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

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: (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?

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 :slight_smile:

With Regards, lib

To accept this answer, please click on the checkmark icon on the left.

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.

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.

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 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!

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, not 5.4 Has something changed? This simply should not be this difficult. I’m open to ANY guidance or ideas. Thank you all.

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.

  1. Open question

If this answer helped you, please accept it by clicking the check mark :heavy_check_mark: to the left and, karma permitting, upvote it. If this resolves your problem, close the question, that will help other people with the same question.

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!

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.

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!

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.

Hi _ I have a similar problem have managed to export from pdf to background and have a reasonable graphic quality. I am struggling however to mover the cursor to exactly the correct spot on the background image. When simply using each line of text it is difficult to get a flow - can you have a text box that can be distinct and then moved freely across the page to position it on the background image ? Would that work better in Draw ?

Edit for Update - Took page/image up to 300 dpi and placed it into background - resolution was very good. I couldn’t get the text box to work but found another question that recommended using a Frame (Insert - Frame ). Stripping off the borders allows you to move it around the form and to also insert Fields.

“Me too” are not other solutions to initial questions. Such “me too” complaints should go into comments so that they don’t pollute the site. Comments also send notifications to OP and contributors; this brings again attention to the question.

Either this is a new question and it deserves its own topic on this site (and I’m ready to answer), or it is an update to original question and it must take the form of a comment to request an update of an answer).

Nevertheless, although there not a lot of factual information in your statement, I suppose you want to draw some kind of form. The best I can suggest is to activate “Font Design” mode. In this mode , you can position “Form Controls” anywhere you like on the page. The controls can be set very accurately over the background.

Hi - am not au fait with the rules - and there seems to be some confusion on semantics.
I was able to use this answer to go toward resolving my problem so thought it relevant to post. I was able to create a hi-res image that I used as background and am using an application to fill Frames ( overlaid on background ) that have user fields. This renders to a printable pdf and hey presto I have a software front end to a cumbersome hand written pdf requirement.