Beautiful borders and backgrounds in OpenOffice [or LibreOffice]

I received the following query from Melissa:

How do I create page borders that are nice, like ivy leaves or coloured swirly lines? All I can figure out are the straight black border lines.

Thanks, Melissa.

Personally, I’ve found that the border tool is generally only for variations on the straight border as you have mentioned.

There are two scenarios where I want a “fancy” border for my work – full page borders, and borders around specific items on a page. In both cases there are workarounds.

For the solutions below, they both require that you choose a suitable image for the background. A Google image search will result in some nice borders, or you can use services like (free stock) or (my personal fave for paid stock photography). Select a border that you like with either a coloured or transparent background

Full page borders

For the full-page borders, substitute your border image for the background image used in this tutorial. You then need to adjust your document page margins to ensure that you are working inside the image white space.

Borders around specific content

I use tables to address this. Tables allow you to use a background image.

I will generally use a 2×2 cell table for images where I have borders on 2 sides, and a 3×3 cell table for images where there are border patterns on all four sides.

Right click (or CMD-click) on the table and select “Table…”

Select the “Background” tab as pictured below.

Change the following:

Table properties box

Your image may initially appear squashed in the table, however as you change the width and height of the cells, the the table will resize, stretching your background back into shape.

An example is here:

Background border for table

I hope this helps you beautify your documents, Melissa.

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  1. Thanks!

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