4.2 How to Clear Direct Formatting

Because direct formatting can not be over-ridden by applying a paragraph style to it, before applying any styles to your document, you first need to clear or remove all manual formatting. To do this, open any existing document you may have added direct formatting to and click EDIT, SELECT ALL. Then in the top menu, click Format, Clear Direct Formatting.


With all of the text selected, you should also click in the styles box and select, Clear Formatting:


Finally, to delete all unwanted character styles, select the text and click on Styles, Default Character.


Because the Default Paragraph style can lead to unpredictable results in Ebooks and websites, you should also click Select All, and change the formatting from the Default Paragraph Style to the Text Body Paragraph Style.


To ensure that your future documents also use the Text Body Paragraph Style, open any templates you may have and make sure that the text at the very beginning of the template begins with the Text Body Paragraph Style and not the Default Paragraph Style. To open your Default Template, open a new or existing Writer document, then click File, Templates, Manage Templates. Then right click on your Default Template and click Edit.

Font Settings to Ensure Our Documents Use Liberation Sans

Initially, the Default Template Default Paragraph Style is set for Liberation Serif. To change this, go to Tools, Options, Libre Writer, Basic Fonts Western. Click on the Default Font Drop down arrow and change the font to Free Sans Size 11:


The reason we are using Free Sans Size 11 for our Default Font is somewhat complex. The font we will be using in our print book, PDF book, Ebook and Website is Liberation Sans. Free Sans is similar to but slightly different from Liberation Sans. When we change our Default font from Liberation Serif to Free Sans, we are also changing every Paragraph Style that is based on or inherits properties from the Default Paragraph Style. One of those Paragraph Styles is our most important Paragraph Style, the Text Body Paragraph Style.

We have already noted that we want to use the Text Body Paragraph Style instead of the Default Paragraph Style. The reason for this is to insure that, when we convert our document to an HTML or Ebook document or website document, that the web document conversion process will create a special CSS class called Text Body. This will insure that the appearance we want is carried forward into our Ebook and website. However, the conversion process has a catch. If the properties of the Text Body Paragraph Style are the same as the properties of the Default Paragraph Style, those properties will not be converted into CSS class properties. They instead will be ignored during the conversion process – or even worse – they may be converted into inline or manual styling.

To avoid this problem, we will use one set of properties such as Free Sans Font Size 11 for our Default Style, and then change to a different set of properties such Liberation Sans Font Size 12 for our Text Body Style.

To view the properties of our Default Paragraph Style, open the Styles panel by clicking on Styles, Manage Styles in the Top Menu or clicking on the Style Panel Icon on the very left side of the Formatting Toolbar.


With the Styles Panel open, click on the Paragraph Styles icon which is the first icon on the left.


Then to view or change the properties of the Default Paragraph Style, right click on the Default Style. Then select Modify.


This opens the Default Paragraph Style Edit screen. Click on the Organizer Tab:


Note that the Default Paragraph Style does not inherit from any other style. The next style is set for Default. Change this to Text Body Paragraph Style.

Then click on the Font Tab:


Note that the Default Paragraph Style is now set for Free Sans 11. Click on the Indents and Spacing Tab. You will see that the Default Paragraph Style is set for Single Line Spacing with no spacing above or below the paragraph. Click OK to close the Edit screen. Next scroll down to the Text Body Paragraph Style. Right click on it and click Modify. Then click on the Organizer Tab.


Note that Text Body inherits styles from the Default Paragraph Style. We therefore have to be careful not to make any further modifications of the Default Paragraph Style as these might accidentally get carried forward to and replace our desired settings in the Text Body Paragraph Style. Next click on the Font Tab. This tab is set for Free Sans 11. Change it to Liberation Sans 14.


We have researched dozens of free public domain fonts. Liberation Sans 12 is currently the best, most efficient font in terms of readability across all platforms from print books to websites. Next click on Indents and Spacing. By default, the Text Body Paragraph Style is set for 1.15 Line Spacing. We will leave it as this setting is much better for readability that Single Line Spacing.

The Paragraph Spacing is set for 0 inches above the paragraph and 0.10 inches below the paragraph. The purpose of this setting is to create 0.10 inches of spacing between paragraphs. However, the problem with putting all the spacing below the paragraph and none above is that objects above the paragraph, such as images or tables, may interfere with the readers ability to read the page. While we can and will add spacing to images and tables, we also want to apply spacing above all Text Body Styled paragraphs. The best solution to this problem is to apply 0.06 Spacing above and below the paragraph. Here is what the screen now looks like:


If you want more space between your paragraphs, simply change above and below from 0.06 to 0.08.