Tutorials Archives

Before, I told you how you could create links to your content by making use of the Bookmark setting inside OOo Writer.

Today, I’m going to show you a different way. One which will allow you to utilize the “Indexes and Tables” function, and at the same time, make it a clickable Table of Contents that leads right to your ebook chapters.

First though, let me tell you why this solution might be the better one.

The reason why I believe this is the better solution is because you won’t have to manually update your Table of Contents. Simply by clicking ONE button, you can have your TOC update itself…Including adding in new chapter links!

Can’t get any better than that. At least, I don’t think so.

So, How Do You Create A Linked TOC While Using The “Indexes and Tables”?

Well, first you have to know how to create a TOC, or Table of Contents, using the “Indexes and Tables” function inside OpenOffice Writer. So, I’m going to teach you how to do just that.

Once you get the hang of using the “Indexes and Tables” function, it will come like second nature to you. I promise.

Step 1: Use The “Styles and Formatting” Box/Menu

Okay, the first thing we’re going to need to do before we can even get to the point where we add our Table of Contents to begin with is to make some style changes.

This may sound complicated, but believe me, once you do it a couple of times, it gets really easy.

So, the first thing we’ll need to do, beyond having our ebook content of course, is to open up the “Styles and Formatting” menu.

To do that, look for this link in your main toolbar of OpenOffice Writer: Format.

Click the “Format” link in the toolbar.

A drop down menu will appear.

From that menu, select “Styles and Formatting” by left clicking it once.

The “Styles and Formatting” window should now be open and look like this:

Alternatively, you can hit the F11 button on your keyboard to open up the Styles and Formatting window as well. That’s the shortcut key ;)

The next thing we’re going to do is make sure that our ebook Chapter titles show up inside our official Table of Contents menu within our ebook.

The way we do that is to assign a specific style to our ebook Chapters.

For our main ebook Chapter titles we’re going to use the Heading 1 style.

What you will need to do is to left click and drag across your ebook Chapter text to highlight it. Like so:

Then, you will want to apply the Heading 1 style by selecting it from the styles drop down menu shown below:

Of course it will show the Default style, to change it to the Heading 1 style, simply click on the arrow down and then select the Heading 1 style by left clicking it from the drop down menu.

You will see that your ebook Chapter text has now changed from the default format to the Heading 1 style format.

The next step is to do the above for every single ebook Chapter inside your ebook.

Always be sure to save your progress as you go!

You can also insert “Sub Chapters” within your Table of Contents.


By highlighting your Sub Chapter text then applying the Heading 2 style from the styles/formatting drop down menu just as I showed you above.

Step 2: Adding A Basic Table of Contents Using The “Indexes and Tables” Function

Once you have all your Heading styles in place from Step 1 above, it’s time to insert our Table of Contents.

For this, you will need to create a new, blank page.

To do that, simply select the following from your main OpenOffice Writer toolbar:

Insert > Manual Break… > Page Break

Now that we have a fresh, new blank page, it’s time to insert our Table of Contents.

Be sure that your cursor is blinking somewhere within your newly created blank page.

Then from the main toolbar, select the following:

Insert > Indexes and Tables > Indexes and Tables

You should now see a box similar to the following:

All you need to do now is to hit the “OK” button.

Then you should see your new Table of Contents sitting inside your blank page.

Easy, right?

Well, maybe not at first, but if you do this every time you create a new ebook, it will become really easy.

Okay, let’s get those Chapters linked up.

Step 3: Adding In Hyperlinks For Your New Table of Contents

This is the tricky part. Not too tricky, but you will have to pay very close attention. There are a few magic clicks we’ll have to perform to get this part just right.

All right. The first step is to re-open the “Indexes and Tables” window that I showed you above.

To do that, simply right click anywhere inside your new Table of Contents.

From the menu that will appear, you must select “Edit Index/Table” by left clicking that option when it appears.

Then the “Indexes and Tables” window will reappear. See? Like magic ;)

The next step is the tricky part.

From inside the “Indexes and Tables” window, you will need to click on the “Entries” tab pictured below:

Then you should see the following:

What we do next is to left click inside the little rectangular box directly behind the text: E#

Then click the “Hyperlink” button as shown here:

Keep the above window OPEN!!

There’s one more thing we have to do before we finish our work.

