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Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP4

13 LibreOffice Impress, Base, Draw, and Math

Besides LibreOffice Writer and LibreOffice Calc, LibreOffice also includes the modules Impress, Base, Draw, and Math. With these you can create presentations, design databases, draw up graphics and diagrams, and create mathematical formulas.

13.1 Using Presentations with Impress

Use LibreOffice Impress to create presentations for screen display or printing. If you have used other presentation software, Impress makes it easy to switch. It works very similarly to other presentation software.

13.1.1 Creating a Presentation

There are multiple ways to create a new Impress document:

  • From Scratch.  To create a new empty document, click File › New › Presentation.

  • Using a Wizard.  To use a standard format and predefined elements for your documents use a wizard. Click File › Wizards › Presentation and follow the steps.

  • From a Template.  To use a template, click File › New › Templates and open, for example, Presentation Backgrounds. From the list of presentation templates, select the one that fits your needs.

The following procedure describes how to create a presentation by using the wizard. Proceed as follows:

Procedure 13.1: Creating a Presentation Using the Wizard
  1. Start LibreOffice.

  2. Select File › Wizards › Presentation.

  3. Choose From template. Select Presentation Backgrounds from the pop-up menu to set your preferred background and click Next.

    Creating a presentation
  4. Select an output medium. The output medium is the form the final presentation will take, such as: Overhead sheet, Paper, a slideshow on a 4:3 Screen or a 16:9 Widescreen, among other choices.

    To see a thumbnail showing your choices, make sure Preview is activated. If all options are set according to your wishes, click Next.

  5. To use effects for slide transitions, select an Effect and its Speed. The effect will be previewed immediately.

  6. Either use the default presentation type or choose Automatic to specify the amount of time each page displays and the length of the pause between presentations.

  7. If all options are set according to your wishes, click Create.

The presentation opens, ready for editing.

13.1.2 Using Master Pages

Master pages give your presentation a consistent look by defining what fonts and other design elements are used. Impress uses two types of master pages:

Slide Master

Contains elements that appear on all slides. For example, you might want your company logo to appear in the same place on every slide. The slide master also determines the text formatting style for the heading and outline of every slide that uses that master page, as well as any information you want to appear in a header or footer.

Notes Master

Determines the formatting and appearance of the notes in your presentation. Creating a Slide Master

Impress comes with a collection of preformatted master pages. To customize presentations further, create your own slide masters.

  1. Start Impress with an existing presentation or create a new one as described in Section 13.1.1, “Creating a Presentation”.

  2. Click View › Slide Master.

    This opens the current slide master in Master View. The Master View toolbar appears.

  3. Right-click the left-hand panel, then click New Master.

  4. Edit the slide master until it has the desired look.

    Master view allows editing outline styles by directly formatting the sample text on the slide.

  5. To finish editing slide masters, in the Master View toolbar, click Close Master View. Alternatively, choose View › Normal.

Tip: Collect Slide Masters in a Template

When you have created all of the slide masters you want to use in your presentations, you can save them in an Impress template. Then, any time you want to create presentations that use those slide masters, open a new presentation with your template. Applying a Slide Master

Slide masters can be applied to selected slides or to all slides of a presentation.

  1. Open your presentation.

  2. (Optional) To apply a slide master to multiple slides but not all slides: Select the slides that you want a slide master applied to.

    To select multiple slides, pressCtrl in the Slides Pane while clicking the slides you want to use.

  3. In the Tasks pane, open the Master Pages and click the master page you want to apply. The slide master is applied to the corresponding page or pages.

    If you do not see the Task Pane, click View › Task Pane.

13.2 Using Databases with Base

LibreOffice includes the database module Base. Use Base to design a database to store many kinds of information. From a simple address book or recipe file to a sophisticated document management system.

Tables, forms, queries, and reports can be created manually or by using convenient wizards. For example, the Table Wizard contains several common fields for business and personal use. Databases created in Base can be used as data sources, such as when creating form letters.

It is beyond the scope of this document to detail database design with Base. Find more information at the sources listed in Section 10.10, “For More Information”.

13.2.1 Creating a Database Using Predefined Options

Base comes with several predefined database fields to help you create a database. A wizard guides you through the steps to create a new database. The steps in this section are specific to creating an address book using predefined fields, but it should be easy to follow them to use the predefined fields for any of the built-in database options.

The process for creating a database can be broken into several subprocesses: Creating the Database

  1. Start LibreOffice Base.

    The Database Wizard starts.

    You can choose between creating an HSQLDB or Firebird database.

    HSQLDB Embedded (default)

    This database format is also available in older versions of OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice. It depends on Java being installed on the computer.

    Firebird Embedded

    This database format can only be used in newer versions of LibreOffice. It does not depend on Java. When you do large database operations, Firebird can perform better.

  2. Proceed with Next.

  3. Click Yes, register the database for me to make your database information available to other LibreOffice modules and select the check boxes to Open the database for editing and Create tables using the table wizard. Then click Finish.

  4. Browse to the directory where you want to save the database, specify a name for the database, then click Save. Setting Up the Database Table

After you have created the database, if you have selected the Create tables using the table wizard check box, the table wizard opens. If you have not, go to the Task area and click Use Wizard to Create Table. Next, define the fields you want to use in your database table.

In this example, set up an address database.

  1. For this example, click Personal.

    The list Sample tables changes to show the predefined tables for personal use where the address table template is. The table templates listed under Business contain predefined business tables.

