Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Monday, December 30, 2019 at 14:56

This tutorial explains the ways to insert pictures into document in LibreOffice Writer. This is a preparation for you to work with multiple photos, graphics, logos, etc. You will learn how to do it manually and automatically, with menubar, copy-paste, and drag-and-drop, including to resize & arrange them within text, and finally to crop them. I also include download links to beautiful pictures like above and I hope with this article you can compose good documents. Happy learning!

(A Writer document with my favorite Inkscape picture "Moon Dawn" by Luciano)
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On LibreOffice: User Interface | Basic Saving | Basic Formatting | Table of Pictures | Cropping | Columns | Lorem Ipsum | Portable Version | A/F/S | Version 6.2 | Bibliography | Zotero 

What is a picture?

A digital picture or simply picture is an information stored in computer as a certain file with a certain picture format file extension. There are several most popular formats of digital picture, they are, PNG, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, and SVG. A picture file is identified with extensions such as .png, .jpeg, .svg, or .gif. This means you may see in your computer a beach picture in file named beach.png or a mountain picture in file named mountain.jpeg or other examples depends on how that picture created by its creator.

LibreOffice Writer supports wide range of formats:
  • BMP - Windows Bitmap
  • PNG - Portable Network Graphics
  • GIF - Graphic Interchange Format
  • JPEG - Joint Picture Experts Group
  • TIFF - Tagged Image File Format
  • SVG - Scalable Vector Graphic
  • PSD - Photoshop Document
  • DXF - AutoCAD Drawing
  • WMF - Windows Metafile
  • EPS - Encapsulated Postscript

1. Insert from Menu

Go to menubar Insert > Image > a new dialog appears > browse folders in that dialog window > select a file > Open > picture inserted.

(Picture 1.1)

2. Insert by Copy-Paste

  1. Open your file manager.
  2. Select a picture.
  3. Right-click > Copy.
  4. Open Writer.
  5. Right-click > Paste. 
  6. Picture inserted into document.


Picture 2.1 below shows copying a picture file from file manager into a Writer document by first right-click > Copy file and then right-click > Paste. This method is quicker than using menubar.

(Picture 2.1)

Quick tip: you can use Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste.

3. Insert by Drag-and-Drop

  1. Open your file manager.
  2. Select a picture.
  3. Hold click on a picture,
  4. keep hold and move your mouse pointer to Writer,
  5. release click.
  6. Picture inserted into document.


Picture 3.1 below shows mouse pointer movement doing drag-and-drop a picture file from file manager into a Writer document. This method is also quicker than menubar, and in many cases even quicker than doing copy-paste.

(Picture 3.1)

4. Result

This is the result from inserting picture by 3 different ways above. I put the picture right below a paragraph. The picture is in full size hence its length filled text margin. Selected picture shows 6 green handles on its edges and an anchor on top-left corner.

(Picture 4.1)

5. Resize & Arrange

After inserting, you need to arrange the picture.

To resize a picture:
  1. Select picture.
  2. The 6 green handles appear.
  3. Hold click, move one handle to other side.
  4. Release click.
  5. Picture resized.
To arrange a picture within text:
  1. Select a picture.
  2. Toolbar Image appears on toolbar place. (deselecting hides this toolbar again)
  3. The 4 arrangement button appear on that toolbar.
  4. Select Wrap Off: to free the image top-bottom from text.
  5. Select Page Wrap: to put the picture surrounded by text in four sides.
  6. Select Optimal Page Wrap: like Page Wrap, but one sided only.
  7. Select Wrap Through: to put the picture in front of text.


Picture 5.1 below shows the same picture copied and resized differently. 

(Picture 5.1)

  • Wrap Off, Page Wrap, Optimal Page Wrap, Wrap Through


Picture 5.2 below shows text with 4 pictures and 4 different wrappings. First picture uses Page Wrap, second picture uses Optimal Page Wrap, third picture use Wrap Off, and fouth picture uses Wrap Through. Learn by seeing how text flows around each picture. However, becasuse it is easier, usually beginners use Wrap Off more often than any other wrappings.

(Picture 5.2)

Note: if you wonder where I got those beautiful pictures, go to Inkscape Free Vector Drawing Software website.

6. Crop

LibreOffice version 5.0 onwards can crop pictures. With it, you do not need external program or more works anymore to cut off a picture as you wish. Cropping is cutting a picture with a rectangle shape with size you control by drag-and-drop.

To crop a picture:
  1. Select a picture.
  2. Picture shows 6 green handles.
  3. Right-click > Crop.
  4. Picture handles change into 6 red handles.
  5. Hold click, move a handle to inner part of picture.
  6. Release click.
  7. Picture cropped.

(Picture 6.1)

Happy writing!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.