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

In the case where the image is already available in a file stored on the computer, it can be immediately inserted in the Writer document. OOo 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, proceed as follows:

  1. Determine the destination for the image. Place the cursor at or near the appropriate location in the document.
Image:documentation_note.png Do not worry too much about the exact placement of the image at this stage as this can be easily changed later as described in Positioning graphics within the text.
  1. On the main menu, select Insert > Picture > From File. This displays the dialog box shown below.
  2. Navigate to the file to be inserted, select it, and click Open.
Insert picture dialog box.
Image:documentation_note.png At the bottom of the Insert picture dialog box are two check boxes. 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. The Link option is discussed below.

Linking an image file

If the Link option in the Insert picture dialog box is selected, Writer creates a link to the file containing the image, instead of saving a copy of the image in the document. The result is that the image is displayed in the document, but when the document is saved, it will contain 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. Writer 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 Writer 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 Writer 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 Writer document in OOo.
  2. Choose Edit > Links from the menu bar.
  3. The Edit Links dialog box shows all the linked files. In the Source file list, select the files you want to change from linked to embedded.

  4. Click the Break Link button.
  5. Save the Writer document.
  6. The Edit Links dialog box.
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 Writer 3.x Guide
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