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How to Make Newsletters in OpenOffice

written by: KateG•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 4/30/2009

If you are looking to put OpenOffice to the test then use it to make a newsletter or a direct mailing. Find out how you can use OpenOffice to create your projects, without spending a dime.

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    When you want to make a newsletter or a direct mailing in a new program things can get a bit confusing. That is why today we will be taking a look at how to use OpenOffice to do some of the common tasks you will need do to make either a direct mailing or a newsletter. If you are wondering why those two projects got lumped together, it is because they share tasks, like creating mastheads. They are also both projects that you can create a template document for, and use over and over again.

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    Creating a Masthead

    A masthead can function either as the title of your newsletter or the letterhead on the stationery. In you want to create a custom masthead just follow these steps.

    1. Click "Insert"

    2. Click "Section"

    3. A box labeled "Insert Section" will appear. Once it does look for the words "New Section" and below that a dialogue box labeled "Section One". Click on this dialogue box.

    4. Rename this section if you want to. You do not have to.

    5. If you wish to change the background color click on the "Background Tab" and choose a color from the listings below. If you do not see colors, be sure that the pull down menu is set to "As Color", or "Color" depending on your version.

    6. Click on "Insert".

    7. Type in your text. If you wish to change the fonts or sizes you can do so manually. There is a method to change all fonts/sizes/text colors automatically for both heading and sub-headings, but it is lengthy and few users choose to use them.

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    How to Make Columns

    1. Click "Insert"

    2. Click "Section"

    3. A box labeled "Insert Section" will appear. Once it does look for the words "New Section" and below that a dialogue box labeled "Section One" If this is the first thing you have done. If not the section will have a different number. Click on this dialogue box.

    4. Rename this section if you want to. You do not have to.

    5. Click on the "Columns" tab and a new window will appear.

    6. Here you will see a pull down menu with your column number options. Choose the one that you need.

    7. You may notice a box with the words " Evenly distribute contents to all columns" is checked. If you want the text to stretch to fit all of the spaces you can leave this checked. If you do not want this then you will need to uncheck that box.

    8. Click on "Insert". You will now have columns.

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    How to Mail Merge from Calc

    Calc is Open Offices spreadsheet. If you want to do a mail merge between these two programs you can find a comprehensive set of directions here.

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    Now that you have your template files for the newsletter or direct mailing just be sure that you do not save over it. Rename your file by using the "Save As" and renaming the document. That way your template file will be untouched, but your work will still be saved.