Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

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Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby steve-o » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:20 pm

I would like to make have a small bit of text in my Writer document which is rotated 180 degrees (upside down). Ideally, this text area could be formatted using Styles, and could contain formulas (Math objects). The purpose is to provide a box of "answers" to physics problems on worksheets for my students. Flipping the text upside down is a simple means of obfuscating it so students are less likely to casually/accidentally read an answer before committing consciously to the decision to check it.

What I've tried:
  • A Text Box from the drawing toolbar can be rotated, but can't contain formulas and also can't be styled at all. All my formatting would have to be done by hand or copied from existing documents.
  • A Frame (and its contents) can be styled, to a degree, and can contain formulas. But frames can't be rotated.
  • A table cell and its contents can also be styled and hold formulas, but again, no way I can find to rotate the text 180 degrees.
I found that in frames and table cells I could alter the "character..." format and apply a rotation to 90 or 270 degrees, but not 180. Also, when I did this, it affected only the regular typed text, and didn't rotate my formulas to match, I suppose because the formulas are inline frames, not characters.

Have I exhausted all the possibilities? Is what I want to do impossible? If I switched to LibreOffice would things be different?
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Re: Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby Daiwe01 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:34 pm

In Draw
  • Insert formula
  • Write text
  • Select both formula & text
  • Group
  • Rotate group
  • Convert to metafile
  • Copy & paste in Writer
 Edit: The Draw file (before conversion to metafile) should be preserved separately for changes in the future 
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Re: Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby acknak » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:55 pm

steve-o wrote:... Have I exhausted all the possibilities? Is what I want to do impossible? If I switched to LibreOffice would things be different?

Yes (as far as I know).

No; I think Daiwe's suggestion should work.

No. LibO has the same problem/limitations.
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Re: Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby steve-o » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:51 pm

Thanks for the input, guys. I tried Daiwe's suggestion, but, I don't think the workflow is going to work for me, especially since -- as he points out -- I would need to a keep a copy of the Draw file if I want to update the contents of the answer box. It would also require leaving blank space of the right size in the text box so I could manually position the formulas where I need them. Too much hassle.

Ah, well. I appreciate your help, even if it just confirms that I can't really do what I want the way I want to do it. :)
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Re: Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby Daiwe01 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:05 pm

One file with questions. A second file with answers.

steve-o wrote:... It would also require leaving blank space of the right size in the text box so I could manually position the formulas where I need them. ...
WRONG
The text and formula are separate objects in Draw.

And, to be explicitly clear, step one in the previous list of steps, is leave Writer and open Draw.
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Re: Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby steve-o » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:57 pm

Daiwe01 wrote:One file with questions. A second file with answers.

steve-o wrote:... It would also require leaving blank space of the right size in the text box so I could manually position the formulas where I need them. ...
WRONG
The text and formula are separate objects in Draw.

And, to be explicitly clear, step one in the previous list of steps, is leave Writer and open Draw.


Yes... they are separate objects. Which is why I would need to leave blank spaces and position the formulas over them, isn't it?

For example, suppose I have a long string of answers... "1) 5 m; 2) 3.8 J; 3) 200 hr...". If an answer somewhere in the middle of this string is supposed to be a formula, and I want to use a Math object for it... the text box would need to have a section like "4) ________ ; 5) 8.22 nC". Then I would compose the formula, and position it over that blank space of the text box before grouping and rotating them.

Is this not what you were suggesting? Is there another way to have a /mixture of text and formulas in Draw?

(And yes, I am talking about doing this in Draw.)
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Re: Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby Daiwe01 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:44 pm

You frame of reference presents a monolithic text object experiencing inelastic collisions with one or more formula objects.
You may have multiple text objects and multiple formula objects experiencing elastic collisions before reaching their final state. (Note that the final state depends on the layout of that part of an individual Draw page that you want to paste into one page of a Writer document.).

Insert as many text objects as you wish before requiring a formula object. Exit the single text object that remains open in that state.
Insert a formula object.
Insert additional text and formula objects as required.
Align and distribute all objects as required on the Draw page (multiple collisions with multiple objects. The math is left as an exercise for the student).
Save the file.
Select the objects that will fit onto the appropriate Writer page. Group these objects. Rotate this group. Convert group to metafile. Copy & paste into Writer.

You night also create the entire Question & Answer series in Draw to insure that the final printed document pages appear as you like.
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Re: Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby acknak » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:14 am

Here's a sample with a Draw object inserted as Daiwe01 describes. It works but it involves a lot of hassle. Draw gives you complete freedom to arrange the text and formulas but it doesn't help at all if you want mixed text and formulas as usual for text documents. Arranging everything (spacing, text wrapping, fonts, sizes, ...) becomes tedious very quickly.

I guess it's up to you whether you need it badly enough to make it worth the effort.
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Re: Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby Daiwe01 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:32 am

acknak wrote: Arranging everything (spacing, text wrapping, fonts, sizes, ...) becomes tedious very quickly.
Define text style - as in Writer.
Click&Drag a Text Frame and add text. Apply to each text block added (or to all selected frames collectively) - as in Writer.
Select text and/or formula objects as needed to align and distribute - point & click.
steve-o wrote:I would like to make have a small bit of text in my Writer document which is rotated 180 degrees (upside down). Ideally, this text area could be formatted using Styles, and could contain formulas (Math objects). The purpose is to provide a box of "answers" to physics problems on worksheets ...
I don't experience more hassle or tedium.

 Edit: My Formula editor uses font STIX. If you do not have this font, AOO will substitute another font. So the formulas will not be rendered exactly. 
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Last edited by Daiwe01 on Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby steve-o » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:26 pm

Thanks for the cute example problem, Daiwe. :) I see what you're saying -- I may as well have multiple text boxes if I'm going to group things anyway. I still feel like the process would become tedious for me though, as Acknak said. I hadn't heard of STIX before though, so I just went and downloaded it... excited to give it a whirl.
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Re: Upside-down text with Formulas and Styles?

Postby Daiwe01 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:53 pm

I just modified the file in my previous post to add an example like your example with a "sting of answers" containing one formula inline with text.
It is done using one formula and no text frames, but this does not satisfy your requirement of using styles.

Note also that you may edit the individual elements of the inverted group, without first rotating the group right side up, by clicking text or double-clicking formulas.
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