Working with Paragraphs

Working with Paragraphs

Table of contents

Writer comes with a set of advanced tools for more than just editing or formatting. These tools allow you to set indents, line spacing, insert borders to your document, and much more.

Set indents

Increase/Decrease indent

You can increase/decrease the left indent of lines and paragraphs to structure your content better.

To increase/decrease left indent,

  1. Select the paragraph you'd like to modify.
  2. Click More > Format tab.
  3. In the Format tab, click Increase Indent or Decrease Indent to modify the paragraph.
Increase/decrease left indent

Set left/right indent

When you quote or copy a paragraph or more from elsewhere and you want it to appear distinctly at the middle of the page, you can rightly place the copied content by adjusting the left and right indents.

  1. Select the paragraph you'd like to modify.
  2. Click More > Format tab.
  3. In the Format tab, click , under the Paragraph header. The Paragraph Options window will appear.
  4. Enter the indentation amount in the left/right fields in the Indent section.
  5. Click Apply.
Set left/right indent

Set indent left/right using Ruler: Indentation can also be set by adjusting the Indent icon on the horizontal ruler on the top.

Set indents for paragraph using ruler

You can also set indentation for a certain paragraph using a horizontal ruler on the top. All you have to do is to select the paragraph and drag left/right indent icons to your preference.

Set Indent Using Ruler

Apply first line indentation/hanging indentation

First line indentation is when only the first line of a paragraph is indented; hanging indentation is when all lines EXCEPT the first line are indented.

To apply first line/hanging indentation,

  1. Select the paragraph you'd like to modify.
  2. Click the More > Format tab.
  3. In the Format tab, click .
  4. Under Indent, set the indent to be either First Line or Hanging. Then enter the indentation amount in the field below.
  5. Click Apply.
Use first line/hanging indentation

Indentation can also be adjusted by adjusting the First line indent icon on the horizontal ruler on the top.

first line/hanging indentation

Use line spacing

To improve the readability of the content and optimize the legibility of the text, Writer helps you adjust the line spacing of your content.

To adjust line spacing,

  • Click > > Format
  • Click the 'line spacing' icon under the paragraph adjustments ribbon.
  • You will see the dropdown list and can choose any one of the options as per your requirement.
  • Click 'More Line Spacing Options' in the dropdown list and a new panel will open.
  • Click 'Line Spacing' and the following dropdown list will open.
  • The following options let you make additional customizations to your content.
    1. Multiple:
      This option sets line spacing that can be expressed in multiples greater than 1, which means setting the line spacing to 1.15 will increase the space by 15 percent. An example for multiple line spacing is shown below. Here the spacing is set to 3, therefore it increases the space by 300 percent (triple spacing).
    2. At least:
      If you want to have a minimum spacing between your lines, you can use the ‘At Least’ line spacing setting. This option sets the minimum line spacing that is needed to fit the largest font or graphic on the line. "At least" line spacing starts with the defined number of points but can increase if the font size demands it.
    3. Exactly:
      The line spacing is measured in points, just like font sizes. Generally, the spacing should be slightly larger than the font size. For example, if your font size is 12, your line spacing can be 15.

      Use exact line spacing instead of single or double spacing to align the text in a pleading. The pleading number is set to exactly 24. In other words, it is necessary to use exactly a 12-point line spacing for single spaced text and exactly 24 for double spaced text.

Change paragraph spacing

You can keep paragraphs closer or distant as you want.

To change paragraph spacing,

  1. Select the text you would like to modify.
  2. Click the More > Format tab.
  3. In the Format tab, click under Paragraph header. The Paragraph Options window will appear.
  4. Under the Spacing Header of the Layout tab, you will find the Spacing Before Paragraph and Spacing After Paragraph options. Select the number of points you would like to add before and after the paragraph.
Change paragraph spacing

Set tab stops

A tab stop is the point where the cursor halts when the tab key is pressed. Tab stops help you align text towards the left, right and the center. It lets you set text at equal distances when you do not want to use a table to separate text.

To set tab stops,

  1. Click the Compose button at the top-right side of the document. The ruler will appear.
  2. Click on the ruler to add tab stops. You can add multiple tab stops by clicking at different spots on the ruler.
    Set tab stops
  3. To add tab stops at specific positions on the ruler manually, right-click on the ruler and click Tabs. The Tabs Stop Positions window will appear.
  4. Set the Distance, Alignment, and the Leader from the respective columns.
  5. Click the top and down arrow key in the Default Tab Stops to adjust the distance between each tab.
  6. Click Apply.
    Tab stop positions


Use default tab options

Writer's horizontal ruler displays left as your tab point by default. However, you can change this to center, right, or even other indentation options.

