Note: One great source for images is http://www.openclipart.org/.
I've talked about a few things so far in this series on Draw that will give you some pretty decent power for creating flow charts, UML diagrams, and just plain pretty pictures.
- Making your own line ends, including unfilled arrows for UML diagrams
- A grand day out with Draw--getting to know all the new 2.0 features
- 3D extravaganza with Draw
Here's another step that will help the diagram folks in particular.
OpenOffice.org 2.0 has many great prefab shapes but none of them is of a server cluster. What do you do? Other software packages have all the prefab symbols, images, graphics, etc. that you could want. Mmm....feeling the dark side of the force tempting me to come back to Visio...mmm....
No need. You can just get the images you need and put'em in OpenOffice.org.
We're not going to go into detail and talk about copyright law--let's just say you've got all the rights you need to all the images you're going to use.
You collect all the images you want to use in your diagrams in the gallery. Turn on the gallery with the Gallery icon (shows in the top of your work area typically in Writer, and the bottom in Draw).
Then just find the category you want, and drag any of the images into your document. Once it's there you can resize it or do whatever you want. (Click the thumbnail to see a slightly larger image, for this and any other images that are a little small.)
So I'll walk through how this is done.
Adding Images to the Gallery
Let's say you do a lot of system diagrams and it's just not working for you to draw all the symbols from scratch. Go find the images you need; on the Internet, in other documents, whatever. Save them all in a directory called diagramsymbols, or something.
Start up OpenOffice.org; we'll do this in Draw. Click the Gallery icon to view the gallery.
OpenOffice.org comes with a predefined empty theme called My Theme. Theme is just a directory, basically.
Select it, right-click and choose Properties to rename it and put files in it.
Note: You could click New Theme and get the same results.
You'll see the theme definition window. In the General tab, give the theme a good name like Network Symbols. (Click the thumbnail to see a slightly larger image, for this and any other images that are a little small.)
Click the Files tab, where you'll add files to the them. The quickest way is to just click the Find Files button.
Back in the theme definition window, you must also click Add All.
The files will be added, so just click OK in the theme definition window once that's done.
Note: To add just one at a time, you would click Add in the theme definition window, and then navigate to a specific file.
Add the Pictures by Dragging
Now you've got pictures in your theme, and you can drag them into any document in Writer, Draw, Impress, or Calc.
In another post, I'll show how to take the gallery, the line ends you've defined, and a little fairy dust (if desired) to create complex diagrams.