Tips & tricks for FreeOffice TextMaker

Setting the default font and size

Not happy about the Times New Roman 10 pt font that TextMaker uses by default? It's easy to change the default to a font of your choice by modifying the document template Normal.tmv. Here's how to do it:

  1. Choose the command File > Open.
  2. In the file dialog box that appears, set the file type to Templates.
  3. Select the template file Normal.tmv from the list and open it.
  4. Now select the command Format > Paragraph style.
  5. Click on the paragraph style "Normal", then click on Edit, then on Character.
  6. Select the character format you want and confirm with OK.
  7. You can also change the paragraph formatting, such as alignment or margins.
  8. Confirm your changes with OK, then Close.
  9. Choose the File > Save command, then close the document template with File > Close.

The next new document you create with File > New using the Normal.tmv document template will use your new character formatting.

This is even easier in SoftMaker Office, the commercial edition of FreeOffice: Select the desired character formatting directly in the dialog box Format > Character, then click on the Set as default button.

Setting other default formatting options

Here's how to set a different default zoom level or paper size for all of your future documents: Open the default template Normal.tmv using the File > Open command and make the desired changes. When done, save the document template. All of the future documents that use this template will have the chosen settings.

Changing the zoom level with the mouse

If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can use it to quickly change the zoom level at which a document is displayed. Press the Ctrl button on your keyboard, keep it depressed, and move the scroll wheel on your mouse up or down.

Use paragraph spacing!

Even if you think it is annoying, don't insert blank lines between paragraphs. Instead, set the spacing between paragraphs using Paragraph Spacing Before and Paragraph Spacing After. You'll find these options in Format > Paragraph and Format > Paragraph Style. The advantage of paragraph spacing is that it enables TextMaker to suppress unnecessary empty space at the tops and bottoms of pages.

Non-breaking spaces prevent unwanted word wrapping

If you want to prevent two words from being separated by a line break or page break between them, just enter a "non-breaking space" between the words. To do this, just type Ctrl+Shift+Space.

Saving printer ink when printing drafts

For draft prints, you can choose the option Drop pictures in the Print dialog. Your document will print faster and use less ink because all of the pictures are skipped.

Using multiple paper trays

If you want the first page of your document or chapter to be pulled from a different paper tray of your printer, you can set up the paper trays using the File > Page Setup command.

Sharing document templates

If you work in a local area network and you want all users to access the same set of document templates, you can set a shared template path in Tools > Options > Files.

Picture frames and embedded pictures

TextMaker lets you insert pictures either as frames or as embedded pictures. Picture frames are positioned absolutely on the page or in relation to a paragraph, whereas embedded pictures simply "wander along" with the paragraph where they're placed.

If you want to convert an already-inserted embedded pictures to a picture frame (or vice-versa), simply select the picture in TextMaker, press the right mouse button and choose the command Convert to picture frame or Convert to embedded object.