Archive for May, 2008

How To Add Bookmarks For Linked Chapters

I get a lot of requests about how to add linked chapters inside OpenOffice Writer ebooks, so today, I’m going to show you how easy this really is to do.

First thing you need to do is open up a new document in OpenOffice Writer. Or, you could also open up one of the free ebook templates you can download from this site.

Once you have done this, it’s time to either create your own bookmarks — “linked” chapters — or add a new bookmark to an existing ebook template.

To do this, you will first need to add your Table of Contents text, or add a new line of text to the existing Table of Contents if you’re using a pre-designed ebook template.

I normally create a new page for the Table of Contents to set on all by its self. It just looks better this way and less cluttered.

To add a new page, simply select : Insert > Manual Break > Page Break from the top tool bar.

Afterwards, you should see a new page :-)

Now, you can any type of text you wish, but here is a quick screen shot example of the text I used:

Adding A New Table of Contents:

Adding A New Line of Text to An Existing Table of Contents:

How I Did It:

I added a new Table to separate the TOC text with 2 columns and 2 rows. ( Table > Insert > Table )

I adjusted the column widths by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the middle verticle line.

I then added the chapter text to the left hand side and then the corresponding page numbers to the right.

Now that we have our text ready to link out, we need to add the chapter pages.

Here’s how we do it:

Insert a new page just as I explained it above.

Enter your Chapter Title Text, like shown below:

Now, we’re going to add the actual bookmark!

To add a bookmark, which will link our Chapter Title inside the Table of Contents to our actual chapter, you will need to left click at the BEGINNING of the “Chapter 1 Title” text on your new chapter page, as pictured above.

Once you’ve done this, you need to click the following from the top tool bar: Insert > Bookmark

A new window will pop open that looks a lot like this:

Enter the text that will point to your chapter. Usually, I’ll enter something like: “Chapter 1″.

Then simply hit “OK” and the window will disappear.

Do this for every page you have a chapter for.

The next step is to link the Table of Contents to the Bookmarks you just set up.

Here’s how to do it:

Go back to your Table of Contents page.

Highlight the first chapter text you’d like to link to by left clicking and dragging across the text.

Next, select the “Add Hyperlink” button from the top tool bar. It looks like this:

A new window will open up:

From the left hand column, select the “Document” button by left clicking it.

Next, find the portion inside the new window that says: “Target in document”.

To the far right, you will see a little icon that looks like a bullseye. Left click that button.

A new window will appear:

Expand the “Bookmarks” by left clicking on the + sign on the left hand side of the word as shown above.

You should then see your bookmark.

Select it by left clicking the bookmark text.

Hit the “Apply” button.

Then, if the window doesn’t close on it’s own, hit the “Close” button.

Now, simply hit the “Apply” button on the remaining window. Again, hit the “Close” button to close the window.

After this is done, you should then see your Chapter text as a link. Like this:

You can then change the color of your new “linked” chapter text by highlighting it, if it isn’t already, and then selecting a new color from the Font Color Tool:

Then save your new document, and you’re all finished.

Also, it’s important to mention that the above is the same process for when you are using an existing ebook template and merely adding a new chapter link in the Table of Contents.

That’s all there is to it!

3 New FREE Ebook Templates Added

Took a while, but I’ve managed to add 3 all new free OpenOffice Writer ebook templates to the Free Templates page.

I’ll try to get a few more up in the next week for you to download as well.

But, for now, enjoy the new templates!

Don’t ya just hate it when you find a really cool PS brush only to find out you can’t use it inside your commercial designs?

Well, I found a lovely lady who is selling her awesome brush sets that you CAN use commercially. And the price is just right.

At $9.99 per brush set, and they are beautiful brushes, you can snatch up terrific vector style brush sets for use in Photoshop 7, CS, and CS2.

She also has some cool freebie brushes you can play around with and see if you like them before buying too.

Check out her site, I’m certain I’ve made mention of it before, but you really should go check it out.

You can find her works both free and paid commercial at

It’s a package I use in my designs. And it’s a package that you could use in virtually any type of template design.

It’s called Killer Text. And it’s fantastic!

What exactly is Killer Text and what exactly does it do?

Killer Text is a thunderous package of Photoshop Actionscripts that turn plain text into wowzer text. Is that a word? :-D

I don’t know, but it’s a great tool to have for all your text design elements to make your next design leap from the page!

I can’t describe all the benefits of having Killer Text here, but I highly recommend you visit Max’s site and see for yourself what this affordable package can do for your next template designs:

Max’s Killer Text Package

Like I said, it’s a great package with tons of applications that will really boost your designing prowess.

Well done Max, well done.

Well, more often than not, it really is a case of “to each his/her own”. Trial and error. All that jazz.

For me though, and the designs I like to do, I find that a 670 pixel width by 910 pixel height works dandy.

You may feel differently, but the 670×910 layout area to work in shows up nicely for every page inside the default settings in OOo Writer.

Also, another point to ponder is what type of background design element you are incorporating into your ebooks.

If you are using a seamless, tiling background image, then really, the size of the actual OOo Writer text document is of little consequence.

Speaking of seamless, tiling background images, I’m creating a few and will be adding those later on inside the freebie area for download.

But, while you wait, there are other places to find some great looking seamless, tiling backgrounds. Here are just a few:

Nature Themed Seamless Backgrounds

Background City – lots of nice tiling backgrounds in an array of different categories

Pambytes Textured Backgrounds – plenty of colorful designs, but may be a bit too “loud” for ebook backgrounds though

Free Background Zone – a good variety found here for tiling backgrounds

And remember, as with anything titled “free”, it’s really best to check any and ALL “terms of use” BEFORE you decide to use the images :-) .

