How to create an LibreOffice pecha template

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Creating a pecha template

Note: Creating a pecha template is a quite time-consuming task. However, remember that this only needs to be done once for each pecha style. Afterwards you can just re-use existing pecha-templates.

  1. Plan a pecha layout by e.g. taking measures of an existing pecha. A very good source for sample pechas is TBRC. See the following example.
  2. Create a new empty LibreOffice Writer document. The first step is to change the page format into pecha style. For our purposes we generate pechas of size 29.5 cm x 7 cm. That way we can fit exactly three pecha pages on one A4 landscape page.

We will now look at the steps to create a pecha like the example above:

Creating a pecha title page

Creating the empty page

In LibreOffice enable "Format / Styles and Formatting (F11)". This displays a window that can list paragraph, character or page styles.

Select the page styles (marked by red circle):

Pic 2: LibreOffice page style formats.

Then right click the page format "First Page" and select "modify...". Adapt the page format to the following dimensions:

Pic 3: The first empty page.

Double click "First Page" in the page style select--now your LibreOffice document has the dimensions of a pecha page with a text field that will be used to enter the pecha's title.

Creating the pecha frames

Note: If you do not want to manually create the multiple frames yourself, you can simply download the LibreOffice file below.

We now need a number of red frames to draw the pecha borders. Draw a few red rectangles (color dark red, line width 0,02cm, no filling). Right-click the rectangle and select "Position and Size". Create red rectangles with the following sizes:

Outer frames:

  • Width: 18,30cm, Height: 3,14cm, Position-X ("Horizontal <From left>, to <Entire page>"): 5,70cm, Position-Y ("Vertical <From Top> to <Entire page>"): 1,93cm
  • Width: 18,16cm, Height: 3,00cm, Position-X: 5,77cm, Position-Y: 2,00cm

Inner frames:

  • Width: 17,30cm, Height: 2,14cm, Position-X: 6,20cm, Position-Y: 2,43cm
  • Width: 17,16cm, Height: 2,00cm, Position-X: 6,27cm, Position-Y: 2,50cm

Separators:

  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 2,00cm, Position-X: 7,67cm, Position-Y: 2,50cm
  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 2,00cm, Position-X: 8,27cm, Position-Y: 2,50cm
  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 2,00cm, Position-X: 21,47cm, Position-Y: 2,50cm
  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 2,00cm, Position-X: 21,97cm, Position-Y: 2,50cm

You should then have an empty page like this:

Pic 4: The first page with pecha frames.
  • You can directly download the LibreOffice document generated by the steps up to this point: File:Step-1.odt

Creating the second page with an image ornament

Creating the empty 2nd page

Position the cursor on page 1 and select "New Style from Selection" within the "Styles and Formatting" Window of LibreOffice:

Pic 5: Create a new page style for page 2.

Name the new page style "Tibetan Pecha Page with Image". Right-click this style and select "Modify". We need to adapt the page-borders which are different for this page.

  • Go to "Format / Styles and Formatting (F11)" and select the Page styles button.
Pic 6: Creating the page format for page 2.

The right-click the page-style "First Page", select "Modify" and click the "Organizer"-tab:

Pic 7: Linking "First Page" format with "Tibetan Pecha Page with Image.

This links the "First Page" with "Tibetan Pecha Page with Image" as the following page. If you now position the cursor in page 1 and press "Return" a few times, the second page gets created and is automatically formatted as "Tibetan Pecha Page with Image":

Pic 8: The second pecha page.

