through to the document.

Press SHIFT + F6 or SHIFT + CONTROL + TAB to switch through objects in the opposite direction. Press CONTROL + F6 to switch to the document. Press F10 to switch to the menu bar and back. ESCAPE closes an open submenu, a toolbar, or the current free window.

Calling a menu command

Press ALT or F6 or F10 to select the first menu (the File menu). With Right ARROW , the next menu to the right is selected; with Left ARROW, the previous menu.

Arrow down opens a selected menu. Any additional arrow down and up arrow move the selection through the menu commands.

With Right ARROW you open any existing submenus. Press ENTER to execute the selected menu command.

Executing an icon command

Press F6 repeatedly until the first icon on the toolbar is selected. Use the right and left arrows to select an icon on a horizontal toolbar. Similarly, use the up and down arrows to select an icon on a vertical toolbar. The HOME key selects the first icon on a toolbar and the END key, the last.

Press ENTER to execute the selected icon. If the selected icon normally demands a consecutive mouse action, such as inserting a rectangle, then pressing the ENTER key is not sufficient: in these cases press CONTROL + ENTER.

Pressing CONTROL + ENTER on an icon for creating a draw object. A draw object will be placed into the middle of the view, with a predefined size.


Press CONTROL + ENTER on the Selection tool to select the first draw object in the document. If you want to edit, size, or move the selected draw object, first use CONTROL + F6 to set the focus into the document. If a toolbar is longer than can be displayed on screen, it shows an icon at the right or lower edge. Select the toolbar and press PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN to display the remaining icons.

Special hints for toolbars

Press the down ARROW or Right ARROW to open the selected toolbar. This is equivalent to a mouse click. In the toolbar use the Right ARROW and Left ARROW keys. The HOME and END keys select the first and last icon in the toolbar, respectively.

Close the toolbar with ESCAPE. It is not possible to move the toolbar without a mouse.

Selection from a combo box

Select the combo box. Press ENTER. Use the down ARROW or PAGE DOWN key to scroll down the combo box entries, or the up arrow or Page Up key to scroll upwards. The HOME key takes you to the first entry and the END key takes you to the last entry. Press ENTER to execute the selected entry.

Selection in tables

In several windows, dialogs, and in the table control field, there are tables to select data, for instance, in the right part of the Data Source View. The following keys are used for selections in these tables:

SPACEBAR: switches from selection of the current row and cancellation of any selection, but not if the current cell is in edit mode.


CONTROL + SPACEBAR: switches between selection of the current row and cancellation of this selection


SHIFT + SPACEBAR: selection of the current column


ALT + Up ARROW or ALT + Down ARROW: moves the window separator between table and form, for instance in the bibliography database.


In a table control or in the data source view, the TAB key moves to the next column. To move to the next control, press


CONTROL + TAB. To move to the previous control, press SHIFT + CONTROL + TAB.

Size and Position of Windows and Dialogs

1.First press ALT + SPACEBAR. A system menu opens with menu commands like Move, Resize and Close. 2.Choose a command (down ARROW, then ENTER). 3.Now you can use the arrow keys to move or resize the dialog or window. 4.Press ENTER to accept the change. Press ESCAPE to cancel the changes.

Docking and Undocking Windows and Toolbars

1.Press F6 until the window or toolbar is selected. 2.Press CONTROL + SHIFT + F10.

Selecting objects

Press SHIFT + F4 to select the first object in the current document. When an object is selected, press TAB to select the next object, or press ESCAPE to go back to the text.

Edit Objects

A selected OLE object can be activated with the Enter key.

Edit Position and Size of Objects

Use the arrow keys to move the selected object by one grid resolution unit.

Set the grid resolution unit with Tools - Options - OpenOffice.org Writer - Grid in the Resolution area. If you enter a number greater than 1 in the Subdivision area, you must press the arrow key as often as the number states to move the selected object by one grid resolution unit.


Use the ALT and arrow keys to move the selected object by one pixel.


Use CONTROL + TAB to enter the handle edit mode. The upper left handle is the active handle, it starts blinking. Use CONTROL + TAB to select the next handle. Use ESCAPE to exit the handle edit mode. In the handle edit mode, the arrow keys move the selected handle, which changes the object size.

Edit the Anchors of Objects

You can move the anchor of an object with the arrow keys. First enter the handle edit mode and select the anchor. Depending on the type of anchor, you can then move the anchor in different directions.

  1. Select the object.

  2. Enter the handle edit mode with CONTROL + TAB.

  3. The upper left handle starts blinking. Press CONTROL + TAB several times, until no handle blinks. This signals that now the anchor of the object is activated. In text documents you can press SHIFT + CONTROL + A to activate the anchor directly.

  4. Use the arrow keys to move the anchor. The object follows the anchor as appropriate. You can change the anchor of the selected object for example in the object’s context menu.


