LibreOffice Writer Other Frame Styles

In the previous tutorial we looked at using the frame style for text, which is not called the Text style, but the Frame style, which may be confusing. This is a very common use of frames, but there are others. To start the discussion, let’s get back to the basic concept of objects. LibreOffice is an object-oriented program and you should keep this in mind when dealing with this software.

A piece of text can be an object, and it can contain other objects (paragraphs, sentences, words, characters), or it can be contained within other objects (section, chapter, document). In the case we are looking at, a frame is an object, which contains other objects, and is in turn contained within larger objects (page, section, document). Depending on the objects being contained, the frame styles can be different, and that is what we need to look at now.

Formula Frame Style

This style is for objects created using the Formula application, called Math in earlier versions of LibreOffice. This application is not for doing calculations (that is done using Calc), but is intended primarily for educators and academics who want to create proper formulas to embed in documents. The subject of using Formula will be explored later on, but for now if you go to Insert–>Object–>Formula, the Formula editor will open and you c an create your formula. When you click Save, the formula will be entered into your Writer document with a Formula frame automatically added to hold it. If you check the Frame properties for this frame you will see ┬áthat it is automatically sized to fit the formula. If you double-click inside the Frame, the Formula editor will open again, and you can make changes, including the font size, and when you save it the frame will resize again to fit the object. One thing to note is that by default the Formula frame is anchored as a Character, which means it is designed to be used inline in a sentence. Because it automatically resizes, all of the size settings are greyed out. Other options in the style properties are like what we saw for the text frames.

Graphics Frame Style

As you might expect, this can hold pictures, whether they are photos or drawing objects created in Draw. For pictures, you need to first create the picture, then you can insert it into Writer. When you do a graphics frame is automatically created to hold the object. For Draw objects, you go to Insert–>Object–>OLE Object, which opens a window of options:

Window for selecting OLE Objects to insert into a Writer document

Window for selecting OLE Objects to insert into a Writer document








From here you can see that there are a quite a few options for inserting OLE objects, and they include a Spreadsheet, a Chart, a Drawing, a Presentation, and a Formula. For now, we won’t get into all of these. OLE objects is a separate topic that deserves a good deal of depth.

Label Frame Style

This is intended for use with sheets of labels, and according to the LibreOffice documentation is not really intended for users to work with. LibreOffice Writer is set up to use these internally when you create a document for printing labels.

Marginalia Frame Style

This creates a frame next to the left margin which can be used to add comments on the rest of the text. It is also used commonly to create sub-=heads in technical writing. To do this, you need two frames, one Marginalia frame for the sub-heads, and one text frame (called Frame, remember) for the body


OLE stands for Object Linking and Embedding. What this does is take an object from one source and embed it in another object. For example, you can create a Chart in LibreOffice Calc and embed it in a Writer document. But Writer remembers what kind of object it is, and if you double-click the object it opens up the original application so that you can edit it. Again, a full discussion of OLE is beyond the scope of this tutorial.


As the name suggests, this style is for placing a watermark on the page. This would be a background graphic, and it would default to being a Through wrap with the text passing over the frame and anything in it. You should take care that the graphic still allows the text passing over it to be readable. This can also be used to create a Draft marking in the background, but in this case I would suggest that you first create a Template to use for all drafts (remember, to use a style again it must be saved in a Template), then create a Draft Page Style in that Template, then create the Watermark Frame Style with the appropriate wording and appearance and add it to the background of the Page style. Save your Template, and now you can use this over and over.

Listen to the audio version of this post on Hacker Public Radio!

CC BY-SA 4.0
LibreOffice Writer Other Frame Styles by Kevin O'Brien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.