Once I wrote a scientific thesis template for OpenOffice.org. Now me thinks it is nearly to late to post my collected FAQ items for this, as the template drove some people that mad that somebody even said: "I try to use the thesis template for openoffice, but right now I think I will kill myself before I even graduate." [dwassem in OOo forum]. Let me assure you, that was not intended with Thesis.ott 🙂

Table of Contents:

  1. How to get the Thesis.ott template for OpenOffice.org?
  2. Can I change settings (page width, line spacing etc.) without destroying the template?
  3. How can I remove the automatically inserted empty pages before chapters?
  4. How can I remove the re-starts of page numberings at first chapter and appendix?
  5. New second level headings start always with "1.1". How to get that right?
  6. How to get hyperlinked TOC and index entries, and PDF bookmarks for them?
  7. Is Thesis.ott usable for the Windows XP version of OOo Writer?
  8. How can I remove the first 6 pages (meta-pages) and their borders?
  9. How comes that OOo crashes when opening Thesis.ott?

1. How to get the Thesis.ott template for OpenOffice.org?

The first (and latest, as of 2008-02-15) version is available from the official user templates collection for OOo writer 2.x. You will need the following files listed there:

Of course it would be much better to update the template than to document workarounds in this FAQ; I intend to update, but don't know when I will find the time.

2. Can I change settings (page width, line spacing etc.) without destroying the template?

For the most cases, yes, just as well as with other templates. Most things are changeable using paragraph styles, page styles and numbering styles. Note however that somethings that look like messing up the template is just due to normal OOo functionality, and you just have to tidy up the mess. There is one special caveat for this template:

Non-penetrating changes. In OOo, it is possible to connect paragraph styles with each other. This provides the possibility to change something in a base style (say, "Default") and have the changes made to all dependent styles in the whole document. However, dependent styles can force their own values for some attributes (say, font style) and thus not take over the values of their base styles. This is intended for some cases, but was accidentally enabled for some styles in Thesis.ott, so that changes do not penetrate as far as they should. To correct this, edit the paragraph style whose values did not get changed by a base style as they should, and click "Standard" on the tabs where the affected attributes are listed. This reverts the values to those of its base style, which you can prove by looking at the "Organizer" tab when editing a style, at the "contains" entry. All values that this style sets are listed here, the rest is taken from its base style.

3. How can I remove the automatically inserted empty pages before chapters?

These empty pages are not created by breaks that are connected with "Heading 1", nor by manual breaks or hidden paragraphs, but they are created by page styles with "Page layout: only right" set. I chose this mechanism as it is, to my knowledge, the only way to let chapters start on right pages automatically, which is normally what you want. If you want to change that, however:

Open the "Stylist" (F11) and go to its tab "page styles". You will find two page styles for each consecutively numbered section of the document:

  • »Table of Contents Right Page« and »Table of Contents«
  • »Right Page« and »Default«
  • »Index Right Page« and »Index«

The "… Right Page" page styles have set "Page layout: only right". Additionally, the "Heading 1" paragraph style has set "insert page break before, whith page style Right Page". So when you apply the "Heading 1" format, a page break is inserted, "Right Page" is chosen as page style for the new page, and this page style will insert another page before if that's necessary to be placed on a right page. This newly created page does not get deleted when deleting the page break before "Heading 1" manually.

You could change "Heading 1" in tab "Text Flow" to "insert page break before, whith page style Default". Then, no empty pages are created automatically before the chapters, but you might need to remove the existing ones, and apply page style "Default" to the existing chapters' first pages.

4. How can I remove the re-starts of page numberings at first chapter and appendix?

In this template, page numbering re-starts from 1 resp. I at the first chapter and at the appendix. Some people might want to remove that re-start. The re-start of page numbering is implementedneither by breaks connected with "Heading 1" nor be manual breaks or hidden paragraphs, but by page styles, which can be difficult to find out.

How to remove the re-starts of page numbering at first chapter and appendix:

  1. Edit the page styles which have a different format for page numbering (i.e. Roman or small Roman) to get the "1, 2, 3, …" numbering format. To do so, go to "Stylist" (F11), to tab "page styles", right click on a page style and say "Modify …". In the newly opened windows, go to tab "Page" and adjust the setting for "Layout Settings: Format". You need to do this for the following styles:

     

    • "First Page"
    • "Second Page"
    • "Table of Contents Right Page"
    • "Table of Contents"
    • "Index Right Page"
    • "Index"
  2. The re-start of page numbering is effected by manual page breaks before the first page of main content and of the appendix. To remove it, place the caret before the first character of the heading of first content chapter resp. first appendix chapter, then press "Up Arrow" once and "Delete" once.
  3. To re-format the heading as a heading, but without the re-start of page-numbering, press "Enter" to create a new paragraph for the heading, then double-click "Heading 1" in Stylist (F11) to apply the "Heading 1" paragraph format. This will insert a new page break, but without the re-start of page numbering. (The paragraph format "Heading 1" includes an option to always start it on a new right page, but this does not restart page numbering. This can be seen from "Page Number: 0" (acting as a special value) in Tab "Text flow" in the paragraph formatting dialog of "Heading 1".)
  4. If you modify the appendix, apply now the page format "Index Right Page" to the first page of the index, which will also apply "Index" to the following pages. This is to correct the (otherwise adequate) page format "Default" which was set by the page break inserted by "Heading 1".

