FAQ: How do I add a full page background image? [OpenOffice Writer]

I have a personal goal to put together about 15-20 recipes that can be made using a core set of ingredients that I can keep in the pantry and fridge. I have aimed for such a large number so that I can avoid me and my dearest being bored with food, ensuring we don’t resort to take-away and continue to eat in a healthy way. I’ve only just started collecting the recipes, but the idea of translating this into an eBook has certainly occurred to me.

As a result, I thought it would be nice to have a background image behind the text on the title page. Fortunately, OpenOffice Writer allows you to do this using the Format > Page menu.

Step 1: Click on Format > Page, then click on the ‘Background’ tab.

Format the background of your document

Step 2: From the first drop down that appears in this window, select ‘Graphic’ (see above).

Step 3: Choose the image file by clicking of the “Browse…” button under ‘File’ and selecting the graphic that you wish to use.

Step 4: Under type, select how you want it to fill the page:

  • Position will put the image in a specific part of the page – use the dots in the square to position your image in the corners or at the sides, or at the top or bottom.
  • Area – fills the whole page
  • Tile – will repeat the image to fill the whole page (like tiles on the floor)

Click on OK and your image will appear as a background in your document.

Layout for a recipe eBook

Note: I often change the page margins to reduce the white border around the edge of the page (click on the image above and refer to the left most page for how I’m implemented it in this eBook Layout). This layout has margins on the ‘Default’ page style of 0.5cm. All the other pages use a different page style.

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  1. Hi Stephanie. I just discovered you blog and tutorials and I am very excited as I am having a lot of trouble to start my cookbook. I am just beginning to learn OO (I have read the tutorials on wiki.services.openoffice.org) and hope that I will eventually manage to do it, as at this stage is sounds very difficult.
    I just followed your instructions and created the first page of the book. However, after inserting a manual page break at the end of the page to continue with the Preface of the book, and insert headers, footers, etc., the image I inserted on the first page appeared on the following page as well. How do I remove the picture and move on?
    I will appreciate your reply.

    • stephanie says:

      Hi Ivy – apologies for the late reply. I went on vacation.

      When you insert a manual break, you need to select a different style in the drop down box, otherwise the new page that you have will use the same style as the previous page, and therefore have the picture on that page.

      Understanding page styles is important in this method, as each style will define each section of the book.

  2. Hi Stephanie and welcome back from your vacation. Thank you very much for getting back to me. I eventually figured out how to use different styles. I am proceeding with the whole book, which will be 150 pages, creating it into one document. I have read somewhere that I have to break it down into smaller parts and then create a Master document using the navigator to join all the sections. Do I necessarily have to do that?

  3. Thanks so much for this help.

    I’m completely frosted over that it can’t be done intuitively by “inserting and image” and “sending it to the back”. Why can’t programs be normal instead of retarded?

  4. Just wanted to thank you for the help on your this website, i have been wasting all day trying to work out how to have an image as backgroud, and AT LAST i found your simple helpful instructions!!!!
    Saved my day. Thanks.

  5. Thank You from me as well. I was pulling my hair out. Couldn’t get rid of image on page 2.

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