In the previous tutorial we looked at the very first tab in the Frames properties window, the Type tab. Now it is time to look at the other tabs and see what they can do for us.
This tab lets you do a few things. First, it is where you can link frames from one to the other. You give each frame a name, and then you create links so that your text (or other things) flows from one frame to the next. This is how you have a block of text on page 2 that is continued on page 8, for instance. Note that LibreOffice Writer will assign names if you don’t, which will be something like “Frame2”. And you can set whether the frame contents can be printed or edited here. Finally, you can set the direction of the flow of text. Most Western text flows from left-to-right, but some languages work the other way, so you can set this here for your Frame.
This tab is extremely important, for it controls how your text flows around the Frame. It also controls how much space is allowed between your body text and the Frame. Because it is so important, let’s take a little time to understand the options here.
Note that each of these settings has a graphic that illustrates what they do, so it is not too hard to work this out. But as always I encourage you to open up a test document and try some of these techniques to get familiar with them.
- None – You can place the Frame anywhere on the page you like, but text will not flow around the frame at all. Instead, some text will be above the frame, and some below the frame. But nothing will be on the sides of the frame at all.
- Before – Text will flow down the left side of the frame, but not the right side. This looks weird if you have a centered frame, but looks fine if the frame is positioned to the right side
- After – As you might expect, text will flow down the right side of the frame, but not the left side. And this works best if the frame is positioned to the left side.
- Parallel – Text flows on both sides, such that a line of text begins on the left side of the frame, then jumps to the right side to continue. This is the most common arrangement, particularly if you have a frame that is centered.
- Through – This has the text continue behind the frame, which means that any text covered by the frame cannot be read. It is an odd effect, but perhaps there is a place for it.
- Optimal – This is like combination of Before and After, but one where Writer chooses which one makes most sense based on where the Frame is located. If the frame is slightly to the left, text will flow down the right side. And if you move the frame slightly to the right, it will flow down the left side. Try this by putting a test frame in a paragraph, selecting Optimal, then selecting the frame so that the eight handles are visible. If you move the frame left or right using the arrow keys, you can see it suddenly jump as you move the frame.
This is where you set the space between the border of the frame and the text that is flowing around it. This is not always immediately noticeable depending on where the frame is, what kind of text surrounds it, etc. But if you select a Parallel setting and then increase the Right spacing you will see this very clearly.
This is where you set a link to a Web page so that if anyone clicks on the frame they will be taken to the specified page.
Frames generally have borders around them that define the Frame on the page. Here you can set the type of line you want to use, whether it appears on all sides of the frame, how thick it is, what color it is. etc. This is pretty standard stuff, and works exactly the same way as setting borders on tables, etc. One thing that you might want to try occasionally is adding a Drop Shadow to the frame, which is controlled on the bottom Shadow setting.
This is where you can set a background color for your frame. The default is to have none, but you can put a background color in if you like. This is really only meaningful if you have text, since if your Frame contains a picture or other graphic object the background will not be visible.
A Frame can be set up to divide into columns if you like.
This is where you can actually add programming to the Frame. But this is an advanced topic which we will not take up right now.
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