Getting Started Guide

Chapter 6
Getting Started with Impress

Presentations in LibreOffice


This document is Copyright © 2010 by its contributors as listed below. You may distribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either the GNU General Public License (, version 3 or later, or the Creative Commons Attribution License (, version 3.0 or later.

All trademarks within this guide belong to their legitimate owners.


Ron Faile Jr.


Please direct any comments or suggestions about this document to:


This chapter is based on the Chapter 6 of Getting Started with The contributors to that chapter are:

Agnes Belzunce Barbara M. Tobias
Dan Lewis Jean Hollis Weber
Peter Hillier-Brook Claire Wood
Stefan A. Keel Linda Worthington
Gary Schnabl Michele Zarri

Publication date and software version

Published 30 December 2010. Based on LibreOffice 3.3.

Note for Mac users

Some keystrokes and menu items are different on a Mac from those used in Windows and Linux. The table below gives some common substitutions for the instructions in this chapter. For a more detailed list, see the application Help.


Mac equivalent


Tools Options menu selection

LibreOffice Preferences

Access setup options



Opens a context menu

Ctrl (Control)

z (Command)

Used with other keys



Opens the Navigator



Opens the Styles & Formatting window


Copyright 2

Note for Mac users 2

What is Impress? 5

Starting Impress 5

Parts of the main Impress window 5

Slides pane 6

Tasks pane 7

Workspace 7

Toolbars 8

Status bar 8

Navigator 8

Workspace views 9

Normal view 9

Outline view 9

Notes view 9

Handout view 10

Slide Sorter view 11

Creating a new presentation 13

Formatting a presentation 16

Inserting slides 16

Selecting a layout 16

Modifying the slide elements 18

Adding text to a slide 18

Modifying the appearance of all slides 18

Modifying the slide show 19

Adding and formatting text 19

Using text boxes created from the Layout pane 19

Using text boxes created from the text box tool 19

Quick font resizing 20

Pasting text 20

Creating bulleted and numbered lists 21

Adding pictures, tables, charts and media 23

Adding pictures 23

Adding tables 24

Adding charts 25

Adding media clips 25

Adding graphics, spreadsheets, and other objects 25

Working with slide masters and styles 26

Styles 26

Slide masters 26

Creating a slide master 27

Applying a slide master 27

Loading additional slide masters 28

Modifying a slide master 29

Using a slide master to add text to all slides 29

Adding comments to a presentation 31

Setting up the slide show 32

One slide set – multiple presentations 32

Slide transitions 32

Automatic slides advance 32

Running the slide show 33

What is Impress?

Impress is LibreOffice’s presentations (slide show) program. You can create slides that contain many different elements, including text, bulleted and numbered lists, tables, charts, clip art, and a wide range of graphic objects. Impress also includes a spelling checker, a thesaurus, prepackaged text styles, and attractive background styles.

This chapter includes instructions, screenshots, and hints to guide you through the Impress environment while designing your presentations. Although more difficult designs are mentioned throughout this chapter, explanations for creating them are in the Impress Guide. If you have a working knowledge of how to create slide shows, we recommend you use the Impress Guide for your source of information.

To use Impress for more than very simple slide shows requires some knowledge of the elements which the slides contain. Slides containing text use styles to determine the appearance of that text. Graphic objects are created the same way that drawings are created in Draw. For this reason, we recommend that you also see Chapter 3, Using Styles and Templates, and Chapter 7, Getting Started with Draw, in this book. You may also wish to consult the Draw Guide for details.

Starting Impress

You can start Impress in several ways:

When you start Impress for the first time, the Presentation Wizard is shown. Here you can choose from the following options:

If you prefer not to use the wizard in future, you can select Do not show this wizard again.

Click Create to open the main Impress window.

For detailed instructions about how to use the wizard, see “Creating a new presentation” on page 13.

Parts of the main Impress window

The main Impress window (Figure 1) has three parts: the Slides pane, Workspace, and Tasks pane. Additionally, several toolbars can be displayed or hidden during the creation of a presentation.



You can remove the Slides pane or Tasks pane from view by clicking the X in the upper right corner. You can also show or hide these panes using View Slide Pane or View Tasks Pane.

You can also hide these panes in order to maximize the Workspace area by clicking the Hide/Show marker in the middle of the vertical separator line and restore them by clicking again on the same area.

Slides pane

The Slides pane contains thumbnail pictures of the slides in your presentation, in the order they will be shown (unless you change the slide show order). Clicking a slide in this pane selects it and places it in the Workspace. When a slide is in the Workspace, you can apply to it any changes desired.

