Lesson 2: Formatting text, connectors and Working with graphics styles (chapter 3)

Formatting text

provides two dialog boxes related to text formatting: Format > Character and Format > Text.

To modify formatting such as font and font effects, select the text in the shape and then go to Format > Character

To add text to an object (a shape or a line):

  • Select the object to which text will be added.
  • With the green resizing handles showing, double-click on the object and wait for the cursor to become an I-beam or just start typing.
  • Type the text. When finished, click somewhere outside the object or press Esc.

To format the text in a shape:

  • Select the object to which text was added.
  • Select Format > Text or right-click on the shape and select Text from the pop-up menu. The Text dialog box is displayed.

The top section of the page (Text) offers several options in the form of checkboxes. Some of the options will be grayed out, depending on the object to which the text will be attached.

  • Select Fit width to text to expand the width of the shape or line if the text is too long for it.
  • Select Word wrap text in shape to start a new line automatically when the edge of the shape is reached.
  • Select Fit height to text to expand the object height whenever it is smaller than the text (set by default for lines).
  • Select Resize shape to fit text to expand a custom shape when the text inserted in the shape is too large.
  • Select Fit to frame to expand the text so that it fills all the available space.
  • Select Adjust to contour to make the text follow a curved line.


Figure : Main dialog box to set the text properties


In the Spacing to borders section, specify the amount of space to be left between the border of the shape or line and the text; this is similar to the settings for indentation and spacing for paragraphs.

The text anchor grid in the bottom right corner of the dialog box is used to decide where to anchor the text. The Full width option determines if the anchoring should be performed to the full width of the shape.

Text animation

Use the Text Animation page to add special effects to the text. Choose between the four options on the list and when applicable, the direction of the effect by picking one of the four arrow buttons to the right. The available effects are:

  • Blink: the text will blink on the screen.
  • Scroll through: the text will move into the shape and then out following the chosen direction.
  • Scroll back and forth: the text will move first in the chosen direction but will bounce back at the shape border.
  • Scroll in: the text will scroll in towards the given direction starting from the edge of the shape and stop in the center.

The default is no animation.

The other properties that can be set are:

  • Start inside option: when set the animation will start from inside the shape.
  • Text visible when editing option: set this box to see the text while editing.
  • Animation cycles: includes three further options to set the frequency of the animation, the increments between two positions of the animation and finally the delay before the animation starts.

To see some of the animations in action, it is necessary to start the presentation. Press F9 or select Slide Show > Slide Show from the main menu. To return to the edit mode, press Esc.

Formatting connectors

Connectors are lines that join two shapes. Connectors always start from a glue point on the shape. Refer to Chapter 5 (Managing Graphic Objects) for a description of the usage of connectors.

Connector properties can be accessed and modified in two ways:

  • Manual formatting: right-click on the connector line and select Connector in the pop‑up menu.
  • Style-based formatting: select one of the available graphics styles or create a new one.

Both methods open the Connector dialog box where you can set the style of the connectors. Choose between Standard (the default), Line, Straight, and Curved connector. Whenever multiple connectors overlap, use the Line skew section of the dialog box to distance the lines. It is possible to customize the distance between 4 different lines.

In the Line spacing section of the dialog box, set the horizontal and vertical space between the connector and the object at each end of the connector.


Figure : Setting up the connector properties

Working with graphics styles

To achieve consistency in the style across the slides of a presentation (or a presentations portfolio), or simply to apply the same formatting to a large number of objects, the best approach is to use graphics styles.

Graphics styles are the equivalent for graphic objects of paragraph styles for text. A graphics style groups all the formatting attributes that a graphic object can have and associates this with a name, making them quickly reusable. If a style is modified (for example, by changing the area transparency), the changes are automatically applied to all the graphics with that style.

If you use Impress frequently, a library of well-defined graphics styles is an invaluable tool for speeding up the process of formatting your work according to your taste or any style guidelines you may need to follow (company colors, fonts and so on).

Use the Styles and Formatting window to access styles you will need often. If the window is not visible, press F11, or click the Styles and Formatting icon at the left-hand end of the formatting bar, or select Format > Styles and Formatting from the menu bar. Press F11 again when the dialog box is not needed, to maximize the workspace area.