Before we get into the actual creation of our very own OpenOffice Writer Template, we’re going to need a few tools.

Now, for the basis of this, and other tutorials available freely on, I’m going to make some assumptions about the tools you actually have. I’m going to assume that you have the same tools I do.

But don’t worry, I’ll also have alternative suggestions for the higher priced tools that I use ;-) .

Okay, with all that out of the way, it’s time to get down to the first portion, which is. . . . .

Being Prepared By Having The Right Tools Handy

Simple, right?

But, having the right tools can make a huge difference in what types of OOo ebook template creations you can come up with.

So, here’s what I use:

1.) OpenOffice Writer — Duh!

2.) Photoshop 7

3.)’s Color Picker Tool

4.) A Good Resource For Color Schemes — like

5.) A Slammin’ Place To Generate Web 2.0 Stripe-y

6.) A Few Extra Graphic Resources — like Photoshop Layer Styles, Photoshop Brushes, Ebook Cover Actionscripts (that’s for Photoshop too ), Royalty Free Images that can be included inside “for sale”, or “commercial”, template designing, a place to help with template ideas, etc.

Now, if you’ve got good resources like those listed above, coming up with killer OOo ebook templates is much easier to do.

But, don’t be fooled. It’s still kind of tricky to do, and does take some time. However, it’s nothing you can’t learn with a little bit of help ;-) .

So, if you don’t have the things on the above list, it’s time to let you in on where to get them and some great cheaper alternatives to some of the tools.

1.) OpenOffice Writer Alternatives
Um. Okay, why would you need one??? It’s FREE dammit! Plus, it’s really the entire basis of this tutorial, and the entire site, so if you don’t have it and you want to continue on, then GO GET IT!!

2.) Photoshop 7 Alternatives
Really, I think you should be using Photoshop when following along, but I know it’s pretty expensive. Even for the older version I’m using.

So, a good alternative, that’s also FREE, would be GIMP.

Lots of people use it. And it works fine for them.

However, there are certain things that we’ll be using in the following parts of this tutorial that will require you to have Photoshop, like Brushes, Layer Styles, and Actionscripts. Those are designed to work solely with Photoshop, so it may be a good idea to download a free 30 day trial of the program from Adobe.

At least that way you’ll have 30 days to play around and learn how to use Photoshop :-) .

3.)’s Color Picker Tool Alternatives
Well, I don’t know why you’d need an alternative since the tool is free. But, if you do, you can purchase a similar tool from But again, you really don’t need an alternative to free. . . . .do you??

4.) Good Resources For Color Schemes
The color schemer site isn’t the only place to check out cool color schemes. There are a few more places. Oh, and every one of them is free to check out the color schemes, so there’s no worries about cost here! – for those of you that prefer to create your own unique color schemes :-) – a terrific place to spy all kinds of neato color schemes, patterns, and other cool colorful stuff

ColorSchemer Gallery – the standard for checking out tons of color schemes

Daily Color Scheme – nice site that offers new color schemes every day

Page Painter Color Scheme Gallery – a number of color schemes to check out

Adobe’s Kuler – pretty cool site with very attractive color schemes

5.) Web 2.0 Stripe-y Generator Tool Alternatives
Well, again, the Stripe Generator site online tool is free to use. Plus you can browse other people’s stripe designs and get some great ideas of your own. So, I think this one is the only one you need :-D

6.) Extra Graphics Resources
You can never have too many of these sites bookmarked. The tricky part is finding sites that offer free, or not too expensive, graphics to use inside designs you plan to sell. Those are few and far between at this juncture, but I’ll do my best to provide you with a few places . . . .

Creating Online – so far, looks like you can pick up some free stock photos and can use them multiple times within your designs without having to purchase an extended use license, but this is for the FREE photos listed ONLY

Wikipedia Public Domain Image Resource Page – this has a pretty good listing of places to get “so-so” images you can use commercially for free

Image*After – a decent resource offering free images that can be used commercially in your designs – this use to be a great place to pick up some free images to use within your template designs, but they have since changed their terms and this is no longer allowed.

but, you can get some great ideas for desiging by browsing through their gallery.

and, if you’re just making ebook templates for your own use, then adding their images is all right, so long as you’re not reselling it? messy stuff, i know!

feel free to read through their terms of use, maybe you can decipher the usage rights.

Big Stock Photo – this site is a little bit more lax with their terms of usage, but if you’re going to be reselling your template multiple times, then you’ll need to purchase one of their “special licenses” for every photo/image you use.

again, check out their terms of use before using any images in your “for sale” products.

Free Photoshop Brushes – contains a nice list of places to pick up personal use and commercial use PS brush sets

bsilva’s Squidoo PS Brush List Page – even though you’ll have to pay $9.99 for each commercial brush set you want to use in any resellable works, b includes some really nice free Photoshop brush sets you can play around with, along with tutorials and other interesting stuff

SpoonGraphics Urban Brushes – these can be used within commercial designs( read the comments on the page and you’ll see what I mean ) and they are very, very good

Emma Alvarez’s Butterfly Brushes – a lovely collection of soft butterfly shapes that can be used in commercial designs with a few restrictions

Nice And Easy PS Brushes – free for commercial use, a few sets that are interesting and could be useful to you :-)

Free Web 2.0 Layer Styles – the best web 2.0 styles I’ve found anywhere online, free or otherwise. i prefer to use these on my text and sometimes within a header/footer design. they’re fantastic!!

Okay, that was a LOT to digest.

I know. But think how much more prepared you’ll be when we start designing our very first ebook template. And how much simpler it will be.

Tomorrow we’ll start getting into creating a simple design that doesn’t use a whole mess of extra graphics.

Then, future tutorials will include creating more complex graphics and how to turn them into killer ebook templates.

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