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OpenOffice Writer: Click and Type

Monday, November 15th, 2010 by | Filed Under: OpenOffice

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that I absolutely hate trying to get to a lower location in my document when the only way to get there is to enter a bunch of empty lines… what a waste of time.

A while ago Microsoft worked into its programs a handy little feature that would allow you to double-click in your document (anywhere, including blank areas below the last line of text) and the cursor would be placed in that line. It would be placed in left, middle or right part of the line depending upon which was closest to your double-click.

When I got into Writer, I was a bit frustrated at its lack of ability in this area.

But, after a little research, I found that there’s absolutely no reason to fret… Writer does have a similar function and calls it Direct cursor.

To use the feature we’ll have to turn it on in the Options dialog box. (Tools menu, Options choice)


In the left column, choose Writer, then Formatting Aids from the list.

On the right, you should now see a checkbox for Direct cursor.

Select the option and click OK.

Now that the Direct cursor is activated, you will see some minor differences when you use your mouse in a Writer document.

When you move your mouse pointer through the document, you’ll begin to see indicators on blank lines that tell you where a click would place the cursor (should you use that feature right now).


The one above would put the cursor in the center of the line, right between the arrows.

Similar symbols appear for a left or right side placement at the respective edges of the text area.


No more need for wasted time creating empty lines with the Enter key… any line is just one click away.

~ April

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