There are a lot of very nice prefab shapes in Draw. (And available in Writer and Calc too; just choose View > Toolbars > Drawing.)
You can apply one color or other fill to each of them. If you draw a smiley face you either make it blue, or red, or with a rose fill, or whatever. (Let's leave out for now the issue of line color.)
But let's say you want to make each point of the sun a different color, or the eyes in the smiley face a dfiferent color. You can't. Well, not by default.
Here's what you do. Right-click on the shape and choose Convert > To Curve. After that, right-click on the object again and choose Ungroup.
You'll get something like this, depending on what the shape is. And then you can select different parts of the shape and apply different formatting, plus drag parts of it out.
Once you're done formatting it, you should probably re-group. Select all the components, right-click, and choose Group.
The easiest way to select a bunch of small items is to "draw" around them with the arrow tool, the normal default selection tool. In this illustration, all the items for the split-apart octagon would be selected, but nothing from the smiley or star because you have to go ALL the way around an object to select it.
For all you spreadsheet users: here's something kind of cool.
Let's say that you have a set of data. You have a list of items, and for every item that there is a unique item number, category number, and packaging type. (One row and three unique columns.)
Or you have been getting your home entertainment organized and you have a perfect system for throwing parties: for every main dish there is a specific drink, appetizer, dessert, and game.
Having the data isn't the trick. What the data lets you do is that elsewhere in your spreadsheet, you can type or select the first item from a list, and have one or more of the other associated pieces of data pop into the cells next to it. Select the main dish and you also automatically get the associated drink, appetizer, dessert, and game.
You use =VLOOKUP() OR =HLOOKUP to do this.
Here's an example. I have this data. There are several columns but here are the first two.
Here's one thing about the data. Be sure to sort it. Sort it by the
first column, alphabetically or numerically. Select all the data,
choose Data > Sort, and sort as usual.
At another spot in the spreadsheet I can set this up so that when I type "Beans and rice" in cell C19, the formula here.....
will automatically display the right type of drink for beans and rice (that I have set up in the data set).
How does the formula work?
The first part $C19 (the $ is just an absolute reference) is the cell containing the value that I want to look for in the FIRST column in the data set. In case the type of food such as beans and rice.
The second part is the range of data.
The third part is the column containing the data I want. I type 2 for the drink; 3 if I want to display the column containing appetizer information.
You can keep on going by adding more columns. Use the same formula but set it up so that the last argument (the column) is 3, 4, and 5 respectively.
and that's how this looks.
If you're thinking that typing the names of the dishes is a lot of work, especially if instead of six main dishes you had 122 part names or numbers, you're right. Ideally you'd set up a dropdown list.
Click in the cell where you want to display the first piece of data, the main dish. (You probably wouldn't make the lists and VLOOKUP positioned right next to the original data set; I'm just showing them side by side because it's simpler, and it's frankly easier to get screen shots this way. ;> )
1. Choose Data > Validity.
2. From the type list select Cell Range, then type an absolute range (with $row$column format) as shown, around the column of labels.
2. Click OK.
Then click the little tiny black handle in the lower right corner of that cell where you made the list, and drag it down to put in a list in other cells too.
Now you can just select something from the list, and all the corresponding info, from the data set, will appear in the cells where you've also put the VLOOKUP formula.
A travel request form that your users fill out, then print or save and submit?
A public records form that residents of your city or county need to fill out, that you can just post on your government web site?
Any other form that people use that could contain check boxes, radio buttons, dropdown list, date entry fields, regular data entry fields, etc.?
Then use this PDF to learn how. It's a step-by-step guide to creating various types of fields using the Writer form tools. The PDF is for use by anyone for personal or professional use, but not for republication or other reuse in another form; if you'd like to reference it, please link back here.
This is a beautiful program, a well-balanced combination of power, simplicity, good design, and ease of use. Thanks to Keith for pointing it out to me.
There's no Windows or Mac version, sadly.
Among the things you can do are: - automatically (no effort on your party) suppress empty address lines - do bar codes - point straight to a CSV or similar format file to bring in records - deselect records you don't want to print - add graphics and drawing shapes - apply formatting - easily preview the whole sheet
Here's a screen shot with a summary of what you do. I'll do more detailed instructions later but here's the quick info. I love it.
