Writer: how to change position properties of margin frames?

Hi all,

I’m final proofing a new version of a long document to make adjustments to the styles in order to give it better readability.

Some paragraphs have a margin icon which had been creating by pasting, anchored “to paragraph”, positioned “left page border” “from left” to 1 cm. All the icons are in a frame styled MarginIcon whose properties are exactly the same as those reported by FormatPicture.... The icon received the MarginIcon style after being pasted, dunno if this is important.

Since the document will be duplex printed, it will be more pleasant to have these icons in the outer margin. Displaying a double page (even page at left, odd page at right on the screen), I change the properties of MarginIcon to “Mirror on even pages”, “outer page border” and click OK.

Nothing happens, even after ToolsUpdateUpdate All.

Note: changing wrap spacing, colour, borders or background applies to all occurrences of MarginIcon but the Type-tab Position property seems to refuse any change though the fields display what is required.

But, if I select the icon and modify its properties with FormatPicture..., I get the desired result for that icon only.

Considering the number of icons to update, individual modification is not a practical solution unless this will fix some mistake of mine in formatting.

Why is the margin location change not effective? Are the icons set in some implicit unnamed frame which takes precedence on the styled frame (like direct formatting would do for text)?

In this latter case, why are the other changes effective?

What can I do to remedy the situation?

FWIW, LO version is; document was initially created under LO 3.x and heavily revised with LO 4.x.

You need to change position of the frame that contains image by using styles.

Best way to deal with this situation will be to place every image inside a frame which will have a Marginalia style and then you just change Marginalia frame style to left or right aligned. It’s not images what you need to reposition, frames are. Images are one thing and frames are another.

Let me know how it worked.


This is what I would do (tested on LO 5.1.5 on GNU/Linux):

  1. Edit Frame style (e.g. Marginalia) so that ‘Mirror on even pages’ is set to ‘Outer’
  2. Go Insert → Frame → Frame…
  3. On selected frame apply Marginalia frame style from Frame Styles set of styles.
  4. Position cursor inside of frame and insert image from Insert → Image.

If you were writing new document and set everything as described in advance, you wouldn’t have this issue and everything would work just perfectly.

But since you already have frames inserted and formated, updating frame style is not taking affect automatically. Sorry. You need to update and re-apply desired frame style manually on every such frame.

Feature ‘Mirror on even pages’ works, but updating styles is what is quirky. More so if you do a lot of direct formatting because direct formating overrides styles. So when you do update style, you’re still stuck with direct formating because they have priority.

Back to anchors: see image below. Pay attention on when is selected frame (green bars) and when is selected image.


Also, be careful when inserting a lot of frames or images. There is a chance that such complex document just fall apart.

I may not have been clear enough, but my images are already all in a frame. Acting on this frame does nothing (through style modification) while playing directly with the picture is OK. The real pain is picture action is individual where I expect a global control.

You have been clear enough but I made some (wrong) assumptions. But I’ll continue :smiley: Are you sure that images are anchored to the frame? Sometimes image is inside the frame but it’s anchor is outside of it (so when you edit image style it does what expected but not when you do frames). And on which frame style is MarginIcon based on? If on plain frame style, I would still try to go with Marginalia. I used to have documents structured like yours and everything worked like a charm.

Since the base document was written years ago, I am not sure of anything. Your warning about anchor seems sound because the icons underwent heavy manual formatting and tweaking. Afterwards, they were copied and pasted in the new paragraphs which Designing with LibreOffice strongly advises against.

I suspect that due to the manual formatting there are two nested layers of frames: the styled one and the image itself. How can I check that?

I would click the image and see does that anchor icon appears inside of frame. If it does, than images are anchored to a frame. If that icon pops-up inside main text, it was anchored within main text and moving frame horizontally can’t really do anything.

Checked: there is a single frame (containing the picture) and the frame is anchored to the paragraph as expected. I still don’t understand with this styled frame can’t move when the style is modified while its background color or border is updated per style mod.

I’ve updated my answer.

Read your update, tried it but not the right solution: inserting a frame the pasting an image inside means this image must be anchored as character in the paragraph. But anyway, we’re back to the problem: some (not all) frame properties do not automatically take effect after update. But after experimenting I found a workaround. See next comment.

For your information: I am very cautious about manual formatting. I always avoid it (I know and fear direct formatting override).

After experimenting, I discovered that, once frame style is updated, you need to reapply it, i.e. select the image, double-click on the frame style name, voilà! everything is fine.

For me, this looks like a bug: the properties at stake are not identified in the code as having changed. Reapplying the style forces ALL properties to be taken into consideration. It would be worth to have the opinion of a developer.

Considering the number of images, I think I’ll give up the outer margin change.