5. New second level headings start always with "1.1". How to get that right?

When a new paragraph is inserted and formatted as "Heading 1" through "Heading 10", it always gets numbered "1" resp. "1.1" resp. "1.1.1" etc., regardless of what the chapter numbering in this place in the document should be. This behavior is undesired per se but necessary to allow for different numbering styles in the document (e.g. "A.1" in appendices).

The process to insert a correctly numbered heading is this:

  1. Create a new paragraph and place the caret in it.
  2. Open Stylist (F11) in tab "Paragraph Styles".
  3. Format the heading with the correct "Heading […]" paragraph style (depending on heading level) by double-clicking it in Stylist.
  4. Change to tab "List styles" in Stylist and seelct to view "All" styles on the bottom of Stylist.
  5. Apply the adequate numbering style by double-clicking it in Stylist. Choose:

     

    • Outline Numbering (chapters) – for normal content chapters
    • Outline Numbering (appendices) – for appendix chapters
    • Outline Numbering (unnumbered) – for special chapters like "Acknowledgement" and "Colophon"

6. How to get hyperlinked TOC and index entries, and PDF bookmarks for them?

Originally, the template has hyperlinks in the Table of Contents and in the List of Objects enabled, and PDF bookmarks are created for the entries that appear in these lists. One might however have disturbed that by accident or one might need to create another list (e.g. List of Figures). Here is how to do this, with hyperlinks and PDF bookmarks enabled. Expect this to be somewhat difficult, as it is "hacking OOo", re-using features for what they were never meant.

  1. OOo generates hyperlinks (and PDF bookmarks) only to "outline" styles. Go to "Tools -> Outline Numbering …" and place the paragraph style you want to appear in the index (e.g. headings, figure titles, table titles) into the list of the 10 outline levels. You'll normally need just the first 3-4 outline levels for your headings / outline, so you have 6+ non-outline styles where you can have hyperlinks to. BTW, this even lets you generate PDF bookmarks that link to bibliography entries!
  2. In the Menu: "Insert -> Indexes and Tables -> Indexes and Tables …", on tab "Index / Table" use "Type: Table of Contents". Even if you want to create a list of figures or something; hyperlinking and PDF bookmarks only work with the TOC type, not even with the "User defined" type.
  3. Hyperlinks are not yet inserted into this new "Table of Contents" index. To do so:

     

    1. right-click on the index
    2. select "Edit Index/Table"
    3. In the tab "Index/table", options "Create from Outline" and "Create from Additional styles" are both ok as long as you've selected the corresponding styles (via the "…" button) and as long as you've made these styles to be outline styles (see above).
    4. In the tab "Entries", line "Structure", position the cursor in the edit box where your hyperlink should start and then click the button "Hyperlink". A "LS" (link start) entry should appear.
    5. Then position the cursor in the edit box where your hyperlink should end and click the button "Hyperlink" once again. A "LS" (link end" entry should appear. Between "LS" and "LE" should be "E" (entry text), for example, so that your hyperlink won't be empty.
  4. Note that your LS and LE entries got the character style "Internet Link". If you change that to another character style, the generated PDF file has no hyperlinks while they are usable inside OOo. "Internet Link" character style seems to have a special role in OOo. If you want to change how things look, change the "Internet Link" character style.

In general: PDF hyperlinks and PDF bookmarks are generated for all styles that are "outline styles" (i.e. listed in "Tools -> Outline Numbering …"). If a paragraph style is included in outline numbering may also be seen from the text "+ Numbering(Outline) +", appearing in the Organizer when editing a paragraph style. (This does not indicate that a style numbering style "Outline" is necessary.)

7. Is Thesis.ott usable for the Windows XP version of OOo Writer?

Basically, I think this is no problem. OOo file formats are the same on all operating systems supported by OOo. Bibus (the bibliography recommended in Thesis.ott) is available cross-platform, too. Perhaps there is even a better bibliography system available for Win XP.

8. How can I remove the first 6 pages (meta-pages) and their borders?

  1. Select the text on the meta pages, from first character to the last character of the last meta page, and delete the text.
  2. Place the caret in the remaining paragraph on the last, empty meta page, by clicking into that paragraph.
  3. Open Stylist (F11) in tab "Paragraph Styles" and double-click "Supertitle". That way, the first paragraoh of the title page will not be disturbed when deleting this empty paragraph.
  4. Open Stylist (F11) in tab "Page Styles" and double-click "First Page". That way, the page style of the first page will not get disturbed when deleting the empty paragraph.
  5. With the caret / cursor in the blank paragraph, delete it by pressing "Delete". This removes the manual page break after the page and deletes the page.
  6. Remove the purple borders, now placed on the first six content pages, by clicking on each of them and then pressing "Delete".

Information was taken from two threads on OOo forum [1, 2].

9. How comes that OOo crashes when opening Thesis.ott?

This is documented in this issue page:

Bug #156852 in openoffice.org (Ubuntu): OpenOffice writer crashes when loading a template if openoffice.org-base not installed

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