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OpenOffice.org Tips and Tricks: Customization, PDFs, and Smart Image Management - page 3

Personalizing Your OOo Options

  • September 15, 2008
  • By Eric Geier

Lastly, we'll discuss overcoming two issues when working with images in OOo: linking and image size. Sometimes when inserting images into OOo applications, they can become linked to the image rather than copied into the document. The problem here is that when you go to send the document to your colleague or friend (or when viewing on another computer), the document is looking for the image on your computer and doesn't show up. A similar situation occurs when viewing a document that contains links to images from the Web when you aren't connected to the Internet. The solution is simple; make sure you don't insert image links.

Tip: Linked images can be useful if used in the right situations. For example, if you are sending your document to someone on the same network and you add images from a network share accessible by both computers. Linking to images doesn't copy them into the document, thus the document which have a much smaller file size.

You can see if an image is linked by double-clicking on an image to open the Picture dialog box. On the Picture tab, refer to the Link section. If the File name field says [none], the image is not linked; otherwise, a path to the image will be displayed. Converting linked images to copied images that are stored with the documents is easy; click Edit - Links, select the image link(s), and click the Break Link button

Tip: To prevent images from being linked in the first place, make sure the Link checkbox is not marked on Insert Picture dialog box when browsing for the image, as Figure 4 shows, or on the dialog box that appears after dragging or copying an image into a document.

Now for the image size issue you may run into. Many times the images you insert into Impress or Writer are at a higher resolution than desired for the document, so you simply click the image and resize to make it smaller. This however doesn't reduce the file size of the image. The full image is still stored in the document regardless of how small you make it appear. This causes the document's file size to be larger than necessary. Sometimes people think they are creating thumbnails, but they're actually creating dumbnails, which means the image displays at a small size, but the image file is not reduced, so they have multi-megabyte dumbnails. The way around this issue is to reduce the size of the image with image editing software before inserting them into OOo documents. Trust us; this technique can really reduce the size of your documents, leading to easier transmission via email and to conserve everyone's disk space.

Stayed tuned-more tips and tricks on transitioning to OOo next week.

Eric Geier is an author of many computing and networking books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft Windows Vista (Que 2007).


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