Several additional operations can be performed on one or more slides simultaneously in the Slides pane:

It is also possible to perform the following operations, although there are more efficient methods than using the Slides pane:

Tasks pane

The Tasks pane has five sections. To expand the section you wish to use, click on the right-pointing triangle to the left of the caption. Only one section at a time can be expanded.

Master Pages

Here you define the page style for your presentation. Impress contains prepackaged Master Pages (slide masters). One of them—Default—is blank, and the rest have a background.


Press F11 to open the Styles and Formatting window, where you can modify the styles used in any slide master to suit your purpose. This can be done at any time.


The prepackaged layouts are shown here. You can choose the one you want, use it as it is or modify it to your own requirements. At present it is not possible to create custom layouts.

Table Design

The standard table styles are provided in this pane. You can further modify the appearance of a table with the selections to show or hide specific rows and columns, or to apply a banded appearance to the rows and columns.

Custom Animation

A variety of animations for selected elements of a slide are listed. Animation can be added to a slide, and it can also be changed or removed later.

Slide Transition

Many transitions are available, including No Transition. You can select the transition speed (slow, medium, fast), choose between an automatic or manual transition, and choose how long the selected slide will be shown.


The Workspace has five tabs: Normal, Outline, Notes, Handout, and Slide Sorter. These five tabs are called View buttons. The Workspace below the View buttons changes depending on the chosen view.



Many toolbars can be used during slide creation; they can be displayed or hidden by clicking View Toolbars and selecting from the menu.

You can also select the icons that you wish to appear on each toolbar. For more information, refer to Chapter 1, Introducing LibreOffice, in this book.

Many of the toolbars in Impress are similar to the toolbars in Draw. Refer to the Draw Guide for details on the functions available and how to use them.

Status bar

The Status bar, located at the bottom of the Impress window, contains information that you may find useful when working on a presentation. For details on the contents and use of these fields, see Chapter 1 (Introducing LibreOffice) in this book and Chapter 1 (Introducing Impress) in the Impress Guide.


The sizes are given in the current measurement unit (not to be confused with the ruler units). This unit is defined in Tools Options LibreOffice Draw General, where you can also change the scale of the page. Another way to change the scale is to double-click on the number shown in the status bar.



Figure 5: Navigator


The Navigator displays all objects contained in a document. It provides another convenient way to move around a document and find items in it. To display the Navigator, click its icon on the Standard toolbar, choose View Navigator on the menu bar, or press Ctrl+Shift+F5.

The Navigator is more useful if you give your slides and objects (pictures, spreadsheets, and so on) meaningful names, instead of leaving them as the default “Slide 1” and “Slide 2” shown in Figure 5.

Workspace views

Each of the workspace views is designed to ease the completion of certain tasks; it is therefore useful to familiarize yourself with them in order to quickly accomplish those tasks.

Normal view

Normal view is the main view for working with individual slides. Use this view to format and design and to add text, graphics, and animation effects.

To place a slide in the slide design area (Normal view), click the slide thumbnail in the Slides pane or double-click it in the Navigator.

Outline view

Outline view contains all the slides of the presentation in their numbered sequence. It shows topic titles, bulleted lists, and numbered lists for each slide in outline format. Only the text contained in the default text boxes in each slide is shown, so if your slide includes other text boxes or drawing objects, the text in these objects is not displayed. Slide names are also not included.


Use Outline view for the following purposes.

  1. Making changes in the text of a slide:

  1. Comparing the slides with your outline (if you have prepared one in advance). If you notice from your outline that another slide is needed, you can create it directly in the Outline view or you can return to the Normal view to create it.

Notes view

Use the Notes view to add notes to a slide.

  1. Click the Notes tab in the Workspace.

  2. Select the slide to which you want to add notes.

  1. In the text box below the slide, click on the words Click to add notes and begin typing.

You can resize the Notes text box using the green resizing handles which appear when you click on the edge of the box. You can also move the box by placing the pointer on the border, then clicking and dragging. To make changes in the text style, press the F11 key to open the Styles and Formatting window.


Handout view

Handout view is for setting up the layout of your slide for a printed handout. Click the Handout tab in the workspace, then choose Layouts in the Tasks pane. You can then choose to print 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 9 slides per page.


Use this view also to customize the information printed on the handout. Refer to Chapter 10 of the Impress Guide for instructions on printing slides, handouts, and notes.

