Monday, October 08, 2012

The Elusive LibreOffice Title Slide

Warning: this is a rant over 10 years in the making. I don't know why it doesn't bother other people so much. Maybe because they have given up. Maybe because every time I make an alternative choice. Isn't that part of the story of open source? Don't like something? Make another choice or fix it yourself. The "scratch your own itch" thing.
For me, this has been the StarOffice / OpenOffice / LibreOffice Impress Title slide.
For those who have not noticed, the title slide for the presentation software is not a real title slide. It's not a real title slide because it does not have a separate, different background from the other slides. It also does not have a different layout than the other slides. Perhaps because it doesn't have a different layout, it also does not have a different format scheme. Which makes the Impress 'title slide' nothing more than a normal slide without the content body. 
Don't even try to point out to me the 'Centered Text' layout. That is just a content slide without the title. Plus, changing the format in the Master Slide does not effect it. Which could mean that it is on par with a title slide. Except that you can't have consistent title slides because the format of the Centered Text layout must be changed individually. Which is fine for a 10 slide presentation with a single Centered Text/Title slide but not for anything requiring 3 or more Title slides.
You can create another master and move the title on the title master to where you want to. And even change the background to make  it you unique. But you have to change back because when you add a slide the title of the next added slide will be where you just moved it. That is even more kludgy than the Centered Text layout. 
So I don't like things the way they are, I can always go somewhere else. But in the increasingly split desktop between GNOME and KDE plus the rest, LibreOffice stands in both camps. Meaning that advice given can be generic regardless where your affiliations lie. Worse of all, the first hurdle most offices face to convert to open source solutions is the dominance of Microsoft Office. Having to move to something different that makes things more difficult, does not make the transition easier. 
Before someone tries to argue that I am trying to impose a Microsoft way on open source, I would like to point out how old I am. Old enough to be using Harvard Presentation Graphics on a 2 PC presentation setup (connected via back-to-back parallel cables) in 1990. And that was how it worked back then. There were 2 types of slides: title slides and content slides. 
So all that is left for me now is to scratch my itch. But it's not enough an annoyance for me to wade through reams of code. I love LibreOffice. I do. I am using it for everything else. I hope even one day the Base database become usable enough for regular use. But for presentations, I'm going Google Docs.


  1. Anonymous9:56 PM


  2. Anonymous9:57 PM

    Well said! I would also love to have real title slides in LibreOffice.


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