Guide: LibreOffice Impress Part 2: Text, Boxes, and Images

In this second part of our guide, we discuss how to deal with text and boxes. We also go over the basics of inserting an image as well.

In our previous guide, we discussed the basic set-up and configuration of Impress. At this point, you are ready to get started on creating slide shows. So, where to begin learning?

At it’s core, slide shows rely largely on text. You could do nothing but pictures and videos, but most rely on text at some point or another. So, we’re going to start with just simple text and how to edit it.

Step 1: Open a New Slide Show Presentation

When you open Impress, you’ll encounter this screen. There’s nothing really stopping you from using any of these templates and moving on, really. However, for the sake of simplicity and knowing what we’re learning at this point, we’re going to hit the “Cancel” button. All we’re focused on is text and boxes. Additional visualizations aren’t really necessary at this stage.

Even in a non-template environment, Impress actually is very good at helping the user take a first step or two. Creating a title and even body text is actually a click away as suggested by the text in each. Yes, the text disappears on its own the second you click. So, feel free to add a title and some body text.

Step 2: Editing the Text

Once you’ve created some text, a question that might come to mind is, “OK, how do I change the font?”

Your first inclination might be to go to the upper tool bars, but the answer isn’t so obvious all of a sudden.

If you want to change the font of something, first you have to click on the text box to select it. Next, you have to highlight the text you want to change and click on “Character…” In my case, I’m just changing everything in the box, so I highlighted everything.

Now, you can make any adjustments you want to the text. For me, just making the title bold is sufficient for now. You obviously can edit further if you wish, but I’m just going to do something really simple for now. A preview of the text is conveniently placed at the bottom of the window.

When you are done, click on the “OK” button.

Obviously, you don’t have to highlight all of the text to make adjustments. You can actually make adjustments to just a few words if you really want.

In the above example, I’m just going make the words “body text” bold. So, I just highlight the words, right click, and make it bold in the subsequent window and hit “OK” just like the previous pictures showed.

Step 3: Adding Bullet Points

A trademark of slide shows is bullet points. They offer clear and concise pieces of information and can be used for some dramatic effect with effects. First things first, however, is how to make them in the first place. That is a pretty straight forward process.

First, I’m going to add two spaces at the end of my text.

Next, I’m going to right click on the space, then click on “Bullets and Numbering…”

You’ll immediately notice that Impress offers a bunch of different kinds of bullet points for use. Classic bullets, check marks, and a whole lot more. You can even thumb through the different tabs along the top of this pop-up window and you’ll a bunch of different numbers, pictures, and even the ability to create your own custom bullets if you really want to go to full customization. For now, though, I’m just going to click on the classic bullets and click on “OK”.

You’ll see your bullet point appear and you are free to add text. To add further bullet points, simply hit the Enter button on your keyboard and you can keep adding bullet points.

When you are done with the bullet points, you might think that they could look a bit better then they already are. For instance, the bullets are currently aligned to the centre. Fixing this is actually easy. Like adjusting the fonts, you’ll want to highlight what you want to adjust. Next, right click on the text. This time, however, you’ll want “Paragraph…”

In the pop-up window, you’ll be able to edit a whole lot. First and foremost, the alignment. Just click on the “Left” radial (as highlighted in the screenshot) and the text will align left.

Another thing you might notice on this window is that you have an option to change the way text is written out. A lot of languages simply read left to right. However, some languages actually read right to left. Examples of this are Hebrew, Arabi, and Persian/Farsi. So, if Impress types text out left to right in those languages, this option might be very useful. Alternatively, if you show multiple languages in your slide show, you might also find this option useful depending on the languages present.

Another thing to note on this window is Indents & Spacing. This is probably going to be another useful feature. Just click on the Indents & Spacing tab and you’ll be offered a number of different features. You can adjust how far (in this case) those bullet points go into the page. You can separate the bullets from the above text as well as the text below. Additionally, You can add spaces between the points by adjusting your line spacing (along the bottom). The best way you can learn the effects on your own is to just mess with the up and down arrows and watch the adjustments in the example window.

After aligning the body text as well as the bullet points, adding some indentation and using the 1.15 spacing, this is what I came up with. It may not be perfect, but a little added trial and error and I can pretty much get any effect I want with the text.

Adding Text Boxes

Let’s say, for example, we accidentally deleted the body text box. In fact, I’m going to intentionally do with by selecting the body text and hitting the “Delete” key. How can I add my own text box besides just opening a new project?

The first thing we can do is click on the Insert Text Box button (highlighted in screenshot).

Next, we are going to draw our box by clicking and dragging where we want the box.

You might notice the height not taking. That’s actually not a problem. Just type in some initial text.

Next, click on the text box to select it. You’ll see on the corners and sides some green boxes. Just click and re-adjust as you see fit. You can add as many or as few boxes as you like.

Adding a Picture

Adding a picture is very easy. First, I made some room on my slide by shrinking my body text box.

Next, I’m going to click on the “Insert Image” button (as highlighted in the screen shot). You’ll open your file browsing window. Just browse to the picture you want to use, click on it, then click on the “Open” button.

The image will try to retain it’s original size within the confines of the slide. After that, you can just hold shift on your keyboard and click and drag the top down. This will not only shrink your picture down, but also help retain your images aspect ratio (no stretching or warping).

From there, I can click and drag the picture to move it around. If I want to move it up, I can also hold down shift. This will snap the movements to a nice straight line up.

Congratulations, you now can add and adjust text. You can also throw in a picture onto the slide however you see fit!

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