With Google mail and apps and documents being more widely used in a business environment, does anyone know of a way to use the File > Send > Document as Email (etc.) features in OpenOffice.org, with gmail? Or any other webmail interface like Yahoo?
This will all change with OpenOffice.org 3.0, which is bringing in Microsoft Office-style display of notes. However, until then, here's some good stuff to know.
You can insert a note, aka a comment, by clicking in the text and choosing Insert > Note. You get this box; you type; you click OK.
You then see the note indicator. It's a small yellow box. Move your mouse over the box and you'll see the note.
It's not big and not obvious. One thing you might consider doing is to choose Tools > Options > Openoffice.org > Appearance and choose a different color for your notes.
It doesn't make it bigger but if the color is more obvious to you, then that's good.
Here's something else to know. The note display is affected by whether nonprinting characters are on. Choose View > Nonprinting Characters to toggle back and forth.
Not showing Showing
Now, as you can see the same two notes are shown regardless of whether nonprinting characters are showing, at this point. The document is in .odt format, normal format. BUT if you save the document as Word format, AND someone adds comments/notes using Word, AND then you open up the document again in OpenOffice, you won't see the notes they added.
UNLESS you have nonprinting characters turned ON.
So here I am editing one comment, and adding another comment, in Word.
Here I am opening up the document again, the .doc format document, in Writer. Nonprinting characters are OFF so you don't see the comment that was added in Word.
Choose View > Nonprinting Characters, and it appears. Look at the end of the paragraph.
Here's another way to more easily see all your comments, without having to look for the little yellow or green or magenta marker. Press F5 to open the Navigator, scroll down, and find the Notes item. Click the + to expand it and you'll see all your comments. Double-click one to go to the place where the comment was inserted. See that even though nonprinting characters aren't showing, all three comments are shown in the Navigator.
I like to fiddle around with Draw. In the 2.0 release I need to do it less because of all the great prefab shapes. However, sometimes you just need to create your own shapes. Make a shape vaguely like a Hershey's kiss, or just make something totally unusual.
You have the tools to do this with the Mode toolbar. Choose View > Toolbars > Mode.
The far right tool on the upper row and the first two on the lower row are the fun ones.
Here's how it works. Just draw a normal shape. Select it, then click on the icon you want. You'll see a message like this; click Yes.
So let's take a look at what happens to perfectly innocent shapes when you use the distortion and set-in-circle tools. Here are the perfectly innocent shapes I'll work with, but you can use any polygon shape include the smiley face shown at the top.
I'll show the effects of this tool first.
I select the blue shape then click the Set in Circle tool. When I move my mouse over the shape and drag a corner, I get something like this.
Here's the effect of some random distortion of the three original shapes.
Next, let's look at the Set to Circle (slightly different) icon.
Here's what it looks like when you start fiddling with a shape. It doesn't show here but your mouse pointer will look like a little crown when you move it over a corner.
Here are the three original shapes, just showing what I happened to do with them. Your results will vary.
And here's the last of the three icons, Distort.
Here's how I chose to distort the objects.
The Set in Circle item is the most fun, I think, and that's what I used to create the purple shape at the top. However, they're all quite useful depending on what kind of shape you need to create.
And don't overlook distorting a shape, then making it 3D. Select the distorted shape, right click, and choose Convert > To 3D. (NOT 3D rotation object.)
If you haven't read it, or haven't listened to it, I recommend it. It's the annual highlight of my day. In part due to the well reasoned and well written document; in part due to the excellent reading and music; and in part due to the irony.
When it comes to cells, I like my content to look either like the first cell, or the second cell. If there's enough room for all the content; great. If there isn't, I like a nice wrap.
To wrap content in a cell, select the cell or cells then choose Format > Cells, Alignment tab, and select Wrap Text Automatically.
If you've got just barely not enough room, you can also move your mouse over the right-hand border of the cell's COLUMN separator, and when it looks like this, double-click. Bam, the whole column will be just barely as wide as the widest cell in the column.
Here are a couple other options that I just started looking at. Shrink to Fit Cell Size, and for the horizontal justification, Filled. You get to them the same way you get to the wrap option: select the cell or cells then choose Format > Cells, Alignment tab, and select the options you want.
Here's how each option looks. The demo content is in plain text and the explanation is in caps to the right of the relevant cell. Frankly I'm not sure how much I would use the Filled justification; seems a little dangerous.