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Openoffice References Bibliography Generator

You can construct a bibliography using the bibliography tool in OpenOffice 3.2. To do so, you must first create a bibliography database. You must then insert in-text references from your database. Finally, you may insert a bibliography that contains all of the references entered in the text.

Step 1:
Open your document in OpenOffice 3.2 and locate Bibliography Database under the Tools menu.

Step 2:
You should see a Bibliography Database window pop up. Click on the yellow star on the left, circled in the screenshot below. Note that if your database already contains many entries, this yellow button will be located among the arrows in the middle of the screen.

Step 3:
Type in the relevant fields for the reference in the boxes. In this example, we will use the information relevant to a scholarly journal. The text will be entered into its appropriate space in the database as you type.

Step 4:
To enter a new source, simply click on the yellow star at the left of the screen, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 5:
With your document open in OpenOffice 3.2, place your cursor at the end of the sentence where you would like to place the reference. Locate the Insert tab and scroll to find Indexes and Tables, then select Bibliography Entry.

Step 6:
In the screenshot below, notice that a window has popped up. Select From bibliography database.

Step 7:
Find your reference in the drop-down menu under Short name, as shown below.

Step 8:
Once you have selected the appropriate short name corresponding to the text you wish to reference, click Insert.

Step 9:
In the screenshot below, the reference has been added.

*Tip: Follow steps 5–9 to add the remaining citations.

Step 10:
Place your cursor at the end of the document. Under the Insert menu, choose Indexes and Tables within Indexes and Tables, as shown below.

Step 11:
In the pop-up window, choose Bibliography from the Type drop-down menu, as shown below.

Step 12:
Click on the Entries tab, as shown below.

Step 13:
In this screen, you will set the format for each source type. In this example, we will set the structure for a book in MLA format. First, select the source type as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 14:
To the right of the word Structure you will see a series of icons representing the elements of a bibliographic entry, as circled below. Au stands for author, Ti for title, and Ye for year.

Step 15:
You must set the structure for each source type and referencing style. In doing so, it may be necessary to remove an element. In this example, the icon Sh stands for short name, which is not to be included in a book referenced in MLA style. To remove this, click on the icon so that it is highlighted and click Remove.

Step 16:
In the screenshot below, notice that the Sh icon has been removed. You must also remove the punctuation in front of the next icon. Simply highlight this punctuation and press the delete button on your keyboard.

Step 17:
In the screenshot below, there are three icons representing author, title, and year. MLA format requires that the city of publication as well as the publisher be included. To insert a bibliographic component, place your cursor in the appropriate location for the component. In this case, the city of publication should be positioned between title and year. Select Address from the drop-down menu (circled below) and click Insert.

Step 18:
Follow Step 17 to insert the remaining elements for your source type. Now you must enter the appropriate punctuation between the components. In this example, the author’s name must be followed by a period. To insert this punctuation, simply highlight the punctuation already present and press the period key on your keyboard.

Step 19:
Notice that the comma has now been replaced by a period. Follow Step 18 to enter the remaining punctuation marks.

Step 20:
If you have another type of bibliographic source, select that from the Type menu, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 21:
Once you have set the structure for all of your source types, click OK.

Step 22:
In the screenshot below, notice that the bibliography table has been added to the document. You may update this information after adding new references by right-clicking anywhere on the table and selecting Update Index/Table.

A bibliography is useful for displaying references used throughout a document. These references are either stored in a bibliographic database or within the document itself.

This section shows you how to:

For most of this section, the database table used is the sample one that comes with Writer. For information on creating a new table in the bibliographic database, see Chapter 10 (Getting Started with Base) in the Getting Started book.

Creating a bibliographic database

Although you can create references within the document itself, creating a bibliographic database allows reuse in other documents and saves a lot of time.

Follow these steps to create a bibliographic database:

  1. Select Tools > Bibliography Database. A window similar to that below is shown.

  2. Bibliography Database main window.

  3. You can use the top portion of this window to:
    • Filter for specific records within the database (see Filtering records).
    • Change some details of columns in the database (see Changing column details).
    • Select an alternative data source (another database or table) or change details of the fields in the database.

    The middle portion of the window shows each of the records in a table layout similar to that of a spreadsheet. Additional fields can be viewed by scrolling the table to the right.

    The bottom portion of the window shows the contents of the selected record.

Filtering records

To set up a filter for specific records within the bibliographic database, select Tools > Filter from the Bibliographic Database menu bar. On the Standard Filter dialog box, choose the fields, conditions and values for the filter and click OK.


Setting up a filter for the bibliographic database.

Changing column details

To change the details of columns in the bibliographic database, select the Column Arrangement button near the top of the window. The Column Layout for Table biblio dialog box is displayed.


Changing column layout for bibliographic database.

Changing field details

You can make changes to the bibliography database (for example, rename fields or change the length of fields) by doing the following:

  1. In the main document (not the Bibliography Database screen), press F4 or click View > Data Sources to open the data source window, similar to the figure below.

  2. Data Source view of Bibliography database.

  3. Make sure that the Bibliography database is selected as well as the correct table. You may have to expand some levels to be able to select the correct ones.
  4. Right-click on the table entry (biblio in the example) and select Edit Database File from the pop-up menu. This opens a window similar to the one below, which is the main menu for Base, the database component of OpenOffice.org.

  5. Main window for working with databases.

  6. If Tables (under the Database view) is not selected, select it now.
  7. Right-click on the biblio table name in the Tables section and select Edit from the context menu to display a window similar to that shown below.

  8. Modify table properties window.

  9. You can now select each of the rows and modify the Field Properties as required.
  10. When finished, you will be asked to confirm that you want the changes saved.
For more information on how to use OOo’s database features, see Chapter 10 (Getting Started with Base) in the Getting Started book.

Adding entries to the database

To add entries to the database:

  1. You can add records directly into the database using the lower portion of the window shown in Creating a bibliographic database.
  2. Complete each of the fields as required. Use the Tab key to move between fields.
  3. It is best to use a unique name in the Short name field. This is used when inserting entries into documents.
  4. To complete the entry move to the last field and press Tab once more.
The Identifier column in the upper portion of the Bibliography Database window is labeled Short name in the lower portion of the window.

If your document requires [Author, date] style citations, use the Identifier (Short name) field of the database to record the information in the required format. If you are using a simple citation numbering system (e.g., [1],[2],...), use a unique reference of some sort in the Identifier (Short name) field. Writer will auto-number entries based on the position within the document.

Maintaining entries in the database

To maintain entries in the database, use the Bibliography Database window as in the previous section. Click on the appropriate field and modify the text as appropriate.

Modified entries will be saved automatically to the database when the cursor moves off the record.

Adding a reference (citation) into a document

Writer supports two ways of showing references (citations) in the text of a document:

  • Using authors’ names and dates of the referenced documents, for example [Smith, 2004], as recorded in the Identifier (Short name) of each bibliographic entry.
  • By numbering the referenced documents in the sequence they occur in the text, for example [1].
To specify which citation style is used in the document, use the Index/Table page on the Insert Index/Table dialog.

To add references from the bibliographic database into a document:

  1. Place the cursor where you want the reference to appear.
  2. From the main menu, choose Insert > Indexes and tables > Bibliographic entry.
  3. In the Insert Bibliographic Entry dialog box, shown below, choose From bibliography database at the top of the dialog box. (You can also insert a reference from the document itself by selecting From document content, but that method is not covered in this chapter.)

  4. Inserting bibliographic entries into a document.

  5. Select the reference from the Short name dropdown list near the bottom of the dialog box. The Author and Title of the selected reference are shown in the middle of the dialog box, to help you verify that it is the reference you want.
  6. To insert the reference into the document, click Insert.
  7. You can keep the dialog box open and insert another reference into the document; you do not need to close and reopen it.
  8. When you have finished inserting all the references, select Close.

