Note: Here's a related article I wrote for TechTarget.com. First published November 2005.
I get a lot of questions when I train, and just in emails. A lot of them are about things that aren't actually hard to do but they're hard to figure out how to do in the first place. Here's how to do some of them.
Adding a Page Number
Note: See a related post on starting a document with no page number on the first page and page 1 on the second page.
You can do this a number of ways, but this is the quickest.
- First, make a footer for the page number to appear in. Choose Insert > Footer > Default.
- Scroll to the bottom of the document; you'll see the footer.
- Click in the footer. Press Tab if you want the page number in the middle, press again if you want it at the right.
- Type the word page if you want, followed by a space.
- Choose Insert > Fields > Page Number.
- Format the text in the footer the way you want it.
If you want to have no page number on the first page and start with 1 or 2 on the second page, that's a bit more advanced. Stay tuned for the blog on page styles.
(You can do the footer turn-on by choose Format > Page > Footers, too.)
Putting a Portrait Page and a Landscape Page in the Same Document
You absolutely can do this. It just takes a little while. You set up a page style that's horizontal, and one that's vertical, and then you just switch.
Here's a 2.0 document (twopagestyles.odt) that has a vertical page style and a horizontal page style. (You can set them up yourself using styles—Format > Styles and Formatting, then use the help.)
- Type your content.
- Choose Format > Styles and Formatting.
- Click the Page Styles icon at the top of the Styles and Formatting window.
- Double-click the first page style you want to use, the vertical or the horizontal. (It should probably be vertical, since this page style will apply to everything above your cursor in the document.)
- Click at the bottom of the page using that page style.
- Choose Insert > Manual Break.
- In the Page Style list, select the other page style, such as Horizontal.
- Click OK.
- Put the content on that page that you want.
- Click at the bottom of that page.
- Choose Insert > Manual Break.
- In the Page Style list, select the first page style, such as Vertical.
- Click OK. Now you're back to where you started.
Stay tuned for the blog on page styles, to create page styles yourself from scratch, and to do some gnarly pagination control.
Getting exactly what you want when you choose File > New ____ Document.
The default empty blank text document and spreadsheet are fine but you'd like the margins to be wider, or the font to be different, or for it to have certain styles. It's easy to switch out what comes up under File > New > ____ Document.
- First, make a new document or spreadsheet. Set up the page the way you want, create or import styles, add footers and page numbers, etc.
- Then choose File > Templates > Save.
- Name the document, leave the category My Templates selected, and click OK.
- Choose File > Templates > Organize.
- Double-click the My Templates category.
- Right-click on your template you created previously and choose Set as Default Template.
- Click OK.
Now that document will come up when you choose File > New > _____ Document (text or spreadsheet).
To go back to the original, just repeat those steps but instead of choosing Set as Default Template, choose Reset Default Template > Text Document or Reset Default Template > Spreadsheet.
Making a Watermark
If you want a graphic or piece of text behind the content of your page, you can approach it a few different ways.
If you want a text-based watermark for your document, like CONFIDENTIAL, behind just a few pages, follow these steps. You'll need to place the text box on every page where you want it to appear.
Click the “T” text icon, or if you don't see one, choose View > Toolbars > Drawing to make it appear.
Draw a box with the tool and type what you want inside, like CONFIDENTIAL.
Select the text and make it really big, maybe 66 points. You can use the font size dropdown list on the object bar for this.
Make the text gray if you want it lighter. Use the Font Color icon on the object bar.
Click somewhere else in your document, like a blank spot or some regular text.
If you want the text vertical or diagonal, click on the text box, right-click and choose Position and Size, click the Rotation tab, and in the Rotation field type the number of degrees. (You can also click on a point in the Default Settings region.) 55 degrees is good for a diagonal watermark.
Click on the text box you just drew, right-click, and choose Wrap > In Background.
Drag the text box to reposition it if it's not where you want, make the text larger or smaller, rotate it more or less, and make any other adjustments.
Here's an OpenOffice.org 2.0 document (watermarktemplate.odt ) you can use with a watermark.
If you want a graphic-based watermark for just a few pages of your document, paste it into your document on each page where you want the graphic, or choose Insert > Picture > From File. Then do step 7 from the previous step to wrap the graphic in the background.
To make the graphic lighter, select it. The Picture toolbar should appear but if it doesn't, choose View > Toolbars > Picture. Use the Lightness icon to make the graphic lighter.
To put a graphic in the background of every page of your document (every page with the Default page style, that is, or every page with the page style you modify if you know styles), follow these steps.
- Be sure you have the graphic, that it's light enough, and that you know where the graphic is.
- Choose Format > Page.
- Click the Background tab.
- From the As dropdown list, select graphic.
- In the Type area, be sure Position is selected.
- Click Browse and find the graphic.
- Click Open.
Dragging a Cell in a Spreadsheet
I get a kick out of how obscure this is. You can select two or more cells and drag them, but you can't drag just one.
Unless you do this.
- Select the cell.
- Click and hold down, drag the mouse down one cell, then back up one cell, and release.
Now you can drag the cell wherever you want.