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How to work with frames

asked 2019-04-23 00:31:48 +0200

KitchM gravatar image

I don't understand how LibreOffice Writer works with frames. I wanted to create a quotation, and I understand that using a frame is the way Writer does it. Okay, I'll try to work with that.

So I create a frame and then I am faced with the daunting task of setting the frame's parameters. But no matter what I do, they don't always come out the same. One is border to border, and another is smaller. Some fill downward to accept text, and others do not.

It seems to me that I would want a frame that is indented on the left and right to make it stand out as a quotation. Sadly, some frames do not stay within confines, because there is no such option given. Many times the options are greyed out when attempting to create the frame. Once created, they cannot be dragged back into line and reshaped by the text box handles.

While I wish it were more intuitive, I am willing to work within the restrictions we are given if only someone could tell me what to do. Thanks.

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Please, edit your question to better define your notion of "quotation": how do you want it to be laid out? do you need to give it a caption and number it?

I think an adequate paragraph style could be sufficient for your purpose if the "quotation" should be part of the main text flow. This is far less difficult than tuning anchor and positioning of frames.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-04-23 07:57:42 +0200 )edit

The word "quotation" is meaningless in this issue.

"It seems to me that I would want a frame that is indented on the left and right to make it stand out as a quotation."

Then how to do style with those parameters.

KitchM gravatar imageKitchM ( 2019-04-26 21:41:14 +0200 )edit

There is a built-in paragraph style called Quotations which as increased indents at left and right (1 cm each) and spacing 0.5cm below. See if it fit your need. Otherwise, right-click on its name in the style sidepane (F11) and modify to tune its parameters.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-04-26 22:30:19 +0200 )edit

Now that was helpful. I hate using frames because it is a weird idea to begin with and confuses the flow of text. The style suggestion does work a lot better. Thanks.

KitchM gravatar imageKitchM ( 2019-04-27 01:55:07 +0200 )edit

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answered 2019-04-27 09:50:46 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

Frames disrupts main text flow. They are intended for illustrations or side remarks as a poor man's substitutes for features found in real DTP applications like Scribus or Quarl XPress. They can be attached to a specific page (To Page anchor) and this position is static, i.e. if it is anchored to page 10, it will remain for ever anchored to page 10, even if document is reduced to 3 pages. They can also be attached "in the vicinity" of a paragraph (To Paragraph anchor) or a character (To Character anchor) and will somehow stay in sync with the anchor: if the reference is pushed to another page, the frame will also be pushed there.

However, achieving precise positioning and obtaining nice wrapping around is rather difficult. Frames also put a heavy stress on main text flow and formatting leading to unforeseen results after seemingly innocuous editing in unrelated areas if not properly tuned.

For these reasons, avoid as much as you can frames. Use them only when absolutely necessary (insertion of graphic material for example). If a projected frame contains only text inserted in the main flow, think of a possible replacement with a paragraph style.

In your case, you only want a "quotation" to outstand from surrounding text. This can be achieved by varying visual attributes for the "quotation": paragraph indents ("margins"), spacing above and below, font face, size or weight, italics, colour, …

All these attributes can be set in a custom paragraph style.

As a first approach, LO Writer provides a built-in style Quotation. It already has left and right indents of 1cm and increased space below at 0.5cm. Experiment with it. If you are not satisfied with built-in settings, right-click on style name in the style sidepane (F11) and Modify. Customise the style to fit your needs.

To show the community your question has been answered, click the ✓ next to the correct answer, and "upvote" by clicking on the ^ arrow of any helpful answers. These are the mechanisms for communicating the quality of the Q&A on this site. Thanks!

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Right you are, and I am beginning to see the light with LO. I will avoid the frames.

"Frames disrupts main text flow. They are intended for illustrations or side remarks as a poor man's substitutes for features found in real DTP applications like Scribus or Quarl XPress."

And in WordPerfect, too, which works like a DTP with true wysiwyg.

KitchM gravatar imageKitchM ( 2019-04-29 21:09:41 +0200 )edit

"DTP"? What does DTP stand for????