You will need to do the EXACT SAME THING outlined above for the # area shown below:

Remember, left click once inside the little text box behind the # symbol, then click the “Hyperlink” button.

Now, with that all done, simply hit the “OK” button.


You now have an official linked Table of Contents.

What About Sub Chapters? Can They Also Be Linked?


Just do the same things outlined above, but instead of having the 1 selected as shown below:

Left click and select the number 2 directly below it.

Then follow the aforementioned steps.

You may have to redo the steps for your main chapter links, but that’s simple enough, right?

How Do I Update The Table of Contents When I Add New or Additional Content To My Ebooks?

That’s simple enough.

Anytime you add a new chapter, be sure that you use the Heading 1 ( or Heading 2 style for sub chapters ) style for your chapter titles, simply navigate back to your Table of Contents, right click anywhere inside of it, and select the “Update Index/Table” link.

Then your Table of Contents will upgrade automatically with your newly added contents. One click simple. Just like I said.

So, now that you know the more “professional” way to add a linked Table of Contents to your OpenOffice Writer ebooks, what are you waiting for??

Go ahead and try this method out yourself!

What Do YOU Want To Learn?

Since I’m not a very good psychic, I’d like you to tell me what you want to learn how to do with OpenOffice Writer and EZ Ebook Templates.

No matter how silly you think your request is, post it up here and I’ll place up a tutorial explaining how to get it done.

Why am I doing this?

To make this site a better fountain for learning. And the best way to do that is to hear from you!

So, just post up a quick, or long, comment telling me what you’re having trouble with and I’ll create a freely available tutorial just for you.

And, before you get too sheepish about adding your request, just remember, you may not be the only person struggling with an issue :-)

I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Let’s work together to make this site a better place to learn!

In the first portion of this tutorial, we assembled our tools. And, discovered some free places to amass even more cool stuff to add to our own OOo ebook template designs.

Now, in Part 2, we’ll actually begin the first steps to building our own OpenOffice Writer ebook templates. Don’t worry, it’s really easy to do. For simple designs. We’ll cover the tougher stuff in later tutorials :-) .

So, let’s get started. . .

STEP 1: Open Up OpenOffice Writer

Pretty self explanatory, just open up the OOo program and create a new Text Document. You can do that by clicking on “File> New”, but since you’ve just opened up the program there should already be a new Text Document there waiting for you to add content to ;-)

And here’s what it should look like:

STEP 2: Insert A “Default” Header & Footer Into The Document

Again, pretty simple, but here’s the actual ‘break down’ on how to do this . . . .

Go To: Insert > Header > Default

You will now see a new table looking portion at the top of your new text document:

Now, to insert the footer, do the same thing:

Go To: Insert > Footer > Default

Again, you will see a new table portion at the very bottom of your new text document:

The next thing you should do is enter some basic text inside both the Header and Footer.

Normally, I simply add “Ebook Title Here” or “Author Name” inside the Header section along with the Page Number that I either set to the far left or far right.

**Quick Tip : You can also add in a table to better separate any text and page numbering to make things flow better inside your headers and footers.

To add a Page Number count, simply go to: Insert > Fields > Page Number and it will show up wherever you place it. You can find the text alignment settings in the upper toolbar inside OpenOffice Writer shown here:

And here’s what I came up with for my Header default text:

To separate the “Ebook Title Here” text and the Page Number, I just added extra spaces with the space bar.

Now, do the same thing with the Footer. Personally, I like to add something like: “copyright(c)2008 Your Name or Site Link Here” in this area, but you may want to do something different.

Again, you can right align, left align, or center align this text just as you did with the Header text in the same manner.

Here’s what I ended up with:

To get the neato copyright symbol, just go to: Insert > Special Character and a new window will pop open, then just find the copyright symbol, click on it, hit OK and it will auto insert it.

You can also insert a table to add and separate text and special fields section such as Page Numbering( as mentioned earlier ).

Do this by following: Table > Insert > Table

You can make further adjustments to the inserted table after you have put it inside the area you want it to be in by Right Clicking inside one of the table portions, or “cells”.

A new window will pop open giving you plenty of options for adding colors, borders, background colors, table size proportions, and more. Just play around with the settings to see what you can come up with.