If the object is anchored To Paragraph, the arrow keys move the object to the previous or next paragraph. If the object is anchored To page, the keys PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN move it to the previous or next page. If the object is anchored To character, the arrow keys move it through the current paragraph. If the object is anchored As character, no anchor icon exists. You cannot move the object. If the object is anchored To frame, the arrow keys move it to the next frame in the respective direction.

Controlling the Help

Press SHIFT + F1 to display the Extended Tips for the currently selected command, icon or control.

Navigating the main help pages

In the main help pages, use TAB to jump to the next hyperlink or SHIFT + TAB to jump to the previous link. Press ENTER to execute the selected hyperlink. Press BACKSPACE above the ENTER key to return to the previous help page.

Controlling the Insert - Special Character Dialog

TAB switches through all controls in the dialog. ALT + Down ARROW opens a combo box. ENTER selects the current entry in the combo box. Arrow buttons move through the main selection area. SPACEBAR adds the current character to the list of characters to be inserted.

How to start LO/OO Writer

How you launch LO/OO Calc will depend on which computer operating system you use, in all versions of MS Windows except Windows 8 pressing the Logo key will launch the ‘Start Menu’, this also works in some versions of Linux.

With a little research on your chosen operating system it should be possible to create a desktop shortcut or other quick way of launching LO/OO Calc.

Speech-friendly LO/OO Writer adjustments

Always maximise your document Windows, with ALT + SPACEBAR + X, if they are not already maximised.

LO/OO Writer configuration changes:

People with some useful vision may want to increase the zoom level in LO/OO Writer. Go to the ‘View’ menu (press ALT + V), arrow to ‘Zoom’ and press ENTER. Then press TAB or SHIFT + TAB to move through the available controls. There are some preset zoom levels you can select by pressing SPACEBAR (they are radio button controls) or tab to the ‘Percent’ spin box where you can type the zoom percentage that you want. Press ENTER to apply your changes.

There are a lot of options in LO/OO Writer that you can change by pressing ALT + T (the ‘Tools’ menu), arrowing to ‘Options’ and pressing ENTER. Altering these options is one of those jobs best carried out with sighted assistance. In general it is best to stick with the default settings unless you have a good reason not to.


You can change the LO/OO Writer keyboard shortcuts, or create your own.

Changing font settings

Specifying the font size

The font or letter size of text is expressed in points, a character 72 points in height will be one inch or 2.5 centimeters high and that the commonest point sizes for printing are 10 or 12 point. For visually impaired readers do not use a font size smaller than 12 point.



You can select some text that has already been typed in and change the font size, or set the font size that you want to use for any text you add to the document from now on. Press ALT + F (for the ‘Format’ menu),arrow down to ‘Character’ and press ENTER, if you are not on the ‘Page’ tab press CONTROL + PAGE UP or CONTROL + PAGE DOWN until you are. Tab through to the ‘Size’ control, type in the font size you want and press ENTER.

Changing the font face

You can select some text that has already been typed in and change the font it uses, or set the font that you want to use for any text you add to the document from now on. Press ALT + F (for the ‘Format’ menu),arrow down to ‘Character’ and press ENTER, if you are not on the ‘Font’ tab press CONTROL + PAGE UP or CONTROL + PAGE DOWN until you are. Tab through to the ‘Font’ control, use the up and down ARROW keys to pick the font you want and press ENTER

Remember to save your file, the changes you make will not alter the LO/OO Writer default settings

Note: There is also a control for altering the font color on the ‘Format’ menu, ‘Character’, ‘Font Effects’ tab, if you cannot see the screen be careful how you use this as sighted people may find your choices difficult or impossible to read. People with certain eye conditions might benefit from using highly contrasting text and background colors.

Printing

You can use ALT + F (for the ‘File’ menu) and P (for Print) or CONTROL + P and press ENTER to print out a standard copy of the whole document on screen with your default printer set-up. However, you can change many options in the printing dialogue, such as the number of copies and what is printed, e.g. all pages, just odd pages, comments only, headers and footers only.

Printing ranges of pages

In ‘Page Range’, in the printing dialogue, ‘All pages’ will be selected but you can press down ARROW and change this to ‘Pages’ and in an edit field type in the range of pages you would like to have printed, e.g.

  • type ‘2-7’ to have pages 2 to 7 inclusive printed only

  • type ‘3-5;7;9’ to have pages 3, 4,5,7 and 9 only printed.



In the print range list, after you have highlighted some text in your document, you can then use the ‘Selection’ button (ALT + S) to print the highlighted/selected text.

Printing options: background and comments printing

In the printing dialogue, tab to the ‘Options’ button and press ENTER, then you can choose to have printing in the background while you continue to use your computer, have comments printed with the pages and much else.



