Sub menus and Tear-off Toolbars in Open Office
(This blog was written for versions of OpenOffice up to Version 3.4.0)
Some toolbar icons have a small black triangle but clicking on them gives different results.
When you click on that triangle, either a sub menu or tear-off toolbar appears, depending on the tool. A sub menu gives a list. Try this on an Open Office Writer document - Click on the 'New' icon triangle and a list appears showing all the Open Office documents that can be opened by clicking on a particular one (ie Text Document, Spreadsheet etc.) The list disappears immediately you click on one item from the list as the selection opens that particular selection or it will disappear if the cursor is clicked anywhere on the window away from the list.
Note the difference if you click on the small triangle at the 'Font Colour' icon. What happens then is that a window with the a title bar - 'Font Colour' appears. This is what is called a Tear-off Toolbar. At this stage it is possible to choose a colour, click on it and any highlighted text in the work you are doing will take on the selected colour. The Font Colour window immediately disappears.
Say you want to go ahead and make a number of changes to other words in your document. Place the cursor on the header bar (Font Colour) of the window and drag the window down to the side of your work area. Release the mouse and the window will stay where it is placed until you click on the 'X' in the top right hand corner of the window.
The tear-off Toolbars can be without a title header. Try clicking the small triangle of an icon in the Drawing Toolbar – the window that results has a bar with three small lines in the centre. This may be either at the top or the bottom of the window depending on the version of Open Office being used. A blue bar appears when the cursor is placed over the lines. By holding the left mouse button down and dragging the cursor the window can be moved and the title of the window appears. These windows have a triangle on the bar which when clicked will display a sub menu. Click on Visible Buttons on the sub menu and the list that comes up shows the names of the contents of that window.
The tear-off tool bars can be floating or docked along an edge of the screen or in one of the existing toolbar areas. To move a floating toolbar, drag it by the title bar.
Microsoft Word also contains Sub menus and Tear-off Tool bars.