2nd page frames and the yigo character

We now create the frames for the second page:

Select the same rectangle style as above and create rectangles with the following dimensions:

Outer frames:

  • Width: 24.10cm, Height: 4.94cm, Position-X: 2.63cm, Position-Y: 1,06cm
  • Width: 23,96cm, Height: 4.80cm, Position-X: 2.70cm, Position-Y: 1.13cm

Inner frames:

  • Width: 22.90cm, Height: 3.74cm, Position-X: 3.20cm, Position-Y: 1.63cm
  • Width: 22.76cm, Height: 3.60cm, Position-X: 3.27cm, Position-Y: 1.70cm

Separators:

  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 3.60cm, Position-X: 4,50cm, Position-Y: 1.70cm
  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 3.60cm, Position-X: 5,00cm, Position-Y: 1.70cm
  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 3.60cm, Position-X: 12,38cm, Position-Y: 1.70cm
  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 3.60cm, Position-X: 12.94cm, Position-Y: 1.70cm
  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 3.60cm, Position-X: 16.24cm, Position-Y: 1.70cm
  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 3.60cm, Position-X: 16.80cm, Position-Y: 1.70cm
  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 3.60cm, Position-X: 24.30cm, Position-Y: 1.70cm
  • Width: 0,07cm, Height: 3.60cm, Position-X: 24.80cm, Position-Y: 1.70cm

Next, we need a white rectangle, which will be used to prevent the text from running into the image in the middle:

  • Width: 4,67cm, Height: 3,82cm, Position-X: 12,29cm, Position-Y: 1.59cm

Right-click the white rectangle and select:

  • Arrange / Send to Back (this causes the white rectangle to be behind the red frames)
  • Wrap / Page Wrap (this causes Tibetan text to flow around this rectangle thus protecting the center image area)

Then we insert a text-frame for the yigo (yig mgo) character: ༄༅། །
Select "Insert / Frame ..." and create a text frame with the following dimensions:

Pic 9: The yigo text frame dimensions.

Additionally you need to set the Borders to "None" (click on the "Border" tap).

Once the text-frame has been created, right-click it and select "Wrap / Page Wrap". This will cause the Tibetan text to flow around the yigo character.

Click into the text box and insert the Tibetan characters for the yigo: ༄༅། །
By now two pages of the template are almost finished:

Pic 10: Two pages with frames and yigo.
  • You can directly download the LibreOffice document for this: File:Step-2.odt

Creating the following pages

Creating the Empty standard pecha page

Position the cursor into page two and create a new page style by selecting "New Style from Selection" within the "Styles and Formatting" Window of LibreOffice. Name the new style "Tibetan Pecha Standard Page".

Right-click this style and select "Modify". We need to adapt the borders and header-settings which are different for this page:

Pic 11: Page borders of standard page.
Pic 12: Page header of standard page.
  • Make sure that "same content left/right" is not ticked. "left" pages will be the front side of a pecha and the "right" side will be the back side of a pecha.

Now right-click the page-style "Tibetan Pecha Page with Image" and select "Modify..." and the "Organizer"-Tab. Select as "Next Style" our newly created "Standard Pecha Page". This way we defined that the subsequent page to page 2 of our pecha will be a "Standard Pecha Page".

Then right-click "Standard Pecha Page", select "Modify...", "Organizer-Tab", and select as "Next Style" "Standard Pecha Page". This way all following pages will have the style "Standard Pecha Page".

Note: In LibreOffice there are two ways to define the page style for a given position in a document:

  • either by defining a sequence from the first page style used (In our example, that's the "First Page" page style, followed by "Tibetan Pecha Page with Image" and all following pages are "Standard Pecha Page".) The Organizer-tab of the page style is used to define the sequence of page styles.
  • or through an explicitly inserted page-break ("Insert / Manual Break"): When inserting a page-break it is possible to select the page style of the next page.

We now insert a few empty newlines to create two new pages which will automatically receive the page-style "Standard Pecha Page" (see image 11):

Pic 11: Empty "Standard Pecha Pages"
  • You can directly download the LibreOffice document generated by the steps up to this point: File:Step-3.odt

Now will will prepare the frames for the "Standard Pecha Page":

  • Click into the header of the first "Standard Pecha Page" (page 3) to position the cursor into the header.
  • Now chose "Insert / Frame..." and create a text frame with the following properties:
Pic 11: Create a frame that will serve as anchor for the pecha-border frames."
  • Select border: none in frame properties. The frame will be invisible and only serves as an anchor for our pecha-borders.