The bookmark feature

To make a bookmark, place the cursor on a letter in the word you want to return to when opening a document, press ALT + I (for the ‘Insert’ menu), K, give the bookmark a name, e.g. bm or mark1, and press ENTER. You then need to press CONTROL + S to save the document before shutting down LO/OO Writer (by pressing CONTROL + Q).

  • After reloading the document, press F5 (for ‘Navigator) to look for the bookmark called ’mark1’, or whatever you called it

  • You will be in a list of items that you could navigate to, arrow through them to ‘Bookmarks’ and press TAB.

  • Type in the bookmark name (mark1), if it is not showing already, or arrow to it, TAB to the ‘Close’ button and press ENTER.



You can then continue reading your document from where you set the bookmark.

Line spacing

The default spacing in LO/OO Writer is proportional. to change this:

  1. Press ALT + F (for the ‘Format’ menu)

  2. Arrow down to ‘Paragraph’ and press ENTER

  3. If you are not on the ‘Indents & spacing’ tab press CONTROL + PAGE UP or CONTROL + PAGE DOWN until you are.



Now you can tab to the ‘Line spacing’ control where you can change to double line spacing among other options. To finish tab to the ‘OK’ button control and press ENTER.

Changing case

To change, selected text to all uppercase (capitals) or all lowercase, press ALT + F (for the ‘Format’ menu), arrow down to ‘Change case’, press right ARROW, stay on ‘Uppercase’ or arrow down to ‘Lowercase’ and press ENTER.

Formatting

AutoFormatting

‘AutoFormat as You Type’ options are selected by ALT + F (for the ‘Format’ menu), arrow down to ‘AutoFormat’, press right ARROW. If ’While Typing* is off pressing ENTER will turn it on, or if it is on turn it off.

Dividing lines

LO/OO Writer creates a single line, the full width of a page you when you type three hyphens and press ENTER, or a double line if you type three equals signs in a row and press ENTER*. These may be useful for dividing a document into sections.

Asterisks/bullets

If you have AutoFormatting turned on and you type an asterisk () followed by a line of text and press ENTER* once, LO/OO Writer will put the next asterisk on the next line automatically For you. (For other bullet types and auto-numbering, look at ‘Bulleted and numbered lists’.

Ordinal number and fraction formatting

LO/OO Writer formats ordinal numbers and fractions, such as changing 1/4 to a single character quarter sign automatically.

Quick table creation

When you type + — + — + LO/OO Writer will create a table with a column for each trio of hyphens. So the pluses and dashes just shown would create a two columned table.

AutoCorrect

You can use the AutoCorrect feature to:

Automatically detect and correct typos and misspelled words. For example, if you type ‘teh’ plus a space, AutoCorrect replaces what you typed with the. Or if you type ‘This is theh ouse’ plus a space, AutoCorrect replaces what you typed with ‘This is the house’.


Quickly insert symbols For example, type ‘(c)’ to insert a copyright sign. If the list of built-in AutoCorrect entries doesn’t contain the symbols you want, then you can add entries.


Quickly insert any long piece of text For example, if you need to repeatedly enter a phrase such as ‘return on investment’, you can set up the program to automatically enter this phrase when you type ‘roi’.


All these uses of the AutoCorrect feature rely on a lists of paired words. The first word is the word that you type, the second word or phrase is what the LO/OO Writer enters to replace that word.

Add a text entry to the AutoCorrect list

Press ALT T (for the ‘Tools’ menu), arrow down to ‘Autocorrect’ and press ENTER, move between tabbed pages of controls with CONTROL + PAGE UP or CONTROL + PAGE DOWN.

If you tab through the options in this dialogue, you can choose to have missing capitals at the beginning of sentences automatically entered by LO/OO Writer, accidently leaving the caps lock on corrected, etc. Another way to use AutoCorrect is to replace a short form with a longer phrase. For example, if you insert ‘lw’ as if it were a misspelled word and set AutoCorrect to replace any occurrence of ‘lw’ with the phrase ‘lots of words’ this can be an automatic time-saver. You do this by:

  1. Start AutoCorrect and go to the ‘Replace’ tab.

  2. Press DELETE until the ‘Replace’ edit field is empty and type in ‘lw’.

  3. TAB to the ‘With’ textbox press BACKSPACE to empty it and type the replacement string, e.g. ‘lots of words’, tab to the ‘New’ button and press ENTER.

  4. Now test this by typing lw into a document and pressing SPACEBAR or ENTER to move on and see what happens.

To remove the AutoCorrect entry, go to AutoCorrect and once you are in the ‘Replace’ text box control press the down ARROW key to move through the list of AutoCorrect entries until you reach ‘lw’, tab to the ‘Delete’ button and press ENTER.

