I use OpenOffice 1.1 for creating the Portable Document Format (PDF)
documents. This is a great office package and a great alternative to
OpenOffice comes free with various linux distributions. I use the
SuSE distribution. (www.suse.de)
If you have Windows installed then I advise you to copy the fonts from
the Windows 'fonts' directory and install them for use under Linux.
Before you can convert a printed document into a PDF, you will need to scan and OCR
each page of the document. The program that comes with the scanner is often good enough.
Once done, export the text as plain ASCII.
Now you can typeset this text so that it will look identical to the original printed
Follow these tips to give you a head start.
- Setup the page and margin sizes for the entire document:
Measure the pages and margins of one page from the printed document. Use a ruler
to do this. If possible try to use a pre-defined page setting (e.g. A4) instead of a custom setting.
Using a pre-defined page setting makes it easier to convert to PDF, and the PDF
reader program will have a easier job to print the document if required.
- Setup the page styles of the document:
The style catalog contains paragraph and text styles which you can customize
to match the paragraph and text styles used in the original printed document.
Try to use these styles throughout the document instead of setting the styles manually
each time, because if you need to change the style later, all the text that uses
that style will be updated automatically, but any styles you defined manually
will not be updated.
- In OpenOffice 1.1, the 'next page style' should be the same as the style you
are defining, otherwise as soon as one page of that style is completed the next
style will be applied automatically; this makes it difficult to have more than one page of the
- If the original document has a footer, then enable it in the page style.
If the footer is different on alternate pages, then disable 'same content left/right'.
This applies even if the footer text is the same, but is aligned differently.
- If you want to change the page style, insert a page break with a change of
style, all subsequent pages will be of that style until you explicitly insert
a page break with a different change of style.
- The page style allows you to have different header/footers through the
document. The same header/footer will be applied to *all* pages of that style.
- Setting up the page breaks and page style changes makes it easy to split
the text into manageable sections that you can work on.
- Use text styles throughout, this makes it easy and automatic to update
everywhere where that style is used. change the style and the changes will
be applied to where it is used.
- Setup the default paragraph style first, all other paragraph styles can be
based on this, with changes only where required. When the text is first
imported, the default style is applied automatically. This will save you a lot
of time if the same paragraph style is used in the majority of the document,
because once imported most of the text will be correctly setup before you begin.
- Use the paragraph style to set the language of the text; this will help the
automatic spell checker identify mis-spelt words where appropiate.