how to edit line presets / styles for drawing consistent lines

Trying to apply a style / profile / set of attributes to new drawing objects when selecting Insert → Shape → Line → Line menu. Pasting a line preserves line attributes such as colour, dotted or dashed, arrows and angle, but when drawing free-form lines it is easier to draw a new free-form line with the mouse rather than manipulating individual points in order to mould the new free form line around the new text.

In writer it appears that lines or drawing objects are not managed by a regular style (F11) which you can simply apply to a frame or table but almost as if drawings do not support this feature.

Tracing a line with the mouse results in a blue colour with a standard thickness. These settings are easily changed via the Document Object Property toolbar or select line → right-click → Line… context menu. Due to the nature of mouse tracing a line it can be difficult to draw arrows at right angles (eg, 0, 90, 270°) so have been resorting to copy and pasting existing arrows, but when you are in the midst of writing and just want to insert a shape with predefined attributes it tends to interrupt what you are doing. ie, you have to go and find a suitable arrow on another page, select it, (losing your place in the document), find your place back to where you were working then paste it.

Free-form and straight lines always seem to revert back to some unknown setting I cannot find. One can select continuous line “style” (select line, right-click, line properteis) but not edit it in any way and this still sets the line to blue.

One can define new “styles” under the line style tab whose options are limited to whether the line is dotted or dashed and the length of those dashes. I can get something close to a continous line by reducing the length/spacing in the line tab, but it is still dashed and not suitable.

Some specific questions include:

Am I using LibreOffice wrong? How do others go about their line-making?

How to draw arrows with default settings applied how can one create some sort of a ‘style’ so that they all come out the same or to a various predefined defaults without having to fiddle with angle, arrow head or colour for each line/arrow created?

Is there a hotkey setting or easy way to change the angle from say 0° to 90°?

Don’t be shy and use the gallery. Build a new theme with all items you often use. After that you may use the gallery in every new file (Writer, Draw…).

Note: This is a workaround but saves time and nerves.

You can write a request for it on Bugzilla.

Suggestions for improvement are submitted as well as bug reports in Bugzilla.

How to Report Bugs in LibreOffice.

added feature request tdf#132568

You can also create your drawings in Draw. There you have the possibility to use styles. When you have created a style you only need to mark your object and double click on your new style:

image description

When you have finished your drawing, you can “group” it and copy it and then transfer it to Writer.

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With me Windows 10 Home; Version 1909; 64-Bit | LibreOffice, Version: (x64).

Some additional information.

Drawing objects in Writer are offered as a cheap and quick’n’dirty feature to exceptionally “decorate” your text. By "exceptionally, I mean it is not routinely used in your document. If you have a heavy need for it, Draw is the recommended tool as @Hrbrgr answered because all objects can be controlled by a style.

Any object in Writer is anchored so that when the anchor moves, the object follows the movement. This is the standard mechanism for frames and pictures (after all a drawing is also a picture).

However, this is probably not what you expect. Your question mentions arrows. Arrows are used to link visually two bits of information: the antecedent and the consequence. Ideally, an arrow should have two “anchor points” (which is different from the current “anchor object”, i.e. character, paragraph or page). You certainly desire that the arrow always maintains the visual relationship between the origin “object” and the destination “object”, no matter how text flow redistributes them.

This is not possible in Writer.

If the antecedent and the consequence are graphic object, design them in Draw as two groups, then use a connector between both groups. A connector is a special line which attach to glue points. When you move the groups relative to each other, the connector remains attached to the glue points, that is it is redrawn to follow the movement. There are several kinds of connectors to fit everybody’s needs (straight, curved, segmented, …)

The case of text antecedent and consequence objects is less flexible: the text can be set as a text box (no border) or inside any shape (with a border). But Draw is not Writer: Draw is a drawing program and uses strings to label shapes. Consequently, text in the shape may be styled but this style is global to the shape (object). Decorating some words or characters is possible but must be done manually (equivalent to direct formatting in Writer). Also, there is no text flow management in Draw.

Nevertheless, for illustrations, Draw offers many interesting features not present in Writer, the one with highest value-added flexibility is the ability to build connected diagrams where you can move the shapes or groups of shapes to find the best looking arrangement while the connectors are dynamically redrawn to preserve the logical relation structure between the shapes.

If your goal of using arrows in your Writer document is motivated by the need to show logical relationship between arguments, I’d recommend you give a try to the Draw features.

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