105 Set Draw Options

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Not everybody works the same way, so not every Draw user wants to use Draw the same way. By setting some of Draw's many options, you will make Draw conform to the way you like to do things. For example, you may want to hide Draw's image placeholding anchors because they distract you from your drawing. ( 110 Draw from Scratch describes the use of anchors.) The options you set control this and many other aspects of Draw.

See Also

106 Create a New Drawing

107 Open an Existing Drawing



Even if you're familiar with Calc or another OpenOffice.org set of options, initially learning about Draw's options now gives you a preview of what Draw is able to do.

As a matter of fact, Draw has an option for just about anything! Table 14.1 describes Draw's option categories. You'll learn a lot about what Draw can do just by looking through the options available to you.

Table 14.1. Draw's Drawing Options

Draw Option Category



Describes general Draw settings, such as the initial default unit of measurements for elements within a drawing and the scale you want your drawings to appear in.


Describes how Draw appears on the screen and which Draw special elements are shown, such as rulers and graphic placeholders. Only the contour, or outline , of graphics appear if you elect to display image placeholders in place of actual images in your drawings.


Determines whether Draw displays a grid for you on your drawing area background to help you place elements more accurately and consistently.


Describes how Draw handles the printing of drawings, such as adjusting the drawing size to fit the paper.




All options are available for all OpenOffice.org programs at all times. For example, you can control the display of a grid in Calc from Impress, and you can request that Impress print the date and time on all pages of output from within Draw.



Scale ” A ratio that describes the size of objects on your screen and how that size relates to their actual printed size.

  1. Request Options

    Select Options from Draw's Tools menu. The Options dialog box appears. From this dialog box, you can change any of Draw's options as well as the options for the other OpenOffice.org programs.



    Often you'll work in one OpenOffice.org program and realize that you need to change an overall option. For example, if you want to print several kinds of OpenOffice.org documents to a file (instead of to your printer) to send to others via email, you can change the OpenOffice.org option labeled Print , from within Draw, to apply that setting to all OpenOffice.org programs.

  2. Change the Overall Options

    Select any option in the OpenOffice.org category to modify OpenOffice.org-wide settings such as pathnames. For example, if you don't like the pathname you see when you open or save a drawing to disk, click the Paths option and change it to a different default file path .

    If you're new to OpenOffice.org, consider leaving all the OpenOffice.org options "as is" until you familiarize yourself with how the OpenOffice.org programs work.

  3. Open the Drawing Category and Set General Options

    Click the plus sign next to the Drawing option to display the four Draw-specific options listed in Table 14.1 at the beginning of this task.

    Click the General options category; the dialog box changes to show options you can select to make changes to the general Draw options. The Text objects section enables you to specify how you wish to edit text objects inside your drawings ”either quickly when they're available by clicking them or only after you click the Option bar's Allow Quick Editing button. The Settings section describes how you want Draw to use its background cache when displaying objects in a drawing (without the cache, Draw runs more slowly, although on recent computers you'll hardly notice the difference). In addition, you can specify how you wish to handle copying and moving your drawings' objects, and you may also specify how you want to handle measurements and tab stops, such as in inches or metrically. The Scale section shows the ratio of drawing size on your screen's rulers and how they relate to the actual printed drawing. The Compatibility section enables you to determine if you want Draw to use a different layout for the screen and printed drawings (typically you'll leave this option unchecked).

  4. Change View Options

    Click the View options category under the Drawing category; the dialog box changes to show options that handle Draw's onscreen display. The Alternative display section determines how and when Draw shows elements such as text and images. If you choose to show placeholders only, Draw will not display actual text and graphics but rather will show placeholders for them to speed your screen's display. During the editing of a large drawing, you can often speed up the editing process by electing to show placeholders instead of actual text and graphics. When printing your drawings, of course, Draw will show the actual text and graphics on the drawings because the placeholders would be meaningless as artwork. The Display section enables you to determine how special elements such as the rulers are to show while you work within Draw.



    If you are new to Draw, perhaps it's best to accept Draw's default option settings. Read through them now to familiarize yourself with the terminology, however. Once you've created some drawings, you'll better understand how these options impact your work.

  5. Change Grid Options

    Click to select the Grid category under the Drawing option category. The Grid section enables you to determine whether to use the snap-to grid and whether to make the grid visible. The Resolution section specifies the width between each grid point measurement (decrease the width for detailed drawings). If you click to check the Synchronize axes option, when you change the X-axis, the Y-axis adjusts symmetrically at the same time, instead of changes to one axis not affecting the other. The Snap section determines how you want to use the snap-to grid to align objects. If you create many freeform drawings, such as an artist might do with a drawing tablet attached to the computer, you'll want to turn off all snap-to items. If you create commercial drawings and some educational drawings showing relationships and textual backgrounds and layouts, you may wish to require that some objects move toward the closest snap-to grid for consistency and alignment of objects.

  6. Change Print Options

    Click to select the Print category under the Drawing option category. The Quality section enables you to determine whether you want your drawing printed in the default screen colors or in a more efficient grayscale or black and white (both printed without colors, thus saving color printer ink and toner). The Print section specifies what you want printed, such as the page name (if you've assigned one), date, time, or pages you've hidden within the drawing but may want to print. The Page options section determines how you want your drawings to fit the final page ”whether they should take up the actual size specified by the ruler or whether you want Draw to shrink the drawings enough to fit on the current page. You can also specify whether you want to print on the front and back of the page as well as use the printer's own paper tray settings instead of the default settings.

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Sams Teach Yourself OpenOffice.org All In One
Sams Teach Yourself OpenOffice.org All In One
ISBN: 0672326183
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 205
Authors: Greg Perry

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