[Tutorial] Creating a Brochure with Writer

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[Tutorial] Creating a Brochure with Writer

Postby TheGurkha » Sun May 31, 2009 1:17 pm

In this tutorial, I make a distinction between sheets and pages. A sheet is a sheet of paper, a page is a logical page within your document. Pages are printed on sheets. And in the case of the brochure, four pages are printed on each sheet, two pages per side.

Pick up a brochure and flick though it and look at its construction. You’ll see that it isn’t as straightforward as you might have thought. Yes, it is a collection of landscape sheets, folded and stapled, but look at a single sheet.

The pages that are printed on the sheets (apart from the center pages) are not consecutive. In a 36 page brochure for example, the sheet that has page 6 on it (on the left) has page 31 on the right of it. And on the back of that same sheet you have page 5 on the right and page 32 on the left. Working out this layout for a large document can be both confusing and time consuming. The good news is that OOo will take care of the arrangement of the pages for you, automatically. You simply compose your document in the logical page order of 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on, and let OOo worry about putting them in the correct order for printing.

I’m going to talk in terms of metric page sizes because I’m in Europe and it’s what I’m familiar with, but the same principles work equally well for imperial paper. I’m going to discuss the production of an A5 size brochure. That is, it will have A5 portrait pages printed two-up on A4 landscape sheets.

There’s two ways to achieve this layout. One way is have the document page size formatted to A4. At print time, OOo will automatically scale everything, reducing your A4 pages so that that two of them will fit on the printed sheet. It also juggles them and places them in the appropriate order on landscape A4 sheets so that when printed and collated and stapled they read in the correct order, front cover through to back cover.

The second method is to resize the pages within your document to A5 and compose and edit them in that page size. At print time OOo will again place them in the appropriate order on landscape A4 sheets but it will not need to reduce them in size, because two A5 sheets are exactly the same size as a sheet of A4. The advantage here is that it is What You See Is What You Get – the font sizes you use are the font sizes that will be used in the printed version.

Working in A4 and having the pages auto-reduced by OOo means you have to compensate by working in a larger than usual font to ensure that the final text is still readable once it has been reduced. For example to have an (approximately) 12 size font in the brochure you’d need to work in 14 font in the document.

I want to have a brochure with no numbers on the front or back cover, so I’m going to modify and use the First page style for those pages. I will use the Default style for the internal pages of the document, so I will modify the Default style to meet my needs.

Here’s how we do it.
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Modify the First Page Style

Postby TheGurkha » Sun May 31, 2009 1:20 pm

1. Start a new OOo Writer document.
2. Modify the First Page Style
3. Press F11 to display the Styles and Formatting pane.
4. Click on the Page Styles icon.
5. Right Click on the First Page list entry and select Modify from the menu.
6. In the page Styles: First Page dialog select the Page tab.
7. In the Format drop down list select A5.
8. Select Portrait as the orientation, click OK.

Modify First Page Style.png
Modify First Page Style to A5, Portrait.
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Apply the First Page Style

Postby TheGurkha » Sun May 31, 2009 1:22 pm

1. In the Styles and Formatting pane, highlight the First Page style then click on the paint can icon. The cursor will become a paint can.
2. Click on the page in the document, it will take the First Page style and reduce to A5 size.
3. In the Styles and Formatting pane, click on the paint can icon again to get a normal cursor back.
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Modify the Default Page Style

Postby TheGurkha » Sun May 31, 2009 1:24 pm

1. Right Click on the Default list entry and select Modify from the menu.
2. In the page Styles: Default dialog select the Page tab.
3. In the Format drop down list select A5.
4. Select Portrait as the orientation, click OK.

Modify Default Page Style.png
Modify the Default Page Style to A5, Portrait
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Compose your Front Cover

Postby TheGurkha » Sun May 31, 2009 1:26 pm

In the document, compose your first page. This will be the front cover. When you are ready to move to the next page, do as follows.

1. Insert a Manual Page Break and Set the Next Page Style and Page Number
2. Position the cursor after the last of the content on the first page.
3. Click on Insert, Manual Break
4. In the Insert Break dialog select the Page break option
5. In the Style drop down select Default
6. If you wish you can select the Change page number option and set the page number you want the next page to have. (You’d do this for example if you wanted the first internal page to be number 1, rather than starting at 2 with the cover being counted as page 1).

Insert Manual Page Break to default.png
Inserting a Manual Page break and specifying the Default Style as the next Page Style to use.
Insert Manual Page Break to default.png (8.28 KiB) Viewed 29617 times
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Compose the rest of Your Document

Postby TheGurkha » Sun May 31, 2009 1:29 pm

Keep editing your document as normal until you have added all of the content. When you have finished the second to last page and are ready to add the back cover, do as follows.

1. Position the cursor after the last of the content on the current last page.
2. Click on Insert, Manual Break.
3. In the Insert Break dialog select the Page break option
4. In the Style drop down select First Page, click OK.
5. Compose your back cover.

Note it is vital that your total number of pages, including the front and back covers, is a number divisible by 4! If it isn’t then OOo will insert blank pages to round up the page count to a multiple of 4.

Insert Manual Page Break to First Page Style.png
Inserting a Manual Page break to use the First Page style again, this time for the back cover.
Insert Manual Page Break to First Page Style.png (8.31 KiB) Viewed 29618 times
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To Print the Brochure

Postby TheGurkha » Sun May 31, 2009 1:34 pm

1. Click on File, Print.
2. In the Print dialog, select your printer from the Name drop down list.
3. Click on the Properties... button.
4. The dialog that appears is different for each printer. You must set the options for your printer to A4 paper, in Landscape format.
5. Click on the Options... button.
6. In the Pages section select the Brochure option.
7. In the Other section de-select the Print automatically inserted pages option.
8. Click OK to close the Printer Options dialog.
9. Click OK to print the document.

Printer Options.png
Select brochure option, de-select Print automatically inserted pages option.
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Proofing using PDFs to Save Paper

Postby TheGurkha » Sun May 31, 2009 2:03 pm

Note that you cannot export to PDF in brochure format.

However if you use one of the free PDF printer drivers such as PrimoPDF you can select it and print to it as though it were a printer, and save a lot of time and paper until you have your brochure formatted to your liking.

Here is an example brochure created in Writer, and the PDF output so you can see how Writer has arranged the pages two-up on the landscape sheets, in the correct order to be printed and collated to form a properly constructed brochure. If your printer can do double sided printing, all you need to do is to fold the paper and staple it. If you are going to deliver your document to a printer to have it printed by them, note that most printers prefer to have delivered to them as a single sided, not double sided printout.

Example Brochure.odt
Example A5 Brochure
(20.55 KiB) Downloaded 3543 times

Example Brochure.pdf
Example output - Note: not created by OOo's PDF export facility.
(73.15 KiB) Downloaded 2571 times
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