Linked graphics styles

Graphics styles support inheritance; that is, a style can be linked to another (parent) style so that it inherits all the formatting settings of the parent. You can use this property to create “families” of styles.

For example, if you need multiple boxes that differ in color but are otherwise identically formatted, the best way to proceed is to define a generic style for the box including borders, area fill, font, and so on and a number of hierarchically dependent styles which differ only in the fill color attribute. If later you need to change the font size or the thickness of the border, it is sufficient to change the parent style and all the other styles will change accordingly.

Creating graphics styles

You can create a new graphics style in two ways:

  • Using the Style dialog box
  • From a selection

Creating a new graphics style using the Style dialog box

Choose the Graphics Styles icon  at the top of the Styles and Formatting window.

To link a new style with an existing style, first select that style, and then right-click and choose New. Otherwise, select Default, then right-click and choose New.


Figure : Linking a new style with an existing style


As discussed in the preceding section, when styles are linked, changing the font will change it in all the linked styles. Sometimes this is exactly what you want; at other times you do not want the changes to apply to all the linked styles. It pays to plan ahead.


Figure : Top of dialog box to create a new graphics style


The Graphics style dialog box consists of 14 pages (15 if Asian language support has not been enabled) that may be grouped as follows:

  • The Organizer page contains a summary of the style and its hierarchical position.
  • The Font, Font Effects, Indents & Spacing, Alignment, Tabs and Asian typography pages set the properties of the text inserted in a text box or in an graphic object.
  • The Dimensioning page is used to set the style of dimension lines.
  • The Text, Text animation, Connector, Line, Area, Shadowing, and Transparency pages determine the formatting of a graphic object and are discussed elsewhere in this chapter.


In most cases you will not need to configure the parameters of every page; for example, to create a simple line style you will probably only use 3 of the 15 pages.

Creating a new graphics style from a selection

You can create a new style from manually formatted text or graphics:

  • Select the item you want to save as a style. If the selected object is already styled, then the new style will be linked to such style.
  • In the Styles and Formatting window, click the New Style from Selection icon, highlighted in .


Figure : New style from selection


  • In the Create Style dialog box that pops up, type a name for the new style. The list shows the names of existing custom styles of the selected type. Click OK to save the new style.


Figure : Naming a new style created from a selection


Modifying a graphics style

To change an existing style, right-click on it in the Styles and Formatting window and choose Modify from the pop-up menu.

The dialog box for the modification of a graphic style is the same as the one for creating a new graphics style.

Make the required changes to the style and then click OK to save them.

Updating a graphics style from a selection

To update a style from a selection:

  • Select an item that has the format you want to adopt as a style.
  • In the Styles and Formatting window, select the style you want to update, and then click the Update Style icon.

Figure . Updating a style from a selection



Any changes you make to a style are effective only in the document on which you are working. The changes do not go into any associated template. If you want the changes to apply to more than one document, you need to change the template(see Chapter 2).

Applying graphics styles

You can apply a graphics style in two ways, both starting from the Styles and Formatting window. First make sure that the graphics styles are shown, then do one of the following:

  • Select the object to which you want to apply a graphics style and double-click on the name of the style you want to apply.
  • Click the Fill Format mode icon . The mouse pointer changes to this icon. Position the moving icon on the graphic object to be styled and click the mouse button. This mode remains active until you turn it off, so you can apply the same style to several objects. To quit Fill Format mode, click the Fill Format mode icon again or press the Esc key.
  • When Fill Format mode is active, a right-click anywhere in the document undoes the last Fill Format action. Be careful not to accidentally right-click and thus undo actions you want to keep.


At the bottom of the Styles and Formatting window is a drop-down list. You can choose to show all styles or groups of styles such as applied styles or (in the case of graphics styles) custom styles.

Deleting graphics styles

You cannot delete any of the predefined styles, even if you are not using them.

You can delete any user-defined (custom) styles, but before you do, you should make sure the styles are not in use. If an unwanted style is in use, replace it with a substitute style.

To delete unwanted styles, right-click on them (one at a time) in the Styles and Formatting window and click Delete on the pop-up menu. Click Yes in the message box that pops up.

Assigning styles to shortcut keys

OOo provides a set of predefined keyboard shortcuts which allow you to quickly apply styles while typing in a document. You can redefine these shortcuts or define your own, as described in Appendix A (Keyboard Shortcuts).


 Source: Internet