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Book Excerpts: OOo Draw Documents with Imagination

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the roblimo-book-worm dept.

Books 102

As many of you know one of our own, Robin 'Roblimo' Miller, recently had his book "Point & Click OpenOffice.org" published. Below is an excerpt from the book. In addition to this teaser chapter you can also find related videos over at Newsforge and if your are so inclined you can also snag a copy direct from Robin.Chapter 4

OOo Draw Documents with Imagination

OOo Draw is a simple program, not really suited for professional graphics people. But it's good enough for at least 90% of the photo manipulation and drawing most of us do most of the time when we're preparing text documents, slide presentations, and other basic "ofce" jobs that graphics can enliven.

This chapter covers some of the simplest and most popular OOo Draw features. Chapter 7, "Draw: Not Your Father's Drawing Board," covers advanced Draw techniques and tricks, including some you wouldn't expect to nd in an Ofce program--especially one that's free.

Terri the Guard Dog is shown here taking a break from work. It's a passable picture, but for publication you would need to make it smaller and cut out most of the background. You open the photo the same way you open any other le with OOo--by selecting File > Open and highlighting the desired le.

*

You'll see that the photo opens as part of a slide or text page, not on its own.

*

OOo displays pictures as part of something else, not all by themselves. To isolate the image so that you can work with it, click it so that it grows little "handles" at its edges.

*

*

As long as you see those handles, you are working only on the material inside them. In this case, you will make the photo smaller so that it takes up less space on the printed page.

There are several ways you can do this. The most obvious is to put the cursor on one of the corner handles and move it toward the opposite corner while holding down the left mouse button. The only problem with this method is that it can distort the photo if you aren't careful.

*

This can be a fun "effect" if you do it on purpose, but this time you'll press Ctrl-Z or select Edit > Undo to take you back to where you were. Now you'll resize the photo correctly by right-clicking it and choosing Position and Size (the third menu choice from the top). You see the Position and Size dialog box.

We can do a number of things in this dialog box, but rst you'll make the photo smaller. You can decide what size you want, in inches or pixels. If you check the Keep Ratio box, the program automatically keeps the photo the right shape if you change either its horizontal or vertical dimension.

*

You can also ip or rotate photos with OOo Draw. There are several ways to do this. One is to use the Rotation tab in the Position and Size dialog box. Either click one of the preset sideways, upside-down, or 45-degree angle choices, or use the little window to the left of the "big" choices there to select your rotation angle in 15-degree increments. If that isn't enough choices, you can go to the menu at the top of the OOo window, choose Modify > Rotate, and use the corner handles on the picture to turn it. You can try various angles until you nd one you like.

*

You may think this looks silly. No problem; you can undo the change by pressing Ctrl-Z or by selecting Edit > Undo. You can place your dog at any angle you want.

Making (or Altering) Pictures with OOo Draw Drawing Tools



To create your own art, start with a blank drawing slate, which you get by selecting File > New. Then choose Drawing from the "What kind of new work?" choices that show up to the right of the main menu when the cursor is over (or to the right of) the word New. This gives you tools along the bottom of the work area in addition to the ones along the top that you got when you opened a Text Document window.

*

You see a number of icons, starting with a pointer at the left. Each drawing icon has a little down-pointing arrow next to it. Click the arrow next to the Callout icon--the one that looks like a cartoon speech balloon. You see a menu that gives you several different "cartoon balloon" styles.

*

Select a callout--or any other drawing shape tool--by clicking it. Then choose a point in your picture where you want to insert it, and click and hold down the left mouse button while you move the mouse diagonally until the shape is the size you want it.

Don't worry if you don't get the size or alignment exactly right or if you want to rotate your newly-added bit of art in one direction or the other. You can use the same Size and Rotation tools you used on Terri's picture. You can move it around by clicking it and moving the little cross that this action turns the cursor into. You can even change the shape of your shape with the little handles on the edge of the graphics square that contains it. *

*

The rest of the shape icons work exactly the same as the callout one. You can move the mouse over each one and read the little text box that pops up. It will take you only a few seconds to try each one and see what it does. Mistakes are ne. If you don't save your work after you practice, no one will know you made them. So please experiment freely. All pixels (the little dots that make up pictures on the screen) created with OOo Draw are fully recyclable; no precious resources or landll space are used by your self-training sessions.

