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Part 2 Completing Your Document

This second part of our course on Better Word Processing covers formatting the main elements needed to complete a document. These elements include text, images, tables, lists and feature boxes. Below are the four chapters that cover these topics.
5 Formatting Text
6 Formatting Images
7 Formatting Tables, Lists and Feature Boxes
8 Finishing, Converting and Sharing Documents

Character styles are styles that apply to individual letters and words rather than to entire paragraphs. Character styles are very powerful (and somewhat dangerous) because they can override paragraph styles. For example, you can use character styles to changing the font weight of a few words inside of a paragraph.

Character styles can be used for three purposes. First, they can be used to define a style change within an existing paragraph. For example, if you want a couple of words in a paragraph to be bold, without the rest of the paragraph being bold, you can select the words you want bold, then click Styles, Strong Emphasis in the top menu of Libre Writer. Note that this is different from Direct Formatting where you would select a few words and then click on the BOLD icon in your formatting toolbar.

The second purpose of character styles is to define any styles that you want to remain after clicking Format, Clear Direct Formatting in the top menu. If you click on the Bold Icon in your formatting toolbar, that formatting will be eliminated after clicking Clear Direct Formatting. But if you click on Styles, Strong Emphasis, the bold text will remain and not be changed back to normal text.

This time we will start with LO Writer Character Styles
Creating or modifying character styles in LO Writer is similar to creating or modifying paragraph styles with LO Writer. Open your Default Template. Then open the Styles Panel. Then click on the Character Styles Icon (second from the left). Then right click on a character style and click New or Modify.

For example, it used to be common practice to underline internet links. However, underlined text can be hard to read. Therefore links today are generally not underlined. To change the link character style, right click on it and click Modify. Click on the Font Effects Tab and change underline from single to without.

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Then click OK. While we are here, we should make the same change to the Visited Link character style. As with paragraph styles, you should avoid mixing character styles with manual formatting. While character styles will override paragraph styles, manual formatting will override character styles. Selecting your text, then clicking on Format, Clear Direct Formatting will get rid of manual styles but it will not clear any character styles. To get rid of unwanted character styles, select the text and then click Styles, Default Character.

How to use and modify character styles with Microsoft Word

MS Word Styles are primarily Paragraph styles.

One of the most important and most overlooked issues you face when writing books, web pages or other important documents is the decision about what font family you will use. For a web page, you could just use the “default” font style – in which case your readers will view your web pages with whatever default font is being used by their operating system and web browser.

On a Windows computer, this font might be anything from Times New Roman or Arial to Calibri or Segoe (the new font that is the default font for Windows 10). These fonts may or may not be very legible.

So if you really want to control the appearance and “readability” of your website and or book layout, then you will want to specify a specific custom font. Today, over half of all websites use some kind of custom font.

A second reason to consider using a custom font is price. While most people using Arial or Calibri for a commercial website do not bother to acquire a license, they are technically in violation of their Microsoft Users Agreement. A commercial license for these fonts could cost hundreds to thousands of dollars per year depending on the number of people buying your book or visiting your business website. We will therefore take a closer at the various Microsoft commercial licensing agreements as this will provide strong motivation to continue reading in order to learn more about free alternatives to Microsoft fonts.

#1 How to Install Five Free Metric Equivalents in Linux Mint
While all five of these fonts are available for free download as Google Web Fonts, the easiest way to download and install these five fonts on a Linux computer is to open the Linux Mint Software manager and type Fonts-croscore into the Search Box.

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Install this package to get Arimo, Tinos and Cousine. Then type Fonts-crosextra-carlito to install Carlito. Then type Fonts-crosextra-caladea to get Caladea.

To see these five new fonts in LibreOffice, first re-start LibreOffice. Then open a new Writer document.

Set LibreOffice to use these free metric equivalents
Click on File, Templates, Open Template to open your default template. Then click on Tools, Options, LibreOffice, Fonts. Then check Apply Replacement Table.

There are several ways to add an image to a document whether you are using MS Word or LO Writer. You can copy and paste an image from the Internet. Or you can use a screen capture tool to capture an image from either the internet or from your computer. Either way, the first step you should always do after inserting an image into a document is to compress the image to reduce its file size. After that, you can format the image.

MS Word offers two basic processes for formatting images. The first process is to right click on the image to bring up formatting options. The second process is to double left click on the image which will bring up the Image Formatting Ribbon options. Both have similar but not identical formatting options.

Here is what the right click Image formatting options look like:

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The word Style is a bit misleading because the only thing clicking on it does is bring up some image border options:

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Crop brings up a cropping tool:

 

Perhaps the biggest difference between LO Writer and MS Word is the way they format images. Like MS Word, Writer has a right click Image Formatting screen:

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Like MS Word, this screen gives you the options to Cut, Copy, Paste and Crop the image as well as save the image or set the wrapping options and insert a caption. But in addition, Writer allows you to compress the image with a right click (instead of going up to the menu or ribbon). Writer also allows you to change the image anchor point (usually this should be anchored to the paragraph, but sometimes you need to anchor an image to a character or page).