Select from the main menu Insert Page Number or Insert Date and Time and in the dialog box that opens click on the Notes and Handouts tab (see Figure 9). Use this dialog to select the elements you want to appear on each handout page and their contents. More details on how to use this dialog are provided in the Impress Guide.


Slide Sorter view

Slide Sorter view contains all of the slide thumbnails. Use this view to work with a group of slides or with only one slide.


Customizing Slide Sorter view

To change the number of slides per row:

  1. Check View Toolbars Slide View to make the Slide View toolbar visible.


  1. Adjust the number of slides (up to a maximum of 15).

Moving a slide using Slide Sorter

To move a slide in a presentation in the Slide Sorter:

  1. Click the slide. A thick black border is drawn around it.

  2. Drag and drop it to the location you want.

Selecting and moving groups of slides

To select a group of slides, use one of these methods:

To move a group of slides:

  1. Select the group.

  2. Drag and drop the group to their new location. A vertical black line appears to show you where the group of slides will go.

Working in Slide Sorter view

You can work with slides in the Slide Sorter view just as you can in the Slide pane.

To make changes, right-click a slide and choose any of the following from the pop-up menu:

Renaming slides

Right-click on a thumbnail in the Slides pane or the Slide Sorter and choose Rename Slide from the pop-up menu. In the Name field, delete the old name of the slide and type the new name. Click OK.

Creating a new presentation

This section describes how to start a new presentation using the Presentation Wizard.

When you start Impress, the Presentation Wizard appears.


If you do not want the wizard to start every time you launch Impress, select the Do not show this wizard again option. You can enable the wizard again later under Tools Options LibreOffice Impress General Wizard, and select the Start with wizard option.

Leave the Preview option selected, so templates, slide designs, and slide transitions appear in the preview box as you choose them.


  1. Select Empty Presentation under Type. It creates a presentation from scratch.

Both of these options are covered in the Impress Guide.

  1. Click Next. Figure 13 shows the Presentation Wizard step 2 as it appears if you selected Empty Presentation at step 1. If you selected From template, an example slide is shown in the Preview box.


  1. Choose a design under Select a slide design. The slide design section gives you two main choices: Presentation Backgrounds and Presentations. Each one has a list of choices for slide designs. If you want to use one of these other than <Original>, click it to select it.


Introducing a New Product and Recommendation of a Strategy can also be used to create a presentation by choosing From template in the first step (Figure 12).

  1. Select how the presentation will be used under Select an output medium. Most often, presentations are created for computer screen display. Select Screen. You can change the page format at any time.


    The Screen page is optimized for a 4:3 display (28cm x 21cm) so it is not suitable for modern widescreen displays. You can change the slide size at any time switching to Normal view and selecting Format Page.

  2. Click Next. The Presentation Wizard step 3 appears.


  1. Click Create. A new presentation is created.


You might want to accept the default values for both Effect and Speed unless you are skilled at doing this. Both of these values can be changed later while working with Slide transitions and animations. These two features are explained in more detail in Chapter 9 of the Impress Guide.


If you selected From template on step 1 of the Wizard, the Next button will be active on step 3 and other pages will be available. These pages are not described here.


Remember to save frequently while working on the presentation, to prevent any loss of information should something unexpected occur. You might also want to activate the AutoRecovery function (Tools  Options  Load/Save  General). Make sure Save AutoRecovery information every is selected and that you have entered a recovery frequency.

Formatting a presentation

A new presentation contains only one empty slide. In this section we will start adding new slides and preparing them for the intended contents.

Inserting slides

This can be done in a variety of ways; take your pick.

Sometimes, rather than starting from a new slide you want to duplicate a slide you have already inserted. To do so select the slide you want to duplicate from the Slides pane and then choose Insert Duplicate Slide.

Selecting a layout

In the Tasks pane, select the Layout drawer to display the available layouts. The Layouts differ in the number of elements a slide will contain, spanning from the empty slide (Blank Slide) to a slide with 6 contents boxes and a title (Title, 6 contents).



Text and graphic elements can be readjusted at any time during the preparation of the presentation, but changing the layout of a slide that already contains some contents can have a dramatic effect. It is therefore recommended that you pay particular attention to the layout you select. If you do need to change the layout after contents have been added, the contents are not lost though they may need to be reformatted.

The Title Slide (which also contains a section for a subtitle) or Title Only are suitable layouts for the first slide, while for most of the slides you will probably use the Title, Contents layout.


If you do not know the names for the prepackaged layouts position the cursor on an icon in the Layout section and its name will be displayed in a small rectangle.

