Microsoft Word not only rules the majority when it comes to word processing, the software giant has pushed most of its competitors out of the market. However, OpenOffice Writer is a free word processor from Oracle that many home and office users have turned to to get high quality word processor functionality at an affordable price. If you want Writer to look and function more like Word, this article shows you five easy ways to do it.
Look and feel Microsoft Word
Microsoft’s recent move from a menu interface to the ribbon has left many Word users bewildered and confused. Unable to return to the menu interface, many users either chose to continue with the old version of the word processor or began looking for alternatives such as OpenOffice Writer.
It is not possible to simulate the ribbon in OpenOffice Writer, but there are other things you can do to make Writer look and function like Microsoft Word. For example, you can hide text borders, turn on spell checking as you type, turn on grammar check as you type, change the background color of your application, and change the appearance of toolbar buttons. Making these five changes will help you enjoy the benefits of Writer without losing the look and feel of Word.
1 – Hide text borders in OpenOffice Writer
1 – Hide text borders in OpenOffice Writer
Microsoft Word does not have a border that indicates in which area the text in the document will appear. To hide the text border in Writer, click View Text Borders. This command turns the text border on and off.
If you want to see the text border again, click View Text Borders again and it will reappear. Remember that the text border is not printed; it is just a program element that helps you see how the application is placing your document.
2 – Check spelling as you type in OpenOffice Writer
2 – Check spelling while writing in OpenOffice Writer
One of the most important and useful features of Microsoft Word is to see the red squiggly lines that tell you when you misspelled a word. Writer has this feature too. To change it, click Tools Spelling and Grammar.
In the Spelling and Grammar window, click the Options button. In the Options area, select the Check Spelling As I Type check box. Click OK, close the Spelling and Spelling window, and you’re done.
3 – Check grammar as you type in OpenOffice Writer
3 – Check the grammar as you write in OpenOffice Writer
Second, after checking spelling as you type, the Check Grammar As You Type feature often saves authors at all levels from grammatical and spelling mistakes.
To enable this feature, follow the above procedure to enable spell check. This time, select the Check grammar as I type check box. Click OK, close the Spelling and Spelling window, and you’re done.
4 – Change application background in OpenOffice Writer
4 – Change the background of the application in OpenOffice Writer
OpenOffice Writer uses a dull medium gray background under the document. This is not only a monotonous, but a long look at it that can cause the rest of the app to dissolve into a gray mist. Word uses a much friendlier blue.
To make the background of Writer look more like Word (or use any other color you want), click Tools Options to open the Options window. In the left pane, expand OpenOffice.org and click Appearance.
In the list of options, find the option labeled “Application Background” and use the drop-down menu to select a color. Blue 8 is a reasonable approximation to Word, but you can choose any color that suits you. When done, click the OK button and enjoy your new background color.
5 – Change the appearance of toolbar buttons in OpenOffice Writer
5 – Change the appearance of the toolbar buttons in OpenOffice Writer
The Ribbon may or may not be the best interface for Microsoft Office, but one thing is for sure; Writer toolbars are difficult to decipher. In a world of whimsical graphics and interfaces, the creators of Writer may have sacrificed functionality for aesthetics by creating plump, three-dimensional, darkened icons for Writer.
To make icons look more like icons in versions of Word prior to the Ribbon, click Tools Options to open the Options window. Expand OpenOffice.org in the left pane and click View.
In the “User Interface” section, select “Classic” in the “Icon Size and Style” section. Of course, you can choose any style you like. However, the classic style looks more like older versions of Word than any other. When done, click OK and enjoy the classic toolbar icons.
OpenOffice Writer is a free alternative to Microsoft Word. While it contains many of the same features as Word, some people prefer the look and feel of Word. Using the five tips in this article, you can make Writer look more like and work with Microsoft Word. In fact, you can even play around with the settings and create a more personalized environment according to your preferences.