Columns

Setting out text in columns

You can create columns of text by pressing ALT + F (for the ‘Format’ menu),arrow down to ‘Page’ and press move to the ‘Column’ tabbed page of controls with CONTROL + PAGE UP or CONTROL + PAGE DOWN. Type the number of columns that you want and press ’ENTER*.

Tables

Creating, formatting, using formulae in and entering text in tables

LO/OO Writer can create tables that are used to structure information or as a simple spreadsheet to enter formulae in or automate calculations, etc.

Table navigation shortcut keystrokes

Table shortcuts will greatly simplify and speed up your movement in tables, it would be best if you learn most of them before you start working in tables. To navigate around a table on screen use:

up and down ARROWs: to move through rows. left and right ARROWs: to move a letter at a time.

CONTROL + left or right ARROW: to move a word at a time.

TAB and SHIFT + TAB: will move you forward and backwards through the cells one at a time respectively.

CONTROL + HOME twice: to go to row one column one (when the table is the only thing in the document). CONTROL + END twice: to the last cell in the table.

Selecting table components

It will also stand you in good stead if you learn some of these selecting techniques used from the keyboard in LO/OO Writer tables:

To select several cells at once: press SHIFT + left or right ARROW as many times as necessary.

To select several rows at once: press SHIFT + up or down ARROW as many times as necessary.

Default table characteristics

In tables you do not have to worry about the lengths of columns as they will automatically wrap to the next line within their allotted column width. By default, the columns will be of equal width with an equal space between each, unless you change this.



Creating a table and moving around in it

To create a table:

  1. With your cursor at the place where you want the table to appear, press CONTROL + F12.

  2. Tab to the ‘Columns’ edit field, where the default number of columns is 2, change this to what you want by pressing BACKSPACE and typing the new figure in. You can also choose the number of columns by arrowing up and down the list of numbers, although this is time consuming.

  3. Tab to the ‘Rows’ edit field and replace the default of 2 with the number you want (this is not too important since if you end up needing more rows than you specified here you can add them as you need them).

  4. After tabbing to the ‘OK’ button and pressing ENTER LO/OO Writer will create a table grid on the screen. You will be in column 1 row 1 by default.



Pressing TAB takes you to row 1 column 2, etc. If you are in the last column of a row, and press TAB, you will be taken to the next row down in column one. Never press ENTER to move down one row in a table.

If you are in the last cell of the table, e.g. row 6 column 4, and decide you need another row, just press TAB and LO/OO Writer will create a new row, you will go to row 7 column one

Inserting formatting attributes into a table’s text

When entering text in a table’s cells, you can use any of the normal text attribute commands, such as CONTROL + E (centre), CONTROL + R (right align), CONTROL + L (left align), CONTROL + B (bold), change the font type/size, etc.

If your table already has text in it, you can format it, by selecting / selecting the cells and applying a text attribute.

Adding or Deleting a Row or Column to a Table Using the Keyboard

You can add or delete rows or columns in table as well as split or merge table cells using the keyboard.

To insert a new row in a table, place the cursor in a table cell, press ALT + INS, and then press the up or down ARROW* key. You can also move the cursor to the last cell in the table, and then press TAB.


To insert a new column, place the cursor in a table cell, press ALT + INS, and then press the left or right ARROW key.


To split a table cell instead of adding a column, press ALT + INS, and then hold down CONTROL while you press the left or right ARROW key.


To delete a row, place the cursor in a table cell, press ALT + DELETE, and then press the up or down ARROW key.


To delete a column, place the cursor in a table cell, press ALT + DELETE, and then press the left or the right ARROW* key.


To merge a table into an adjacent cell, place the cursor in the cell, press ALT + DELETE, hold down CONTROL, and then press the left or the right ARROW key.


You can also do these operations by pressing ALT + A and using the ‘Table’ menu.

Sorting text in tables

LO/OO Writer can sort rows or columns in a table:

  1. Select the row(s) or column(s) that you want sorted.

  2. Press ALT + T (for the ‘Tools’ menu), arrow down to ‘Sort’ and press ENTER



The Sort feature allows for up to three levels of sorting. For example a table of names with the first name in column A and the last name in column B could be sorted alphabetically first by column B (last name) and then by column A (first name).

There are three ‘Sort By’ list box controls you can tab through to set your column or row sort preferences, i.e. the first being the primary column to sort and then if needed the second and third columns to sort etc.


Other controls that you can tab through let you specify if the table contents is alphanumeric (letters or letters and numbers) or numeric (only numbers), to sort rows or columns and if you want the sort to be ascending or descending.


When you have set the sort preferences that you want tab to the ‘OK’ button control and press ENTER. If you have made a mistake pressing CONTROL + Z will undo the sort operation.