Adding Text to Drawings



The Text Draw icon needs additional explanation but is useful enough for nongraphics people to make its way into this chapter instead of being reserved for Chapter 7, which goes into advanced Draw tricks. To use this icon, click it, and then drag the little cross that the cursor becomes to where you want to type your text.

*

Type it in, alter the font and text size exactly the same way as when you're creating a text document, and you have text.

This example changes the callout size and shape to t around the text.

*

Saving Image Files



This is where things get a little tricky. Remember when I said that OOo treats images as part of a page or presentation? That's how it likes to save them, too. If you select File > Save As while you're working with an image le, you'll end up with a le type that works only with OpenOfce.org, not an image le that can be opened by all kinds of picture-editing software. So, being a bit tricky yourself, if you plan to use an image le in anything other than an OOo document or presentation, you export it to the le format you want. Instead of choosing Save As when you want to save your graphics le all by itself instead of as part of something else, select File > Export. This brings up the Export dialog box and a list of graphics le format choices.

*

*

If you're an experienced artist or Web designer, you'll see most of your favorites here--even Macromedia Flash. If you don't know one graphics le format from another, the safest choice is JPEG. This is the format used by most digital cameras. Virtually all known graphics programs and Web browsers, for all operating systems, can read JPEG pictures.

*

You need to select only two more options if you decide to save your image in JPEG format: Quality and Color Resolution. The default quality is 75%, which is good enough for Web publishing, but unless you're sure this is all you'll do with this graphic, it's probably better to choose 100%. You can always lower the quality later, but after you've lowered the quality, you cannot raise it.

In the Grayscale versus True Colors choice, it's better to choose True Colors for much the same reason: You can always turn a color image into a black-and-white one later, but you can't add color into an image you've saved in black and white.

*

All you need to do now is pick a name for your le, decide which directory and folder are the best place to put it, and click Save. Your picture is now ready to liven up your next text document, slide presentation, spreadsheet, or Web page.

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102 comments

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Excerpt?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439693)

Geez, why not just publish the whole book plus images!!!

Re:Excerpt?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439713)

4 REAL!!! Information wants to be FREE!! I read it on Slashdot! lololololololol

Re:Excerpt?! (0, Offtopic)

frp001 (227227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439940)

Mmmm... So I understand there is NO CONSPIRACY [slashdot.org] going on on /.!

Re:Excerpt?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14441547)

I'm sorry, but this is such blatant self-promotion (even including a link to buy the book?!!) that I don't know what I'm going to do with myself.

Re:Excerpt?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440029)

Holy Christ! You can rotate images with OO.o?!

SOLD!!

Re:Excerpt?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14441382)

I'd mod that funny but it would just get modded down again.

I actually tried using Draw to do something for a publication once - ended up having to redo the thing in Windows so that it would be portable enough for the publisher to use.

I like OOo but Draw ain't there yet.

Re:Excerpt?! (2, Funny)

Yocto Yotta (840665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14443026)

You may think this looks silly. No problem; you can undo the change by pressing Ctrl-Z or by selecting Edit > Undo. You can place your dog at any angle you want.
A combination of the "Control" key, and the "Z" key undoes actions?! Where can I send my money to?

All this time I've been shaking my computer like an etch-a-sketch. I mean, the screen always went black like a person would expect it to. But this . . . this . . . wowie wow wow, wow-wow-wow. This will be much easier on my wrists. Alas, much to my dog's and my own confusion, the angle of my dog doesn't seem to make a damn difference.

Gratuitous Joke #2: ScuttleMonkey, I do think this looks silly, but no matter how many times I press Ctrl-Z, this article doesn't undo. Where can I send my refund request to? Oh, and FYI, the angle of my dog still didn't help. Snap.

Buy it? (3, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439703)


That's not the Open Source way!

Make a downloadable PDF and a PayPal donation page. After all, the people who did all the work actually writing OOo are giving it away.

Re:Buy it? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439725)

"Make a downloadable PDF"

You misspelled "LaTEX."

Re:Buy it? (1)

linguae (763922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439933)

Don't you mean LaTeX?

Re:Buy it? (2, Interesting)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440464)

Actually the correct spelling and orthagraphy for the name of Dr. Knuth's typsetting application and its derivatives cannot be correctly represented in the /. comments section.