Also, to adjust the column widths, you can simply left click and hold the button then drag the middle column line.

STEP 3: Select A “Page” Background Image & Add It

To add an image to the entire ebook, or “Page”, background area, you will need to right click somewhere inside the new Text Document “white area” — this is exactly what it sounds like — the “white” area within the text document that isn’t inside the Header or Footer areas you just added.

This will bring up a menu. Inside this menu, find the linked word: “Page” and left click it once.

A new window will be brought up that looks like this, or similar to this depending on your computer operating system:

Remember too that you can use any .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif image you want for the background.

Personally, I would try and stay away from backgrounds that don’t provide a center “white” area for your ebook contents. This would make reading much more difficult for your audience.

However, you can always add a table right on top of the background image you select that is filled with the color white. That would solve the problem :-)

STEP 4: Add Your Ebook Content

Now that you have your background in place — if you choose to use one — and your Header + Footer added, all that’s left to do is add your ebook content.

When I use the word “content” I’m mostly always referring to text contents. But, you could be creating a graphical ebook. At any rate, all that’s left to do is add your own stuff inside your ebook template.

STEP 5: Save Your Work & Export As A PDF

Pretty easy here.

Just hit: “File > Save”

or, you can also use the little blue floppy disc icon on the toolbar — just left click it once

Either one will save the document. And of course you’ll have to give your new ebook .ODT file a name.

Then, all that’s left to do is hit the little PDF icon and presto! You have your own uniquely designed ebook.

In both editable .ODT format and non-editable .PDF format to pass out to your customers/readers.


Don’t be afraid to play around with font settings for your text, sizes, colors, adding plain colors to your ebook background, and changing your header/footer styles.

You can come up with great looking ebooks no matter what your skill level. It’s all about playing ;-)

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

I’ll be adding more in the near future.

And, while you wait, be sure to have a little fun out there!

Ever wonder how to get some neat looking lines inside your ebook template designs without a bunch of fuss having to create them first inside Photoshop?

Well wonder no more!

Because today, I’m going to show you how to do it, simple, fast, and above all. . .easy!

Let’s get to it. . . .

How To Add Simple Lines To Your Headers & Footers

The first thing you’re gonna want to do is open up either an existing .ODT OpenOffice Writer text document, or create a new one by opening up OpenOffice Writer.

Now, normally, when you open up OOo Writer, it will create a brand new text document by default. At least, it does for me :-)

Okay, once we have OOo Writer up and a text document, it’s time to add some snazzy lines to the Headers & Footers in our document.

For this tutorial, I’m gonna start off with a fresh new text document, and so this is my starting point:

Now it’s time to add a “default” Header & Footer:

From the top toolbar: Insert > Header > Default

From the top toobar: Insert > Footer > Default

Okay, now that we have our “default” Header & Footer inside our text document, it’s time to add a little bit of text to them. You can add whatever you want, or add nothing and skip this step. It isn’t necessary to add text to add the cool lines.

But, here’s what I have so far:

Nothing too spectacular, just some plain old text.

Now comes the fun part. . . .

Adding the lines. Yay!

To add a simple line that runs the length of either the Header or Footer, “Right Click” inside either the Header area or the Footer area.

From the menu that pops open, select “Paragraph. .”

And a new window will appear that looks similar to this:

And, if it isn’t already showing, like above, you will need to left click on the “Borders” tab:

Now we’re cookin’! Well, almost :-)

We’ll need to determine how our line will look inside our Header or Footer.

To do this, simply play around with the settings inside the Line “style” section:

You can adjust the width of the line, and the color from here.

The next thing we’ll want to do is decide on where we want the line placed. Do we want it at the bottom of our text line? At the top? Around the right and left edges? Both top and bottom? Or enclose the text completely with the lines?

We can do any of these things inside the “Line arrangement” section:

For this tutorial, I’m only going to add a line that runs along the bottom of my Header and Footer.

To do this, all you need to do is “left click” one time inside the bottom line area of the image shown inside the “Line arrangement” section:

You’ll notice that there is now a dashed line surrounding a solid line with arrows on either side. That means that this is where our line will appear within our Header or Footer. Pretty easy, right?

Towards the bottom of the “Line arrangement” section, you’ll see a “Shadow style” section. Use this if you want to add a shadow to your line. I’m not going to, but feel free to play around with those settings and see what you come up with.

