Now that you are feeling comfortable with your new word processor, let's take a quick tour of the various toolbars, icons, and menus in Writer.
The icon bar directly below the menu bar is called the Function bar, and it contains icons for opening and creating documents, cutting and pasting, printing, and others. The Function bar is common to all the OpenOffice.org applications (Writer, Calc, Impress, etc.). On the left side of that Function bar is a combo box, a blank field where you can directly enter the path to a document you want to edit.
Below the Function bar is the Object bar. It provides common editing options, such as font selection, bolding, italics, centering, and so on. Select words or phrases in your document with the mouse (hold, click, and drag across the desired text), then click B for bold or I for italics. This bar will change from application to application, depending on what type of formatting is most needed.
At the bottom of the editing screen is the Status bar. What you'll see there is the current page number, current template, zoom percentage, insert (or overwrite) mode, selection mode, hyperlink mode, and the current save status of the document (if the document has been modified and not saved, an asterisk will appear).
Finally, off to the left is another icon bar. This one is called the Main toolbar, and it provides a quick method of inserting objects into the document, doing a search and replace, or running a spell check. Pause over each of the icons with your mouse cursor, and a tooltip will appear, describing the functions of the individual icons.
Before we move on, let me tell you about a strange behavior you will encounter. After using OpenOffice.org a few times, you'll eventually get a pop-up asking you to register your software. This is completely voluntary, and you do not need to do this. If you do register, you can contribute by letting the OpenOffice.org team know about bugs, features you'd like, and so on. Unless you request a future reminder, this is the last time you will see this screen.