109. About Drawing with Draw
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
107 Create a New Drawing
108 Open an Existing Drawing
111 Draw from Scratch
Without question, Draw is the most enjoyable of all the OpenOffice.org programs. Draw is fun to use, and it's the only one of the OpenOffice.org programs that both adults and children have fun using. Draw supports all kinds of shapes. Here is only a sample of the shapes available to you as a Draw artist:
Not only does Draw support multiple shapes, but you can control how those shapes overlap. You can combine or un-combine shapes to produce different effects when you place multiple objects on the same plane.
As you use draw, you place various shapes on the drawing area. You control all aspects of the shapes you place there, including their lighting effects, their rotation angles, their size , their interaction with other objects, their color , their line thickness , and more. You can always return to shapes you place on your drawing and delete, resize, and edit them.
One of the most powerful features of Draw is its ability to combine multiple shapes so that you can treat those shapes as a single object. You can temporarily combine multiple shapes to work with them currently or you can combine them into a single shape semi-permanently (you can, through menu commands, uncombined them).
As you place items on the screen, you are placing them on slides, not unlike Impress slides. (See the introduction in Chapter 11, "Learning About Impress," for a quick background about Impress slides.) Each slide is basically its own graphic image; if you export your drawing to a graphic format such as JPEG, only the selected slide is saved to the file. If you export the drawing to an HTML file, however, multiple web pages are createdone page for each slide, with an additional master page that contains links to the slide pages. In this manner, you can create an easy-to-navigate image gallery. If you export a drawing to a PDF file, each slide is saved to a new page in the file. (See 36 Save a Document as a PDF File for help with PDF.)
Another advantage to creating multiple images in a Draw file (each on its own slide) is that you can add components on a master slide that each image shares. Choose View, Master to display the master slide, and then add the common components, such as a similar background or text.
Whenever you want to place the same objects (such as a title and a background image) on all your drawing's slides, place those objects on the master slide so that they appear on all slides you create in that drawing.
The Pages pane allows you to change from one slide to another in your drawing.
To insert a slide, choose Insert, New Slide from the menu. To change from slide to slide, click the slide you want to work on in the Pages pane (display this pane by choosing View, Pages Pane from the menu bar). The current slide is highlighted in blue.
On each slide, you can combine multiple objects, even stacking them one on top of the other to partially obscure the object underneath. If it helps you to keep these multiple objects on different layers , you can create extra layers as needed. Choose Insert, Layer , type a layer name , select layer properties (such as Visible ), and click OK . You change from one layer to another on a slide by clicking the layer's tab. Each slide has three layers by default: Layout, Control , and Dimension Lines . You can use these layers for whatever you want, but the intention is that you keep your drawing objects on the Layout layer, buttons that activate sounds, movie files, and other fun stuff on the Controls layer, and dimension lines on the Dimension Lines layer.
Layers Groups of items, such as your drawing's graphics and text, controls you place on a drawing, or dimension lines for three-dimensional space control.
Dimension line A special line you can draw that measures the length of the nearest object and displays that measurement onscreen.
You can't change the name of any of the three default layers, but you can change their properties to hide them, stop them from printing, or lock their contents.
Likewise, you can control these same three properties for any layer you create: Visible, Printable , and Locked. Visible controls whether a layer's contents is displayed on screen; Printable controls whether a layer's contents is printed; Locked controls whether or not edits are allowed. Just select the layer and then choose Format, Layer .
Each slide comes with three layers you can use to organize the drawing's various elements.
Objects you draw (such as a rectangle or a line) can be stacked in any order you choose, with the object at the top of the stack obscuring objects beneath . See 118 About Grouping Objects . If you create multiple layers, the way in which objects are stacked has nothing to do with which layer they are on; layers are only used to organize objects and to prevent certain objects from printing, displaying, or being changed.