The small rectangle is called tooltip. If the tooltips are not enabled select Tools Options LibreOffice General Help and mark the Tips checkbox. If the Extended tips checkbox is also marked, you will get more detailed tooltip information, but the tooltip names themselves will not be provided.

Several layouts contain one or more content boxes. Each of these boxes can be configured to contain one of the following elements: Text, Media clip, Picture, Chart or Table.

You can choose the type of contents by clicking on the corresponding icon that is displayed in the middle of the contents box as shown in Figure 16. If instead you intend to use the contents box for text, just click anywhere on the box to get a cursor.


To select or change the layout, place the slide in the work area and select the desired layout from the layout drawer in the Task Pane.

If you have selected a layout with one or more contents boxes, this is a good time to decide what type of contents you want to insert.

Modifying the slide elements

At present each slide will contain only the elements that are present in the slide master you are using such as background images, logos, header, footer and so on. It is however unlikely that the predefined layouts will suit all your needs. Although Impress does not have the functionality to create new layouts, it allows you to resize and move the layout elements. It is also possible to add slide elements without being limited to the size and position of the layout boxes.

To resize a contents box, click on the outer frame so that the 8 resizing handles are displayed. To move it place the mouse cursor on the frame so that the cursor changes shape. You can now click the left mouse button and drag the contents box to its new position on the slide.


Changes to any of the pre-packaged layouts can only be made using View  Normal, which is the default. Attempting to do this by modifying a slide master, although possible, may result in unpredictable results and requires extra care as well as a certain amount of trial and error.

At this step you may also want to remove unwanted frames. To do this:

Adding text to a slide

If the slide contains text, click on Click to add an outline in the text frame and then type your text. The Outline styles from 1 to 10 are automatically applied to the text as you insert it. You can change the outline level of each paragraph as well as its position within the text using the arrow buttons on the Text Formatting toolbar. See “Adding and formatting text” on page 18 for more information.

Modifying the appearance of all slides

To change the background and other characteristics of all slides in the presentation, it is best to modify the slide master or choose a different slide master as explained in the section Working with slide masters and styles on page 25.

If all you need to do is to change the background, you can take a shortcut:

  1. Select Format Page and go to the Background tab.

  2. Select the desired background between solid color, gradient, hatching and bitmap.

  3. Click OK to apply it.

A dialog box will open asking if the background should be applied to all the slides. If you click yes, Impress will automatically modify the slide master for you.


Inserting and correctly formatting a background is beyond the scope of this chapter, but you can find all the information you need in Chapter 4 of the Draw Guide or in Chapter 6 of the Impress Guide.

Modifying the slide show

By default the slide show will display all the slides in the same order as they appear in the slide sorter, without any transition between slides, and you need some keyboard or mouse interaction to move from one slide to the next.

You can use the Slide Show menu to change the order of the slides, choose which ones are shown, automate moving from one slide to the next, and other settings. To change the slide transition, animate slides, add a soundtrack to the presentation, and make other enhancements, you need to use functions in the Task pane. See the Impress Guide for details on how to use all of these features.

Adding and formatting text

Many of your slides are likely to contain some text. This section gives you some guidelines on how to add text and how to change its appearance. Text in slides is contained in text boxes.

There are two types of text boxes that you can add to a slide:

Using text boxes created from the Layout pane

In Normal view:

  1. Click in the text box that reads Click to add text, Click to add an outline, or a similar notation.

  2. Type or paste your text in the text box.

Using text boxes created from the text box tool

In Normal view:

  1. Click on the Text icon on the Drawing toolbar. If the toolbar with the text icon is not visible, choose View Toolbars Drawing.

  2. Click and drag to draw a box for the text on the slide. Do not worry about the vertical size and position—the text box will expand if needed as you type.

  3. Release the mouse button when finished. The cursor appears in the text box, which is now in edit mode (gray hashed border with green resizing handles shown in Figure 17).

  4. Type or paste your text in the text box.

  5. Click outside the text box to deselect it.


You can move, resize, and delete text boxes. For more information, see Chapter 3 in the Impress Guide.


In addition to the normal text boxes where text is horizontally aligned, it is possible to insert text boxes where the text is aligned vertically. This choice is available only when Asian languages are enabled in Tools Options Language Settings Languages.

Click on the button in the drawing toolbar to create a vertical text box. Note that when editing the contents, the text is displayed horizontally.

Quick font resizing

Impress has convenient buttons on the Formatting toolbar to increase or decrease font size of selected text . The amount by which the font size changes depends on the standard sizes available for the font in use.

