Is it possible to target italic text for stylistic changes in Writer?


I am an absolute noob here and have entry level knowledge, and although I usually find my way around with forum answers, tutorials and the help documents, I am a bit lost with this one.

I have this text document I have for the vocabulary I have learnt in BSL (British Sign Language).
The words are layed a word per line, like a list (but is its not a “list element”, just text arranged like that).
Now I am adding the description of every sign, just after each word, in the same line.
I have made the descriptions grey and italic so they are visually separated from the bulk of the list (otherwise it becomes very difficult to read for me).
When I have added a few new words, I select the bulk and sort it alphabetically, so I can find them faster later on.

Note, I have considered using a table system but as I will be adding more words and sorting them alphabetically, I am unsure if the description cell will “follow” the word they need to be matched with. I might look into also use the calc sheet instead, maybe. For now I have been taking notes on writer.

So, as initially I wrote the words in black, and no character modifications, every time I am adding a description I need to hit italic, then go and click in the grey colour. As I can shortcut the italic, annoying as it is having to do line by line, I find it easier to stay in the keyboard. I am finding “leaving” the keyboard and using the mouse to click and then going back a bit more disruptive and time consuming.
So in order to save some time, I was wondering if there is a way to “target” italic text only, and then change the color of the italic text all at once.

Maybe there is another way to do this that I haven’t thought of that is easier or more efficient. Suggestions of that would also be very appreciated.

I have dabbed a bit on the Styles thingy, but to no avail… so I think I need a bit of help with it.

I hope this makes sense and thank you in advance :slight_smile:

PS: I am using LO on a Mac, in case is of any relevance.
PPS: As per suggestion by another user, I added the file I am working with to see if it helps understand the issue.

BSL Vocabulary and explanations.odt (13.1 KB)

Your description is a bit vague.

What is this column of text?

  • A column of the page?
  • A column of tabs?
  • A frame as a column?

    Please describe exactly what you want to achieve.
    What is this list, what is it good for?

    The best way is to upload a sample file here.
    To upload, edit your initial question.
    Click on the three dots below the question and use the pencil

Thanks for answering, and sorry I wasn’t very clear.

The column of text is the words I am learning, listed, but not as a list element or any sort of element. Just text.

If, for example, I am watching a video explaining sign language signs, I will first write the signs words in the document (in different lines of text) and then when revising later on, add the description of the sign. I will also sort them out alphabetically so I can go and find them faster if I can’t remember one.
(I wanted to have references offline to be able to track my progress without internet).

I was trying to find a way to target text in italic, in order to change the colour of the descriptions more dynamically, in a way that will also let me select the whole thing and sort it alphabetically.

The problem I am having, is that I have to select italic and then go and click on the colour, line by line. Short cuts, I haven’t got so much problem with them, but grabbing the mouse and clicking does become a bit more annoying after a bit. Hence why I was wondering if there is a way to target italic somehow.

I hope this clarifies something. I will now edit and add the file I am working with. Thanks again

Now, it becomes visible what you are trying to achieve.
I have converted your list into an ODS file that you can open with Calc.
Yes, and you guessed right, the formatting is done with the styles.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the font you used, but was able to find a similar one.
Here is the file in modified form for now:
BSL Vocabulary and explanations.ods (11,7 KB)

Formatting the cells
The cells in Calc have formatting.
When you start fresh, the default for each cell is the “Default” cell style.
The column A has the style “Default” and the
all cells in column B have the style “Default italic” (new).

Each of these styles you can customize according to your needs, font, font size, italic, bold or background color.

Right-click in the sidebar-styles (F11) on style you want to change and choose “Modify…”.

Screenshot 2021-10-22 173023

Make the desired changes and click OK.

All cells to which this style is assigned will now immediately change automatically.

I hope that can help.

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OMG Thank you! I kind of also suspected calc would be a better option, as I was editing my initial query, but I think how I was going about transferring the info was far from efficient :sweat_smile:

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