Automatic table formatting

To apply automatic formatting pressing ALT + A (for the ‘Table’ menu), arrow down to ‘AutoFormat and press ENTER. You can now arrow through a list of automatic table formats and press ENTER to select one or tab to the ’Cancel’ button and press ENTER to exit this feature.

Paragraph formatting

To change the formatting of an existing paragraph select the paragraph or paragraphs that you want to format, otherwise your formatting choices will apply to any new paragraphs that you type.

To access the paragraph formatting controls press ALT + F (for the ‘Format’ menu), arrow down to ‘Paragraph’ and press ENTER. There are a lot of options here, use ’CONTROL + PAGE UP* or CONTROL + PAGE DOWN to move between tabbed pages of controls and the TAB or SHIFT + TAB keys to move through the controls in a page. Take the time to explore the different formatting options.

When you have finished setting the controls that you want to change there is an ‘OK’ button to apply the changes, or a ‘Cancel’ button to exit from paragraph formatting.

Word count

To activate word count and find the number of words in a document on screen, use ALT + T (for the ‘Tools’ menu) ,arrow down to ‘Word Count’ and press ENTER, you might have to read the figures with your screen reader in navigation or mouse mode.

Customising LO/OO Writer

LO/OO Writer has an array of features that you can customise.

Creating your own keyboard shortcuts or changing existing shortcuts

Good advice is do not customise LO/OO Writer shortcuts unless you have a very good reason to since when you use LO/OO Writer on another computer it will not have the personal customisations you have become used to.

You can assign shortcut key combinations to events like macros, special symbols, AutoText entries and LO/OO Writer commands in general. The process is not that simple and is one of those tasks that might be better undertaken with sighted assistance.


To start customising the LO/OO Writer keyboard shortcuts or create new ones of your own:

  1. Press ALT + T (for the ‘Tools’ menu), arrow down to ‘Customize’ press ENTER, use CONTROL + PAGE UP or CONTROL + PAGE DOWN to get to the ‘Keyboard’ tabbed page, if you are not already on it.

  2. Tab to the ‘Help’ button and press ENTER to see the help section about using the controls on the ‘Keyboard’ tabbed page.

Templates

Templates are a useful way to start a new document with some formatting and perhaps content already in place, how useful they may actually be for an individual user depends on the pattern of work they do with LO/OO Writer. There are a lot of LO/OO Writer templates for different types of document that can be downloaded from the Internet, or you can create your own if you need to. Templates are certainly worth investigating as a solution to particular problems, not as a general purpose tool.

Look at the LO/OO help system topics about templates for more information.

Bulleted and numbered lists

You can use these keyboard shortcuts to turn the numbered or bulleted list options on or off.

Press F12 to turn ‘Numbered list’ on
Press SHIFT + F12 to turn ‘Bulleted list’ on
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + F12 to turn Numbering / Bullets off

AutoText

In OpenOffice.org Writer, you can store text - also containing graphics, tables, and fields - as AutoText, so that you can quickly insert the text later on. If you want, you can also store formatted text.

Creating an AutoText entry

  1. Select the text, text with graphics or table that you want to save as an AutoText entry. A graphic can only be stored if it is anchored as a character and is preceded and followed by at least one text character.

  2. Press CONTROL + F3.

  3. Type a name that is longer than four characters and press TAB to the ‘Shortcut’ control

  4. LO/OO Writer will suggest a shortcut key. If you want, you can modify the proposed shortcut. Press TAB when you are done.

  5. Arrow through the category list and choose where you want to store the AutoText.

  6. Tab to the ‘AutoText’ button, press ENTER, arrow down to ‘New’ and press ENTER.

  7. Shift tab to the ‘Close button’ and press ENTER.

Inserting an AutoText entry

  1. Move the cursor to where you want to insert an AutoText entry.

  2. Choose Edit - AutoText.

  3. Select the AutoText that you want to insert, and then click Insert. You can also type the shortcut for an AutoText entry and press F3.

Removing an AutoText entry

  1. Press CONTROL + F3, tab to the ‘Category List’ control. 2.Arrow through the category list to the AutoText entry that you want to delete (activate the number pad if it is turned off by pressing NUM LOCK and press the NUMBER PAD PLUS key to open a category). 3.Tab to the ‘AutoText’ button, press ENTER, arrow down to ‘Delete’ and press ENTER.

  2. Shift tab to the ‘Close button’ and press ENTER

Mail Merge

You can use Mail Merge for bulk mailings of letters, circulars, e-mails and for creating labels.

Use mail merge when you want to create a set of documents, such as a form letter that is sent to many customers or a sheet of address labels. Each letter or label has the same kind of information, but the content is unique. For example, in letters to your customers, each letter can be personalized to address each customer by name.


