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How to add text over a page's background .PNG image in Writer?

asked 2018-02-07 00:56:01 +0200

UserRed gravatar image

I have a multiple page document, each page needing a different full-page .PNG image as background. Above this I need to enter text (on a higher zorder layer). Unfortunately I am not an advanced LibreOffice user. I have version: 6.0.0.3 (x64).

1) While I can add the .PNG images and "Send to Back" I cannot enter text above the .PNG. Suggestions?

2) Or, could different watermarks be confined to specific pages in the same Writer document to accomplish the same thing? If so how?

3) Is there a better approach?

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answered 2018-02-07 08:56:39 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

If I understand correctly your requirement, you need both an image and some text as watermark in your pages.

1) Since the Background tab of the page style dialog allows only one graphic to be inserted, you must edit your .png graphic in some external program (e.g. The Gimp under Linux) to include your text watermark in it.

2) The watermark, as a background, is a static component of the page style. When parts of the document receive different watermarks, these parts must have their own page styles. The easiest way to do this is to tune Default Style page style for "geometry" (margins, header, footer), then to create derived page styles where you add the specific backgrounds.

To switch from one page style to another, add a page break before to the first paragraph of the new page and set the desired page style.

Note: defining new pages styles is done through the Format>Styles & Formatting or F11 side pane, clicking on the fourth icon ( Page Styles ) in the tool bar. You are encouraged to read the chapter(s) on style in the user guide if you haven't done so.

3) Open question

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Thank you very much. Unfortunately I did not properly articulate that the need is for a "form" (hence the static background .PNGs) that, later on, permits various (dynamic) text entries. More simply, can text be subsequently entered over static graphic images? I apologize for not being more clear originally. Thanks again!

UserRed gravatar imageUserRed ( 2018-02-07 21:32:14 +0200 )edit

Consider "background" as a synonym for "stationery", you print on it. The real question is: how to position accurately text elements above the image when LO typesets text according to text flow rules?

If your form is associated with a database, consider Base and its report (form) creator module. If you need a form for later manual entry with a pen, look at Draw. As a last resort, have a chance with Calc.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2018-02-08 09:20:24 +0200 )edit

I appreciate your kind help and patience. My LibreOffice "problem" is that currently I print the multi-page form in one pass and then re-run the result through the printer a second time to include the data. My solution will be to create a template where the various static "stationery" form images simply reside as background. Onto this template I'll import the data and print.

I have some time again today to devote to what's not yet working. Thanks again!

UserRed gravatar imageUserRed ( 2018-02-09 23:34:10 +0200 )edit
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answered 2018-02-14 01:29:39 +0200

UserRed gravatar image

Thanks to all for pointing me to Page Styles, that was key. My results:

While I can accomplish (upper) layer text entry over a (lower) static image using a custom Style Pages’ "Area" image this only worked when the file was saved in .ODT format. Yes, MS Word recognizes an .ODT format. Word, however, failed to render the page's .PNG background layer (a requirement). Unfortunately a .PDF export is also not an option here for other reasons.

Sadly, with no ability to create either an .ODT or .DOCX format file that is widely usable OUTSIDE of LibreOffice I’m forced to, ugggh, look to MS Word for this task's needs.

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answered 2018-02-07 02:07:11 +0200

librebel gravatar image

Hello @UserRed,

To set a background image to your page in Writer, you could perform the following steps:

  1. Select the menu Format : Page ...;
  2. In the dialog that pops up, select the tab Area;
  3. Click on the button Bitmap;
  4. Near the bottom of the dialog, click on the button Add / Import;
  5. In the dialog that appears, browse to your background image to add, and click OK; ( A thumbnail of the added image should now be visible in the Bitmaps listbox );
  6. Back in the Page Area dialog, under Options, set image Style, Size, and Position;
  7. Click OK.

Now you can write text on top of your page background image :)

With Regards, lib


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Thank you for your great suggestion. This document's length, however, is four pages. I'm sorry that my original question did not state that each page requires either 1) a different static .PNG image or 2) no image at all. Over this bottom layer, later on, text will be dynamically entered.

Thus, the question becomes can different pages in the same document have different background images (or no image)? Is this possible in LibreOffice Writer? If so might you suggest how? Thanks.

UserRed gravatar imageUserRed ( 2018-02-07 22:37:40 +0200 )edit

That's possible by creating a different "Page Style" for each page that has a different background image.

Just insert a pagebreak via the menu "Insert : Page Break", and in the dialog that pops up, set the different page style for that page.

Then you can add a background image for that page, following the steps provided in the answer above.

librebel gravatar imagelibrebel ( 2018-02-07 23:02:36 +0200 )edit

Thanks you so much. I've created my necessary "Page" styles. At this point the document's output is not yet successful, my fault I am sure, but I am simply out of time for today.

BTW my LibreOffice version is 6.0.0.3 and am running it under Windows 10 OS Build 16299.214

I'll continue studying the LibreOffice Writer Guide (5.4) and will resume again tomorrow when I am fresher. Thanks again!

UserRed gravatar imageUserRed ( 2018-02-08 03:05:17 +0200 )edit

Augggh!!! I can create my several "Page Styles" (as per the LibreOffice Writer Guide (5.4)) and they initially display as intended on screen. Unfortunately when the file is re-opened my custom "Page Styles" are completely gone, no matter in which format I save them. This failure invariably occurs.

What I could be missing? I am using the new version 6.0.0.3, not 5.4 Has something changed? This simply should not be this difficult. I'm open to ANY guidance or ideas. Thank you all.

UserRed gravatar imageUserRed ( 2018-02-11 05:28:18 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2018-02-07 00:56:01 +0200

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Last updated: Feb 14 '18