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2019-08-28 23:22:29 +0200 )edit

DTP = DeskTop Publishing, the computer-aided process used to layout and format magazines and newspapers

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-08-29 07:48:36 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-28 21:48:05 +0200

KitchM gravatar image

I have found that it is best to avoid using frames. They are a very buggy part of Writer and do not work as in other word processors.

I just created a text box and when I poured some text into it, it looked okay. However, when in the middle of editing the text, there was a serious flow problem for the text behind it. The wrap function does not work properly, or sometimes at all.

When I moved my cursor to the basic document's text, the box disappears. That is totally unacceptable. This program will never do proper layout with any type of frames.

I also tried columns, and that picked up the existing text and flowed it into the second column when I wanted parallel ones, so columns do not work correctly either.

That leaves tables of multiple cells in one row. That is the best way to use Writer. It keeps text separate, it is always visible, and there is never a gotcha when using it.

It will never be a good word processor, but hey, its free. ;)

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I also tried columns, and that picked up the existing text and flowed it into the second column when I wanted parallel ones, so columns do not work correctly either

Heh, you obviously don't understand what is what and what is for what; yet you do such bold statements:

This program will never do proper layout with any type of frames It will never be a good word processor

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2019-08-28 22:09:32 +0200 )edit

Really? Prove it. I've only been using word processors since 1985.

KitchM gravatar imageKitchM ( 2019-08-29 20:38:35 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-04-23 06:56:57 +0200

ebot gravatar image

updated 2019-04-23 07:04:37 +0200

Example: In the "Frame" dialog box, enter the following values:

image description

that gives this frame:

image description

If you need multiple frames, you can copy and paste it and then adjust in height.

Here is the page formatting:

image description

I wish you success!

Sorry for my german-UI.

If my answer did solve your problem, please click the big checkmark inside the circle to the left of this answer. It then indicates to the other participants that the question has been answered correctly.

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With me Windows 10 Home; Version 1809; 64-Bit | LibreOffice, Version: (x64).

ebot gravatar imageebot ( 2019-04-23 06:58:31 +0200 )edit

@ebot: anchoring frames To Page is not recommended because the anchor becomes attached to a specific page, independent of text flow, with the risk of obtaining an "orphan page" separated from main text by several undeletable blank pages. For example, you had a 10-page document with a page-anchored frame at page 10. You reduce your text to 5 pages. Then the document has 5 pages of text 1-5, 4 blank dummy pages 6-9 (without the possibility to delete them) and page 10 with the anchored frame.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-04-23 10:50:34 +0200 )edit

@ajlittoz thanks for the hint.

ebot gravatar imageebot ( 2019-04-23 14:38:49 +0200 )edit

Thanks, ebot.

@ajlittoz, so what is the solution?

KitchM gravatar imageKitchM ( 2019-04-26 21:44:50 +0200 )edit

Avoid as much as you can frames anchored To Page. If you want your frames to follow text flow, anchor them To Paragraph, To Character or As Character. The exact type of anchor depends on your use case. To Paragraph covers most needs. But if you can work without frames, all the better for you.

You didn't describe how the "quotation" should appear. If it is a simple paragraph, i.e. not something inserted in a margin or aside another paragraph, write it as a paragraph and give it an appropriate style to make it outstand from surrounding text, e.g. increased margins, right alignment, italics, different font, spacing above and below, drop cap, coloured background or any other visual attribute. Custom paragraph styles are your friends. It looks daunting at first sight, but once you get used to it, you wonder why you didn't use them from start.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-04-26 22:26:01 +0200 )edit

Yeah, styles are better. Obviously not as good as better word processors, but still okay.

And the difference between To Character versus As Character still eludes me.

(I always struggle to understand why things must be so hard and non-intuitive. Oh well, to each his own, I guess.)


KitchM gravatar imageKitchM ( 2019-04-27 01:58:29 +0200 )edit

To Character: the frame is positioned relative to a designated character (works like To Paragraph with only a slightly different reference position)

As Character: the frame becomes a "character" and is formatted within lines of a paragraph; you can no longer manually adjust position since this is taken care of by text flow.

I'll transform my comment/suggestion about styles into an answer so that you can mark it.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-04-27 07:49:44 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2019-04-23 00:31:48 +0200

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Last updated: Aug 28 '19