In this tutorial, we are going take the points covered in our previous introduction article and go step by step through the process of setting up a document in LibreOffice’s writer.
We will be using LibreOffice on OSX however, the same steps apply to the Windows version too.
Our document will have three pages which require different styles. The first will be our cover page, the second will be our Table Of Contents followed by our regular pages.
We are also making available the finished document as well as the logo we used.
Finished Document – NOTE: there is a small problem with the completed document. See if you can spot it yourself or head down to the comments section to see what it is.
Step 1. Prepare your pages
Open up writer and open the styles and formatting pane (from the menu select, Format → Styles and Formatting)
Click on the page styles icon
Right click “Default” and select New
Give it the name of “body”, set the follower to be “body” and click OK. This will ensure that the next page which follows a page based on the “body” style, will also be of the style “body”.
Again, right click Default and select New
Give it the name of TOC, select “TOC” as the next style and click OK. This will ensure that the page that automatically follows the TOC will be based on the “TOC” style. This is important if your Table Of Contents ever expands past a single page.
Again, right click Default and select New
Give it the name of Cover Page, select “TOC” as the next style and click OK.
It is probably worth noting that the “Next Style” setting only affects the “Automatic” settings of what the next page will be. For example, as you are typing a document and eventually follow onto the next page, writer will look at the “Next Style” setting to determine what the next page should be. You can of course always manually override this setting by setting a “Manual Break” and defining a different page type. We will look at Manual Breaks further on in this tutorial.
Step 2. Create a paragraph style.
While writer seems to really love Times New Roman, iBrothers definitely prefers Helvetica (or even Arial) as an easy to read alternative. In the Styles and Formatting pane, click Paragraph Styles.
Right click Default and select New (alternatively you could just edit the Default paragraph style).
Give your paragraph style a name and click Font.
Change the font to one you like then Click OK.
Step 3. Cover Page.
While iBrothers completely understands that many of you have skipped down to this section to get to the meat of the article, it should be stated that if you have done this, most of the next section will not work for you. Don’t cheat! Head back up and do the prep work.
Click into the empty page, then on styles and formatting double click “Cover Page”, then (if you didn’t just update the default paragraph style) under Paragraph Styles, double click your new style.
The first thing we are going to do is insert a logo.
From the menu select, Insert → Picture → From File.
Click on the picture file you wish to use as your log and click open.
Clicking on the picture will allow you to resize the image but be careful, dragging the points will most likely result in the aspect ratio being thrown off. Double clicking the image will allow you to manipulate size more accurately.
Ensure that “keep ratio” is ticked. When you now adjust either width or height, the corresponding option will alter to keep your image in it’s correct ratio.
While we are here, ensure that your anchor point is set to Paragraph. Also ensure that the Horizontal Position is set to left.
Click on the “Wrap” tab and set it to “none”. Doing this will ensure that text cannot be entered to the right of the image.
From this point on you can enter whatever text you would like to have appear in your Cover Page.
When completed, from the menu select, Insert → Footer → Cover Page. You will now see a section appear at the bottom for the footer.
The footer is assigned a separate paragraph style. You can do one of two things here. You can double click the paragraph style you created earlier or you can edit the “Footer” paragraph style that will appear in Styles and Formatting. If you plan to keep fonts, font effects, borders, alignment etc … consistent between other footers you intend to create, it would be simpler to edit the “footer paragraph style”.
Within the footer you can insert tables, text and pictures. What many people include in footers are usually “fields”. Fields are special items such as dates, page numbers, document titles etc … which are controlled by other areas of LibreOffice.
From the menu select, File → Properties and select the “description” TAB. Type in something in the Title line and click OK.
Now, click in your footer and select insert, fields and Title. You should see your document title appear there.
While possibly not terribly useful, it serves the purpose of demonstrating the next part. Click back into the body of your Cover Page, from the menu select Insert → manual break and then Page Break and click OK.
You will notice that your new page does not contain the footer you previously created. The only thing that would have followed on would be the paragraph style. Looking at “Styles and Formatting, Page Styles”, you should notice that it has now changed to “TOC”.
Step 4. Table Of Contents
What we will do quickly is add a header (this is not entirely necessary so feel free to skip adding the header if you wish).
From the menu select, Insert → Header → TOC
Click in the Header area and from the menu select, Insert → Fields → Subject. Right click on the inserted field, select “Alignment” and then “Right”
Inserting a table of contents is really simple. Ensure you are in the TOC page and from the menu select Insert, Indexes and Tables, Indexes and Tables.
For now we will accept the defaults and click OK.
It looks pretty boring right now but that is because we haven’t actually put any headings into the body of our document for our TOC to map. We will come back to the TOC a little later.
It should be worth noting that the Table Of Contents heading and each section has it’s own paragraph style. Once the Table Of Contents is populated, making changes to these styles is the same as editing any other paragraph style.
We are going to insert another page break but because the “next style” setting in “TOC” is set to “TOC”, we need to specify that we would like the next page to be something different. From the menu select, Insert → Manual Break → Page Break, select “body” as the style and click OK.
Step 5. Body
The Page Style should now be “body”. If you recall, in our “body” page style we selected “body” to be our next page style and so each new page which is automatically added from now on will keep keep to this style.
Let’s start with the footer. From the menu select, Insert → Footer → body
Next, we are going to insert a table. From the menu select, Table → Insert → Table
Ensure that you have 1 row, 2 columns and that border has been deselected.
Click in the left column and from the menu select, Insert → Fields → Page number. Hit the spacebar, type the word “of” and hit the spacebar again. Select, Insert → Fields → Page Count.
Changing the font, colour etc … is as easy as modifying the “Table Contents” paragraph style or applying your own style to the table.
Now we are going to insert our logo again into the footer. Click in the right column of the footer table and from the menu select, Insert → Picture → From File. Select your logo as before.
Double click on your logo and with “Keep Ratio” selected, adjust the size. Leave it anchored “To Paragraph” and change the Horizontal Position to “Right”.
Congratulations, you now have created the template that will flow for the rest of the pages based on the “body” page style.
Step 6. Revisiting the Table of Contents
Our Table of Contents though is still looking a little lonely. Let’s put in a heading and see what happens.
At the top of your “body” page, Type in some text, highlight it and from the Styles and Formatting menu, change it to “Heading 1”
Head back to your TOC, right click it and select “Update Index/ Table”
Your TOC will now reflect your heading and include the page number.
Now you may be asking, “but what about numbers against my headings?” Too easy. Highlight the heading and from the menu select, Format → Bullets and Numbering. Select the number style you like and your headings will now have numbers. Right click the TOC and update it again and the numbers will appear there too.
“But what if I wanted my body pages to start as page “1” instead of page “3”. This is pretty simple too. When you first created the manual break from the TOC page, there is an option to change the page number. Just make sure you set the page style to body first for it to appear. Don’t panic about all the work you have already done to the footer in the body page, you can still insert a new page before the one you were editing and the changes will be maintained.
Right click the TOC and select update again and you will see your page numbers update too.
Taking some time to understand each part of this tutorial will give you a fairly decent grounding in the way writer works. iBrothers believes that understanding the power and importance of Styles and Formatting is fundamental to understanding writer and taking a little bit of time doing your prep work at the start will make your document flow that much better.