Using Calc’s drawing tools

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Calc, like the other components of OOo, has a range of tools to create custom drawings. This chapter covers the default options in Calc. For a more detailed explanation of the drawing tools and their uses, see the Draw Guide.

In general, if you need to create complex drawings, it is recommended to use Draw or another drawing program.

To begin using the drawing tools, select View > Toolbars > Drawing. The drawing toolbar appears at the bottom of the screen. You can tear off this toolbar and move it to a convenient place on the window.

The Drawing toolbar showing default icons

Table 4: Drawing toolbar functions (from left to right)

Icon Name Behavior
SelectIcon3.png Select Selects objects.
LineDrawIcon3.png Line Draws a line.
RectangleIcon3.png Rectangle Draws a rectangle. To draw a square, hold down Shift while you drag.
EllipseIcon3.png Ellipse Draws an ellipse. To draw a circle, hold down Shift while you drag.
FreeformIcon3.png Freeform Line Draws a freeform line.
TextIcon3.png Text Draws a text box with no border.
CalloutsIcon3.png Callouts Draws a line that ends in a rectangular callout.
BasicShapesIcon3.png Basic Shapes Opens the Basic Shapes toolbar.
SymbolShapesIcon3.png Symbol Shapes Opens the Symbol Shapes toolbar.
BlockArrowsIcon3.png Block Arrows Opens the Block Arrows toolbar of shapes.
FlowchartsIcon3.png Flowcharts Opens the Flowchart toolbar of shapes.
Callouts2Icon.png Callouts Opens the Callouts toolbar of shapes.
StarsIcon3.png Stars Opens the Stars toolbar of shapes.
DrawPointsActive.png Points Allows editing of the points of a selected polygon.
FontworkIcon.png Fontwork Gallery Opens the Fontwork Gallery.
InsertPictureIcon.png From File Inserts a picture using the Insert Picture dialog.
ExtrusionIcon3.png Extrusion On/Off Opens the 3-D Setting toolbar and converts the selected shape (if any) to 3-D.

To display other icons, click the down-arrow at the right-hand end of the toolbar, selecting Visible Buttons, and then choose the tools you want to appear on the toolbar.

Icon Name Behavior
PolygonIcon.png Polygon Draws a line composed of a series of straight line segments. Hold down the Shift key to position new points at 45 degree angles.
CurveIcon.png Curve Draws a smooth Bézier curve.
ArcIcon.png Arc Draws an arc.
EllpieIcon.png Ellipse Pie Draws a filled shape that is defined by the arc of an oval and two radius lines in the current document. To draw a circle pie, hold down Shift while you drag.
CircleSegIcon.png Circle Segment Draws a filled shape that is defined by the arc of a circle and two radius lines in the current document. To draw a circle pie, hold down Shift while you drag.
TextAnimIcon.png Text Animation Inserts animated text.

If support for Asian languages has been enabled (in Tools > Options > Language Settings > Languages), two more tools can be added to the Drawing toolbar: Vertical Text and Vertical Callouts.

To use a drawing tool:

  1. Click in the document where you want the drawing to be anchored. You can change the anchor later, if necessary.
  2. Select the tool from the Drawing toolbar shown above. The mouse pointer changes to a cross-hair pointer.
  3. Move the cross-hair pointer to the place in the document where you want the graphic to appear and then click-and-drag to create the drawing object. Release the mouse button. (Some tools have other requirements; see the Help or the Draw Guide for details.) The selected drawing function remains active, so you can draw another object of the same type.
  4. To cancel the selected drawing function, press the Esc key or click on the Select icon (the arrow) on the Drawing toolbar.
  5. You can now change the properties (fill color, line type and weight, anchoring, and others) of the drawing object using either the Drawing Object Properties toolbar or the choices and dialog boxes reached by right-clicking on the drawing object.

Set or change properties for drawing objects

To set the properties for a drawing object before you draw it:

  1. On the Drawing toolbar, click the Select tool.
  2. On the Drawing Object Properties toolbar, click on the icon for each property and select the value you want for that property.
  3. For more control, or to define new attributes, you can click on the Area or Line icons on the toolbar to display detailed dialogs.

These default properties are applied only to the current document and session. They are not retained when you close the document, and they do not apply to any other document. The defaults apply to all the drawing objects except text objects.

1 Line | 2 Arrow Style | 3 Line Style | 4 Line Width | 5 Line Color | 6 Area | 7 Area Style / Filling | 8 Rotate | 9 Change Anchor | 10 Bring to Front | 11 Send to Back | 12 To Foreground / To Background | 13 Alignment
Drawing Object Properties toolbar

To change the properties for an existing drawing object, select the object and continue as described above.

Other tools and methods for modifying and positioning graphics are described in Positioning graphics.

Resizing a drawing object

Select the object, click on one of the eight handles around it and drag it to its new size. For a scaled resizing, select one of the corner handles and keep the Shift key pressed while dragging the handle.

For more control of the size of the object, use the Position and Size dialog (see Picture context menu) to set the width and height independently. If the Keep ratio option is selected, then the two dimensions change so that the proportion is maintained, allowing for a scaled resizing.

Grouping drawing objects

To group drawing objects:

  1. Select one object, then hold down the Shift key and select the others you want to include in the group. The bounding box expands to include all the selected objects.
  2. With the objects selected, hover the mouse pointer over one of the objects and choose Format > Group > Group from the menu bar or right-click and choose Group > Group from the pop-up menu.
Documentation note.png You cannot include an embedded or linked graphic in a group with drawing objects.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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