To view these options, click on the Tab icon on the top-left corner of the ruler.

Default tab options

Create a drop cap

A Drop Cap is where the first character of a paragraph is made larger, taking up several lines of text or the first few sentences. It’s a great way to grab the reader’s attention and adds a unique elegance to the document. Here’s how you can create a drop cap.

To create a Drop Cap,

  1. Place your cursor anywhere in the paragraph to which you want to add a Drop Cap.
  2. Click More > Format tab.
  3. In the Format tab, under the Paragraph menu, locate Drop Cap.
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow next to the Drop Cap icon to list the different Drop Cap styles.
  5. Click on any one of them to apply.
Drop cap

RTL Support

Writer provides support for right-to-left languages like Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, and Urdu. You can work with bullet points, punctuation, comments, and tracking changes and enhance your writing experience in all right-to-left languages. You can also place cursors and select combined letters with complete precision.

To get started,

  1. Change the display language from the Settings tab.
  2. Click More > Format tab.
  3. In the Format tab, under the Paragraph header, click the Text Direction icon and select an option from the dropdown.


We also provide a dedicated Table Direction toggle, in which you can choose where you want to put the first column of your table. Set Right-to-left as the preferred table direction, and everything from text direction to tab stops will also be set that way.

Borders and shading

You can highlight those paragraphs which you want to draw attention to by applying borders and shades to them.

To apply borders and background color to your paragraph,

  1. Select the paragraph you wish to apply a border.
  2. Click More > Format tab.
  3. In the Format tab, under the Paragraph header, click Borders and Shading.

    The Paragraph Options panel will open.
  4. In the Paragraph options panel, under the Design tab, you will find options to apply Borders to the paragraph you choose.
  5. Select Sides: Click Select Sides icon and choose all sides or any specific side to apply a border.
  6. Border Color: Set a unique color to the border you applied to the paragraph.
  7. Border Width: Click to choose border width. You can set width up to 10px.
  8. Border style: Apply line style to your border.
  9. Click to remove the border applied to the paragraph. You can click the Reset button, to revert all the changes applied to the paragraph.
  10. Border radius: Choose the required paragraph in your document and set the radius to the border's corner.
  11. Set distance from text: Choose the distance of your border from the text. You can choose an option from the dropdown or apply a custom margin if required.
  12. To apply a background to the selected content, go to Background, choose a color from the available palette, and apply a background color for the selected paragraph. You can click to remove the background color applied or click Reset to revert the changes, whenever required.


  • Customize the type of the border - Apply a border to a set of paragraphs or create a single border around them. Also, you can create inner horizontal borders for each paragraph.
  • You can also add padding to the border applied to a paragraph and increase the clearance between the text and the border.

Advanced Paragraph Formatting

Advanced line and page break options in Writer allows controlling the way paragraphs are split across pages. Once you enable these options, you'll be able to avoid dangling lines at the top and bottom of a page. Easily format paragraphs and avoid manual adjustments for each paragraph.

Writer introduces the following line-breaking options:

Enable Widow/Orphan - Adjusts the position of the paragraph to prevent a single line of text from being left at the top or bottom of a page.

Keep Lines Together - Keeps the entire paragraph as one unit on a single page. When this option is enabled, if the whole paragraph won’t fit at the bottom of one page, it is moved to the next page.

Page Break Before - Inserts a page break before the paragraph. You can turn on this setting by pressing Ctrl+Enter (Windows) or Cmd+Enter (Apple) and click Apply.

Keep with Next: - Prevents breaks between paragraphs you want them to stay together. It binds the last line of a paragraph to the first line of the next. For example, you can set all heading set to “Keep with Next”, so there will not be a page break after a heading.

To enable line and page break options,

  1. Select the text you would like to modify.
  2. Click More > Formattab.
  3. In the Format tab, click More under the Paragraph header. The Paragraph Options tab will appear.
  4. Under Line & Page Break section, select the required option to apply to the selected paragraphs.

Share this post : FacebookTwitter

Still can't find what you're looking for?

Write to us: