Frequently asked questions - Writer

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Audio-cassette.png This page (may) contain content that is old and/or out of date.

If you have experience in this area, please review this page for accuracy. Reason: Dialog boxes are changed and a tab is removed since. The steps are very confusing and insufficient to produce anything useful. The screenshots must change to English.

Bug notice

Due to the following bug, the desired effect is impossible to achieve right now.

If you know how to write and fix code, please don’t hesitate contacting us. The Document Foundation needs your help.

Everything that follows would not work unless the above-mentioned bug is fixed.

How to use private fields in the "Business Cards" window

You want to create "private" business cards using the menu File ▸ New ▸ Business Cards. The Private tab seems ideal for capturing the information that should appear on the cards but, when a new document is first created, this data is not there.

copie d'écran dialogue cartes de visite
Cartes de visite


The program does not build business cards out of nothing. Each card is based on an AutoText. The following technique allows you to "design" your cards exactly as you want.

The AutoText is chosen in the "Business Cards" tab, but the dialog box can integrate the data (surname, given name, etc.), only if the AutoText you are using contains User Fields that follow certain criteria.

copie d'écran dialogue cartes de visite
Choix de l'AutoTexte


As shown in the screenshot above, the dialog File ▸ New ▸ Business Cards ▸ AutoText - Section shows only a default category Business Cards, Work (3½ x 2). Similarly the menu Edit ▸ AutoText contains only the same default category.

The trick is to create new AutoTexts that contain the "right" fields. You can also create a new category "Private Business Cards" to store them in. How do you name these user fields so that the dialog will recognise them and the Business Cards window can use them?

The answer is given by inspecting a "professional" AutoText:

  • in a Writer document, go to Edit ▸ AutoText ▸ Business Cards, Work;
  • choose Elegant, with name, then click on Insert. Some example text appears;
  • go to Insert ▸ Fields ▸ More Fields.... On the Variable tab, click on User Fields to display the list of fields created in this AutoText;


copie d'écran dialogue Insertion Champs Autres
Champs utilisateurs "professionnels" disponibles dans l'AutoTexte


You can see in this screenshot that the names of most of the fields begin with BC_COMP_, but some (NAME and FIRSTNAME) begin with BC_PRIV_. It is clear that you need to insert user fields built on the same model, but replacing COMP by PRIV. Enter them by using the Name and Value boxes at the bottom.

copie d'écran autotexte avec champs utilisateur
Champs utilisateurs "privés" à créer dans l'AutoTexte


To delete the unwanted company field names, first delete the corresponding values in the text example. Then insert the new private fields where you want them, using the Insert button. The next screenshot shows the modified example text with the required fields. All you then need to do is select this text after creating it and use the Edit AutoText dialog to create an AutoText based on it (inserted for example in a new category "Private Business Cards" cf. above.

  • from now on, the Private tab in the wizard will be functional (if you have correctly chosen an AutoText containing these fields).