Index ¦ Archives ¦ RSS

SmartArt improvements in Impress, part 6

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Impress now has support for an improved auto-fit-of-text layout across multiple shapes, also the snake algorithm now handles width requests from constraints much better for SmartArt graphics from PPTX files. This builds on top of the previous improvements around SmartArt support.

First, thanks to our partner SUSE for working with Collabora to make this possible.


SmartArt allows declaring your content and requirements for a graphic, then the layout will take care of arranging that in a suitable way. It is allowed to ask for an automatic font size, which is small enough so that all the content fits into the shape. At the same time, you can ask that the font size is the same in multiple shapes. Impress lacked the ability to do the latter, leading to different font sizes in different shapes, all automatic inside a single shape.

Results so far

Here is how the automatic text scaling across multiple shapes works in practice:
Figure 1. Autofit synchronization, new output
Figure 2. Autofit synchronization, old output
Figure 3. Autofit synchronization, reference output

You can see how the old output used to have unexpected large text in shape A, but now has the same text size as shape B. This is not applied unconditionally, shape C can request to have an independent, fixed font size.
Figure 4. Snake rows, new output
Figure 5. Snake rows, old output
Figure 6. Snake rows, reference output

You can see that the old output laid shapes all over the place, while the new output puts them to a 3 by 2 matrix. The reason this works is because now we parse width requests from constraints correctly. This means we give spacings a smaller width, real shapes a larger width, so the content fits in less rows and the layout looks like a grid, matching the reference rendering.

How is this implemented?

If you would like to know a bit more about how this works, continue reading… :-)

As for the autofit synchronization:

Beyond that, for the snake rows:

Want to start using this?

You can get a snapshot / demo of Collabora Office and try it out yourself right now: try unstable snapshot. Collabora intends to continue supporting and contributing to LibreOffice, the code is merged so we expect all of this work will be available in TDF’s next release too (7.1).

© Miklos Vajna. Built using Pelican. Theme by Giulio Fidente on github.