Managing Pictures in StarOffice (OpenOffice) without getting in Rage

This technical how-to entry hopefully helps all the ad hoc StarOffice authors who never read the manuals.

Inserting pictures in larger OpenOffice writer documents is leading sometimes to OpenOffice rage since the default behavior is not exactly what most writers want.

Here is what's happening by default:

 

This picture got „anchored“ to the paragraph by default. This is pretty smart and powerful for ambitious writers. Being able to move around the pictures on the pages is really cool and powerful.

It leads however to unexpected layouts when the author starts inserting extra text before and in the paragraph. Adding page breaks makes it worse and the document starts having large white sections. A good indicator for trouble waiting to happen is when the "anchor" icon (see screen shot below) starts beeing "far away" from the picture. Having two pictures on the same page with two anchors and not knowing which anchor belongs to which picture

Here' the solution:

  • Move the mouse pointer over the picture and hold a right mouse button

  • Choose “Anchor” as main selection and “As Character” as sub selection

The screen shot below documents what needs to be done:

 

The picture will now be treated like a character in the text. It'll flow with all your text changes and page breaks will not create anymore surprises.

There is one drawback: The options to allow text to flow around your picture are disabled. Authors who will want to have their text flow around he text may want to change the anchor back to paragraph anchoring at the very end of the document creation when the page breaks are getting added.

Authors who would like to see the picture centered may apply the “centered” option which is available for texts.

Two more OpenOffice how-to have been published in this blog:

This little how-to document has been brought to you by Sun ISV-Engineering team which works with all Sun partners in the Sun Partner Advantage Program or the Sun Startup Essentials Program.

More information around the freely available OpenOffice Suite can be found at openoffice.org.

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