Formatting an APA OpenOffice Writer
By Tamara Mitchell
To ensure texts are well-structured and legible students are required to follow APA formatting
guidelines for all course papers. Below are some step-by-step instructions for using Apache
OpenOffice Writer software to set up a research paper according to guidelines listed in the 6th
Edition of the APA Publication Manual.
After reviewing this tutorial, students will be able to format an APA research paper in Apache
Step 1 FORMAT MARGINS
Set left, right, top, and bottom margins to 1.00”.
1. Under the Format menu > Click Page
2. In the Page Style selection box > Set Left, Right, Top, and Bottom margins to one inch.
3. Click to save settings.
Step 2 SELECT FONT TYPE AND SIZE
Set font type to Times New Roman and font size to 12.
1. Locate the Under the Font Style menu > Click or type Times New Roman
2. Under the Font Size menu > Click or type 12
Step 3 SET PARAGRAPH INDENTATIONS
Indent the first line of each new paragraph five to seven spaces or one-half inch.
1. Locate the downward-facing triangle beneath the font type and font size windows.
2. Click on the pointer (the downward-facing triangle) to select it.
3. Drag the pointer to the right, placing it above the fourth dot on the number line.
Step 4 SET LINE AND PARAGRAPH SPACING
Set Paragraph Spacing to double and Line Spacing to zero.
1. Under the Format menu > Click Paragraph
2. In the Paragraph selection box > Select the Indents & Spacing tab
3. Under the Indents & Spacing tab > Set the Line Spacing to double
4. Under the Indents & Spacing tab > Set the Above paragraph and Below paragraph
spacing to 0.00”
5. Click to save settings.
Step 5 FORMAT THE TITLE PAGE
Insert the APA-required text on the Title Page, set up the Running head, and insert a page
1. Center the paper title, author name, and institution name one three separate lines in
the top third of the title page.
2. Set up the Running head.
2.a. Under the Insert menu > Click Header > Select First Page
2.b. Click the header > Type Running head: SHORT TITLE OF PAPER (50 CHARACTERS OR
LESS IN ALL CAPS)
3. Set up the Page Number.
3.a. On the same line as the Running head > Hit tab to move the cursor to the right margin.
3.b. With the cursor on the right margin of the header > Click Insert > Fields > Page Number
4. When steps are completed, the paper should have centered text, a Running head, and a Page
Step 6 INSERT A HEADER AND RUNNING PAGE NUMBERS
Structure the Header and Running Page Numbers for the rest of the paper.
1. Set up the Running head on the page following the Title page.
1.a. Under the Insert menu > Click Header > Select Default
1.b. Click the header > Type SHORT TITLE OF PAPER (50 CHARACTERS OR LESS IN ALL
2. Insert the Page Numbers in the Header for the rest of the paper.
2.a. On the same line as the Running head > Hit tab to move the cursor to the right margin.
2.b. With the cursor on the right margin of the header > Click Insert > Fields > Page Number
Step 7 SET UP THE ABSTRACT PAGE
Format the Abstract.
1. Type Abstract > Click to center the title.
2. Return to the page and type the body text for the Abstract. Text in this section should
be limited to a paragraph. For more information about the APA Abstract, please see
Harbrace Essentials Chapter 14.
Step 8 SET UP THE REFERENCES PAGE
Format the References page and insert Hanging Indents.
1. Type References > Click to center the title.
2. Set up a Hanging Indent for each citation.
2.a. Click the Format menu > Select Styles and Formatting
2.b. In the Styles and Formatting box > Select Paragraph Styles
2.c. Click on Hanging indent
3. Return to the page to type the citations. Remember to place all citations in alphabetical
order using the last name of the author(s). For more information, please see Harbrace
Essentials Chapter 14.