2. Create a New Document
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
1 Set Writer Options
4 Type Text into a Document
9 Print a Document
18 Use a Template
Writer gives you two ways to create new documents: You can create a new document from a completely blank document (if you choose this approach, you must decide what text to place in the document and where you want that information to go) or you can use a Wizard to open a blank, preformatted document. If you use the Wizard approach to document creation, you can choose from several Wizard options that preformat your new document according to selections you make:
2. Create a New Document
Wizard Preformatted guides that help you create personal and business letters and forms more easily than if you began with a blank page.
Letter This option formats a business or personal letter and can include an optional logo in various styles.
Fax This Wizard option formats a fax cover sheet and subsequent fax pages that you can fax directly from your computer if you have a fax modem.
Agenda This option formats an agenda template with which you can create meeting agendas and related notes.
Several Wizard guides appear when you view them from within Writer, but only the three described here are Writer documents. The others are for Calc (see 40 Create a New Spreadsheet ) and Impress (see 81 Create a New Presentation ).
In spite of the fact that Wizards provide a great starting point for the special documents you want to create, many times you'll begin with a blank document (that is, you'll bypass the Wizard's guides). Starting with a blank document, without any preformatted logos, return addresses, and other items that appear with the Wizard guides, gives you the most flexibility in creating exactly the document you want to create.
Nevertheless, the Wizard guides are difficult to beat when you want to create special documents that fall into the Wizard guide categories. For example, it would probably take too much time to create a fax form from scratch, so you can select the Wizard Fax guide and have Writer do most of the hard formatting work for you. Of course, if you or your company requires a special fax form that differs dramatically from the ones the Wizard generates, you'll need to create one from scratch or begin with the Wizard Fax guide and make major changes to it.
If you've used Microsoft Word, you'll see strong similarities in Writer's Wizards guides and Word's wizards.
Request a New Document
Select Text Document from the File, New menu option. Writer creates a completely blank document for you to work with. Alternatively, click the New toolbar button to open a new blank Writer document quickly.
Compose Your Document
Create your document using the blank work area Writer gives you. Start typing as you would in any word-processing document. Press Enter to end a block of text (be it a paragraph, an item you want to be part of a list of similar items, or a signature block). You can save your work (choose File, Save ) and print your document (see 9 Print a Document ) at any time.
| | Request a new Document Using a Wizard
To create a document using a Wizard, choose File, Wizards
. From the submenu that opens, you can select from a number of Wizards; choose the one that suits the kind of document you want to create. For example, if you want to create a fax, choose Fax
from the File, Wizards
submenu. A dialog box showing options for that particular kind of document appears.
A list of numbered steps on the left side of the dialog box shows where you are in the Wizard process. As you move through each step, you can select options to fine-tune your document. You can click the Next
button to proceed or the Back
button if you change your mind and want to return to a previous step, or you can click any number in the list to jump directly to that step in the Wizard. You can click the Finish
button at any time to create the document using the current settings.
In this example, I'll use a Wizard to create a Formal Personal letter. Consequently, I'll select Letter
from the File, Wizards
submenu. The Letter Wizard
dialog box opens.
The Wizard actually creates a template you use to create your document. See 18 Use a Template to learn more about Writer's templates.
| | Specify Letter Options
Specify the kind of letter you want to write by selecting Business letter, Formal personal letter
, or Personal letter
. From the drop-down list next to the selected letter type, choose a page design for your letter. If you are creating a Business letter
or a Formal personal letter
, you can choose from three page designs: Elegant, Modern
, or Office
. If you are creating a Business letter
and have preprinted letterhead, you can enable the Use letterhead paper with preprinted elements
check box and specify where the printed elements are located on the page. These options help you customize the Wizard to your company letterhead. If you are creating a Personal letter
, you have a choice of four page designs: Bottle, Mail, Marine
, and Red Line
You can see a preview of your document as it takes shape behind the dialog box.
| | Select Additional Options
Depending on the type of letter you've chosen , the steps in the Wizard dialog box change to provide appropriate choices for that type of letter. In my example, I am creating a Formal personal letter
, so the next step is selecting which items I want to print. You can specify a letter format appropriate to your country (helpful when conducting international correspondence), and select from a list of individual items such as a Subject line, Salutation
, and so on. Disable the check box for any item you don't want included in the letter.
The preview area behind the dialog box updates as you select Wizard options so that you can see what your document layout looks like so far.
Create the Letter
When you have selected the options appropriate to the type of letter you want to create, you have the choice to continue setting more options by clicking the Next button or you can click Finish to create the letter with the options you've set so far. Many times you'll end a Wizard early by clicking Finish before you've looked at all the options. This is because Writer puts the most critical options and the ones most subject to change at the beginning of the Wizard.
For now, click the Finish button to create your letter. By doing this, you bypass options such as specifying sender and recipient information. The Letter Wizard dialog box closes , and a document is created that's preformatted according to the options you've selected.
In the preformatted letter that the Wizard creates, you'll find notes telling you where to place certain parts of your document, such as opening text, a logo (if you chose to include one), the fax page count (if you had selected the Fax Wizard), and other hints that help you complete the document you requested through the Wizard.
Your screen might differ slightly from the one shown here depending on the options you selected as you went though the Wizard process. If you entered user information when you installed OpenOffice.org, the Wizard uses this information to personalize the document.