For a basic, thin black line underneath your text, use these settings:

Line “style”: 0.05pt – Color: Black

Okay, if you are pleased with your line settings, simply hit the “OK” button and whammo! There’s your line, tucked right underneath your Header or Footer text:


How To Add More “Stylish” Lines To Your Header & Footer

That’s terrific, but what if you want to add a “dashed” line inside your Header or Footer?

Well, I can tell you how to do this too!

Here’s how. . . .

First you’ll need to bring up the “Drawing” toolbar, if it isn’t already visible. Inside my copy of OOo Writer, it wasn’t, so here’s how to open it:

Go to “View” on the top toolbar and select: View > Toolbars > Drawing

And poof! It will show up:

When I first opened up my Drawing toolbar, it popped up at the bottom of my OOo Writer in the left hand corner, yours may too. Or, it may show up at the top on the right hand side.

Okay, moving on. . . .

If you haven’t already guessed, we’re going to be drawing our dashed line. But don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. If you can hold down a couple of keys and drag your mouse, you can draw a perfectly dashed line.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is select the “Line” tool from your “Drawing” toolbar:

Now, you will want to go to the section where you want your dashed line to appear within your text document.

In this case, it will be inside our Footer.

Go up to the left hand side of the Footer, while still having the “line” tool selected, left click and hold it down while at the same time holding down the “Shift” key and drag across all the way to the right side of your Footer.

This is what you should end up with:

I know it doesn’t look like much now, but let’s keep going.

Right now, you should have a solid straight line as pictured above, even though you can’t see it very well.

But, we’ll change that.

The next step is to “hover” your mouse over top of your newly drawn line and then “right click”.

A new menu will open up and from that menu, select “Line”.

Now, you should see a new window that looks similar to this one:

From here, we’re going to solely concentrate on the “Line properties” area of this window.

In the first drop down menu, pictured above it has the word: Continuous shown, you will select the following from it: Dashed (variable).

This should give you a nice looking dashed line.

Feel free to change the color of the line and the width of the line also in the options below the drop down menu section.

Once you’ve made all your adjustments, simply hit “OK”.

Now, to actually see your new dashed line, left click anywhere inside your text document main area.

Here’s what I ended up with:

Again, I made my dashed line thicker so that you could see my end result. Yours will probably look different.

Don’t be afraid to test out new things by playing around with all the settings and tools available inside OpenOffice Writer.

You may just surprise yourself with what you can do ;-)

Yeah, I know I called the post “How To Edit EZ Ebook Template Backgrounds”, but the tips in this tutorial will help you understand how to edit any graphical element in any of the EZ Ebook Template Packages.

So, without further delay, here’s how to do it — step by step.

We’ll start out editing one of the backgrounds from the first EZ Ebook Template Package. And, it’s a background that can be rather tricky if you’re brand new at this type of editing.

Here’s what the image looks like before we make any changes:

It’s important to understand that this, and a majority of the other graphical design elements included in the EZ Ebook Template Packages are used inside the actual ebook templates as .jpg or .jpeg images. However, they do come in 2 different forms inside your EZ Ebook Template Package. One is the standard .jpg or .jpeg format, and the other is the completely editable .psd format.

And, so, the .psd file is the file we’ll be working with in this tutorial.

So, we need to locate the .psd file for the image we want to edit.

The image we’ll be using in this first portion of the tutorial can be found inside the EZ Ebook Template Package #1 file folder, within an internal folder named “PSD Files“.

You will be looking for a file named: “side background 2.psd“.

To open it up and begin editing, usually, I will simply double left click on the file. This will bring up the image inside your existing image editing program. For me, this is Photoshop 7.0. For you, it could be something different.

And, if that’s the case, then what you will want to do is Right Click on the file and choose the “Open With” option from the pop up menu. And open the image with the image editing program of your choice that exists on your computer system.

Once it’s open, it’s time to begin the editing process.

Editing this background is pretty simple. But I’ll show you how to not only edit the text, but also, how to quickly change the color of the background too.


This is the first thing you should see when opening up your image inside Photoshop:

To make changes to the text, we’ll need to left click on the Text layer, represented by the big “T” shown above.

