[Solved] Text inside flow chart boxes fitting

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[Solved] Text inside flow chart boxes fitting

Postby jayhawkbrandon » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:32 pm

Hello,

I am making flow charts. I use the flow chart squares and circles etc. I want each to contain text. For this, I click inside the box and start typing. However, the width of the text is not constrained to the size of the text box! How can I make it so that "text wrap" is enabled for these boxes. I can't imagine why people would want the text to spill outside of the boxes.

Thanks a million!
Last edited by Hagar Delest on Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: tagged [Solved].
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Re: Text inside flow chart boxes fitting

Postby acknak » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:29 pm

Draw (and OOo in general) is a little disorganized in the different ways it provides "text in a box".

What you get when you double-click on a box (or almost any graphics object) is a label: a short text, like a name or a title, for the object. It's not really meant to be a longer, descriptive text, so it's allowed to overflow the object's boundary.

If you need a longer text that's flowed to fill the object boundary, use a text box: the "T" icon on the toolbar.

If you really want to use a longer text for the label, you can tick the options under Format > Text: Word wrap text in shape, and/or Resize shape to fit text.

I'm really not sure if there are any significant differences in using a text box vs. label text; they provide most of the same features, depending on the settings.
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Re: Text inside flow chart boxes fitting

Postby keme » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:48 pm

It's because the "Default" style is the default for all objects, and not all objects have an "inside". (Lines, connectors, plain arrows.)

A quick fix: modify the Default style (but then text on those "one dimensional" objects won't come out right):
  • Open the "Stylist" (Menu item Format - Styles and formatting, or function key F11)
  • Right click on the Default style, and select Modify.
  • In the Text tab, tick Adjust to contour.
It's probably better to make a custom style (using the Adjust to contour setting mentioned ), then apply that style to your flowchart items. Next, you can double click on the style name when no object is selected, to make it the default style for new objects.
(If you double click on a style with one or more objects selected, the style will be applied to that selection, but not activated for new objects.)

For objects that don't have a straight upper edge (e.g. selections/conditionals), the first line will be quite short, so to avoid an awkward line wrap, start the text with a newline. The Word wrap text in shape setting (that acknak suggested) would be better, but it seems to be unavailable for styles.
Last edited by keme on Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Text inside flow chart boxes fitting

Postby jayhawkbrandon » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:56 pm

Thanks! The wrap worked. I am a flow chart ninja now!
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Re: Text inside flow chart boxes fitting

Postby acknak » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:09 am

Yow! After trying to absorb keme's points, I can definitely say it's even worse than I thought. Different options seem to be available depending on what kind of object you're dealing with, or whether you're working with style options or directly on the object. Different options seem to produce similar results under some conditions and quite different results under others. Some of the options produce results that seem not very useful.

I've never been able to make much sense out of all this; it sure looks like a big mess to me. I usually have to poke around flipping settings until I find something that works; fortunately there are only a couple of different kinds of text that I need.

BTW, you can set options that don't appear in the style dialog by using "New style..." or "Update style from selection", however a setting like "Adjust to contour" may not apply, or may have a different result, depending on the type of object the style applies to.
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Re: Text inside flow chart boxes fitting

Postby jayhawkbrandon » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:15 am

I noticed this too. The text wrap option seems to be available for flow chart objects, but not regular shapes (I know this is of little relevance to the overall conversation, but it answered my question).
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