You should now see a 0,80 x 0,83 text frame to the right of the page header.

  • Create a rectangle using the drawing tools and adapt it's properties as above. Select the rectangle, use "Edit / Cut" and then place the cursor into our newly created frame and select "Edit / Paste". The rectangle is now anchored to the frame.
  • Update the properties of the rectangle for the following dimensions:

Outer border-frame:

  • Width: 24.10cm, Height: 4.60cm, Position-X: 2.07cm, Position-Y: 0,72cm

Repeat the insertion of another similar rectangle with the following dimensions for the inner frames:

  • Width: 22.50cm, Height: 4,64cm, Position-X: 2.87cm, Position-Y: 0.72cm

Now repeat the same procedure we did for page 3 for page 4.

The easiest way is: select the anchor frame to the left of the page 3 header, and copy it. Position the cursor into the header of page 4 and select "Edit / Insert". That copies the anchor frame together with two pecha-border-frames.

Now copy the yiggo frame from page 2 and insert it into page 3. Right-click the yiggo frame on page 3 and select "Anchor / To Paragraph". Now "Edit / Cut" the yiggo frame, and put the cursor into the header of page 3 and select "Edit / Insert". That re-inserts the yiggo frame, anchored to the page header of page 3. Now move the yiggo frame to the upper left corner of pecha page 3 inside the border frames.

The result should look like image 12:

Pic 12: The "Standard Pecha Pages" with border frames and yiggo
  • You can directly download the LibreOffice document generated by the steps up to this point: File:Step-4.odt
  • Try to insert a few newlines: LibreOffice now automatically creates the pecha-borders for each new page and automatically inserts a yiggo on every uneven (front-) page!

Now the last thing we need in order to finish our template are page numbers and left-border titles:

Insert the following objects:

Western page number:

  • Insert a text frame into page 2, and set it's properties to: no border, anchor to page. Make the text frame small enough that it fits between the inner and outer border at the right side of the pecha. Put the cursor into this frame and "Insert / Fields / Page number". Now select the page number and in "Format / Character... / Position" set "Rotation" to 90 degree.
  • Copy the frame and insert it into page 3. Change the anchor to "Paragraph", cut the frame, put the cursor into page header of page 3 and insert it again. That anchors the page number to the header. Now move the Page number-frame into the correct position.
  • Copy the page-number frame in page 3, put the cursor into the header of page 4 and insert the frame. Now all new pages will have page numbers.

Tibetan left-border place-holder titles:

  • On page 2, insert text using the drawing tools and select "Position, Size / Rotation / 270 degree". Enter a Tibetan-text title that appears on the back-side of each pecha and move the text between outer and inner border on the left side.
  • On page 4, repeat this process using the same title, but make sure that the text-box is anchored to the header of page 4 (using the same method as has been used above for the page numbers).
  • Copy the title from page 4 and insert it, anchored again to the header, on page 3. Change the Tibetan title into the front-page title for each pecha.

Tibetan page numbers:

  • Copy the Tibetan title from page 3 and insert it again on page 3. Change the anchor to "Page". Insert the Tibetan page number into this text box. While the title pages will appear on all new pages, the Tibetan page number needs to be inserted similarly on each new un-even (front-) page.

Western left border title:

  • Insert a text box on page 4, similar to the Tibetan title page on page 4, position it to the left of the left outer pecha frame and anchor it to the header. Enter a Western title for the pecha that then will appear on all back-sides of the pecha.

For each new pecha the titles would be edited and adapted accordingly.

Done! The template is now ready and should look like this (image 13):

Pic 13: The completed template
  • You can directly download the LibreOffice document for the final template: File:Step-5.odt

As next steps you can follow:

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