If you want to understand how to do mail merge in LO/OO Writer press F1 and look it up in the help system



Footnotes and endnotes

To add a footnote or endnote to a document that explains a statement or give reference details:

  1. Place the cursor at the point in the document where you want the footnote marker to appear.

  2. Press ALT + I (for Insert), arrow down to ‘Footnote’ and press ENTER.

  3. Tab through the controls to select if you want to create a footnote or an endnote and press ENTER.

  4. You will now be in an edit field where you can type in the text of your footnote or endnote.

  5. After entering the text, press PAGE UP to return to your document.

  6. There will now be a superscript figure 1 in the body of your document where the footnote marker is and at the bottom of the page the figure 1 will appear again with the footnote text you created in step 3. Any more footnotes will be numbered 2, 3, etc. Endnotes will be indicated with Roman numbers (I,II,III etc.). You may have to use your screen reader’s mouse mode to view the footnotes and endnotes.

Styles

Creating and using hierarchical heading styles

‘Styles’ can speed up and take some of the hard work out of creating long documents while ensuring consistency of appearance. You can use LO/OO Writer’s predefined ‘Styles’ or create new custom ‘Styles’. A style is a way of creating headings and sub-headings or text with pre-assigned attributes, such as font, font size, underlining etc.

There are a lot of LO/OO Writer ‘Styles’ but practising with a few of them will show you how they work.


If you are going to automatically generate a table of contents, an index, a table of authorities or use cross-referencing in a document then you must use ‘Styles’ to create headings and sub-headings.

In general when they are reading a document screen reader programs will cope with heading and sub-heading ‘Styles’ better than with individually applied text attributes, so use ‘Styles’ to create documents that are accessible to screen reader users.

Using LO/OO Writer’s own ‘Styles’

To use the pre-defined ‘Styles’ for headings and sub-headings as you create a document:



Using LO/OO Writer’s own ‘Styles’, method 1

  1. With a blank document screen, press F11 (for the ’Style and Formatting),

  2. You go to a list of available ‘Styles’ and need to arrow to ‘Heading 1’, (the first heading in a document) and press ENTER.

  3. Type the text for your level one heading title with no formatting other than entering capital letters as required, LO/OO Writer will do the rest, e.g. type “Annual General Meeting”.

  4. Press F11 and ENTER to start typing your first paragraph.Your heading will now have the text attributes of the LO/OO Writer ‘Heading 1’ ‘Style’… ‘Calibri Heading’ font, in 14 point size print, using bold text and aligned left. Pressing ENTER will start a new line under your heading and change the ‘Style’ to ‘Normal’, which is the one used for the main body of your text.

  1. Type the paragraph body text to be placed underneath ‘Heading 1’. The default font will be Times Roman in 12 point size print, as will the rest of the body text unless you have changed this.

  2. To create ‘Heading level 2’, repeat the step 1 to 4 from pressing, this time arrow to “heading 2” in step 2. This time the heading will have a 13 point font size.

  3. Level 3, 4 and 5 headings can be created in the same way.



After completing your document, save it with CONTROL + S.

Style keyboard shortcuts

You can assign shortcut keys to ‘Styles’ using the ‘Tools’ menu, ‘Customize’, ‘Keyboard tab page’. LO/OO Writer already has four shortcut keys for applying frequently used styles:

Press CONTROL + 0 (zero) To apply ‘Default’ style Press CONTROL + 1 To apply ‘Heading 1’ style
Press CONTROL + 2 To apply ‘Heading 2’ style
Press CONTROL + 3 To apply ‘Heading 3’ style


You can also modify existing ‘Styles’, changing the text attributes they apply or create your own heading and body text ‘Styles’. Before you do this get to know and become confident using the default set of ‘Styles’. There is more information in the LO/OO help system.

Inserting hyperlinks into a document

A “hyperlink” is a link, when you press CONTROL + ENTER* on it you are taken straight to another file, a bookmark in the current document, your E-mail program to send an e-mail or to a Website.



Example: inserting a link to to another file from the current document

  1. If you want a person reading your document to be able to jump to another file, select the word or words that will form part of the hyperlink.

  2. Next press ALT + I (for the ‘Insert’ menu) and ALT + H (for ‘Hyperlink’) in the edit field type the name and location of the target file e.g. C:documents.doc, or A:.doc, or http://tinyurl.com/visimpscot, press ENTER and the hyperlink is created.



Note: There are also “Web”, “File” and “Bookmark” sub-dialogues you can press ENTER on to tell LO/OO Writer where you want it to look for a target Website , file or bookmark to open.

  1. Now, when you are reading the document, if your screen reader is advanced enough to tell you when you have moved onto a hyperlink or you can see well enough to notice the link, you will be able to press CONTROL + ENTER* on it to get the file opened for reading in a new LO/OO Writer document screen.



