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OpenOffice Calc 3.x Guide
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Inserting an image from a file

Perhaps the most common way to insert graphics is from an existing file. Calc can import various vector (line drawing) and raster (bitmap) file formats. The most common are GIF, JPEG or JPG, PNG, and BMP. See Graphic file types supported for a full list of supported graphic file types.

To insert an image from a file:

  1. Place the cursor in the document approximately where you want the picture to appear.
  2. Select Insert > Picture > From File from the menu bar, or click the Insert Picture icon Image:InsertPictureIcon.png on the Picture toolbar (f the toolbar is visible).
  3. In the Insert Picture window, navigate to the file to be inserted, select it, and click Open.
Image:documentation_note.png The picture is inserted into Calc floating above the cells and anchored to the cell in which the cursor was placed. See “Positioning graphics” on page 23 for more about positioning and anchoring graphics.
Inserting a picture from a file

At the bottom of the Insert picture dialog are two checkboxes. If Preview is checked, the selected graphic file is previewed in a pane, as shown in Figure 1, so you can verify that you have the correct file.

Image:documentation_note.png Depending on your operating system, and your choice in Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > General of whether to use the OOo Open and Save dialogs, your Insert Picture dialog may look quite different from the one shown here.

Select the Link option to insert the picture as a link to the file rather than embedding the file itself. The image is then displayed in the document, but when the document is saved, it contains only a reference to the image file—not the image itself. The document and the image remain as two separate files, and they are merged together only when you open the document again.

Linking an image has two advantages and one disadvantage:

  • Advantage – Linking can reduce the size of the document when it is saved, because the image file itself is not included. The file size is usually not a problem on a modern computer with a reasonable amount of memory, unless the document includes many large graphics files. Calc can handle quite large files.
  • Advantage – You can modify the image file separately without changing the document because the link to the file remains valid, and the modified image will appear when you next open the document. This can be a big advantage if you (or someone else, perhaps, a graphic artist) is updating images.
  • Disadvantage – If you send the document to someone else, or move it to a different computer, you must also send the image files, or the receiver will not be able to see the linked images. You need to keep track of the location of the images and make sure the recipient knows where to put them on another machine, so the Calc document can find them. For example, you might keep images in a subfolder named Images (under the folder containing the Writer document); the recipient of the Calc file needs to put the images in a subfolder with the same name (under the folder containing the Writer document).
Image:documentation_note.png When inserting the same image several times in the document, it might appear beneficial to create links. However, this is not necessary, as OOo embeds in the document only one copy of the image file.

Embedding linked images

If you originally linked the images, you can easily embed one or more of them later if you wish. To do so:

  1. Open the document in Calc.
  2. Choose Edit > Links from the menu bar. The Edit Links dialog shows all the linked files. In the Source file list, select the files you want to change from linked to embedded.
  3. Click the Break Link button.
  4. Save the document.
The Edit Links dialog
Image:documentation_note.png Going the other way, from embedded to linked, is not so easy—you must delete and reinsert each image, one at a time, selecting the Link option when you do so.

OpenOffice Calc 3.x Guide
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