In part III of the OpenOffice.org series, learn how to perform a few tasks in OOo that were available in MS Office, just harder to figure out due to the different interface. You can still insert WordArt (actually called Fontwork), diagrams and page numbering in OOo documents.
If you've read through Part
I and Part
II of this tutorial series, you ought to have plenty of templates and clip
art for OpenOffice.org (OOo), be typing
grammatically-correct papers, and know a few more tips and tricks to ease your
transition from Microsoft (MS) Office. Now this part will help you perform a few
tasks in OOo that were available in MS Office, just harder to figure out due to
the different interface. You'll find out you can still insert WordArt (actually
called Fontwork), diagrams, and page numbering in OOo documents.
Are you a WordArt fanatic? Can't find an equivalent text effect creator in
OOo? Well, you don't have to fret any longer, OOo's Fontwork feature is here to
save your day. As Figure 1 shows, Fontwork creates text similar to WordArt.
Fontwork has its own toolbar, which usually isn't visible by default. So to
access the Fontwork settings from OOo, click View -- Toolbars -- Fontwork. Then
to add Fontwork to your document, click the Fontwork icon (the picture frame
with the letter A) to open the Fontwork Galley. Select the style you want to use
and click OK. Once it's added to the document you can edit the text by
double-clicking the Fontwork object, which in many cases displays the text in a
editable format that is hard to see.
Once you have the Fontwork added, you can try out the different styles if you
wish. Simply select the Fontwork object and click the Fontwork Shape icon. You
can also fiddle with the letter height, character spacing, and alignment
settings from the Fontwork toolbar as well. You can customize the colors,
sizing, borders, and more by right clicking the Fontwork object and selecting
Line, Area, or Position and Size, depending on what you want to do. You should
be able to get the text to match your desired color and style scheme.
Did you use the Diagram tool in MS Office, and trying to find similar
functionality in OOo? Though OOo doesn't have a Diagram Gallery (see Figure 2)
like in MS Office, you can still manually create comparable diagrams (see Figure
3). You can create an organizational chart for your team at work or an
organization you belong to, make visuals of technical processes, or even create
your own food pyramid; whatever floats your boat. Some diagram types may take a
bit of time and creativity with the basic building blocks, however, some types
like organizational charts and radial diagrams you can easily create by throwing
a few shapes down and squeezing in a few connector lines.
When you want to start creating a Diagram, you need to make the Drawing
toolbar visible by clicking View -- Toolbars -- Drawing. You can do this in
Writer, Impress, or Draw; however (for reasons I'm not sure of) the Drawing
toolbar in Writer lacks the special line connectors that make it much easier to
connect shapes and objects. If you want to make an organizational chart or
diagram that contains shapes connected by lines for use in a Writer document,
you can create it in either Draw or Impress and then copy the final product into
Once you have the Drawing toolbar visible, you can start plopping down
shapes. You can insert text within the shape by double-clicking it and typing.
If want to connect the shapes, choose a line style from the Connectors, hover
over a object or shape, click and hold down the mouse button until you're
hovering over the other object you want to run the line between, and then
release the mouse button. If you want to change the spots the lines connect to,
select the line connector, click and hold the mouse button, and drag it to
another connector point or a different object, and then release the mouse
button. Once you have the basic diagram built, you can make any desired
formatting changes; for example, sizes and colors for the lines and shapes.
Making page numbers in MS Office was so easy, a quick click of Insert -- Page
Numbers from the toolbar opened up a dialog box to help you add the page numbers
to your document. Doing this in OOo, at least in the simplest format, is fairly
quick also. However, as you may have found out, it isn't listed on the Insert
- Follow these steps to add the page numbering to the footer's of your
- Create a footer to insert the page number into by clicking Insert --
Footer -- Default.
- Click in the new footer area on the bottom of the document
- Insert the auto Page Number field by clicking Insert -- Fields -- Page
- Format the text in the footer the way you want it. For example, use the
center or right-align buttons, type the word Page in front of the page
number field, and so on. See Figure 4 for an example. You can even add the
Page Count field to show how many pages are in the document; for example, Page
1 of 5.
If you want the page numbering to start on a page other than the first in the
document, you can make a simple setting change. You for example may want to do
this if the first page(s) are title or table of contents pages. However, this
works best if you desire to show just the page number, not if you also want to
have the word Page shown or the word of and the total amount of pages in
the document. To get the words Page or of from not showing up the
first page(s) or to get the Page Count field to show the correct amount of the
pages, you have to change the actual page numbering scheme, which is a more
complicated process than what's given in this tutorial.
The simple way of changing the page numbering is to double-click the Page
Number field (1) in the document footer. On the Edit Fields dialog box, change
the Offset field (see Figure 5) into a negative number; -1 if you want to skip
one page, -2 for two pages, -3 for three pages, and so on.
Now you'll be able to drop your document on the floor and easily organize
your pages into the correct order! Don't you feel lucky?
Eric Geier is an author of many
computing and networking books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk
Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about
Microsoft Windows Vista (Que 2007).
This article was first published on LinuxPlanet.com.