  2. In the Sample tables list, click Addresses.

    The available fields for the predefined address book appear in the Available fields menu.

  3. In the Available fields menu, click the fields you want to use in your address book.

    Select one item at a time by clicking. Alternatively, to select multiple items, hold Shift and click each of the items separately.

  4. Click the icons single right arrow and single left arrow to move selected items to or off the Selected fields list.

    To move all available fields to the Selected fields menu, click the icon double right arrow.

  5. Use the icons up arrow and down arrow to adjust the order of the selected entries, then click Next.

    The fields appear in the table and forms in the order in which they are listed.

    Creating a database table
  6. Make sure each of the fields is defined correctly.

    You can change the field name, type, maximum characters and whether it is a required field. For this example, leave the settings as they are, then click Next.

  7. Make sure that Create a primary key and Automatically add a primary key are activated. Additionally activate Auto value.

    Proceed with Next.

  8. Give the table a name, and activate Create a form based on this table.

    Proceed with Finish. Creating a Form

Next, create the form to use when entering data into your address book.

After the previous step, you should be in the Form Wizard already. Otherwise, open it by going to the main window. Under Tables, right-click the correct table. Click Form Wizard.

  1. In the Form Wizard, click the double right-arrow icon to move all available fields to the Fields in the form list, then click Next.

  2. To add a subform, activate Add Subform, then click Next.

    For this example, accept the default selections.

  3. Select how you want to arrange your form, then click Next.

  4. Select The form is to display all data and leave all of the check boxes deactivated, then click Next.

  5. Apply a style and field border, then click Next.

    For this example, accept the default selections.

  6. Name the form, activate Modify the form, then click Finish. Modifying the Form

After the form has been defined, you can modify the appearance of the form to suit your preferences.

After the previous step, you should be in the Database Form editor already. If not, select the right form by clicking Forms in the side bar of the main window. Then, in the Forms area, right-click the correct form. Select Edit.

  1. Arrange the fields on the form by dragging them to their new locations.

    For example, move the field First Name, so it appears to the right of the field Last Name.

  2. When you have finished modifying the form, save it and close it. Further Steps

After you have created your database tables and forms, you are ready to enter your data. You can also design queries and reports to help sort and display the data.

Refer to LibreOffice online help and other sources listed in Section 10.10, “For More Information” for additional information about Base.

13.3 Creating Graphics with Draw

Use LibreOffice Draw to create graphics and diagrams. You can export your drawings to the most common vector graphics formats and import them into any application that lets you import graphics, including other LibreOffice modules. You can also create Adobe* Flash* (SWF) versions of your drawings.

Procedure 13.2: Creating a Graphic
  1. Start LibreOffice Draw.

  2. Use the toolbar Drawing at the right side of the window to create a graphic. To create a new shape or text object, use the shape buttons of the toolbar:

    • To create a single shape or text object, click a shape button once. Then click and drag over the document to create an object.

    • To create a multiple shape or text object, double-click a shape button. Then click and drag over the document to create objects. When you are done, click the mouse pointer icon in the toolbar.

  3. Save the graphic.

To embed an existing Draw graphic into a LibreOffice document, select Insert › Object › OLE Object. Select Create from file and click Search to navigate to the Draw file to insert.

To be able to edit the graphic later on its own, activate Link to file.

If you insert a file as OLE object, you can edit the object later by double-clicking it.

Procedure 13.3: Opening Draw From Other LibreOffice Modules

One particularly useful feature of Draw is the ability to open it from other LibreOffice modules, so you can create a drawing that is automatically imported into your document.

  1. From a LibreOffice module (for example, from Writer), click Insert › Object › OLE Object › LibreOffice Drawing › OK.

    The user interface of Writer will now be replaced by that of Draw.

  2. Create your drawing.

  3. Click in your document, outside the Draw frame.

    The drawing is automatically inserted into your document.

13.4 Creating Mathematical Formulas with Math

It is usually difficult to include complex mathematical formulas in your documents. To make this task easier, the LibreOffice Math equation editor lets you create formulas using operators, functions, and formatting assistants. You can then save those formulas as an object that can be imported into other documents. Math functions can be inserted into other LibreOffice documents like any other graphic object.

Note: Math is For Creating Mathematical Formulas

Math is not a calculator. The functions it creates are graphical objects. Even if they are imported into Calc, these functions cannot be evaluated.

To create a formula, proceed as follows:

  1. Start LibreOffice Math.

  2. Click File › New › Formula. The formula window opens.

  3. Enter your formula in the lower part of the window. For example, the binomial theorem in LibreOffice Math syntax is:

    (a + b)^2 = a^2 + 2 a b + b^2

    The result is displayed in the upper part of the window.

  4. Use the side bar panel Formula Elements or right-click the lower part of the window to insert other terms. If you need symbols, use Tools › Symbols to, for example, insert Greek or other special characters.

  5. Save the document.

The result is shown in Figure 13.1, “Mathematical Formula in LibreOffice Math”:

Mathematical Formula in LibreOffice Math
Figure 13.1: Mathematical Formula in LibreOffice Math

It is possible to include your formula in Writer, for example. To do so, proceed as follows:

  1. Create a new Writer document or open an already existing one.

  2. Select Insert › Object › OLE Object in the main menu. The Insert OLE Object window appears.

  3. Select Create from file.

  4. Click Search to locate your formula. To choose the formula file, click Open.

    To be able to edit the formula later on its own, activate Link to file.

  5. Confirm with OK. The formula is inserted at the current cursor position.