Formatting the bibliography

Formatting the bibliography involves choices made in two places:

To create the bibliography:

  1. Place the cursor at the point where you wish to insert the bibliography.
  2. Select Insert > Indexes and tables > Indexes and tables and change the Type to Bibliography, to see a dialog box similar to that shown below.


Inserting a bibliography.

The Insert Index/Table dialog box has five pages.

Using the Index/Table page

The basic settings are selected on this page.

  1. To give the bibliography a title, enter it in the Title field. (A title is not required.)
  2. You can protect the bibliography from being changed accidentally, by checking the Protected against manual changes checkbox. If this box is checked, the bibliography can only be changed using the context menu or the Insert Table/Index dialog. If the box is not checked, the bibliography can be changed directly on the document page, just like other text.
  3. To have the bibliographic entries numbered within the body of the document (for example, [1], [2], ...), select Number entries. If, however, you wish to have the field Identifier (from the database) appear in the document, clear this checkbox.
  4. Select the type of brackets that you want for the referenced entries shown within the body of the document.
  5. Define the sorting you require. Currently only alphanumeric sorting is supported. Sorting by the the sequence that entries appear in the text is done on the Entries tab.

Using the Entries page

The structure of this page is similar to that of the previous sections.


Entries page for bibliographies.

You can define how the entry will appear based on the Type of the entry, or simply apply the same format to all entries by selecting the All button.

The Structure of the entry is based on the fields available in the bibliographic database. The ones shown by default are:

  • Au – Author
  • Ti – Title
  • Ye - Year

To determine how entries are sorted, modify the Sort by options. To sort by the sequence that entries appear in the text, choose Document position. To sort alphanumerically, choose Content. Use Sort keys to group similar references.

Using the Styles, Columns and Background pages

Refer to Using the Styles page, Using the Columns page, and Using the Background page.

Generating the bibliography

To generate the bibliography so that it appears in your document, click OK. The Insert Index/Table dialog box closes and the bibliography appears in your document.

Defining the paragraph style for the bibliography

You can modify the Bibliography 1 paragraph style to suit your requirements. For example, to number the entries in the bibliography list, you need to define a numbering style and link that numbering style to the Bibliography 1 paragraph style. To do this:

  1. On the Styles and Formatting window, click on the List Styles icon. You can either define a new list style or modify one of those supplied. In this example, we will modify the Numbering 1 style. Right-click on Numbering 1 and choose Modify from the pop-up menu.

  2. Modify a numbering style.

  3. On the Numbering Style dialog, go to the Options page. In our example we want to have the numbers enclosed in square brackets. To do this, type [ in the Before box and ] in the After box, as shown below.

  4. Specifying square brackets before and after the number in a list.

  5. Now go to the Position tab of the Numbering style dialog. In the Spacing to text box, specify how much indentation you want for the second and following lines of any item in the bibliography list of your document. Often you will need to experiment a bit to see what is the best setting. In our example, we have chosen 0.20 inch.

  6. Setting the spacing between the margin and the text.

  7. Click OK to save these settings and close the Numbering Style dialog. Return to the Styles and Formatting window, click on the Paragraph Styles icon, choose All Styles from the list at the bottom of that window, then right-click on Bibliography 1 and choose Modify.
  8. On the Paragraph Style dialog, go to the Numbering tab and select Numbering 1 from the drop-down list. (See below.) Click OK to save this change to the Bibliography 1 paragraph style.

  9. Applying a numbering style to a paragraph style.

Now when you generate the bibliography, the list will look something like the one shown below.


Result of settings for Bibliography 1 paragraph style.

Updating and editing an existing bibliography

To modify the display of bibliography entries:

  1. Click anywhere in the bibliography and then right-click.
  2. From the pop-up menu, choose Edit Index/Table. The Insert Index/Table dialog box opens and you can edit and save the table using the five pages described in the previous section.

To update or delete the bibliography, follow the same process as described in the sections Updating a table of contents and Deleting a table of contents.

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