There are a variety of ways to start Writer and the method you use depends on whether you intend to open an existing document or create a new one. In Windows, the most common way is from the Start Menu.
MAC USERS: You will find the OpenOffice.org icon in the Applications folder. You can open the program by double clicking this icon.
When you open up OpenOffice Writer, a blank document opens and you can begin working immediately. Let's first take a look at the program window.
The Title bar is located at the top of the Writer window and shows the name of the current document. The document name will appear as a generic Untitled 1 until you save and name your document.
The Menu bar is located just below the Title bar and contains standard menu items such as File, Edit, View, Format, Table, Tools, Window and Help. When you choose one of the menu items a submenu drops down to show commands (see below).
Right below the menu you'll find the Standard Toolbar and the Formatting Toolbar. Writer provides several toolbars for your use such as the Drawing toolbar, the Bullets and Numbering toolbar and the picture toolbar that appear when they are needed. The Standard and Formatting toolbars you see below are consistent across all OpenOffice programs.
The File Menu is where you can perform all the common file management tasks such as creating new files, open existing files, saving files and printing. You can also export files to PDF from the File Menu. If you've used an earlier version of Microsoft Office (i.e. 97/2000) this should be very familiar to you.
The Edit Menu contains commands for editing the document such as Undo, Paste and Find and Replace.
The View Menu contains commands for controlling the display of the document such Print Layout or Web Layout. The View Menu also controls what is displayed on your Writer Window such as Toolbars, the Ruler or non printing characters.
The Insert Menu contains commands for inserting elements into your document such as hyperlinks, headers, footers, endnotes, bookmarks, cross references, objects, tables and pictures.
The Format Menu contains commands, for formatting your document such as Character formatting, Paragraph formatting, changing case and Bullets and Numbering.
Table shows all commands to insert and edit a table in a text document.
The Tools Menu contains functions such as Spelling and Grammar, Customize, Language, Word Count and Footnote and Endnotes. It's also where you can perform more advanced functions such as Mail Merge, adding a bibliography database and setting options such as Auto Correct options.
Window contains commands for the display window.
The Help Menu contains links to the OpenOffice.org Help file, What’s This?, and information about the program.
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