Adding captions to graphics

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You can add captions to graphics in three ways: automatically, by using the Caption dialog box, or manually.

Adding captions automatically

You can set up OOo to add captions automatically whenever you insert a graphic, a table, or other objects into a document. You can choose which objects are captioned automatically, what the sequence name is for each caption (for example, “Table” or “Illustration”), and the position of the caption.

To set up automatic captions:

  1. Click Tools > Options. On the Options dialog box, click on the + sign next to Writer to show a list of options.
  2. Select AutoCaption. Now you can see several choices at the right of the dialog box for adding captions automatically.
  3. Choose which objects you want to be automatically captioned and specify the characteristics of the captions.

For more information, see “AutoCaption options” in Chapter 2 (Setting up Writer).

When you insert a graphic, if automatic captioning is enabled, the graphic is placed in a frame along with a caption containing the default sequence name for graphics―Illustration. Position the cursor in the caption area and type the text for the caption. You can change the sequence name by selecting one from the drop-down Category list.

Documentation note.png You can specify where to place an automatic caption for any object except a picture; picture captions can only be automatically placed below the picture. If you need a caption above the picture (for example, for data plots in scientific publications), you must add the captions manually, as described in Adding captions manually.
Tip.png A common sequence name—Figure—is not one of the names provided: <None>, Drawing, Illustration, Table, and Text. If you want the name “Figure” or any other custom name for your graphics, do the following:
  1. Open the Options – Writer – AutoCaption dialog box, as described above.
  2. In the Add captions automatically when inserting section, select Writer Picture. This activates the Caption area in the dialog box for pictures (graphics).
  3. Under the Category drop-down list, enter the name that you want added (say, Figure), by overwriting any sequence name in the list. (Overwriting a term does not delete it from the drop-down list.) You can also set some options for the number style and for a separator between the name and the number, if desired. Click OK to save the changes.

Using the Caption dialog box

To add captions using the Caption dialog box:

  1. Insert the graphic, then select it and click Insert > Caption.
  2. Under Properties on the Caption dialog box, make your selections for the Category, Numbering, and Separator fields (Illustration, Arabic (1 2 3), and a colon (:), respectively, for the example below and type your caption text in the Caption text box at the top. Whatever text you enter for the caption appears in the box at the bottom, after the sequence name, number, and separator.
  3. Click OK. The graphic and its caption are placed in a frame.
Defining the caption for an illustration
Tip.png In the Category box, you can type any name you want, for example, Figure. OOo will create a numbering sequence using that name.

Illustration 1. An example

An example of a graphic and its caption contained in a frame. The outer box shows the edge of the frame; this border is normally set to be invisible.

Overriding the default positioning of captions

The default positioning for picture captions is Below, and that position cannot be changed using the Caption dialog. However, you can override the positioning manually, as follows:

  1. Follow the instructions in Using the Caption dialog box to create the caption.
  2. Right-click on the picture (not the frame surrounding picture and caption) and make sure that Anchor > To paragraph is selected.
  3. Left-click on the picture and drag it below the caption.
Tip.png You may wish to adjust the spacing above and below the caption text, to fine-tune the appearance of the picture and its caption.

Adding captions manually

If you need to save as .DOC files or export in other formats, you may find that captions applied as described above (either automatically or using the Caption dialog box) are lost during the export. To avoid export problems, or as another way to put captions above pictures or below them (the usual case), you can add a caption manually, in either of two ways:

  • Place the graphic and its caption in separate paragraphs.
  • Use a table.

Place the graphic and its caption in separate paragraphs

Insert the graphic and anchor it to its paragraph as a character. Press Enter to create a new paragraph for the caption.

  1. In the caption paragraph, type, for example, Figure and add a space.
  2. To insert the figure number automatically, click Insert > Fields > Other (Control + F2) and select the Variables tab.
  3. Select Number range in the Type list. Select Figure in the Selection list and choose, for example, Arabic (1 2 3) in the Format drop-down list. Click the Insert button.
  4. A number will appear after the word “Figure” in the caption. Now, type the text of the caption.
Tip.png If you are manually adding captions to a lot of figures using this method, you might want to make an AutoText entry containing, for example, Figure and a space, the figurenumber field, and an optional separator and a space after it.

To ensure the picture and its caption stay together on the page: if the picture is going above the caption, define the text flow of the Figure paragraph style as Keep with next paragraph and the next style as Caption. Conversely, if the caption is going above, define the Caption paragraph style as Keep with next paragraph and the next style as Figure.

Use a table

Create a one-column, two-row table. Place the picture in one row and type the caption in the other row—or use two or more rows for the caption and other text. This method can be especially useful for pictures with numbered legends, such as the Objects Toolbar in this chapter

Creating an Image Map

An image map defines areas of an image (called hotspots) with hyperlinks to web addresses, other files on the computer, or parts of the same document. Hotspots are the graphic equivalent of text hyperlinks (described in Chapter 12). Clicking on a hotspot causes OOo to open the linked page in the appropriate program (for example, the default browser for an HTML page; OOo Calc for a .ODS file; a PDF viewer for a PDF file). You can create hotspots of various shapes and include several hotspots in the same image.

To use the image map editor:

  1. In your OOo document, select the picture where you want to define the hotspots.
  2. Choose Edit > ImageMap from the menu bar. The ImageMap Editor opens.
The Image Map Editor.
  1. Use the tools and fields in the dialog to define the hotspots and links necessary.
  2. Click the Apply icon CH8 ImageMapEditor Apply.png to apply the settings.
  3. When done, click the Save icon CH8 ImageMapEditor Save.png to save the imagemap to a file, then click the X in the upper right corner to close the dialog.
The dialog to create or edit an image map.

The main part of the dialog shows the image on which the hotspots are defined. A hotspot is identified by a line indicating its shape.

The toolbar at the top of the dialog contains the following tools:

  • Apply button: click this button to apply the changes.
  • Load, Save, and Select icons.
  • Tools for drawing a hotspot shape: these tools work in exactly the same way as the corresponding tools in the Drawing toolbar.
  • Edit, Move, Insert, Delete Points: advanced editing tools to manipulate the shape of a polygon hotspot. Select the Edit Points tool to activate the other tools.
  • Active icon: toggles the status of a selected hotspot between active and inactive.
  • Macro: associates a macro with the hotspot instead of just associating an hyperlink.
  • Properties: sets the hyperlink properties and adds the Name attribute to the hyperlink.

Below the toolbar, specify for the selected hotspot:

  • Address: the address pointed by the hyperlink. You can also point to an anchor in a document; to do this, write the address in this format: file:///<path>/document_name#anchor_name
  • Text: type the text that you want to be displayed when the mouse pointer is moved over the hotspot.
  • Frame: where the target of the hyperlink will open: pick among _blank (opens in a new browser window), _self (opens in the active browser window), _top or _parent.

Tip.png The value _self for the target frame will work just fine in the vast majority of occasions. It is therefore not recommended to use the other choices unless absolutely necessary.

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