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How do I use a table as a page style? [closed]

asked 2014-01-20 21:15:01 +0200

RNanoware gravatar image

updated 2020-07-29 10:39:30 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

I'm trying to define a rather complex page format in LibreOffice Writer for creating digital (printable) notecards, with a "header" row that has a citation, a main section for general text, and then a "footer" row with a subject name and notecard number. I put header and footer in quotes, because other than the page number I do not wish to repeat the same information on every notecard, as each one will have a different citation and different subject name. I've looked far and wide for tutorials on making independent headers or other similar solutions, but obviously headers are not suited for my particular task. If possible, I would like to define a custom style that will format each new page with a table of sorts, that is partitioned up into the sections that I want. Is there any way to do this? If it helps, the format I'm looking for looks something like this:

[Body text]
[Subject Name] [Page #]

Neither columns or headers would do, due to the uniqueness of each notecard. Any suggestions?

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2016-02-19 04:25:18.478332

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answered 2014-01-21 00:43:20 +0200

RNanoware gravatar image

Alright, after 3 hours of researching, debugging, keyboard-smashing, and learning, I've finally figured out something that works. Because the solution I found is (seemingly) undocumented in a unified, coherent manner, I figured I would explain the process I used for any future struggling LibreOffice users:

First off, my utlimate goal was to create multiple pages of single-sided ~3x5 flashcards in Writer, that could easily be printed off and cut up into a convenient stack. I wanted to have bits of text aligned in the top left, bottom left, and bottom right corners, as well as a block of text in the center left aligned. Because of the limitations of headers, as well as Writer's lack of vertical alignment settings and polymorphism, I turned to the address label functionality of the LO Suite.

To begin, I opened up a new Calc spreadsheet, and entered in all of my information into columns. Headings went above the columns in the first row (things like "citation", "card number"), and the following rows each represented the information on one notecard.

Upon saving the completed spreadsheet, I then had to create a new database file (with LO Base): in the Database Wizard, I chose the "connect to an existing database" option, then directed the wizard to my spreadsheet file.

As soon as the database was created and registered with LibreOffice (should be done automatically by the wizard), I went to File -> New -> Labels. On the Labels tab, I chose the newly created database and spreadsheet, then loaded in all of the required data using the "database field" dropdown and button. I chose the desired paper size in the "brand" dropdown and the desired notecard size in the "Type" dropdown. (advanced options for this are available in the "format" tab.) A KEY STEP AT THIS POINT is to go to the "options" tab and select the "synchronize contents" checkbox. This allows you to make advanced formatting changes in the following steps that will be copied to every notecard.

Hitting "New Document" will take you to a Writer file. (Three seperate LO programs have been used so far. Convuluted, right?) Gray fields with your data names should be repreated in notecard frames copied across a single page. Here, you can use the generated frames to pad and position the fields as you wish. If you, like me, wish to have text aligned at the bottom, create ... (more)

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Thanks for reporting back in detail about the solution you managed to find. "I wanted to have bits of text aligned in the top left, bottom left, and bottom right corners, as well as a block of text in the center left aligned." This can only be done manually using a table-based solution, which is less elegant than what you managed (spreadsheet → database → address labels).

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2014-01-21 01:48:35 +0200 )edit

Great report! Hope you did not loose to many keyboards!

ROSt52 gravatar imageROSt52 ( 2014-01-21 07:18:59 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-01-27 07:15:10 +0200

ACupOfCoffee gravatar image

Wouldn't this be simply footnotes?

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No, nothing like footnotes. The question is asking about content that repeats on each page.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2014-01-27 07:34:08 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-01-21 00:23:23 +0200

oweng gravatar image

I would define the required table using paragraph styles specifically designed for use with tables e.g., Table Contents and Table Heading.[1] You could additionally define a custom Table Footer paragraph style if the formatting for the Subject Name and Page Number are to differ from the other areas of the table. Perhaps modify the Table Heading style to automatically have a page break before? I have created a basic example here (rename from JPG to ODT).

[1] LO currently does not support table styles (related enhancement request is fdo#34391). Even table styles are not guaranteed to provide what you require, as the manner in which this type of style is eventually implemented is subject to variation.

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Thank you for replying! I will check out your solution as well at some point, but for now I'm using spreadsheets and address label wizards. Your solution is probably much less convoluted, but I'm working against an impending deadline and will have to go with what I've figured out until I have some free time; Thank you nonetheless for helping me!

RNanoware gravatar imageRNanoware ( 2014-01-21 00:46:58 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2014-01-20 21:15:01 +0200

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Last updated: Jan 27 '14