The "e" in "TeX" should be descended, so that its lateral mid-point is located at the basline for the other glyphs. This was a "Gosh, Wow" for Knuth - a visual pun, and a demonstration of capability. Earlier computer text and type processors were incapable of even correctly rendering the name of his successor.

Without the application of cumbersome stylesheets - and requisite impracticality for the interactive user - it appears successors like HTML cannot do so either.

Whheee! I am anal on Slashdot!

Re:Buy it? (4, Insightful)

JourneymanMereel (191114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439959)

I can certainly see your point, but I also think that getting it on the shelves at a book store is really important. Especially if it come with a CD that contains the installation files. As strange as it may seem, I think more people would be willing to grab a book and office suite for $50 and actually use them then a book and operating system (also including the same office suite) for that same $50. I'd imagine that many people would find something like this on the shelf and Barnes and Noble (or whatever bookstore) that would never think to go to openoffice.org [openoffice.org] or even so much as search google for free office suite [google.com] .

Buy it?-Better Shipping and Distribution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440486)

Well I think the OP is addressing the zealots who believe that "information wants to be free". You're arguing the "value-add". The main code remains free at the repository, while individuals or companies add proprietary code...er, I mean documentation, support, hardware and charge for it.

Re:Buy it? (3, Insightful)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14441141)

I think it would be extremely beneficial for OpenOffice to start showing up in all the various places people buy software, too, like Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, and the ilk.

Here's what I propose:
OOo puts together a CD containing a Windows build, a couple of popular Linux builds (including Darwin, if they have it), the source code, and a million and one references to visit the website. Then they slap a pretty label on the CD, package it in a bright colorful box extolling the virtues of the program and how it can do everything Microsoft Office can do including open Microsoft documents, include a quickstart manual with links to the website for more information, toss it onto the software shelf next to all the other Office Productivity software, and charge $5 for it. That would pay for the CD printing and packaging costs. Perhaps Best Buy marks it up to $10 or $15. But how many newbie people, when buying a computer at Best Buy, will see OpenOffice on the shelf and say, "$15?! That's way better than the $200 Microsoft is charging! And look! It can do things that cost extra with Microsoft!"

Sure it's not beer free to the end user, but sometimes costs are incurred. I see this as a gain all around. Best Buy sells lots of these things, the customer gets warm fuzzies because they saved $185, the whole world starts to step out of the Microsoft cave and blink in the light, and OpenOffice gets to keep their souls.

Re:Buy it? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14443480)

Then they slap a pretty label on the CD, package it in a bright colorful box extolling the virtues of the program and how it can do everything Microsoft Office can do including open Microsoft documents, include a quickstart manual with links to the website for more information, toss it onto the software shelf next to all the other Office Productivity software, and charge $5 for it.

Maybe you should be discussing your ideas with these guys;
http://www.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/index. jsp [sun.com]

Re:Buy it? (1)

greylion3 (555507) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440172)

and a PayPal donation page.
http://www.paypalsucks.com/ [paypalsucks.com]

Do you want people to lose money that bad?

Re:Buy it? (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440384)

Sure, thats great because:

1. Authors don't need to eat anymore
2. The people that need a tutorial for writing "I need a hug" on a picture of a dog already know how to search for tutorials on the web instead of finding books on their local Borders.

Re:Buy it? (1)

5of0 (935391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14443513)

Having a book on the shelf helps add to the validity of OpenOffice for some people - some people just don't get that something as great as OpenOffice can be given away for free - they just don't get open source. Having a book about it somehow says to them, "Oh, someone is selling a book about it, I didn't know it was real." It's reaching another group. And that's a good thing. Besides, just because it's about Open Source doesn't mean it should be free.

ooo.... (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439706)

Imagine a drawing of a beowulf cluster....

Re:ooo.... (1)

Ellidi T (941495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439727)

"Imagine a drawing of a beowulf cluster..." Huhuh huh.

Re:ooo.... (1)

wetfeetl33t (935949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440083)

The beowulf cluster in my drawing is more powerful than the one in yours!

Daaaamn... (2, Insightful)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439715)

...if the quality of the images in the sample there are anything to go by, I'll avoid using OO.o to do anything like that in future.

