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# How can I tell Writer to use existing formatting for a style?

I have a document formatted exactly as I'd like it, but I haven't used any styles. Now I'd like to start using styles, but I can't figure out how to get the styles defined properly.

For instance, consider the main headers in my document. It takes just a few clicks to create new style, say "Level 1", matching the format of my headers. What I really want, however, is to make "Heading 1" match the format of my headers because some features of Writer seem to prefer the built-in styles (e.g. the table of contents). Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to get "Heading 1" or any other built-in style to match the format of my headers without tediously changing every aspect of the style.

So, how can I tell Writer to use an existing format for a style like "Heading 1"?

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## 1 Answer

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This is quite tricky if you fully direct formatted your document: in this case, there is no distinctions between paragraph and character layers, everything is direct formatting.

First make a copy of your document in case things go wrong, so that you can restart with an unmessed document.

When this security precaution is done, open the work copy.

• put the cursor at end of paragraph which will be the model for the built-in style and Enter to create an empty paragraph
• style this empty paragraph with the target built-in style
• in the "model paragraph", select a few characters representing your desired style and Format>Clone Formatting

The cursor changes to a paint bucket.

• click in the empty paragraph you have styled with the built-in

• type at least one character so that you see and check the formatting
• select this character(s)
• Styles>Update Selected Style
• erase the "fake" paragraph

You can now restyle all the paragraphs supposed to to be formatted with this built-in.

Do the same for all target styles.

CAUTION! Some words in your paragraphs may have a different formatting than the base paragraph formatting. This is normally handled with character styles. You can tell if word sequences are exceptions to base formatting after restyling by selecting the whole paragraph and Ctrl+M (Clear Direct Formatting). If something changes, you need character styles to centrally control intra-paragraph formatting (otherwise leave it as is with direct formatting). You undo this clear action with Ctrl+Z as usual.

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## Comments

Thank you for the advice. I tried to follow your instructions, but they didn't work. The problem is that Clone Formatting only cloned a few attributes and ignored all others. When I applied the paintbrush to the empty paragraph, these properties were changed:

• Character Font
• Underline

But these properties were unchanged:

• Character Style
• Character Size
• Line Spacing
• Spacing Above paragraph
• Spacing Below paragraph
• Keep with next paragraph

Clone Formatting has always worked this way for me. I assumed it was broken. The fact that you recommended it as part of this procedure makes me wonder: Do you get different results when you use it?

( 2020-03-26 21:23:45 +0200 )edit

## Stats

Asked: 2020-03-26 16:03:47 +0200

Seen: 20 times

Last updated: Mar 26