[HOME]May 8, 2016

Creating Greeting Cards In OpenOffice Draw

Today is Mother's Day (at the time I started this writing), and I decided to create and print up a custom Mother's Day card. Normally I create cards, whatever the occasion, in a program called Micrografix Draw. I have it installed on a older XP computer. I print up my finished documents through my network.

My Acer computer has the direct connection to my Canon iP2700 series printer. My XP computer prints through my network.

Unfortunately, SH*T happens. I did up a card and tried to print it up only to have the page come out completely blank. So I decided to go into the print preview and sure enough it was also displaying as blank. I started over new and redid it again only to have the same results. I didn't even bother to try and fix it.

I've been online before trying to find a decent program for doing up greeting cards but haven't yet found one to suite my needs. There are all kinds of online services for making greeting cards but these usually come with limited options. On my main computer, the closest thing that I have to a desktop program is OpenOffice Draw. There is the possibility of downloading templates for OpenOffice but the only ones I've come across was for the small size cards where you take a page and fold it in half and then fold it in half again.

Apache OpenOffice - https://www.openoffice.org

I was looking for a 8x11 half fold thing. So this is what I did.

I open up OpenOffice Draw. It automatically opens to a blank page in portrait mode and I want in it Landscape. So just right click anywhere on the blank page, then click on Page and then Page setup... Change the Orientation option to Landscape. And the click on OK. Now the page is in landscape mode.

Before hand you should go online and search for the pictures you want on the card or use your own personal pictures. Usually I search for pictures online by using Google's image search and save the pictures I like on my hard drive. Because I use it just for personal use on the card, I really don't concern myself with copyright issues. Also you can search online for verses to put in the card as well.

I found two pictures and combined them. I found a blue one with the words Big Love and huge Hugs. There where a couple of cartoon people on it which I cropped off. I also found the panda bears and had to crop out something there to. OpenOffice has a cropping option by right clicking on the picture and click on Crop Picture but I don't like it. I prefer a program like Photofiltre - photofiltre.free.fr/download_en.htm. Where you just drag the cursor around the part you want to crop and then right click on it and click on Crop. Simple.

I don't have any official card stock so I decided to use and ordinary page of Glossy Photo Paper. One of the problems with using ordinary photo paper is that a lot it it comes with the companies logos watermarked all over the backside. Luckily I have some where the backs are clear. I buy it for about a dollar a pack at the Dollar Store. I can still remember when around here Photo Paper cost over $20 for only about 5 sheets and sometimes you could by separate sheets for $1 each.

Anyway, the tricky part has always been trying to get everything to line up properly when printing up. Usually I print up a copy on ordinary paper using the draft or quick printing mode on my printer until I'm sure it's going to come out right.

I found a simple way to create a card without templates just using a single page. All I did was ad the pictures that I wanted on the outside of the card to the right half side of the page. A little bit of trial and error and I was able to get it lined up properly to print up on a folded 8x11 page. Glossy side out. With my printer, I just had to flip the page over making sure the page orientation was the same and do the same thing for the inside of the card.

My printer is a Canon model where the paper goes in from the top in the back. So anyway the end result turned out to be a pretty decent card without any special software and/or templates, except for OpenOffice.