I'm not talking about content, just quality - the "Note" ovals are shockingly bad-looking. Maybe it's just a poor export or conversion.

Re:Daaaamn... (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439968)

If you view the images by themselves (not in a web page) they look alright. Slashdot for some reason shrinks them so they look horrible and pixelated, and gives them useless alt text. :(

Re:Daaaamn... (2, Insightful)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440249)

It's the web browser. When Mozilla (and I suspect IE) shrinks an image, it uses nearest-neighbor interpolation without bothering to low-pass filter the image first. It's where those characteristic "ringing" artifacts (which translates into missing lines in text) come from.

It's best to shrink it yourself first with decent image editing software than let the web browser handle it. That way you don't give up presentation control, and the image is smaller to download in the first place.

I suspect you already knew that, though. Listening, Rob? :D

Re:Daaaamn... (1)

drauh (524358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14442065)

just right click and open the image in a new window/tab to view it at actual size. they're not bad, then.

Why using OOo for Windows XP (1, Offtopic)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439716)

And not OOo for linux for the screenshots of the book ? It would have been better to do some advertisement for our favorite OS :)

indeed (1)

rebug (520669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439813)

Why present beginner-level information to people using pictures from an OS that only 100% of the population is going to recognize?

Re:indeed (0, Troll)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439970)

I guess I'm just SHOCKED that he even knows how to fire up WinXP. What would RMS say?

mmmph mmmph mmmph (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440335)

(too much GNU/wang in mouth)

Re:Why using OOo for Windows XP (2, Insightful)

JourneymanMereel (191114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440093)

I had that thought, too... then I realized that this was really targeted at Windows users who are open to a free office suite. I mean, the average Linux user wouldn't need a CD with openoffice on it because it came pre-installed on their distro. And the power linux user downloaded the source, modified it, then compiled it. So it just makes sense to show pictures that the majority of the books readers are going to be seeing.

Re:Why using OOo for Windows XP (1)

mindriot (96208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440683)

Especially since, for some reason, the book's title page shows a penguin [roblimo.com] ...

Fits the subject matter (1)

SWroclawski (95770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439745)

I think this'll be a good book. Point and Click Linux just didn't work for me. The problem is that "Linux" means different things to different people, and changes. With OpenOffice.Org, the playing field is level. Things are always found in the same place, and it's a GUI app by design.

While I liked Point and Click Linux for the fun of it, I couldn't imagine giving it to friends who really wanted to learn the OS. I think Point and Click OOo will be something I can buy as a gift.

Suggestion: resize the article's contents (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439752)

No offense or anything but you should resize the photos and the Notes balloons in the article so they are more readable. I am having a hard time making out the text.

Picture Quality (4, Informative)

RickPartin (892479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439759)

The pictures in this article look bad because they resized them using HTML instead of just changing the JPGs themselves. Look at this picture as an example. http://images.slashdot.org/articles/05/12/Miller_c h04_img_10.jpg [slashdot.org]

Re:Picture Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439911)

Indeed, I mean just look at the superb curves evident on the correctly sized speech bubble [slashdot.org] .

Now that is some quality anti-aliasing.

Re:Picture Quality (1)

Sen.NullProcPntr (855073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440010)

I see, right click -> view image.

That helps but the typos make for a painful read;

...You open the photo the same way you open any other le with OOo--by selecting File > Open and highlighting the desired le.
I assume this is the result of translation from the original to HTML.

Not to be overly negative, this does look to be a good howto, but as a first impression I do have to question the quality.

Re:Picture Quality (1)

mindriot (96208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440648)

The error you pointed out would be due to straight copy-and-paste from whatever format the book was in. Using proper typography, the word "file" would be written with a "fi" ligature (U+FB01) which didn't survive the copy-and-paste process.

By the way, would anything speak against allowing Ӓ-type entities in comments?

Re:Picture Quality (1)

Shky (703024) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440417)

they resized them using HTML instead of just changing the JPGs themselves

I read somewhere that there's a program that lets you do stuff like that... Can't think of the name right now, though.

Re:Picture Quality (1)

The Pim (140414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440702)

While I agree that this is bad form by the article author, it would help if FireFox (in my case) used a decent scaling algorithm. Do any browsers handle resizing more gracefully?

Re:Picture Quality (1)

stu42j (304634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14441176)

Do any browsers handle resizing more gracefully?

