In the summer season, I want to throw out some nice easy-going simple tips.
(I also just took three blues-dancing lessons, my quads are burning and apparently my Norwegian-Lutheran upbringing did not, as perhaps one might assume, prepare me for a sensuous blues dancing career or even hobby. I am thus feeling very very very beginnerish, and very sympathetic to those who might not have been using OpenOffice.org heavily since 1999.)
Anyway. Here's the summer vacation reading equivalent of some everyday OpenOffice.org tips. Some new, some not. It's just how I use the program, things that make it easier.
* I always start OpenOffice.org by starting Writer, then keep it open and create or open new Calc, Writer, Base documents, etc. I probably run OOo slower than some people but I like having all the documents open, and just creating or opening new ones from the menu of whatever OpenOffice.org document's menu is available.
* Undo, undo, undo. You can use the Undo icon, or just press Ctrl Z and keep going. OpenOffice is set up for 20 undoes and you can set it for farther back under Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > Memory.
You can undo multiples at a time by clicking and holding down on the Undo icon and choosing multiple items by selecting as many as you want.
*Select multiple non-contiguous pieces of text by holding down Ctrl. Select the first word or character, then hold down Ctrl, hold down the next word, release Ctrl, and so on. When you're done, release the mouse, and the Ctrl key. Then you can apply the same formatting, or other action, to all of them at once.
* Edit the existing styles rather than creating new ones. Apply the styles, then if you don't like them just edit them and everywhere they're applied, they'll change. Select anything with a particular style applied that you want to edit, right-click, and choose Edit Paragraph Style. (This of course works only for paragraph styles.)
The change will be applied to any text where that paragraph style was applied. As with any modification to or creation of a style, the changes apply only in the current document.