Pasting text

You can insert text into a text box by copying it from another document and pasting it into Impress. However, the pasted text will probably not match the formatting of the surrounding text or that of the other slides in the presentation. This may be what you want on some occasions; however in most cases you want to make sure that the presentation does not become a patchwork of different paragraph styles, font types, bullet points and so on. There are several ways to ensure consistency; these methods are explained below.

Pasting unformatted text

It is normally good practice to paste text without formatting and apply the formatting later. To paste without formatting, either press Control+Shift+V and then select Unformatted text from the dialog that appears, or click on the small black triangle next to the paste symbol in the standard toolbar and select Unformatted text. The unformatted text will be formatted with the outline style at the cursor position in an AutoLayout text box or with the default graphic style in a normal text box.

Formatting pasted text

If you are pasting the text into an AutoLayout area, you need to apply the appropriate outline style to the text to give it the same look and feel as the rest of the presentation.

  1. Paste the text in the desired position. Do not worry if it does not look right; it will in a minute.

  2. Select the text you have just pasted.

  3. Select Format Default formatting from the menu bar.

  4. Use the four arrow buttons in the Text Formatting toolbar to move the text to the appropriate position and give it the appropriate outline level. The button with the arrow pointing left promotes the list entry by one level (for example from Outline 3 to Outline 2), the right arrow button demotes the list entry by one level, the up and down arrow buttons move the list entry.

  5. Apply manual formatting as required to sections of the text (to change font attributes, tabs, and so on).

If you are pasting text in a text box, you can still use styles to quickly format the text. Note that one and only one graphic style can be applied to the copied text. To do that:

  1. Paste the text in the desired position.

  2. Select the text you have just pasted.

  3. Select the desired graphic style.

  4. Apply manual formatting as required to sections of the text.

Creating bulleted and numbered lists

The procedure to create a bulleted or numbered list is quite different depending on the type of text box used, although the tools to manage the list and customize the appearance are the same.

In text boxes created automatically by Impress (called AutoLayout), the outline styles available are by default bulleted lists, while for normal text boxes an additional step is required to create a bulleted list.

Creating lists in AutoLayout text boxes

Every text box included in the available layouts is already formatted as a bulleted list, therefore to create a bulleted list the only necessary steps are:

  1. From the Layout pane, choose a slide design that contains a text box. Those are easily recognizable from the thumbnail.

  2. Click in the text box that reads Click to add an outline.

  3. Type the text, then press Enter to start a new bulleted line.

    The methods for switching between bulleted and numbered lists are explained in “Changing the appearance of the list” on page 22.


Press Shift + Enter to start a new line without creating a new bullet or number. The new line will have the same indentation of the previous line. To switch off bullets altogether, click the bullets button on the text formatting toolbar. If the text formatting toolbar is not showing, enable it selecting View Toolbar Formatting in the menu bar.

Creating lists in other text boxes

To create a list in a text box, follow these steps:

  1. Place the cursor in the text box.

  2. Click the Bullets On/Off button on the text formatting toolbar. If the text formatting toolbar is not showing, enable it by selecting View Toolbar Formatting from the menu bar.

  3. Type the text and press Enter to start a new bulleted line.

  4. The default list type is a bulleted list. Methods for changing the appearance of the list are explained on page 22.

Creating a new outline level

  1. If necessary, press Enter to begin a new line.

  2. Press Tab. Each time you press Tab the line indents to the next outline level. Pressing Enter creates a new line at the same level as the previous one. To return to the previous level, press Shift+Tab.

In the AutoLayout text boxes, promoting or demoting an item in the list corresponds to applying a different outline style, so the second outline level corresponds to Outline 2 style, the third to Outline 3 style, and so on.


Do not try to change the outline level by selecting the text and then clicking the desired outline style as you would in Writer. Due to the way that presentation styles work, it is not possible to apply them in this way.

Changing the appearance of the list

You can fully customize the appearance of a list, changing the bullet type or numbering for the entire list or for single entry. All of the changes can be made using the Bullets and Numbering dialog, which is accessed by selecting Format Bullets and Numbering or by clicking on the Bullets and Numbering icon on the text formatting toolbar.

For the entire list:

  1. Select the entire list or click on the gray border of the text box so that the green resizing handles are displayed.

  2. Select Format Bullets and Numbering or click on the Bullets and Numbering icon .

  3. The Bullets and Numbering dialog contains five tabs: Bullets, Numbering type, Graphics, Position, and Customize.

For a single line in the list:

  1. Click anywhere in the line to place the cursor in it.

  2. Follow steps 2–4 of the previous instruction set.

If the list was created in an AutoLayout text box, then an alternative way to change the entire list is to modify the Outline styles. Changes made to the outline style will apply to all the slides using them. Sometimes this is what you want; sometimes it is not, so some care must be taken.

