Using OOo’s drawing tools

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You can use OOo’s drawing tools to create graphics such as simple diagrams using rectangles, circles, lines, text, and other predefined shapes. You can also group several drawing objects to make sure they maintain their relative position and proportion.

You can place the drawing objects directly on a page in your document, or you can insert them into a frame.

You can also use the drawing tools to annotate photographs, screen captures, or other illustrations produced by other programs, but this is not recommended because:

  • You cannot include images in a group with drawing objects, so they may get out of alignment in your document.
  • If you convert a Writer document to another format, such as HTML, the drawing objects and the graphics will not remain associated; they are saved separately.

In general, if you need to create complex drawings, it is recommended to use Draw, which includes many more features such as layers, styles, and so on.

Creating drawing objects

To begin using the drawing tools, display the Drawing toolbar by clicking View > Toolbars > Drawing.

If you are planning to use the drawing tools repeatedly, you can tear off this toolbar and move it to a convenient place on the window.

Drawing toolbar

1 Select | 2 Line | 3 Rectangle | 4 Ellipse | 5 Freeform Line | 6 Text | 7 Callouts | 8 Basic Shapes | 9 Symbol Shapes | 10 Block arrows | 11 Flowcharts | 12 Callouts | 13 Stars | 14 Points | 15 Fontwork Gallery | 16 From File | 17 Extrusion On/Off

The Drawing toolbar

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. The mouse pointer changes to a drawing-functions pointer DrawFunctIcon.png.
  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. 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 dialog boxes.

The default you set applies to the current document and session. It is not retained when you close the document or close Writer, and it does not apply to any other document you open. The defaults apply to all the drawing objects except text objects.

Drawing Object Properties toolbar

1 Line | 2 Arrow Style | 3 Line Style | 4 Line Width | 5 Line Color | 6 Area | 7 Area Style / Filling | 8 Rotate | 9 To Foreground | 10 To Background | 11 Bring to Front | 12 Send to Back | 13 Alignment | 14 Change Anchor | 15 Ungroup | 16 Group

Drawing Object Properties toolbar

To change the properties for an existing drawing object:

  1. Select the object.
  2. Continue as described above.

You can also specify the position and size, rotation, and slant and corner radius properties of the drawing object:

  1. Right-click on the drawing object and then click Position and Size from the pop-up menu. The Position and Size dialog box is displayed.
  2. Choose any properties, as required.

Resizing a drawing object

The same considerations for resizing an image apply also to resizing an object. Select the object, click on one of the eight handles around it and drag it to its new position. For a scaled resizing, select one of the corner handles and keep the Shift key pressed while dragging the handle to its new position.

For more sophisticated control of the size of the object, select Format > Object > Position and Size from the menu bar. Use the Position and Size dialog box 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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