Well, certainly not IE. I don't know about any others. Firefox is moving to Cairo for graphics rendering which will allow better image scaling, amoung other things.

http://pavlov.net/blog/archives/2005/08/more_new_g raphi.html [pavlov.net]

Re:Picture Quality (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 8 years ago | (#14441211)

I tried IE and the pictures look exactly the same. The same parts of the text disappear. Does the HTML standard define an algorithm for resizing or is this just coincidence?

Re:Picture Quality (1)

eggz128 (447435) | more than 8 years ago | (#14441400)

Opera does.

Re:Picture Quality (1)

DirkBalognapantz (609779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14442503)

Wow! I just tested this and it is surprisingly better in Opera. Thanks.

Re:Picture Quality (1)

stu42j (304634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14441029)

Argh, one of my biggest web pet-peeves.

The other probably being sites that require 'www' [no-www.org] .

Re:Picture Quality (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14441811)

This kind of scares me off OpenOffice:

There are several ways you can do this. The most obvious is to put the cursor on one of the corner handles and move it toward the opposite corner while holding down the left mouse button. The only problem with this method is that it can distort the photo if you aren't careful.

This can be a fun "effect" if you do it on purpose, but this time you'll press Ctrl-Z or select Edit > Undo to take you back to where you were. Now you'll resize the photo correctly by right-clicking it and choosing Position and Size (the third menu choice from the top). You see the Position and Size dialog box.


Can't you just hold down shift as you drag to constrain proportions? You have to go to a DIALOG to do this? What an ass-pain.

Re:Picture Quality (1)

eugene_roux (76055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14443846)

The pictures in this article look bad because they resized them using HTML

Damn, and here I thought they looked bad because they were grabbed from an XP machine...

Live and learn, I suppose. Live and learn...

Congrats, and buy it here too! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439783)

Congratulations to Robin! BTW, you can also buy the book at Amazon. Check out the awesome reviews the book is getting already: Point & Click OpenOffice.org [amazon.com] .

Man... (0, Redundant)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439784)

First time I've seen an entire book quoted here. Wouldn't it be better to just quote the review?

Re:Man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439893)

Yes, it would be. However, since this is (yet another) veiled product advertisement, and since it happens to be coming from someone with an attachment to Slashdot, they're trying to pimp it as being useful as much as they possibly can.

ironic? (0, Redundant)

revery (456516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439786)

I think it might qualify as ironic that for the first few minutes after the article for a Slashdot editor's book appeared, I kept getting Move along, nothing to see here when I clicked on the "Read More" link...

But then, I am a bit jaded.

Argh! My poor, SPaG Nazi eyes! (3, Funny)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439836)

I think you need to sue your proofreader, mate...

Re:Argh! My poor, SPaG Nazi eyes! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440199)

Looks like all the ligatures like "fi" and "fl" have been stripped out - "ofce", "nd", "ip", "le". It's (at least partly) careless copying-and-pasting, rather than a problem with the book.

Re:Argh! My poor, SPaG Nazi eyes! (2, Funny)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440277)

I think you need to sue your proofreader, mate...

That's not the open-source way.

If you think it's rediculous, go jump in a lake. That's the open-source way.

(For the sig-impaired: the speeling si intenshonal.)

Uh-oh (2, Insightful)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439839)

After this story, I think we're going to need another "On the Matter of Slashdot Story Selection".

Re:Uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440090)

It's easy to get OSTG stories onto Slashdot. Roblimo tells one of his underlings to submit it to Slashdot, then he hops over to the Slashdot Cooler IRC channel and tells the MOD to post it. This absolves him of accusations of favoritism.

And let's not forget that Roblimo wrote this book when he was supposed to be doing real work for OSTG. Some job he's got there -- write a book while ignoring your day job, then order your employees to promote it. Does Hemos know about this? Makes you wonder, eh?

fi?? (2, Insightful)

JourneymanMereel (191114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439872)

I haven't read the while thing yet, but in the first few paragraphs I seem to be noticing that the "fi" pattern is missing.... words like "ofce" (office) and "nd" (find) seem to appear more than once... at least I noticed ofce twice ;).

