(First posted February 2006)
I received this question from Chris in relation to the blog on labels.
“Is there a way to tell OpenOffice to save the document in such a way as that it essentially "exports" it to another OpenOffice document that isn't attached to the data source, so that you can hand-edit the labels? The only way I found to do it was to save it as a Word document and then re-save _that_ as a standard OOo text document. Is there a more direct way?
Good question. There are a few different things you can do.
Change the Label Display So You Can See the Data, Then Edit
I don't know of a way to separate the label data from the data source in a sensible way. However, you can just change the content.
Create the labels, connected to the data source, like you normally do. Don't click the Synchronize option in the third tab.
Choose View > Data Sources.
the Data to Fields icon in the toolbar above the data sources.
Now just edit each field normally. Change Bob to Gretchen, Fargo to Kalispell, etc, just by typing.
When you print, you'll get a conglomeration of the database data and what you typed.
Change the Data Source, Not the Labels
If you want to edit the labels, edit where the information comes from, if that's an option. If your data source is a spreadsheet, just edit the contents of the spreadsheet. Be sure that the .odb database file, and any label documents accessing the database, are all closed when you edit the data itself.
Just Make Labels That You Type the Content Into
This approach is entirely manual, but you can copy and paste into the labels. If you want control over what' s in there, just make blank labels and type.
Choose File > New > Labels. Do everything pretty much the same way, i.e. pick the right label type. But don't put any data or fields in the big empty data box in the first tab, and in the third tab don't click Synchronize. Click New Document. (Click this image to see a bigger version if you want.)
Then just type whatever you want in any of the frames.
Quickly Go From One Label to Another
The labels are in frames, which is a bit of a pain. To quickly go from one to another using the keyboard, press Esc Tab Enter. (Intuitive, huh?) You can also choose Tools > Customize, click Keyboard, and set up a control key for going between frames.