Note: if pressing ENTER on the first letter of the selected linked text does not launch the second file or Internet browser, etc, pressing ENTER on the second letter of the link should work.

  1. After reading the linked file just press ALT + F, C, to close it and return to your original document .

LO/OO Writer macros

A macro is a recording of several commands to be saved under one command name, which can then be run to carry out all of the individual commands in the order they were recorded. This can automate a task which you carry out regularly. However, writers of computer viruses have exploited flaws in the design of this feature and LO/OO Writer will usually raise a security warning when you try to run a macro that you recorded yourself.

For most users it is enough to know that this feature exists and put off learning the details of how to use it until they really need that knowledge.

Password protecting ODF format documents

If you have important information that you need to keep confidential then use a proper encryption program to do the job, do not rely on this LO/OO Writer password feature. However, if you really want to proceed, then do this to password protect a document:

All documents that are saved in OpenDocument format (ODF) can be saved with a password. Documents that are saved with a password cannot be opened without the password. The content is secured so that it cannot be read with an external editor. This applies to content, graphics and OLE objects.

Turning on protection

Choose File - Save As (press CONTROL + SHIFT + S) after specifying the filename and location tab to the ‘Save with password’ check box control and press SPACEBAR, then tab to the SAVE button and press ENTER. Then type in the password (which must be at least 5 characters long), press TAB, type the password in again and press ENTER.

Turning off protection

Open a protected document, entering the correct password. Choose File - Save As (press CONTROL + SHIFT + S), after specifying the filename and location tab to the ‘Save with password’ check box control and press SPACEBAR to uncheck it, then tab to the SAVE button and press ENTER

List of LO/OO Writer hotkeys

Press F2 Formula Bar
Press CONTROL + F2 Insert Fields
Press F3 Complete AutoText
Press CONTROL + F3 Edit AutoText
Press F4 Open Data Source View
Press SHIFT + F4 Select next frame
Press F5 Navigator on/off
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + F5 Navigator on, go to page number
Press F7 Spell-check
Press CONTROL + F7 Thesaurus
Press F8 Extension mode
Press CONTROL + F8 Field shadings on / off
Press SHIFT + F8 Additional selection mode
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + F8 Block selection mode
Press F9 Update fields
Press CONTROL + F9 Show fields
Press SHIFT + F9 Calculate Table
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + F9 Update Input Fields and Input Lists
Press CONTROL + F10 Nonprinting Characters on/off
Press F11 Styles and Formatting window on/off
Press SHIFT + F11 Create Style
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + F11 Update Style
Press F12 Numbering on
Press CONTROL + F12 Insert or edit Table
Press SHIFT + F12 Bullets on
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + F12 Numbering / Bullets off
Press CONTROL + A Select All
Press CONTROL + J Justify
Press CONTROL + D Double Underline
Press CONTROL + E Centered
Press CONTROL + F Find and Replace
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + P Superscript
Press CONTROL + L Align Left
Press CONTROL + R Align Right
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + B Subscript
Press CONTROL + Y Redo last action
Press CONTROL + 0 (zero) Apply Default style
Press CONTROL + 1 Apply Heading 1 style
Press CONTROL + 2 Apply Heading 2 style
Press CONTROL + 3 Apply Heading 3 style
Press CONTROL + 5 1.5 Line Spacing
Press CONTROL + Plus Key( + ) Calculates the selected text and copies the result to the clipboard.
Press CONTROL + Hyphen(-) Custom hyphens; hyphenation set by you.
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + minus sign (-) Non-breaking dash (is not used for hyphenation)
Press *CONTROL + multiplication sign ** (only on number pad) Run macro field
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + SPACEBAR Non-breaking spaces. Non-breaking spaces are not used for hyphenation and are not expanded if the text is justified.
Press SHIFT + ENTER Line break without change
Press CONTROL + ENTER Manual page break
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + ENTER Column break in multicolumn texts
Press Alt + ENTER Inserting a new without numbering
Press Alt + ENTER Inserting a new directly before or after a section or a table.
Press Left ARROW Move cursor to left
Press SHIFT + Left ARROW Move cursor with selection to the left
Press CONTROL + Left ARROW Go to beginning of word
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + Left ARROW Selecting to the left word by word
Press right ARROW Move cursor to right
Press SHIFT + right ARROW Move cursor with selection to the right
Press CONTROL + right ARROW Go to end of word
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + right ARROW Selecting to the right word by word
Press UP ARROW Move cursor up one line
Press SHIFT + UP ARROW Selecting lines in an upwards direction
Press CONTROL + UP ARROW Move cursor to beginning of
Press SHIFT + CONTROL + UP ARROW Select to beginning of
Press DOWN ARROW Move cursor down one line
Press SHIFT + DOWN ARROW Selecting lines in a downward direction
Press CONTROL + DOWN ARROW Move cursor to end of
Press SHIFT + CONTROL + DOWN ARROW Select to end of
Press HOME Go to beginning of line
Press SHIFT + HOME Go and select to the beginning of a line
Press END Go to end of line
Press SHIFT + END Go and select to end of line
Press CONTROL + HOME Go to start of document
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + HOME Go and select text to start of document
Press CONTROL + END Go to end of document
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + END Go and select text to end of document
Press CONTROL + PAGE UP Switch cursor between text and header
Press CONTROL + PAGE DOWN Switch cursor between text and footer
Press INSERT Insert mode on/off
Press PAGE UP Screen page up
Press SHIFT + PAGE UP Move up screen page with selection
Press PAGE DOWN Move down screen page
Press SHIFT + PAGE DOWN Move down screen page with selection
Press CONTROL + DELETE Delete text to end of word
Press CONTROL + BACKSPACE Delete text to beginning of word
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + DELETE Delete text to end of sentence
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + BACKSPACE Delete text to beginning of sentence
Press CONTROL + TAB Next suggestion with Automatic Word Completion
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + TAB Use previous suggestion with Automatic Word Completion
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + F10 Use this combination to quickly dock or undock the Navigator, Styles and Formatting window, or other windows