Re:fi?? (1)

Snorpus (566772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439935)

Also, fl (as in flip) is missing, at least once. And the fi is missing from "file" quite a number of times. Is this some weird DOS-ASCII vs. Unix-ASCII deal?

Re:fi?? (2, Informative)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440069)

The story was probably typed up using some silly word processor that converts fi and fl at the beginning of words to their appropriate ligature characters, which were then filtered out (no idea why) so they show up as blank spaces.

See Wikipedia for examples: Ligature (typography) [wikipedia.org]

Re:fi?? (1)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440074)

Looking through the entire text of the submission, my guess would be that the text was scanned from the paper book and then used some bundled OCR software to convert it to text. OCR programs have been known to make mistakes like those.

Re:fi?? (1)

JourneymanMereel (191114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440175)

As I read the rest of the article I noticed that there those things, too... In fact, doing a search on "fi" only yeilded a couple of hits in the blurb, the 'File' (with a capital F), and then comments... so ya, definately all the cases of 'fi' in the book excerpt are MIA.

the new publishing = no editing, print on demand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439976)

With the rise of lulu.com (a print-on-demand "publisher" to whom you upload a .pdf which they make into books for sale on Amazon complete with ISBN) we have lowered the barrier to entry for publishing to the lowest common denominator. Being published, selling on Amazon, and having an ISBN no longer mean anything at all. All the extra "noise" of non-edited, rushed books in publishing will make buyers even more cynical about buying books and even more likely to only purchase what comes highly-recommended by trusted sources. I suppose that may provide a useful direction for blogs but those are an even lower form of "publishing".

Re:the new publishing = no editing, print on deman (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440873)

Blockquoth the AC:

With the rise of lulu.com (a print-on-demand "publisher" to whom you upload a .pdf which they make into books for sale on Amazon complete with ISBN) we have lowered the barrier to entry for publishing to the lowest common denominator.

Given that looking through the first few IT books I find random things with random titles, where the comments describe the contents as the words "f***ing w**kers" or something similar, I'm guessing that lulu.com isn't the best ambassador for self-publishing around...

Re:fi?? (2, Informative)

dot.solipsist (895369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440041)

It's just a hunch, but I am guessing that the ligature features of the font used in publication didn't make it into the HTML version.

Re:fi?? (2, Informative)

gblues (90260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14442474)

The article text was probably copy/pasted from a PDF. The lower-case "fi" is a pretty common ligature; my guess is that when the text was copy/pasted, it pasted the ligature instead of transforming it into the letters "fi". The HTML editor didn't know what do do with the ligature, and junked it.

Nathan

Re:fi?? (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14443858)

Either that, or there's some bizarre plot against Finland afoot...

Hmm, I think i'll go with your explanation.

Jedidiah.

My Eyes! (1)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439905)

God, those images from that little teaser made my retinas bleed.

If open source is so cool, why can't you at least have images that don't make people want to yank out their eyes?

what's up with the missing "fi" everywhere? (2)

adrenalinerush (518023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439912)

At first, I thought that it was just horribly mis-typed, but the errors are all cases of lower-case "fi" missing. What gives?

Conspiracy Theory (0, Troll)

airrage (514164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439918)

Now I know Scuttle is an alias for rob. You would think after just having this dicussion this morning on slashdot about stories submissions and conspiracy theories that they (slashdot et. al) would have the cajones to post a book written by rob.

Unbelieveable.

Re:Conspiracy Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14442327)

Cojones... it's spelled cojones. Cajones means drawers actually.

Well now! Actions and Truths... (0, Offtopic)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439944)

Didn't Slashdot just run a story about preferential treatment of stories by certain "insider" submitters? Huh?

Re:Well now! Actions and Truths... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440068)

Yes, yes they did. What part of the fact that the editors of Slashdot are pathological liars escaped you, exactly?

.,$s/fi//g (1)

Wieland (830777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439992)

Why are all the 'fi's missing from TFA?

Re:.,$s/fi//g (1)

mopslik (688435) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440036)

LaTeX uses special ligatures for certain letter combinations, including "fi". If the text was selected-then-cut-then-paste from the generated PDF, then it's likely the ligatures would not be present in the font on /.

Just one possible explanation.

Re:.,$s/fi//g (1)

slackartist (848845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14442835)

Excellent. I had come to the same conclusion.

