OpenOffice Documents

OpenOffice 3.0 Training Resources

Outlining in Writer

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When you use outlining, select where you would like to begin the outline and then go to Format and Numbering/Bullets and choose Outline.

If you decide that ‘extra socks” should really come under boots in your outline, place the cursor to the left of the text “extra socks” and click tab, it is indented and fills out the outline.

Basic for Hiking
I. Boots
A. Extra Socks
II. Lunch
III. Water
IV. First Aid Kit

If you want to restore it click Shift+Tab or click undo. Customize your outlines by choosing Format and then Numbering/Bullets and selecting the Options tab.

The Options tab allows you to format up to 10 levels of work. Choose the level on the left, or choose all 10, and then make your configuration changes in the section on the right. One change that you can make is the size and position of your bullets. If you choose graphics, you are able to alter the size and shape of the bullet, check the preview window.


Written by Andrew Weber

November 28, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Posted in Writer

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Paragraph Formatting

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Formatting paragraphs is an important aspect of creating good text documents. Well formatted paragraphs can enhance and clarify text when trying to communicate to the reader.

One of the quickest ways to change a paragraph is to use the Styles and Formatting icon on the Object Bar. This is the first icon on the Object Bar and opens the window you see below.

In the example, the plain text has been highlighted and Heading 3 was chosen for the style which automatically changed the font, size and how the document reads the text as now it is a heading.


The window will now read Heading 3 not Default. This is a quick reference to paragraph or text format. By selecting the text or paragraph the exact style or format will be seen in the window next to the Styles and Formatting icon.

Written by Andrew Weber

November 7, 2008 at 11:32 am

Posted in Writer

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OpenOffice Impress Page Setup

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The Format should coincide with the print format or the presentation format that you will use. Be sure to check the width and height so that they also match. The orientation should be chosen for Portrait or Landscape.

Set your margins at this point so that you do not have to come back and recreate your image because margins need to be changed.
One of the options you have is to add a background to the page. Don’t confuse this with changing an area of the object as area refers only to the selected region of the drawing. When you choose Format / Page there is a tab that is for altering the background of the page. There are five options to the background as you can see in the image. When you select the radio button for one of them you are given options in lower part of the box and an example of what it will look like in the right hand side. Both Color and Gradient are simply choices that are implemented on selection. When you choose Hatching you not only have the option to insert the Hatching option but you can also include a color background. Once you make your selection and choose “OK” you will be asked if you want to do it for all pages. If your project will have the same for all slides of course you would say yes.

The Bitmap option has additional choices you can make to allow modification of how the bitmap looks on the background. You can resize the bitmap by changing height and width as well as adjust the position of the bitmap on the page. When you make these settings you will be asked if you want to apply it to all pages.

Written by Andrew Weber

November 6, 2008 at 4:41 am

Format an Area in Impress

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An area in Impress can be an object or a selected region on the page. As an example open a new presentation and then add a 3D square to the page. While the object is highlighted choose Format-Area. When the dialog box opens you will see a lot of options are available, more than for the page format. There are 7 tabs available to help configure your object to make it look like you want. The first tab is the Area tab and here you find your 5 options that we saw for the page format; None, Color, Gradient, Hatching and Bitmap.

The second tab is the Shadow tab for the object you have highlighted. You must choose “Use Shadow” and then you can position the shadow and regulate the distance from the object that the shadow will extend. The color and transparency of the shadow are also options.

The Transparency tab provides many options for manipulating the transparency of the object. You can choose a percentage of transparency for the object or you can choose a gradient. When you choose gradient you are able to determine the type of gradient with the pull down menu for type which includes Radial, Linear, Axial, Ellipsoid, Quadratic and Square. Then you have the option of changing the X and Y axis by altering the percentage. The angle can be altered as well as creating a border and using start and end values. Don’t worry if this is overwhelming for options because the preview on the right of the page will help you make the right decision.

The Colors tab gives you access to creating your own colors or choosing RGB or CMYK. The Standard table is provided as a starting place.

By choosing Edit you re able to edit the colors or create your own.

Each of the default gradients can be manipulated by choosing the Gradient tab.

The same options that you had with transparency are available with gradients. As you modify a gradient you can save and reuse it.

Hatching options are available via the Hatching tab. Here you can alter the spacing and angle of the lines used for hatching. By using the Angle selector, either the degrees or using the chart provided, the default hatching can be changed and saved as a new style. Line color and type are also options. The preview window will help you determine which options will fit with your project.

