OpenOffice, an open-source productivity suite, has a built-in display type program called Fontwork. Like WordArt in Microsoft Word, Fontwork allows you to bend, distort and dimensionalize text to turn it into a logo or other graphic. While not as powerful as WordArt, Fontwork does get the job done. Wrapping text in a circle in Fontwork is much easier if you take the steps in a certain sequence. Once the text is running in a circle, it can be a little confusing to change font type and colour, so it's best to handle those design aspects first.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Open an existing OpenOffice Writer document or create a new one, and go to the page where you want the circular text to appear. If the Draw Functions toolbar isn't visible, click on the icon in the top menu bar that looks like a pencil drawing a wavy line to display it.
Click on the Fontwork icon (the letter A in a frame) in the Draw Functions toolbar. The Fontwork Gallery appears. Click on the first word shape, which shows the letters in a straight line. After you've selected a shape, click "OK." The word "Fontwork" appears on the page in the shape you selected.
Resize the word shape by selecting one of the green frame handles around it and shrinking or increasing the frame. Change the colour or fill style by using the Drawing Attributes tools in the toolbar that appears in the upper part of the window when the word shape is selected. Adjust the drop shadow or font transparency by clicking on the Area icon in the Drawing Attributes toolbar, which looks like a pouring paint bucket.
Change the word "Fontwork" to the text you want by double-clicking any of the letters. The text appears in an editable line in the centre of the word shape. Use the cursor to erase the word and enter the text you want. Press the "Esc" key. The word shape changes to the text you typed.
Change the font of the word shape by double-clicking on one of the letters again so the line of text appears. Select the line of text and then select a new font from the drop-down font menu from the top toolbar.
Click on the Fontwork Shape icon in the Fontwork toolbar that appears just to the left of the word shape, and select the circle shaper. The word shape now appears as an ellipse. Right-click on the word shape and select "Position and Size" from the menu that pops up. Under "Size" in the Size and Position dialogue box, set the Width and Height to the same value, which should be the desired diameter of your circle shape. Click "OK." Your text appears as a circle with the circumference you selected.
Tips and warnings
- Fontwork is also available in OpenOffice Draw, Impress and Calc.
- As it wraps the text into a circle Fontwork adjusts the size of the type to fit.
- Adjust the size of the word circle by using the green frame handles around it. To keep it a perfect circle, it's best to use the Size and Position dialogue box.
- In addition to the green frame handles, you'll see a yellow dot between the first letter of your text and the last one. You click and drag on this dot to open up space between the beginning and end of your word circle.
- If you start your word circle in using the circle shape, Fontwork can produce some strange results when you change fonts or sizes. It is much easier to start with a straight-line shape, adjust the font the way you want it, and then wrap it into a circle.
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