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OpenOffice Impress User Guide
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Formatting a presentation

Now put your presentation together based on your outline.


Remember to save frequently while working on the presentation, to prevent any loss of information should something unexpected occur. You might also want to activate the AutoRecovery function (Tools > Options > Load/Save > General). Make sure Save AutoRecovery information every is selected and that you have entered a recovery frequency.

    1. Creating the first slide

The first slide is normally a title slide. Decide which of the layouts will best suit your purposes for this first slide: simplicity would be appropriate in this instance. You can use the pre-packaged layouts available in the Layout section of the Tasks pane. Suitable layouts are Title Slide (which also contains a section for a subtitle) or Title Only, however all but one layout (the blank one) contains a title section, so you are not restricted to the two layouts described here.


If you do not know the names for the pre-packaged layouts, you can use the tooltip feature. Position the cursor on an icon in the Layout section (or on any toolbar icon) and its name will be displayed in a small rectangle.

If the tooltips are not enabled, you can enable them. From the main menu, select Tools > Options > > General > Help and mark the Tips checkbox. If the Extended tips checkbox is also marked, you will get more detailed tooltip information, but the tooltip names themselves will not be provided.

Select a layout in the Layout section of the Tasks pane by clicking on it: it appears in the Workspace. To create the title, click on “Click to add title” (assuming the Blank Slide layout was not used) and then type the title text. Adjustments to the formatting of the title can be done by pressing the F11 key, right-clicking the Title presentation style entry, and selecting Modify from the pop-up menu.

If you are using the Title Slide layout, click on “Click to add text” to add a subtitle. Proceed as above to make adjustments to the formatting if required.

  1. Inserting additional slides

The steps for inserting additional slides are basically the same as for selecting the title page. It is a process that has to be repeated for each slide. Unless you are using more than one slide master, your only concern is the Layouts section of the Tasks pane (Figure 14).


First insert all the slides your outline indicates you will need. Only after this should you begin adding special effects such as custom animation and slide transitions.

Step 1: Insert a new slide. This can be done in a variety of waystake your pick.

  • Insert > Slide.

  • Right-click on the present slide, and select Slide > New Slide from the pop-up menu.

  • Click the Slide icon in the Presentation toolbar (Figure 15).


Step 2: Select the layout slide that bests fits your needs.

Step 3: Modify the elements of the slide. At this stage, the slide consists of everything contained in the slide master, as well as the chosen layout slide, so this includes removing unneeded elements, adding needed elements (such as pictures), and inserting text.


Changes to any of the pre-packaged layouts can only be made using View > Normal, which is the default. Attempting to do this by modifying a slide master may result in unpredictable results and requires extra care as well as some trials and errors.

  1. Remove any element on the slide that is not required (Figure 16).

    1. Click the element to highlight it. (The green squares show it is highlighted.)

    2. Press the Delete key to remove it.



    Sometimes you will accidentally select the wrong layout slide or decide to change it. This is safe and does not cause loss of the contents already on the slide.

  2. Add any elements to the slide that you do need.

    1. Adding pictures to the clipart frame, if your chosen layout includes one:

      1. Double-click the picture within the frame. The Insert picture dialog opens.

      2. Browse to the location of the picture you want to include. To see a preview of the picture, check Preview at the bottom of the Insert picture dialog.

      3. Select the picture and click Open.

      4. Resize the picture as necessary. Follow the directions in the Caution note below.

    2. Adding pictures from graphic files to places other than the clipart frame:

      1. Insert > Picture > From File. The Insert picture dialog opens.

      2. Browse to the graphic file. To see a preview of the picture, check Preview at the bottom of the Insert picture dialog. Select a pciture and click Open.

      3. Move the picture to its location.

      4. Resize the picture, if necessary.

    1. Adding OLE Objects is an advanced technique covered in Chapter 7 (Inserting spreadsheets, charts, and objects).


      When resizing a graphic, right-click the picture. Select Position and Size from the context menu and make sure that Keep ratio is selected. Then adjust the height or width to the size you need. (As you adjust one dimension both dimensions will change.) Failure to do so will cause the picture to become distorted. Remember also that resizing a bitmap image will reduce its quality; better by far to create an image of the desired size outside of Impress.

  1. Adding text to a slide: If the slide contains text, click on “Click to add an outline” in the text frame and then type your text. The Outline styles from 1 to 10 are automatically applied to the text as you insert it. You can change the outline level of each paragraph as well as its position within the text using the arrow buttons on the Text Formatting toolbar (see the section Outline view on page 5).

Step 4: To create additional slides, repeat steps 1–3.

  1. Modifying the appearance of slides

To change the background and other characteristics of all slides in the presentation, you need to modify the slide master or choose a different slide master.

A Slide Master is a slide with a specified set of characteristics which is used as the beginning point for creating other slides. These characteristics include the background, objects in the background, formatting of any text used, and any background graphics.


OOo uses three interchangeable terms for this one concept. Master slide, slide master, and master page all refer to a slide that is used to create other slides. This book, however, will use only the term slide master, except when describing the user interface.

Impress has five pre-packaged slide masters, found in the Master Pages section of the Tasks pane (Figure 3). You can also create and save additional slide masters. See Chapter 2 for information on creating and modifying slide masters.

  1. Modifying the slide show

Now review the entire presentation and answer some questions. Run the slide show at least once before answering them. You might want to add some questions of your own.

  1. Are the slides in the correct order? If not, some of them will need to be moved.

  2. Would an additional slide make a particular point clearer? If so, another slide needs to be created.

  3. Would some custom animations help some of the slides? (Advanced technique.)

  4. Should some of the slides have a different slide transition than others? The transition of those slides should be changed.

  5. Do some of the slides seem unnecessary? Delete the affected slide or slides after checking if they are indeed unnecessary.


If one or more slides seems to be unnecessary, hide the slide or slides, and view the slide show a few more times to make sure. To hide a slide, right-click the slide in the Slides pane. Select Hide Slide in the pop-up menu. Do not delete a slide until you have done this, otherwise you may have to create that slide again.

Once you have answered these and your own questions, you should make the necessary changes. This is done most easily in the Slide Sorter view (see page 8). If you need one or more new slides, create them using the steps listed in “Inserting additional slides” on page 17.

      1. Renaming slides

Right-click on a thumbnail in the Slides pane or the Slide Sorter and choose Rename Slide from the pop-up menu. In the Name field, delete the old name of the slide and type the new name. Click OK to save the change.

    1. Custom animations

If you know how to add a custom animation to a slide and wish to do so, do it now. Custom animations are found on the Tasks pane. This is an advanced technique and is explained in Chapter 9 (Slide shows).

    1. Slide transitions

Your first slide show should probably have the same slide transition for all slides. Setting Advance slide to On mouse click is the default and a simple setting. If you want each slide to be shown for a specific amount of time, click Automatically after and enter the number of seconds. Click Apply to all slides.

Transition choices are found on the Tasks pane. For more information about slide transitions, see Chapter 9 (Slide Shows).


The Slide transition section has a very useful choice: Automatic preview. Select its checkbox. Then when you make any changes in a slide transition, the new slide is previewed in the Slide Design area, including its transition effect.

OpenOffice Impress User Guide
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