"fi" ligatures (1)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440002)

If he used OpenOffice.org for text composition, with the character replacement table enabled, then "fi", "fl", "ffi", and "ffl" were replaced with their ligature equivalents. Whatever editor(s) he used for the copy-paste into Slashdot, weren't Unicode-enabled.

Just a guess, but based on experience.

Mantra (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440015)


Repeat after me:

Anti-aliased fonts are harder to read.

Then repeat this:

Rasterize fonts before resizing images.

Re:Mantra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14443810)

Repeat after me: zerocool^ contains exactly zero coolness.

Re:Mantra (1)

PaulMdx (936509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14444636)

The images haven't been resized, which is part of the problem. It's your browser that's doing the resize. /. just did a normal tag and fixed the width/height to be smaller than the source image (in response to complaints that they were too big above?).

Features (3, Insightful)

wayward (770747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440032)

Overall, it seems like a positive thing. However, a few things concerned me. The article showed how a writer could add a talking balloon to a photo of a dog. This generally isn't something you'll want to do to images. Cropping and adjusting levels are a lot more common, though it wasn't entirely clear from the article how much functionality in these areas is available. It's quite possible that these things are supported, though, since the editing bar seemed to have a lot of tools. Of course, I wonder if the sheer number of these might be daunting to a non-graphics person. Still, the learning curve here shouldn't be as steep as it would be with GIMP or Photoshop.

Re:Features (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440638)

I agree. Draw is *much* more powerful than he gives it credit or than most people realize. His first paragraph:

"OOo Draw is a simple program, not really suited for professional graphics people. But it's good enough for at least 90%"

That is just plain *WRONG* and written by (apparently) someone that has no idea what you can really do with OO Draw. OO Draw can do most everything that you can do in CorelDraw, it is a very powerful vector editing system, not just a way to insert photos and add stupid callout boxes. It has bezier curves, full multi-layer capabilities, splines, snap lines/points/and grids, all the standard primatives, tracing capabilities, pattern and vector fills, connectible objects, 3d controls, etc, etc, etc.

Re:Features (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14441571)

Exactly: I found it very useful to make complex diagrams and schematics. I wouldn't even have thought to use it as a photo editor. For that I have The Gimp, for vector oriented I either use OOo Draw or Inkscape (but I find the latter a bit odd to use... must be me)

Way to go, OOo (1)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440045)

OpenOffice used to strike me as something deliberately and carefully modeled around MS Office, helping the Linux world out by making MS users more comfortable migrating to Linux. Now, from what I've seen on both sides and this article as well, it is clear that OO is leading the way in innovation.

I guess they threw in the towel on copying Clippy... :)

Dog (1)

biscon (942763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440060)

The dog is ugly! - Whale biologist

Nah seems like a great gift along with an installation of OOo for my mother, personally I don't need a book for figuring out an office suite. But then again sometimes excel doesn't make sense (which I am being forced to use for almost everything at work.. either VBA or an arcane mainframe language known as Mark IV).

Excerpt must have been written on OOo Write (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440117)

"Office" is always spelled "ofce", "find" is always spelled "nd", and "file" is always spelled "le", except when "File" is capitalized.

rst things rst (1)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440187)

I don't want to ame, but the "fi" and "fl" ligatures have been stripped from the text, making it agrantly hard to read. I hope they x it soon. What a asco!

Missng lettrs (0, Redundant)

shallow monkey (155686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440220)

erm, What happened to "fi" in "file"? Weird missing char.s throughout.... Lossy connection pebcak or a bad keyboard.

mozilla components included with OOo? (1)

legalize.ganja.now. (923280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440270)

from TFA:
Start using Firefox--the safest, most secure Web browser available for Windows!
Filter out junk mail with Thunderbird and say goodbye to Outlook Express.

why does he cover that in this book?

Re:mozilla components included with OOo? (1)

SoSueMe (263478) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440948)

There are always extras on OSS CDs.
At least these are documented.

A couple of spelling mistakes (1)

sstidman (323182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440388)

You open the photo the same way you open any other le with OOo--by selecting File > Open and highlighting the desired le.


