Tutorials Archives

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 EZebookTemplates.com, 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.) Iconico.com’s Color Picker Tool

4.) A Good Resource For Color Schemes — like www.colorschemer.com

5.) A Slammin’ Place To Generate Web 2.0 Stripe-y Backgroundswww.stripegenerator.com/

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.) Iconico.com’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 www.colorschemer.com. 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!

ColorBlender.com – for those of you that prefer to create your own unique color schemes :-)

ColourLovers.com – 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

SXC.hu – 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.

How To Edit EZ Ebook Templates

All right. Several people have asked me about how to edit the EZ Ebook Templates, and really, it’s not that complicated at all. That’s why I call them “EZ” Ebook Templates ;-) .

But, if you are on the fencepost as to whether or not you should purchase the package due to a “learning curve”, this detailed tutorial might help you make a clearer decision.

How To Edit An EZ Ebook Template Easily

This section will explain to you how to go about making use of any EZ Ebook Template.>

First, let me say that each of the included ebook templates were saved in .ODT format. The reason for this is to make using them much easier for those that are well seasoned in using OpenOffice Writer, and for those that are not.

You can save them as a “template” for reuse in your version of OpenOffice Writer in just a few easy steps.

I would recommend though that you first get the template looking just as you want it to before saving it as a template for OpenOffice.

Here’s how to save it as a real template. . . .

STEP 1: Load The Template You Want Inside The OpenOffice Writer Program

To do this, simply navigate to the folder that contains the .ODT file you wish to open.

Then just double click on the ebook template file you want to open, as pictured above.

STEP 2: Save It As A Template

Once it’s opened up, all you need to do is click on >> File > Templates > Save. .

Then you can make any further settings necessary such as template name, etc.

Again, saving these .ODT ebook templates as actual “templates” isn’t a necessity to use them. Most people are going to want to simply open them up, make adjustments to them by adding their text, images, etc., and then hitting the “One Click PDF” button to generate a PDF ebook.

You may want to adjust the font settings to something more suitable to your ebook needs. The font being used throughout many of the included .ODT templates is called Myriad. And in two different styles: Myriad Pro and Myriad Pro Condensed.

Myriad Pro Condensed is what is being used for these words as you see them here.

It has been set at a 13 px size. Again, this can be adjusted to your liking. You may decide to go with something a bit easier to read.

You can make adjustments to the fonts by highlighting all the text you wish to change by left clicking and dragging over the text area with your mouse, and then selecting a different font from the drop down menu on the text tool bar above in the upper left hand side (as pictured below).

You can get more information on how to make further adjustments with the EZ Ebook Template Manual that is included with the EZ Ebook Template Package #2.

In other tutorials, I will explain in greater detail how you can make adjustments to the header and footer graphics for the templates using Adobe®Photoshop® 7 or higher.

In this first tutorial, I’m going to show you how to add new colors to the default color palette of OpenOffice Writer.

I have to say, I haven’t tried this method with the other OOo tools, so you may have to try it and see if it works for them as well.

All right, let’s get straight to it. . . .

Step 1: Open Up OOo Writer
You can do this by opening up a new Text Document. And, once done, you should see this:

STEP 2: Select >> Tools > Options On The Main Bar
To do this, click the Tools Link as pictured below, and a drop down menu should open.

From that menu, at the very bottom, you should see the Options Link. Click it.

A new window will open up and look like this:

You will need to select the word “Colors” from the left hand menu. Like this:

Then the window should change to something like this:

STEP 3: Add A New Color
To do this, simply click on the “Add” button. A new window might pop open that says you already have a color with that name and to change it to a new name. If not, when you hit the “Add” button, you should see a new color swatch image show up at the bottom of the color palette list, like so:

To change the new swatch color, simply add in your own RGB or CMYB settings in the appropriate areas highlighted below:

You can also simply change the color by pressing the up/down arrows to the sides of the RGB or CMYK percentages.

When you finally get a color that you like, you will see the bottom color swatch box change:

Then, all you need to do is hit the “Modifiy” button and your color swatch will now be set to your specifications and added to the default color palette.

If you’re looking for premade color schemes, a great place to find some are at the Color Schemer Website.

While ColorSchemer is a terrific tool, it is only trial ware, and will expire. Therefore, I suggest you pick up the Color Pic tool from www.iconico.com.

Using it, you can pick up any color anywhere and have the RGB and CMYK values right there to add inside of OOo color palette.

I do hope this tutorial helped you, and be on the look out for the next one!

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