But the biggest difference between Writer and Word is that when you click on Properties, you get an entire set of image formatting options all in the same screen.

Image styles have the same benefit as Paragraph Styles and Page Styles. They give your documents, reports and books a more consistent and professional appearance. Image Styles make styling images faster and also give you more control over the way your images appear.

To modify the default image style in Libre Writer, or to create new image styles, click Styles, Manage Styles or click on the Styles icon in the left side of the Formatting Toolbar:

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Images are called Graphics and all graphics in Libre Writer are placed inside of frames. So image styles are really a type of frame style. In addition to frame styles, this is also the place where you can modify or create Paragraph Styles (the first icon on the upper left), Character Styles (the second icon), Page Styles (the fourth icon), List Styles (the fifth icon) or Table styles (the sixth icon).

The default Graphic Style is set for Optimal Wrap (which means that the text flows around the image) with no Spacing between the Image and the surrounding text. These default settings are not ideal.

For clarity purposes, you are generally better off with No Wrapping because it is easier for your readers to tell when they should be reading text and when they should be looking at the image between the text.

If you have a lot of images and you want to refer back to them in your book or report, or if you simply want to better organize your images, you should consider adding captions to all of your images. This is generally best done after creating all of the images in a given chapter so that you can number the images with Figure 1.1, Figure 1.2, etc.

To add a caption to an image in Word, right click on it and choose the Caption option which brings up this caption screen:

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Type in the caption and click OK. Here is the result

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The process for Libre Writer is similar but with more options. Here is how to add a caption to Libre Writer: 

If we are adding a caption to the third image in Chapter 4, we could call it Figure 4.03 Type in a Very Short Description. We use two digits for the image number because we may have as many as 40 images in Chapter 4. Here is our image without a caption.

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To add a caption, left click on the image to select it. Then right click on the image to bring up our options and select Insert Caption (the second option from the bottom).

Subcategories

In Chapter 5, we will explain how to use custom character styles to control formatting inside of paragraphs as well as to retain custom formatting even after clearing direct formatting. We will then review the pros and cons of various font family options and how to add free custom font families to all three major word processors.

This chapter is divided into the following four sections:

5.1 Why and When to use Character Styles

Character Styles can cause lots of problems. They should therefore be used sparingly and carefully.

5.2 How to Create or Modifying Character Styles

We will look at how the three major word processors handle creating and modifying character styles.

5.3 Font Family Options

In this section, we explain the advantages and drawbacks of using various custom font families.

5.4 How to Add Free Custom Font Families to Google Docs, MS Word and LO Writer

In this section, we review the process for adding free custom font families to all three major word processors.

 

One of the most important ways you can improve your documents is to add images. This requires learning how to format and style images. In a previous chapter, we explained how to optimize images with MS Word and LO Writer. In this chapter, we will take a closer look at additional ways to improve your image formatting.

6.1 Format Images with MS Word

We begin with a review of several image formatting options offered by MS Word.

6.2 Format Images with LO Writer

We then outline similar image formatting tools provided by LO Writer.

6.3 Create and Use Image Styles

If you are going to add a lot of images, there can be huge benefits of taking the time to set up image styles. Sadly, this ability is not included with MS Word. But it is included with LO Writer.

6.4 Add a Caption to an Image

Captions are an easy and important way to provide additional information for your images. We summarize the process for MS Word and LO Writer.

In this chapter, we will summarize how to format tables with MS Word and LO Writer. We will then create some custom tables and custom feature boxes using these table formatting tools. Finally, we will review how MS Word and Writer format lists.

The four sections in this chapter are:

7.1 Formatting Tables with MS Word and LO Writer

This is our introduction to basic table formatting methods.

7.2 Custom Table Styles with MS Word and LO Writer

This is for those who want to make their own custom tables.

7.3 How to Use Tables to Create Feature Boxes

Feature boxes are boxes with special notes that often include an icon and are inserted between blocks of text much like images. We will also review the problems of making feature boxes using frames or paragraph styles. We will use simple tables to make 12 feature boxes that look like this:

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7.4 Formatting Lists with MS Word and LO Writer

This section reviews how to format ordered and unordered lists.

We are now living in a world in which documents are commonly converted from one format, such as DocX to another format, such as PDF or ODT in order to share those documents with others. But we also now live in a world where hackers use the sharing of infected documents to transmit malware viruses from computer to computer. In this chapter, we will review the steps for completing your documents, converting them into other formats ans safely sharing them with other people.

This chapter is divided into the following four sections:

8.1 Finishing your Documents

There are several important steps you should check off to complete your documents.

8.2 Dangers of Sharing Documents

Here we will look at how documents become infected and how hackers piggy back onto infected documents.

8.3 How to Safely Convert and Share your Documents

In this section, we will look at conversion options and processes. We will also consider the security of your readers when sharing documents.

8.4 What remains to be learned

In this section, we provide a brief summary of the skills we will cover in the third part of this course.

 

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