How to create pechas with LibreOffice
- 1 Preparations and preview
- 1.1 Creating a new pecha
- 1.1.1 Select a template
- 1.1.2 Import Tibetan Unicode text
- 1.1.3 Illustration
- 1.1.4 Formatting
- 1.1.5 Correct left/right justification
- 1.1.6 Optimize spacing
- 1.1.7 Rinchen Spungs Shad handling
- 1.1.8 Customize titles and page-numbers
- 1.1.9 Prepare printing
- 1.1.10 Printing
- 1.2 Some tips
- 1.3 Internal Links
- 1.4 External Links
- 1.1 Creating a new pecha
Preparations and preview
- Follow this guide to prepare your computer: Preparing Computers for Tibetan Editing
- You will need:
- A Tibetan font (e.g. DDC Uchen, Jomolhari or the cross-platform Jomolhari ID)
- A Tibetan Keyboard (e.g. TISE)
- The LibreOffice formatting extension, a macro extension for LibreOffice that supports left-right justification of Tibetan pechas and automatic insertion of rin chen spungs shad.
- Tibetan sample documents and templates: (Note: The steps necessary to create these sample files are explained below.)
- File:Praise to Shakyamuni.odt a sample pecha in LibreOffice format. This file can be used as template to create other pechas. You will need the Jomolhari font to correctly display this file. If you are not using Windows, please download the following version: Jomolhari ID
- File:Praise to Shakyamuni.pdf a PDF created from this LibreOffice document.
- File:PS-Print.pdf A print-ready pecha PDF
Creating a new pecha
- A pecha template
- The Tibetan text of the pecha
- An image for illustration
Select a template
In order to start to create a new pecha, we will use a template:
- Visit the LibreOffice Pecha Template Library to select an existing pecha template, or
- Create your own pecha template from scratch: How to create an LibreOffice pecha template
Import Tibetan Unicode text
- Next, you need the actual Tibetan text that should be put into the pecha. The text needs to be in Unicode. If you have non-Unicode text, check: How to convert different legacy formats of Tibetan texts into standard Unicode Tibetan
For our example, download the Tibetan text: File:PraiseToShakyamuniText.odt
- Open the text in a second editor, select the whole text and copy it to the clipboard.
- In the LibreOffice pecha document, use "Edit / Paste special..." and select "Unformatted text".
- Now within the pecha-document, select the whole text and apply paragraph style "Tibetan Pecha Text". ("Format / Styles and Formatting...")
- Now identify the parts of the Tibetan text that need to be printed as yig chung (in small characters). Select yig chung parts and apply the character-style "Yigchung". ("Format / Styles and Formatting..."), then select the second button on the top of the style window, to see the list of character-styles.
- The template we selected requires an image for the center of page 2. Images are available from the Pecha Image Library
For our example we chose the image "Buddha Shakyamuni" from the library.
- Use "Insert / Picture / From File..." to insert the illustration into the center box of page 2.
- For the next step, the LibreOffice Tibetan formatting extension needs to be installed in LibreOffice.
Correct left/right justification
Windows only: zero-length-justification-characters
The Windows version of OpenOffice does not handle left/right justification correctly. Simply use the extension function "Tibetan / Insert Justification characters..." to fix this. The function insert a zero-length space character after each tsheg. Justification then works correctly in Windows.
Note: justification for other operating system works correctly when "Expand single words" is ticked in "Format / Paragraph / Alignment".
Especially when using Windows, there might be too much white space between Tibetan syllables. In this case select the whole text and use "Format / Character... / Position / Spacing" with "Condensed" and a value of "0,1" or "0,2".
Rinchen Spungs Shad handling
Now as last formatting step use "Tibetan / Apply Rinchen Spungs Shad". This will automatically change all shad signs into rin chen sprungs shad after a single syllable at start of a new line.
Customize titles and page-numbers
Edit the placeholders for the left border titles and add Tibetan page numbers where necessary.
Now add pages at the end of the pecha until the number of pages is a multiple of six. This will be necessary for printing.
Done! the pecha is ready for printing and should look like this:
- The final document can be downloaded: File:Praise to Shakyamuni.odt.
- Create a PDF document (press LibreOffice's PDF-button)
- Then follow Working with PDF Documents for an explanation on how to correctly print pechas on A4-paper.
For best results use 80gr ivory-colored paper and a color printer.
- Performance: OpenOffice tends to get very slow when working with very long paragraphs. If you have pechas that are longer than 20 pages, you can considerably speed up the editing by inserting a paragraph-break at line-ends every 10 to 20 pages.
- Switch off contour wrapping: The text flow of OpenOffice sometimes gets confused if any of the inserted objects (mainly the yig go boxes and middle images) use the "Wrap / Contour" option. To check, select an object (e.g. the text-box that contains the yig go on top of each uneven page), right-click the object, select "Wrap ->" and make sure that the option "Contour" is not ticked.
- LibreOffice Pecha Template Library
- Pecha Image Library
- How to create an LibreOffice pecha template
- How to edit Tibetan texts