Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Libre Office and Graphics

It's easy to tell when I am in a lot of pain, or suffering badly with fatigue and bored senseless.  I write in this place again.  Being house bound is forcing me to mess around with programming and graphics again within the limits of endurance.  I can only sit upright for short periods, which makes productivity a bit hit and miss.

Ok, Recently I wrote a script to automate preparation print images and text to go on ceramic mugs.  The script program can be used to make output for printing then pressing to iphone cases and mousepads, coolers, in fact just about anything.  It started as an exercise to make a simple preview program that would project the output of a mug design onto a cylinder.  From there I just made it print to a blank picture of an actual mug, then took it to its logical conclusion and made it spit out a layout page ready to print.

Once that was worked out, I went back to have a look at the way I had been making my mug layouts.  I had used a few graphic programs, but kept coming back to LibreOffice Draw.  The annoying thing was that every time I wanted to change a picture on a page I had to resize it.  Lots of shift-click-drag fiddling.

I was helping a friend with a brochure project and accidentally came across something I had forgotten. The option to lock objects in position on the page, but retain the ability to edit them.

Right clicking a picture on a page always allows changing the picture but it is so easy to accidentally move it.  Using  Right Click > Position and Size > Protect Position,  allows me to lock all images and text in a position on a page, and then Right Click > Change Picture lets me choose what I want in that spot.  I can highlight text that is in a locked frame and change it also.

This makes setting up a single template so much easier and ensures that all output conforms nicely to the template.  It is amazing what we can forget when our brain has been damaged.

It is also amazing just how useful, free software can be when one investigates its options.

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