Once our Text layer is selected, we need to also left click, or select the Text Tool:

Once you have done that, it’s time to left click anywhere inside our text layer, like this:

You should see a little squiggly flashing line, as shown above. Obviously because this is a screen capture, it isn’t blinking, but inside Photoshop, it will be.

Then we need to highlight our text by left clicking, holding it down and dragging across our text. You should come up with something similar looking to this:

Now, all we need to do is type in our own text. Normally, this will be the title of your ebook.

You should end up with something similar to this:

And done!

Well, not quite. We still have to save our new image.

To save your image for use in your EZ Ebook Template, you will need to deselect the Text Tool inside Photoshop. Which is where you should still be at this point.

You can do that by selecting the “Move Tool” that looks like this:

Once that tool has been selected, simply click on: File > Save For Web. .

A new window will pop open that should look similar to this:

You’re going to want to make sure that you’re saving the image as a .jpg or .jpeg file. You select this setting from the drop down menu shown below if it isn’t already selected:

You will also want to be sure that the quality is turned all the way up to 100%:

Then, simply hit the “SAVE” button.

A new window will pop open that will give you the option to name, or rename your image.

It might be a good idea to give your edited graphic background a different name, such as “side background 2a”, so that you don’t get it confused with the original, in case you decide to resell the package :-)

If we want, we can also change the background and text colors of our graphic.

Here’s how to change the background color easily.

Left click the “Background” layer to select it, found at the bottom:

Next, you will want to select the “Paint Bucket” tool:

Then select the new color you’d like to fill the background in with using the color swatches either on the tool bar itself, or from the swatches palette. In this example, we’ll stick to the color swatches on the tool bar:


Double click on the color swatch and an new color tool window will open allowing you to select a new color:

Once you select a different color you are happy with, simply hit the “OK” button, and it will automatically show up in the tool bar color swatch.

Now all you have to do is select the “Paint Bucket” tool, and left click once anywhere inside the “Background” layer of the image. And the color is now changed:

You can do the same thing for changing the text color, but by using the “Blending Options”.

Here’s how to do it:

Right Click on the Text layer and select from the corresponding menu “Blending Options”.

A new window will appear that looks like this:

You will notice that the Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Stroke options have already been set.

To make changes to those, simply left click on the corresponding options text. In other words, to change the Stroke settings, left click directly on the text “Stroke”.

You will see the window change to reflect this:

Here, you can change the width of the stroke line from “1″ to “3″, “4″, “10″, “16″ or any width you wish. Remember, the width is calculated by pixels.

You can change the color by double clicking on the Fill Type color box/swatch.

Do the same things with all the Blending Options pre-selected to see what you come up with.

The last thing to do to change the color of the text entirely, is to add a new Blending Option.

The Color Overlay:

You should see the text change color inside your graphic image already.

Now you can left click the color swatch box shown above and play around until you get a color you like.

Then, as explained before, simply “Save For Web. .” and you’re all done!

Now, we can close down Photoshop. But, before we do, DO NOT save any changes you’ve made to the .PSD file. And Photoshop will ask you if you’d like to “save changes” to the original .psd before it closes. DO NOT!!

Otherwise, it will change the original completely applying any changes you’ve made to it. Plus, it’s always good to start with the original later on to get the same color scheme and text. Remember, you can always go back and change them again. But it’s best to do it from the beginning.

It’s time to put our new graphic background into our ebook template.

And here’s how to do it:

Begin by opening up the EZ Ebook Template inside OpenOffice Writer that you wish to change the background graphic on.

We want to go to the direct TOP of our template as this layout is completely done inside a huge Table.

Up at the top, left click once inside the far left hand column.

Then simply right click for the menu to open.

From this menu, select: > Table. .

You should now see this in the new window that pops up:

Hit The “Browse” button to navigate to your new graphic background you wan to add.

Locate the file and select it by left clicking.

Then, simply hit “Open”.

You should now see your graphic inside the “preview” section:

Make sure the “Tile” radio button on the left hand side is selected, and then hit “OK”.

You should now see your new background showing up:

Follow the same steps above for the Right hand side of the ebook template.

And here’s what I ended up with:

Yours will no doubt be different :-)

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and that you’ve come away with a greater knowledge of how to change the backgrounds inside your EZ Ebook Templates.

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!

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