Paragraph

Press CONTROL + Alt + UP ARROW Move the active or selected paragraphs up one .
Press CONTROL + Alt + DOWN ARROW Move the active or selected paragraphs down one .
Press TAB The heading in format “Heading X” (X = 1-9) is moved down one level in the outline.
Press SHIFT + TAB The heading in format “Heading X” (X = 2-10) is moved up one level in the outline.
Press CONTROL + TAB At the start of a heading: Inserts a tab stop. Depending on the Window Manager in use, ALT + TAB may be used instead.



Table

Press CONTROL + A If the active cell is empty: selects the whole table. Otherwise: selects the contents of the active cell. Pressing again selects the entire table.
Press CONTROL + HOME If the active cell is empty: goes to the beginning of the table. Otherwise: first press goes to beginning of the active cell, second press goes to beginning of the current table, third press goes to beginning of document
Press CONTROL + END If the active cell is empty: goes to the end of the table. Otherwise: first press goes to the end of the active cell, second press goes to the end of the current table, third press goes to the end of the document
Press CONTROL + TAB Inserts a tab stop (only in tables). Depending on the Window Manager in use, Alt + TAB may be used instead
Press ALT + ARROW Keys Increases/decreases the size of the column/row on the right/bottom cell edge
Press Alt + SHIFT + ARROW keys Increase/decrease the size of the column/row on the left/top cell edge
Press Alt + CONTROL + ARROW keys Like ALT, but only the active cell is modified Table
Press CONTROL + ALT + SHIFT + ARROW keys Like ALT, but only the active cell is modified Table
Press ALT + INSERT 3 seconds in Insert mode, Arrow Key inserts row/column, CONTROL + Arrow Key inserts table cell
Press Alt + DELETE 3 seconds in Delete mode, Arrow key deletes row/column, CONTROL + Arrow key merges cell with neighboring cell Table
Press CONTROL + SHIFT + T Removes cell protection from all selected tables. If no table is selected, then cell protection is removed from all of the tables in the document
Press SHIFT + CONTROL + DELETE If no whole cell is selected, the text from the cursor to the end of the current sentence is deleted. If the cursor is at the end of a cell, and no whole cell is selected, the contents of the next cell are deleted
Press Esc Cursor is inside a text frame and no text is selected: Escape selects the text frame.
Press F2 or ENTER or any key that produces a character on screen If a text frame is selected: positions the cursor to the end of the text in the text frame. If you press any key that produces a character on screen, and the document is in edit mode, the character is appended to the text.

Graphic / frames

Press Alt + ARROW keys Move object.
Press Alt + CONTROL + ARROW keys Resizes by moving lower right corner.
Press Alt + CONTROL + SHIFT + ARROW keys Resizes by moving top left corner.
Press CONTROL + TAB Selects the anchor of an object (in Edit Points mode).

Inserting Sections

1.Choose View - Toolbars - Insert to open the Insert toolbar. 2.Press F6 until the focus is on the Insert toolbar. 3.Press the right ARROW key until the Section icon is selected. 4.Press the down ARROW key, and then press the right ARROW key to set the width of the section that you want to insert. 5.Press ENTER. 6.Press F6 to place the cursor inside the document.

Inserting Text Tables

1.Press F6 until the focus is on the Standard toolbar. 2.Press the right ARROW key until the Table icon is selected. 3.Press the down ARROW key, and then use the arrow keys to select the number of columns and rows to include in the table. 4.Press ENTER. 5.Press F6 to place the cursor inside the document.


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