The Bitmap tab allows you to not only modify current bitmaps but actually create your own. If you were creating your own bitmap you would choose a Foreground and Background color. In the example here red has been chosen as a background and yellow as the foreground. By adding dots into the preview window the bitmap changes. You can then save the bitmap for future use. You also have the option to import bitmaps and then rebuild them for your own use.

Written by Andrew Weber

November 5, 2008 at 10:41 am

Text Layout in Impress

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Open a new Impress Project and choose the text icon and type “My Drawing“ using the plain text.

If you want to make changes to your text all of the formatting tools that for objects such as rotation work the same way with text.

By highlighting your text and then choosing Format-Area you instantly change the background of the text area.
Also by highlighting your text you can change how the text fits in the frame. Choose Format-Text and you can force the text to fit the size of the frame.

The Text attribute window provides this option in addition to Fit width to text, fit height to text and fit text to frame. The options for spacing of the text from the frame are in this window also.
This is a convenient feature for getting the heading to fit correctly.

Written by Andrew Weber

November 4, 2008 at 11:29 am

Impress in 5 Minutes

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Getting started quickly with Impress is very easy. Impress will start by default with an Wizard that will take you through 3 quick steps to the place where you will be entering information into your presentation.
Step One is the decision whether you are starting an empty presentation or if you are opening an existing one from a template or a presentation you have already started. Note the preview window that is available and the option to start Impress without the Wizard.

Step Two allows you to choose one of the default backgrounds to get going quickly.

Step Three asks you to make a decision on the transition between slides. Each time you click on a transition the preview will show you what it will look like when the transition is made. The speed of the transition is an option.

The next setting is an important one, deciding what settings you want to trigger the next slide. The default does not change slides until you click the mouse. You can set how long a duration for the pause and you can set the slide to make an automatic transition.

Once you click Create, you will have the option to choose a slide that is pre-formatted for the project that you will start working on. You may choose a blank slide but often it works better to make a choice in terms of the first slide. In the example, the Title, Clipart and Text slide was chosen, which makes for a good informational slide.
Notice that the Background and Objects boxes are checked to display those items. At this point it is easy to make the mistake of selecting a layout that doesn’t fit your needs. A common mistake is to chose a layout that needs a spreadsheet, but you really didn’t want to use a spreadsheet. Experiment with different layouts and you will soon get the hang of it.

When the new slide opens all you have to do is click the title and and then enter the title that you want, double click the image area and the program opens to for inserting images. Click on your image and it is inserted. One problem that users often run into when inserting images is trying to figure out where they placed the images that they want to use. Be careful to place your images in a location that is easy to find when you want to use them. Then add text to the bulleted list and you have one slide ready to go.

Now if you want to add to the slide show or make modifications there is a Presentation Menu that is opened when you start that you can use for quick choices. Click on the Insert-Slide and you will have the option to add a slide and choose a name for the slide. By choosing Insert-Duplicate you will be able to duplicate the current slide.
Often you will use the duplicate feature to create a slide that you can quickly modify with an addition of text and images. The preview window will keep you in touch with the entire slide show.

Written by Andrew Weber

November 3, 2008 at 11:26 am

Entering Data in Calc

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Using the Formula Bar for Data
It is possible to enter your data in the Formula Bar. You must make sure the green check mark is visible so it is active. Click a cell and then go to the Formula Bar to enter your information.

Adjusting Column Width
Often you will be entering text that is too long for the cell. You can either expand the cell or it is possible to wrap your text. Here is an example of text that is too long and several solutions. Now when data is entered into the next cell you will not see the text that runs over, but you will see a small arrow which indicates that there is additional text.

The solution is either increase the cell width by moving the divider between the cells, which can be done by clicking on the divider between cells at the top, in this case columns A, B and C. The only way to increase cell width by dragging is at the top between the column letters. Another solution for column width problems is to right click on the column letter, and choose Optimal Column Width; this will automatically increase column width to the widest text. When you select Optimal Width, the program will ask if you would like to add additional value to make space between the column line and the text.

You could also right click on the column letter and manually change the width by choosing Column Width.

There is another solution for text that does not fit in a cell and that is to wrap the text. This can be done by right clicking on the cell with the long text, choosing format Cells and then the Alignment Tab and in the lower left corner of the window clicking Wrap text automatically.

This will increase the row height to accommodate the text.

When you enter numbers that are too wide for the cell you end up with # marks.

If you increase the cell width the text will appear.

Written by Andrew Weber

November 3, 2008 at 11:08 am

Posted in Calc

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