Adding pictures, tables, charts and media

As we have seen, besides text a contents box can contain also pictures, tables, charts or media clips. This section provides a quick overview of how to work with these objects, however for a more detailed description you are invited to consult the Impress Guide.

Adding pictures

To add a picture to a contents box:

The picture will resize itself to fill the area of the contents box. Follow the directions in the Caution note below when resizing it by hand.


You can easily add a picture to a slide outside a contents box. Just select from the main menu Insert Picture From File and follow the same procedure as above. You will also need to move the picture to the desired location.


When resizing a graphic, right-click the picture. Select Position and Size from the context menu and make sure that Keep ratio is selected. Then adjust the height or width to the size you need. (As you adjust one dimension. both dimensions will change.) Failure to do so will cause the picture to become distorted. Remember also that resizing a bitmap image will reduce its quality; better by far to create an image of the desired size outside of Impress.

Adding tables

For displaying tabular data, you can insert basic tables directly into your slides by choosing the Table contents type. It is also possible to add a table outside a contents box in a number of ways:

Each method opens the Insert Table dialog. Alternatively, clicking on the black arrow next to the Table button displays a graphic that you can drag and select the number of rows and columns for your table.



Selecting from any of the styles in the Table Design section of the Tasks pane creates a table based on that style. If you create a table by another method, you can still apply a style of your choice later.

With the table selected, the Table toolbar should appear. If it does not, you can access it by selecting View Toolbars Table. The Table toolbar offers many of the same buttons as the table toolbar in Writer, with the exception of functions like Sort and Sum for performing calculations. For those functions, you need to use a spreadsheet inserted from Calc (discussed below).

After the table is created, you can modify it in much the same ways as you would modify a table in Writer: adding and deleting rows and columns, adjusting width and spacing, adding borders, background colors and so on. Detailed information on working with tables and the Table Properties dialog can be found in Chapter 9 of the Writer Guide.

By modifying the style of the table from the Table Design section of the Tasks pane, you can quickly change the appearance of the table or any newly created tables based on the Style options you select. You can choose to add emphasis to a header and total row as well as the first and last columns of the table, and apply a banded appearance to the rows and columns.

Having completed the table design, entering data into the cells is similar to working with text box objects. Click in the cell you wish to add data to, and begin typing. To move around cells quickly, use the following key options:

Adding charts

To insert a chart in a slide you can either use the Insert Chart feature or select Chart as type for one of the contents box. In both cases Impress will insert a default chart. To modify the chart type, insert your own data and change the formatting refer to the Impress Guide.

Adding media clips

You can insert various types of music and movie clips into your slide by selecting the Insert Movie button in an empty contents box. A media player will open at the bottom of the screen and you can preview the media. In case of an audio file, the contents box will be filled with a loudspeaker image.


In Linux-based systems such as Ubuntu, media do not work straight out of the box. You need to download the Java Media Framework API (JMF) and add the path to jmf.jar to the Class Path in Tools Options LibreOffice Java.

Adding graphics, spreadsheets, and other objects

Graphics such as shapes, callouts, arrows, and so on are often useful to complement the text on a slide. These objects are handled much the same as graphics in Draw. For more information, see Chapter 7, Getting Started with Draw, the Draw Guide, or Chapters 4, 5, and 6 in the Impress Guide.

Spreadsheets embedded in Impress include most of the functionality of spreadsheets in Calc and are therefore capable of performing extremely complex calculations and data analysis. If you need to analyze your data or apply formulas, these operations are best performed in a Calc spreadsheet and the results displayed in an embedded Impress spreadsheet or even better in a native Impress table.

Alternatively, choose Insert Object OLE Object from the menu bar. This opens a spreadsheet in the middle of the slide and the menus and toolbars change to those used in Calc so that you can start adding data, though you may first need to resize the visible area on the slide. You can also insert an already existing spreadsheet and use the viewport to select the data that you want to display on your slide.

Impress offers the capability of inserting in a slide various other types of objects such Writer documents, Math formulas, or even another presentation. For details on using these objects, refer to Chapter 7 of the Impress Guide.

Working with slide masters and styles

A slide master is a slide that is used as the starting point for other slides. It is similar to a page style in Writer: it controls the basic formatting of all slides based on it. A slide show can have more than one slide master.


