Autoformat templates


I am a comic book screenwriter, and I was just wondering if there would exist an autoformat feature within a custom template. More specifically, I want to use or customize a template that can automatically format text as I type.

Jay Burch

Be more descriptive. What do you want to achieve?

Edit your question for that. This is no forum and, consequently, there is no such thing as a thread or a conversation.

What do you mean “that can automatically format text as I type”? Have you already worked with styles? Paragraph styles define geometric shape of a paragraph (indents = additional margins, spacing above and below, alignment, font properties, …). Character styles do the same for words inside paragraph. You can associate keyboard shortcuts to styles for faster typing/formatting.

The Writer Guide is freely downloadable.

I might not have explained it correctly. Microsoft Word has a style feature that, like on Final Draft, Scrivener, etc., allows users to write using styles, without using the Styles menu, but instead uses keyboard shortcuts. Does LibreOffice have something like that?

If you’re talking about bold, italics, font size increase/decrease, bullets, …, there are keyboard shortcuts for these elementary actions. It is called direct formatting. But I warn you: this is the entrance gate to formatting hell! Every so formatted sequence is unique. If you want to change all lines of some character of your book to a script font or make them red, you must do it individually sequence per sequence.

Designing an ad-hoc custom set o styles may seem an initial loss of time but it enhances productivity afterwards allowing to concentrate only on content, not on formatting. The additional benefit is central modification of formatting. E.g. all chapter titles formatting can be changed simultaneously playing only on one style.

I want to design an ad-hoc custom set of styles. How do I do that? If possible, then where are such instructions on the manual?

Chapters 8 & 9, but the rest is worth reading.

Thank you very much, ajlittoz. I extremely appreciate it!

Formatting is never fully automatic. You always instruct Writer in some way for bold, italics, font changes, colour, …

You can use the toolbar button for that or their keyboard shortcuts. This is generally good for experimenting and have a quick feedback for the stylistic variation with regard to font face. But this direct formatting (in LO parlance) creates a formatting nightmare.

Documents are never perfect from the start. Formatting is a visual art and needs heavy improvement before the final copy is ready.

If you use direct formatting, every sequence is unique and must be separately reviewed and modified.

A high-valued featured in Writer is styles. Styles are more elaborate than in many other office suite (notably M$ Word) because they address not only paragraph, but also character (for intra paragraph “enhancements”), pages, frames (for inserted pictures or illustrations) and other more specialised uses.

A style describes the properties of it target (paragraph: alignment, spacing above and below, indents = additional left and right margins, font, language, …; paragraph: font – face, size, weight, angle, colour … --, language, position, …; page: margins, header, footer, numbering, …).

A style is applied to paragraph, sequence of characters, … to “type” the target. When a style is modified, the change applies instantly to all targets “typed” with the style. Compare to the situation where you must change all paragraphs one by one.

Styles are described in chapters 8 and 9 of the Writer Guide. But start by experimenting on a dummy document to get accustomed to the workflow.

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And a little Exercise:

Style templates in_Writer - V6