LibreOffice Draw Glue Points

I want to draw some network diagrams. I have been trying to learn LibreOffice Draw.

Glue points are a fundamental design element of LibreOffice Draw.

Try as I might I could not add glue points to objects.

After much frustration and surfing the web, I finally figured out the awkward design of adding glue points. There is an exact sequence of steps that must be followed. Very exact.

Do not open the Glue Point toolbar as a docked toolbar. Leave the toolbar floating. When the toolbar is docked the glue points do not work. When the toolbar is docked, at most I could get the mouse cursor to change to a cross-hair only once. Thereafter the mouse cursor would not change. When the toolbar was docked and I moved the toolbar to floating, the cursor still would not change. I had to stop the entire process and then begin anew.

I believe this is a bug and if not, a design flaw. Regardless, follow the exact pecking order and adding glue points actually succeeds.

  1. Select the object that will receive the new glue point.
  2. If the object is part of a group, then Ungroup the objects.
  3. On the selected object the object grab handles will appear.
  4. In the Standard Toolbar, select the Show Glue Point Functions button.
  5. In the floating toolbar, select the Insert Glue Point button.
  6. At this point the other buttons on the floating toolbar have no function.
  7. The other buttons gain function only after the new glue point is added.
  8. When selected the Insert Glue Point button should visibly change state.
  9. The mouse cursor should change to a cross-hair.
  10. In the selected object, click the cross-hair cursor on the desired new glue point spot.
  11. Close the floating toolbar or in the Standard Toolbar, toggle off the Show Glue Point Functions button.
  12. Add the desired connector.
  13. If desired then Group objects.

Only after the new glue point is added will the other Glue Point toolbar buttons become functional.

Another caveat is grouping. Creating a text box caption for an object and then grouping the object and caption is a common task. The glue point tools are quite cantankerous when trying to add glue points to a grouped object. I found that ungrouping helped to add a glue point to the original object and then restore the grouping.

Typically users copy and paste to duplicate objects. This is useful after creating a grouped object. The trick then with adding new glue points to objects is creating additional glue points before any grouping and before duplicating the grouped objects. This requires some planning. A pencil sketch of the diagram helps plan.

Zooming often is required to add glue points to an exact spot on an object boundary. Something is flawed with the screen redraw because when restoring to a normal view some of the connectors will be out of place.

Another glitch is more than a few times I have seen connectors reshape themselves. I have to continually watch for this bug and restore the direction using a grab handle.

I think LibreOffice is a wonderful project. But Draw can be exhausting.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

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