If you select File > Save As while you're working with an image le, you'll end up with a le type that works only with OpenOfce.org, not an image le that can be opened by all kinds of picture-editing software. So, being a bit tricky yourself, if you plan to use an image le in anything other than an OOo document or presentation, you export it to the le format you want. Instead of choosing Save As when you want to save your graphics le all by itself instead of as part of something else, select File > Export. This brings up the Export dialog box and a list of graphics le format choices.


If you don't know one graphics le format from another, the safest choice is JPEG.


All you need to do now is pick a name for your le, decide which directory and folder are the best place to put it, and click Save.


Either the book is partially in French or you meant to say "file" instead of "le". I'm guessing somebody did a global search & replace or a spelling check that was screwed up.

Re:A couple of spelling mistakes (1)

jeblucas (560748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440806)

I'm guessing somebody did a global search & replace or a spelling check that was screwed up.
You can also ip or rotate photos with OOo Draw. There are several ways to do this. One is to use the Rotation tab in the Position and Size dialog box. Either click one of the preset sideways, upside-down, or 45-degree angle choices, or use the little window to the left of the "big" choices there to select your rotation angle in 15-degree increments. If that isn't enough choices, you can go to the menu at the top of the OOo window, choose Modify > Rotate, and use the corner handles on the picture to turn it. You can try various angles until you nd one you like.

Just another example of the cking awesome power of OOo!

Re:A couple of spelling mistakes (1)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14442411)

It's a ligature problem. Scroll up for wikipedia link.

Some misappropriated non commercialist rant here (1)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440708)

Some asshat like me shoudl probably say something, and I will.

It is perfect fine for them to post their own shit! it is their site :-) Sounds like a jolly good book that will help the innocent masses. Probably slashdot isn't the best advertising forum for 1st stop sales, but will generate word of mouth.

quick someone post a hacked torrent link with all the text in rot13 for us in the one thousand three hundred and thirty seven club.

"And behold, a multitude of geeks shall enter Borders (OMG TM R LOL) and shall search endlessly for the MD5 signature of the promised book, while giving furtive glances to the female behind the counter." - Fortune IMproved.

wtf, it's late.

please type the word in this image:

r
  epeater
[sic]

random letters - if you are visually impaired, please email us at pater@slashdot.org

PS: Did anyone read the monty strip the other day where he goes to a LARP game as a trekkie disguised as a knight. lol.

PPS: "OOo Book" in the subject line and tell me you bought a copy, I can and will put you on my (super-low volume, totally private) email list that will give you access to new videos I make as soon as I release them." OMG bearded geek pr0n? roblimo is goatse? Nooooooooooooooo! Anakin? Soviet Russia, North Korea, Old people and something else. happy new year.

Re:Some misappropriated non commercialist rant her (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14441281)

dick

Dept (0, Offtopic)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440722)

From the blatant advertisement dept

Daw Issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440928)

i do most of my OOo work in draw. it is great, except for a few issues that require work arounds.

they have the auto page number filed, but they don't have the page count field. they have it in writer and in calc, but not in draw.

i suggested they add this functionality many moons ago - so far nadda. since i create many page work instructions in draw, it would be nice to be able to put the page count on all the pages instead of just the first page.

also, sometimes the copy / paste function between document pages goes haywire. it just doesn't paste, at least on winxp. i think its a bug.

otherwise, it works very well for my needs.

I wonder... (1)

Seanasy (21730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440976)

how many of the chapters are dupes?

I'm sorry, but this is SO far behind Office 12 (0, Troll)

melted (227442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14441157)

I'm sorry, but this is SO far behind Office 12, it's ridiculous. When that comes out, no one will care if OOo is offered for free. Because OOo will look retarded and you'd need to pay people to get them to use it. This is not a troll. Microsoft has really nailed the UI (as well as some other things) in Office 12.

Title (1)

killermookie (708026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14441340)

Anyone else read the title as someone who's inspired in awe?

"ooOOOoooooo, draw documents with imagination. Ooooooo! Ahhhhhhh."

Re:Title (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14443930)

No, you are a retard.

OO Draw RCs.. (1)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14442053)

I used it to make a poster i needed to to for a psychology convention in september. To all you bashers here (i am no techno freak) the learning curve was absolutely great, the results more than pleasing (i printed on A0) and i will return to Draw whenever the chance...oh and i almost lol'ed here: it costs nada. Sure it won't compete with professional editing, but 95% of the sample here is no professional editor. So it kinda suits....
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