LibreOffice uses three terms for a slide that is used to create other slides: master slide, slide master, and master page. This book uses the term slide master, except when describing the user interface.

A slide master has a defined set of characteristics, including the background color, graphic, or gradient; objects (such as logos, decorative lines, and other graphics) in the background; headers and footers; placement and size of text frames; and the formatting of text.


All of the characteristics of slide masters are controlled by styles. The styles of any new slide you create are inherited from the slide master from which it was created. In other words, the styles of the slide master are available and applied to all slides created from that slide master. Changing a style in a slide master results in changes to all the slides based on that slide master, but you can modify individual slides without affecting the slide master.

Slide masters have two types of styles associated with them: presentation styles and graphic styles. The prepackaged presentation styles can be modified, but new presentation styles cannot be created. In the case of graphic styles, you can modify the prepackaged ones and also create new ones.

Presentation styles affect three elements of a slide master: the background, background objects (such as icons, decorative lines, and text frames), and the text placed on the slide. Text styles are further divided into Notes, Outline 1 through Outline 9, Subtitle, and Title. The outline styles are used for the different levels of the outline to which they belong. For example, Outline 2 is used for the subpoints of Outline 1, and Outline 3 is used for the subpoints of Outline 2.

Graphic styles affect many of the elements of a slide. Notice that text styles exist in both the presentation and graphic style selections.

Slide masters

Impress comes with several prepackaged slide masters. They are shown in the Master Pages section of the Tasks pane. This section has three subsections: Used in This Presentation, Recently Used, and Available for Use. Click the + sign next to the name of a subsection to expand it to show thumbnails of the slides, or click the – sign to collapse the subsection to hide the thumbnails.

Each of the slide masters shown in the Available for Use list is from a template of the same name. If you have created your own templates, or added templates from other sources, slide masters from those templates will also appear in this list.


Creating a slide master

Creating a new slide master is similar to modifying the default slide master.

To start, enable editing of slide masters by View Master Slide Master.

On the Master View toolbar, click the New Master icon.

A second slide master appears in the Slides pane. Modify this slide master to suit your requirements. It is also recommended that you rename this new slide master: right-click on the slide in the Slides pane and select Rename master from the pop-up menu.

When you are done, close the Master View toolbar to return to normal slide editing mode.

Applying a slide master

In the Tasks Pane, be sure the Master Pages section is showing.

To apply one of the slide masters to all slides in your presentation, click on it in the list.

To apply a different slide master to one or more selected slides:

  1. In the Slide Pane, select the slides you want to change.

  2. In the Tasks Pane, right-click on the slide master you want to apply to the selected slides, and click Apply to Selected Slides on the pop-up menu.

Loading additional slide masters

Sometimes, in the same set of slides, you may need to mix multiple slide masters that may belong to different templates. For example, you may need a completely different layout for the first slide of the presentation, or you may want to add to your presentation a slide from a different presentation (based on a template available on the hard disk).

The Slide Design dialog makes this possible. Access this dialog either from the menu bar (Format Slide design) or by right-clicking on a slide in the Slides pane.

The main window in the dialog shows the slide masters already available for use. To add more:

  1. Click the Load button.

  2. Select in the new dialog the template containing the slide master. Click OK.

  3. Click OK again to close the slide design dialog.

The slide masters in the template you selected are now shown also in the Master Pages section of the Tasks pane in the Available for use subsection.



The slide masters you have loaded will also be available the next time you load the presentation. If you want to delete the unused slide masters, click the corresponding checkbox in the Slide Design dialog. If the slide master was not used in the presentation, it is removed from the list of available slide masters anyway.


To limit the size of the presentation file, you may want to minimize the number of slide masters used.

Modifying a slide master

The following items can be changed on a slide master:

Before working on the slide master, make sure that the Styles and Formatting window is open.

To select the slide master for modification:

  1. Select View Master Slide Master from the menu bar. This unlocks the properties of the slide master so you can edit it.

  2. Click Master Pages in the Tasks pane. This gives you access to the pre-packaged slide masters.

  3. Click on the slide master you want to modify among the ones available (Figure 16).

  4. Make changes as required, then click the Close Master View icon on the Master View toolbar. For details, see Chapter 2 of the Impress Guide

  5. Save the file before continuing.


Any changes made to one slide when in Master View mode will appear on all slides using this slide master. Always make sure you close Master View and return to Normal view before working on any of the presentation slides. Select View Normal from the menu bar, or click Close Master View in the Master View toolbar to return to the normal slide view.

The changes made to one of the slides in Normal view (for example changes to the bullet point style or the color of the title area and so on...) will not be overridden by subsequent changes to the slide master. There are cases, however, where it is desirable to revert a manually modified element of the slide to the style defined in the slide master: to do that, select that element and choose Format Default Formatting from the menu bar.

Using a slide master to add text to all slides

Some of the supplied slide masters have text objects in the footer. You can add other text objects to the master page for your slides to act as a header or a footer.

  1. Choose View Master Slide Master from the menu bar.

  2. On the Drawing toolbar, select the Text icon.

  3. Click once and drag in the master page to draw a text object, and then type or paste your text into the object or add fields as described below.

  4. Choose View Normal when you are finished.

The Impress slide master comes with three pre-configured areas for date, footer and page number.

Select Insert Page Number or Insert Date and Time to open a dialog box where you can configure these three areas.



To change the number format (1,2,3 or a,b,c or i,ii,iii, etc.) for the page number field, choose Format Page and then select a format from the list in the Layout Settings area.

To change the paragraph style modify the Background Objects Presentation style.

To add a other information, such as the Author of the presentation or the name of the file, choose Insert Fields. and select the required field from the submenu. If you want to edit a field in your slide, select it and choose Edit Fields.

The fields you can use in Impress are:


To change the author information, go to Tools Options LibreOffice User Data.

Adding comments to a presentation

Impress supports comments similar to those in Writer and Calc.

In Normal View, choose Insert Comment from the menu bar. A small box containing your initials appears in the upper left-hand corner of the slide, with a larger text box beside it. Impress automatically adds your name and the current date at the bottom of the text box.


Type or paste your comment into the text box. You can optionally apply some basic formatting to parts of the text by selecting it, right-clicking, and choosing from the pop-up menu. (From this menu, you can also delete the current comment, all the comments from the same author, or all the comments in the document.)

You can move the small comment markers to anywhere you wish on the page. Typically you might place it on or near an object you refer to in the comment.

To show or hide the comment markers, choose View Comments.

Select Tools Options User Data to configure the name you want to appear in the Author field of the comment, or to change it.

If more than one person edits the document, each author is automatically allocated a different background color.

Setting up the slide show

As mentioned in “Modifying the slide show” on page 18, Impress allocates reasonable default settings for slide shows, while at the same time allowing for customizing many aspects of the slide show experience. This section covers only some aspects; advanced techniques are explained in Chapter 9 (Slide Shows) in the Impress Guide.

Most of the tasks are best done in Slide Sorter view where you can see most of the slides simultaneously. Choose View Slide Sorter from the menu bar or click the Slide Sorter tab at the top of the workspace.

One slide set – multiple presentations

In many situations, you may find that you have more slides than the time available to present them or you may want to provide a rapid overview without dwelling on the details. Rather than having to create a new presentation, you can use two tools that Impress offers: hiding slides and custom slide shows.

To hide a slide, right-click on the slide thumbnail either in the Slide pane or in the work area if you are using the Slide Sorter view and choose Hide Slide from the pop-up menu. Hidden slides are marked by a slashed slide number.

If you want to reorder the presentation, choose Slide Show Custom Slide Show. Click on the New button to create a new sequence of slides and save it.

You can have as many slide shows as you want from a single slide set.

Slide transitions

Slide transition is the animation that is played when a slide is changed. You can configure the slide transition from the Slide Transition drawer in the Tasks pane. Select the desired transition, the speed of the animation, and whether the transition should happen when you click the mouse (preferred) or automatically after a certain number of seconds. Click Apply to all slides unless you prefer to have different transitions in the presentation.


The Slide transition section has a very useful choice: Automatic preview. Select its checkbox. Then when you make any changes in a slide transition, the new slide is previewed in the Slide Design area, including its transition effect.

Automatic slides advance

You can set the presentation to automatically advance to the next slide after a set amount of time (for example kiosk mode or carousel) from the Slide Show Slide Show Settings menu or to advance automatically after a pre-set amount of time different for each slide. To set up the latter, choose Slide Show Rehearse Timings. When using this tool, start the slide show; a small timer is displayed in the bottom left corner. When you are ready to advance to the next slide, click on the timer. Impress will memorize the timings and at the next slide show will advance automatically after the timer expires.

Running the slide show

To run the slide show, do one of the following:

If the slide transition is Automatic after x seconds, let the slide show run by itself.

If the slide transition is On mouse click, do one of the following to move from one slide to the next:

Right-click anywhere on the screen to open a menu from which you can navigate the slides and set other options.

To exit the slide show at any time including at the end, press the Esc key.